Lindsay: I’ve gotten so many questions about my beauty routines lately that I thought I would make it into a series of posts. Each week I’ll highlight some of my favorite beauty products in different categories and provide links in case you see anything you’d like to try.  

This week’s topic? Nails. I’ve done just about everything with mine.  I’ve gone through the phase of getting acrylics put in (final decision – not my style…), peeled said acrylics off after soaking in acetone, gotten many professional manicures and pedicures, and forced myself to learn to save money by doing the work myself. I can be a huge perfectionist in most areas and one is definitely my nails.  And since I can be kind of spineless when it comes to telling the salon what I want I have found I am most pleased when I do the work myself.

Read on for the full list of  tools that make my DIY mani-pedi easy peasy (and keep me from pulling my hair out in the process).

1. Sally Hansen Comfort Grip Ceramic Stone This is how I tend to my calloused heals; I like this handled version better than a pumice stone for ease of use.

2. OPI Nail Lacquer in I’m Indi-a Mood For Love The perfect bright pink.  You’ll see a lot of OPI on this list, but I also try a lot of other brands like Essie, Savina, Maybelline, and Sally Hansen. If I like the color I go for it. Plus, buying my own polish is a lot cheaper than paying for a manicure.

3. Formula 10 Pink Creamy Cuticle Remover This is an item I got from my Mama, as in she has used it for years and now, so do I. Thanks, Mama!

4. TRIM Cuticle Sticks Another one I got from my Mama. They always work.

5. up + up Acetone Nail Polish Remover Yes, yes I use acetone. I know that it’s not supposed to be the best for nail health, but I’ve never had an issue with brittle nails. The up + up brand at Target also has a non-acetone alternative, but I find I go through that much quicker as it takes a lot more to get dark colors off.

6. Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Colour in Mint Sorbet This is a color I usually reserve for summer (shown here) and it reminds of of an old Hard Candy nail color I wore in high school.  Remember those, that came with a plastic ring? So mid-nineties.

7. TRIM 4-sided Buffing Block This is definitely something I’d want on a desert island and a great way to maintain natural nails.

8. Tweezerman Stainless Steel Fingernail Clippers I actually had a crappy old pair, found this pair in my husband’s dopp kit and pilfered them years ago, but please keep that to yourself.

9. Tweezerman Cuticle Nipper When I started doing my own manicures at home I studied what the salons used and bought some better tools. This is the best thing I own and I couldn’t live without it.

10. OPI Natural Nail Base Coat I’ve tried several brands but I always come back to the tried and true. This base coat keeps color from staining my nails and provides a good hold for color to stay strong longer.

11. OPI Top Coat Sometimes I use a top coat and sometimes I go without. I usually use a top coat when I’m working with a bargain brand of nail color to prevent early chips.  I find that with Essie or OPI colors I don’t really need a top coat, just a couple good coats of my nail color and I’m good to go.

12. OPI Nail Lacquer in My Private Jet I have so many favorite colors, but this is definitely in the top of the top. I have worn it everywhere in every season and the little hint of sparkle in this deep grey make it a little more unique than basic black.

13. OPI Nail Lacquer in Monsoon or Later My old favorite nail color was called Bet it All on OPI.  It was the perfect orangey red.  I still have a bottle, but found out that it’s since been discontinued.  This color is very close and a great substitute. As you can tell, I love the India series of colors from OPI.

14. TRIM Professional Salon Boards, Pink Again with the ideas from Mama/stealing ideas from the salon.  The pink board is finer to refine edges…

15. TRIM Professional Salon Boards, Grey …and the grey board is coarser to cut down length quickly.

Check other posts in the Beauty Routines series: