Self-Made Manicure: My Favorite Nail Products

Disclaimer: I am not being paid or compensated in any way to recommend the products mentioned in this blog entry. With that being said, if there is a company in existence that would like to give me free stuff and/or pay me to provide an honest  review of their product, I would definitely love that. Let me know, ok?


So I’ve been wanting to do this post for quite some time now. I’m a huge girly girl, and so naturally I like to keep my nails painted as much as possible. I used to have a gel overlay on top of them, which meant I had to haul my ass to the salon to get them filled every three or four weeks. My gel nails were ridiculously glamorous, but also ridiculously expensive. I’m a poor  graduate student, and so I typically try to keep my beauty routine as low maintenance (meaning cheap, lol) as I possibly can. I’ll be honest, painting my own nails isn’t the most relaxing activity in the world. It also doesn’t last nearly as long as a gel manicure from the  salon would. I usually get about 3 days of wear from each manicure. Still, the products I use allow for a smooth application. My nails always dry quickly, which is super convenient.  Painting them at home is  an easy process, and I like that it saves me money. Read on for my favorite self-made manicure products  🙂 I have included links to purchase each of them down below.

Base Coat:

I always use OPI Natural Nail base coat. I love how thin it is-I often look twice at my nails after I’ve applied it and go, “huh, did I space out and forget to use a base coat?” It looks like normal nail protector going on, and then seems to evaporate within seconds. Pretty neat.

Nail Color:

I use whatever, honestly. I have a few of the expensive polishes by Essie and OPI.  I recently  bought a Sephora for OPI 10 piece collection from You get ten beautiful, high quality colors for only 24.99!  (Reminder- I’ve included a link act the bottom of this entry!)  I’m also not afraid of the cheaper brands. I have polish from N.Y.C and Revlon. When I was in Mexico, I purchased this beautiful pink color from a brand I’ve never heard of for less than 100 pesos (about $6.00 in the United States). I’ll try anything that looks pretty.

Top Coat:

I will only use HK Girl  Glisten and Glow Fast Drying & Super Shiny topcoat. My friend Deana recommended it to me a couple of months ago. She is a  fellow girly-girl/nail polish addict, and so I tend to trust her product recommendations. This topcoat is phenomenal. True to it’s name, it is super glossy, and dries within minutes. It will not  cause your color to flake off sooner, the way that a lot of fast-drying formulas will.

Easy Removal:

I’m the type of girl who removes her nail polish thirty seconds after it begins to chip… I have a Type A personality, we’ve been through this before… I’m sure you could’ve guessed that chipped nails absolutely-positively irk me to my core. When the moment I’ve been dreading  inevitably happens, I break out my Cutex Twister nail polish remover. I use the one that is labelled “for hard to remove nail polish.” I insert each of my fingers  into the container  (one at a time) and gently rub my nail beds against the  sponge inside. There is also a scrub brush, but I have found that  it is not as effective as the soft sponge. My nail polish always comes off very easily. If I have  glitter  on my nails, I may need to dip them another time or two, which isn’t half bad. For me, removal takes about two minutes-tops!

You can purchase my nail favorites by clicking on the links below!

OPI Natural Nail Base Coat

10 pce Sephora by OPI

Hk Girl Glisten and Glow topcoat

Cutex Twister Nail Polish Remover

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