Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My Manicure and Pedicure Set

I have my own manicure/pedicure set year 2001. That was the year I went to China for a teaching job and I knew I can't live without caring for my nails. I knew nothing about nail services in the said country that's why I had to bring my own stuffs. (yup, I seriously did!)

A well-groomed hands and feet is very important especially for professionals like us who are already working. Especially when I was teaching, I would be standing in front of a whole class and you would be scrutinized by all your students --- from head to toe NAILS!

Above are just what we may need if we want to do it on our own and NO..this is not about opening up your own nail salon :) Just a brief stuffs and explanation.

1. Nail Polish Remover

Whether you have your nail polish on or not, I always clean my nails with a nail polish remover as your nails tend to be oily and there may be some dirt left from previous nail polish. Choose the ones that are moisturizing. Or much better, use Acetone-free remover. It's so hard to find it here, but I believe we do have that available!

2. Nail Cutter

Nail shape should always complement your hand size and cuticle shape! Square or oval? Whatever works for you. If you always have ingrown nails, there's something wrong with the way you cut your nails! (trust me, been there done that!)

3. Merthiolate (optional)

People may find it weird, but a lot of nail salon here in the Philippines use this, just to make sure the cuticle will be protected after cutting it to avoid infections. I transferred mine using an old nail polish brush to make it easier to apply. I love the pinkish effect of it to my nails. :D

4. Cuticle Remover

Used to soften the cuticle to make it easier to push or some people cut it.

5. Nail Hardener / Base Coat

I find this very effective, my nails aren't yellowish anymore with a nice base coat and I had mind plus factor..hardening effect!

6. Fast Dry Top Coat

Very useful!! It's not like nano-second fast, but it still helps in protecting your nail polish.

7. Nail File

Used to smoothen the rough edges of your nails. Please file in ONE direction!

8. Cuticle Pusher

It's available in wooden form, or metal form. Whatever you're comfortable with. I used mine in metal so its easier to disinfect and can be sharpen easily.

9. Brush

One tip, if you're lazy to push or cut your cuticles, I find putting a whole lot of cuticle remover on your nails, then brush your nails with this brush back and forth and your nails will look clean and well-groomed. I've done this myself on most lazy days!

10. Cuticle Nipper (optional)

Takes a whole lot of practice to be able to use this. This is optional. Only for people who likes to cut their cuticles. If worries, you don't need this :D This nipper needs a whole lot of TLC, never DROP your nipper.

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1. Cuticle Oil

Cuticle oil aids in fast drying as well.

2. Clear Polish

I always buy a good branded clear polish as I always top this clear polish to a regular nail polish and it can really make your polish lasts 2x longer!

3. Alcohol

Use to clean your tools BEFORE and AFTER!

4. Antibiotic capsules (optional, hope you guys won't need this)

I had one very bad experience that really got me scared to do my nails outside. My mom was having her massage and I thought "What the heck? Why not have a pedicure service to keep me out of boredom?"

WRONG MOVE! The lady cut my cuticle all wrong and blood started to come out! (sorry gross, but it's true!) and I had a very bad toe infection for more than 2 weeks!!! I was never a complainer then, afraid to say something as I'm paranoid the lady will cut my TOES! (hahaha well NOT that paranoid, but you got my point).

You know what saves my day? Antibiotic capsules!

I specified capsule as the vital part of the treatment is the "powdered form" of antibiotic that can aid in faster healing. All you have to do is ---

1. separate the 2 capsule
2. slowly pour out the powder directly to the wound or the "infected" area
3. you can leave it just like that or you can wrap it with a "band aid"

Trust me this helps! Thanks to my hubby for sharing that tip to me!

Anyways, this is a long post. I got carried away. LOL

I know this post may sound too much to those simple gals out there!
But always nice to know right?
Love your nails, care for it!

Want to look back on my first nail post that started it all?
Smile and say "first nail post!"


  1. aww your poor toes from a botched pedicure! >_< Ive only ever had one pedicure.. that was from OPI as a gift, so nice!! can never be bothered otherwise xD

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  3. ah, i have been gone for a while and it feels good to be back.

    you're really into nails. haha! i try hard to do my own nails, but i always ALWAYS fail.

  4. NicNic, thanks, I felt sooo bad when it happened to me, I wanted to hit myself for not complaining and letting her do the "harm" but at the same time, I felt bad coz she didn't mean it..(I thins so..LOL)

    Lizz dear!! Welcome back!!! how are you? How have you been? Been missing you!!!!

  5. o man! i wish i could be as caring as you when it comes to nails. i leave all the caring to my manicurist. but this is a nice post.. what i didn't realize, i have most of what you have here. :) yey! great post again nikki!

  6. Wow, you really have all the trimmings!

    Question: what's the difference between a base coat and a top coat? Can I use one clear polish for both?

  7. Shen, I'm sure your nails look great eventhough you kept on saying they don't have the care! Kaw pa? Kikay Pinay?

    Liz, actually, the base coat is not too Thick in consistency compared to a regular clear polish, a base coat usually have vitamins that would prevent your nails from turning "yellow", its semi-water form and dries up pretty fast. Top coat on the other usually have this "super shiny" properties and it at most times have quick drying properties as well. I have tried using on clear polish as top coat and it works ok, you don't have to go through all the base coat top coat thingy but with my years of "manicure/pedicure" experience, having a topcoat prevents chipping and my polish stays longer :)

  8. when i used to work in SG, i also have my own nail set. but since am in PH again, i always just go to the salon. i also had bad experiences but heck i am really lazy haha. and yeah, the blood description grossed me out haha (am hemophobic :P).

  9. oooh! i can't believe there are a lot of stuff needed for caring for our nails. usually i just cut them.

    i love getting manicures, pedicures & foot spas though. but i also fail when i try to paint my own nails (which always look messy).

    btw, i love the new layout!

  10. Sorry Mhean if it grossed you out :) hahaha there's no other way to explain it but to be direct hahaha :)
    I hope you're not eating then.

    Sab, thanks, I love the new layout too! :0 hehehe yup, there are so much things to do just to be prim and proper! hahaha

  11. Oh my gosh, I had to cringe at the part about your pedicure! :\

    I'm lazy, and rarely touch up my nailpolish (you should see the state of my hands and feet right now!), but I'll have to refer back to your post when I get time to fix it up. Thanks for the tips!

  12. Fantastic tips on the antibiotics and using the nail polish remover to clean your nails. I also love my fast-dry top coat. Otherwise I start moving around or typing while my nails are still wet and I end up with smudges. Frustrating.

    Thanks so much for your tips!! :)

  13. Oh! I do love doing my own manicure and pedicure (when I can be bothered) although last March (graduation ball) when I was feeling lazy to get a DIY (Do It Yourself) manicure, I opted for extensions, which turned out great until I went back to have them removed... gosh! My fingers honestly were in such trauma but they're okay now. It takes me 3 hours to do my own pedicure and over an hour for manicure.

  14. Thanks for all of this! I'm a nail newbie...I admit that I get very lazy when it comes to nails.

    Btw...I love your new banner! Did you make it yourself?

  15. I've had my cuticles cut during manicures and have stuck to doing it myself! I also think if you're going to do it, do it right, and I have a ton of manicure tools. I can't stand when my nails are a mess!

  16. Hey there, I'm a newbie about makeupblog :P I find alot of your post as useful source. I don't even use base coat usually, just put nail polish maybe twice then I put clear one so color stay longer. I really don't take care too much about my nail. I should get some stuff since I feel bad for my nails :) My nails might need some TLC lol

  17. Emilee, aawww going back for my posts? hahaha I'm no nail expert but it's nice to know my "amateur" nail post can help other people *hugs*

    Bionic Beauty..oohh typing with wet nail polish..*gulp* Even with dried "nail polish" its really nail polish' worst nightmare to type! My work requires me to type all day, even with top coat, i have my pinky fingernail chipped, I have to apply 2-3 coats of top coat! hehehe

    Gracie, 3 hours ???? uggggghhh...hahaha that is tooooo long!!! Your nails must be perfect!!!!

    Fabu-less, my banner was done by my wonderful hubby :)

    Smirking cat, I started doing my own nails when I was in college, and since I started, I just can't stop! Because all the cuticles are growing "everywhere" hahah and it looks I'm stuck with it :)

    Nabi, thanks for visiting my blog..i'll be seeing more of you soon! :)

  18. Thanks for your reply Nikki. I think I didn't get the lingo right in my question. I meant to ask if I could use either what's labelled as 'base coat' or 'top coat' as both base and top coat. In other words, for example, I have a 'top coat' at hand. Could I use it as a base coat too?

  19. Liz, ooh thanks for clarifying, to answer your question, I never would try to use the base coat as top coat or vice the top coat usually has an "oily" substance on it to make the polish "shiny" , it may be hard for you to put on colors after the top coat (used as base coat). You can do it if you would really give time to let it "air dry", do the TOUCH test and make sure it's really dry before you put on the 2nd coat of polish :) --- > hope it didn't confuse you more

  20. I see, thanks Nikki. I'm always suspicious when things are labelled differently but look the same. Always seems like a marketing strategy to me. I use Rimmel London's Super Wear with Lycra, which is labelled as 'up to 10 day wear top coat'. I guess I'd better get a base coat then?

    But what about those that claim to be both base & top coat? Like Sally Hansen's Diamond Strength
    Diamond Shine Base & Top Coat or their Double Duty Strengthening Base & Top Coat, etc.?

  21. Yes Liz, you are right! I am as same suspicious as you are. But so far, I can vouch on it as i have used too many nail products for the past years. I grew up fast! LOL You are lucky that you have a product that acts as Base and Top coat as well. That just means they are cautious and make sure it's not too oily to be used as base coat and its "shiny" and has protected to be used as top coat! I would say go ahead and give it a try :)

    We don't have Rimmel here, OPI just came down here I think last year? not sure :D

  22. OPI is a great line. Unfortunately, it's only available in salons here and quite pricey....

  23. I saw your blog when I was searching for nail care tips and nail polish. Thanks for the helpful and practical tips :)

  24. Thanks for sharing information.


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