My Favorite Nail Tools

Hey There Polished People!

Just because I’m super nosy, I always love seeing how different people do their nails, what tools they use, their cuticle care, etc. I recently received some Wooden Orange Sticks/Cuticle Pushers from Winstonia for review and I wasn’t sure exactly how to review them (Are they wood? Yes. Do they push back your cuticles? Yes. DONE! Haha.) so I decided to do a nail tool post and include them here. Even though I just got these a couple of weeks ago, I have used this type of product forever and found these to be identical. Anyway- let’s see my favorite nail tools and then I’ll tell you a little about how I use them/why I like them, etc. Here we go! πŸ™‚

My Favorite Nail Tools FavoriteNailTools

  1. Wooden Orange Sticks/ Cuticle Pushers. These ones from Winstonia are great, and are a good price at $3.95 for 30 in three different sizes. I actually don’t use these to push back my cuticles, as I find the slanted edge to be a little sharp, but I do use these to clean old polish from under my nails, clean up a little polish around my toenails if I’m a little sloppy, I used the pointy end to make dots before I had a dotting tool, I use the pointy end to pick up studs and gleequins and the slanted side to push them down… there are a million uses for them. These from Winstonia are nice because they’re in three different sizes so you can use the long ones for your cuticles or under your nails, and the shorter ones for dots, etc. If you’d like to order them from the Winstonia store, click here. Right next to the Winstonia cuticle sticks is item number 1.5– this is the dual ended cuticle stick that I actually use to push back my cuticles. The ends are really dull and they’re just kind of wedge-shaped and work perfectly for pushing back cuticles. Cuticle care is absolutely KEY to having nice nails. I’ll do a cuticle care post sometime in the future. Meanwhile, if you have questions, just holler (or rather, leave a comment, tweet, etc cuz I wont hear you ;)).
  2. Makeup sponge wedges from Dollar Tree. I use these for gradients and other sponging nail art. They’re cheap and they work perfectly.
  3. Beauty Secrets Acetone Nail Polish Remover and Pure Acetone. I pour some of the remover into that little bottle so it travels more easily, but it’s all that same brand of remover. I use the acetone solely for cuticle clean-up. It’s too drying for me to use on my whole nails all the time, but I LOOOVE it for cuticle clean up. Again- cuticle care… learn it, love it, reap the rewards. πŸ™‚
  4. Foil strips for removing glitter polish/gleequins, etc. As you can see, these are well used. I wrap these around cotton balls (also an essential tool, but I’m assuming everyone knows what those are) soaked in remover placed on my nails, let them sit, unwrap them, slide off the cotton ball and voila! nails are clean. πŸ™‚ When I’m done I just fold these back up and throw them in my makeup bag that I use for my nail tools.
  5. Small slanted paintbrush from the craft store for cuticle clean up. Dip it in acetone, run it around your cuticles, have a perfect-looking paint job. I like this one from the craft store, because when I used eyeliner brushes I always had problems with the bristles falling out because of the acetone. This one has been perfect and I bet I’ve had it for about a year.
  6. Scotch Tape. Everyone loves a tape mani! πŸ˜‰
  7. Hole reinforcement stickers. Doesn’t everyone love a half-moon-mani too? πŸ™‚
  8. This is my dotting tool. It’s LA Girls brand and I got it at Fred Meyer along with three mini polishes for about 5 bucks. It has 2 sizes and is short enough to fit in my bag easily. I love it and am sooo happy I got it. You can use plenty of other things for a dotting tool, but I like having a legit tool.
  9. Revlon nail clipper. There is nothing I hate worse than a dull nail clipper. My nails grow so dang fast that when I shorten them I prefer to cut them and then file them smooth. Filing by itself is just too tedious. This particular brand of clipper is substantial and super sharp so it works perfectly, but it’s not all big and bulky. If I lose my clippers, I always wait until I find another pair of Revlon ones.
  10. Ulta 6-way buffer. I don’t use this all that often because it’s not healthy to over-buff, but when I have some little peely parts on my nail or want to buff out some staining, this is what I reach for. I think it’s about 5 dollars at Ulta.
  11. Tweezerman cuticle nippers. I lied when I said dull clippers are the worst. A dull pair of cuticle nippers is absolutely a torture device. I know cuticle cutting is largely frowned upon, but occasionally I do cut my cuticles, and I definitely cut the tough skin along the sides of my nails. I’m not even sorry. I love my cuticle nippers. Also, these are just what you need if you ever get hangnails, because you definitely don’t want to pick them!
  12. Revlon emery board. I have tried the super-cheap brands, and the slightly more expensive brands and I find that these are just perfect. They’re coarse without being TOO coarse and last a long time. Some of the cheapo brands get almost gluey feeling after you use them a few times. Yuck.
  13. I guess I’m a Revlon fan, cuz these are Revlon tweezers! I wouldn’t use these for my eyebrows because they’re not precise enough and they don’t have THAT great of a grip (I’ve got Tweezerman tweezers for that), but I do use them to remove tape and hole-reinforcement stickers from my nails, I even use them to fish out my cuticle sticks or clean-up brush when my nails are wet. Do you NEED tweezers in your nail bag? No. But are they super helpful at times? Yes.

Alright, there we have it! I hope you all found this helpful or at least marginally interesting. If I am missing any of your favorite tools, please make sure to let me know! πŸ™‚ As always, thank you all for reading and till next time- Happy Polishing!! πŸ˜€

**The cuticle sticks in this post were provided by Winstonia for review. Everything else was purchased by me. Please see my disclosure tab for more info.**

PS: My first baby shower is tomorrrow!! Yayyyyy! Be looking on Instagram and Twitter for sneak peaks of the decorations, etc, if you’re interested! πŸ˜€

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30 thoughts on “My Favorite Nail Tools

  1. What are your thoughts on glass/crystal files? I always thought they were weird/over the top, but I tried a Sephora brand glass file and I’m a convert! I still use an emery board for rough shaping, but the the glass file gives an incredibly smooth edge – like BUTTAH.

    • I have tried like two brands of glass files- both of which were from giftshop type stores, and found then to not be nearly coarse enough to shorten my nails. Also, mine got dull spots on it right away (which isn’t that the point of the glass files? That they last forever practically?) So either I have diamond hard nails (duh ;p) or I bought terribly crappy files (I suppose that’s more likely). When/if I try a legit brand I will get back to you on that. πŸ™‚

  2. Oh my gosh, you totally cracked me up: “(Are they wood? Yes. Do they push back your cuticles? Yes. DONE! Haha.)” I literally lol’d at that! This is a great post, and great for beginners.

    • I mean- how do you review cuticle sticks?? Haha. I will use then again when I try their nail foils but that’ll be in a little while so I wanted to do SOMETHING w them now. πŸ™‚

  3. I have that very same dotting tool! Best money spent! I’ve used the wooden cuticle sticks before but I like the metal cuticle pusher I have from Cover Girl, it helps keep my cuticles shaped! I cut my nails too before filing, if I just file I can never get them to look the same!

    • Yeah I agree w the dotting tool- for a few bucks I was like why not? I think it helps me keep them more evenly sized. A little, anyway. And I have a metal cuticle pusher too, but hardly ever use it. Sometimes I use it on my toes’ cuticles cuz those little things are aggressive! Haha. And high five on cutting before filing- I thought no one else did that, like it’s some sort of taboo, but I gotta get them pretty much the length I want before I go file file filing away for the same reason you said. I don’t want all these odd, different-length nails. It’s not a good look! πŸ˜‰

  4. I was always told never use wooden orange sticks on your cuticles. I have a rubber tipped cuticle pusher which is much gentler. I also don’t use emmery boards any more; don’t think you can beat a crystal nail file for smooth shaping. Do you use a brush with the acetone for clean up or cotton buds? Always nice to see ‘behind the curtain’ of a polish blogger though πŸ™‚

    • I’m definitely not very gentle on my nails. They seem to take a licking and keep on ticking for the most part- thank goodness! Haha. I am definitely going to seek out a good glass file, cuz I do hear lots of good things about them. And for clean up I use that little slanted paintbrush (number 5) dipped in acetone. I will sometimes use q tips for an especially messy mani, like watermarbling, but otherwise I just always use the brush for cuticle clean up.

  5. Yes what you’re missing is MY fav tool: the fan brush. LOL but it isn’t an essential tool.
    Other than that, love this post Nicole. Very informative and definitely a must share to my page!

  6. love this post. I dont use the sticks for cuticles either I have my metal one for that. and I don’t use pure acetone… only to make my meth LOL did you see Cynthia’s post last night… wow but no seriously I really dont use acetone. I use I think it’s Sally Hansen non- acetone with strengthening and moisturizing vitamins and it works good πŸ™‚

  7. Hmm…you have brought orange sticks back to my attention! I used to use them for cuticles occasionally, but didn’t like the disposable nature of them when you could just get a different tool, instead. However, these would be great to have around just as an all-purpose assistant! I’ll have to get some next time I’m out. Maybe when I’m at Sally’s getting my perfect white. πŸ˜‰
    I always cut before I file. Ain’t nobody got time fo’ filing to the proper length! πŸ˜‰
    I also unapologetically cut my cuticles. I pretty much massacre them, actually…I can’t believe how much I can safely cut. Get outta here, cuticles!
    Hmmm…both you and Cynthia use the old school emery boards, and both of your nails are nicer than mine, so, maybe you’re on to something! πŸ˜‰ I use a glass file I got at a beauty supply store. I need to get a new one, though, because I got a chip in it and can’t file on that side, hahaha. Maybe I should try emery boards again before that. It will not surprise to you learn that I have Hello Kitty ones, hahaha.
    Revlon Tweezers are actually my favorite…there’s a specific style of theirs that I like. I am for some reason too cheap for Tweezerman.
    Thanks for sharing your tools! πŸ˜‰

    • YOU have hello kitty emery boards?! No!! I’m shocked. Not. :p I didn’t realize that Cynthia used emery boards too- I felt like I was the only person filing my nails w out a glass file. Mine aren’t hello kitty or anything tho… Show off. πŸ˜‰

      I know the orange wood sticks are “disposable” but I don’t think I’ve ever thrown one away. Maybe that’s totally gross of me, but when the end gets nail polish on it, I just dip it in remover, and if it gets stained I just file it with my emery board!! Haha. I feel superghettoredneck here telling you that!! Shh. And maybe this is bad too but it makes me happy to hear that you cut those cuticles down to size too. People are so against it (and I’m sure for good reason, nothing against them) but I’m w you- they need to be gone w their bad selves. And way to go, being all sweet brown w the cutting before you file. We have things to do around here!! πŸ˜‰

  8. I’m the same! I love nail care routines and seeing how other people do their manicures/tools they use ; )
    I never use the sticks for pushing back cuticles either, but they’re awesome for other purposes.

    • I’m also always on the prowl for people’s favorite cuticle oils and stuff like that even though I totally do NOT need any more stuff! Haha. Since I don’t need any- what’s your favorite cuticle oil or cream?

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