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    39 Products Your Nails Will Thank You For

    Going to the salon has historically been your me-time but you're getting there less frequently these days.

    1. Dashing Diva semi-cured gel nail strips bring some fun nail art into your life without applying a decal or making a salon visit. These stick on like thicker decals and then are cured with a (separately sold) quickie LED lamp for a hard-as-press-ons design that travels well. Not to state the obvious, but the strips (and the light) together cost way less than a mani with nail art.

    hand with manicure nail art

    Out of all the nail art products I've tried (and I've tried LOTS), these reign supreme. They do require a little more work than simply gluing on some press-ons. But if you feel comfortable shaping your own nails, you can use these pretty easily. You can easily size them to a nail, peel them off a plastic backing, press firmly, then trim with clippers or nail scissors (nail scissors are a bit easier) to fit the strip flush with the shape of your nail, pop your finger under the LED lamp (which you can also get with a kit) for 45 seconds, and then run a nail file over the edge of the nail to seal on the look. I like to also put on a top coat, though that's not required or recommended by the company. When you're done with the look, you can easily pop them off like press-on nails. I always wear these for vacation now and easily pack backup strips and the UV light (about the size of an Apple mouse) in my carry-on for touchups. 

    Get them from Target for $12.99 (available in many more designs).

    2. A clog-proof nail glue under $6 that one TikToker said helped her press-ons stay on for 25 days! Yes, you read that right!

    bottle of nail glue
    Sally Beauty Supply

    Check out the TikTok

    Promising review: "Got tired of spending $$$ at the nails salon, so I decided to try glue! My nails have lasted for 15 days and are still going strong! They are not budging yet!" —Lor

    Get it from Sally Beauty Supply for $5.99.

    3. LONDONTOWN Illuminating Nail Concealer gives you a no-mani mani that you can quickly brush on before an event.

    Reviewer photo of concealer in pink
    Reviewer holding concealer

    Promising review: "As much as I would love to have nice, manicured nails, i don’t spend money on manicures. Gels are damaging and regular manicures last a couple of days before peeling. I get regular pedicures bc they last but my hands have looked pretty unkempt for much of my adult life. Until now.

    I was definitely skeptical that this polish could be any different from one of the countless neutral Essie shades out there that I’ve tried since the '90s — Ballet Slippers, Light as Linen, etc., — but I decided to give the milky shade a try and I’m so glad I did!!! My nails look incredible. I’m not even sure how to describe why but they look very natural and clean. It’s been a week of wearing two coats and there isn’t one bubble or lift forming on the edges. One coat actually looks great also. I am sold on this stuff. Hopefully it will never be discontinued. So so happy." —Jann

    Get it from Amazon for $14+ (available in four colors).

    4. A nail-strengthening cream renews your nails after lots of biting sessions or wearing acryclics. Cracking or peeling nails? This formula's calcium, vitamin, and hydrogenated jojoba oil formula hydrate for strength. 

    container of Hard as Hoof
    reviewr before-and-after pic showing how the cream 
made their nails so much longer and stronger

    Promising review: "I was looking for something that could help my brittles nails which rose on layers. I was some skeptical with this cream, because it seems so simple to work. But, guess what? It works great. I've been using this cream on my finger nails only at night for about two months or so, and you can tell the difference. No more weak or brittle nails. It takes some time and patience, but it worth it. Very happy with this purchase." —Celi Goodin

    Get it from Amazon for $7.94.

    5. If you're a Sally Hansen gel devotee (it's really good stuff, btw), the new Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Color Grip Primer will make your color last even longer. 

    model painting nails

    Promising review: "This product has made my colors last longer and they remove just as easy. Definitely reccomend if you use this brand's gel colors.

    It drys in seconds so you can use your colors. It was worth every cent. Three days in and I haven't chipped the paint like I did before." —Tabatha J Pitts

    Get it from Amazon for $8.24.

    6. A set of 10 quick-dry nail polishes if you've been shelling out for pro manis because you can't seem to successfully let your at-home manis dry before smudging them. These are designed to last for several days and you can easily peel off the color once you're ready to swap to something else.  

    Reviewer with fingers painted in different shades of red, green, brown, and gray
    Reviewer holding up small bottle of blue polish with other colors in packaging

    Promising review: "The set comes in various colors and they are all beautiful. The polish has a big brush that covers the nail easily. The polish is opaque but I did two coats. It didn't stain my nails or has a strong smell. The polish dried up quickly. I cook and clean, so it started to wear off on the fourth day. But I can repaint because of the easy application and fast drying." —perksofbeautyblog

    Get 10 bottles from Amazon for $14.99+ (available in five color combinations).

    7. Or if you're beholden to a certain color, a bottle of instant-drying nail polish (that also happens to be super cheap) you'll be glad you have on hand for those times when you really wanna paint your nails but are pressed for time.

    hands holding bottles of nail polish
    @sally_hansen / Via

    This stuff is consistently good. I've been using it for years! It really does dry quick and flat so you can move on with the rest of your life.

    Get it from Amazon for $3.93+ (available in 17 colors).

    Not ready to give up your holy grail polish? Get a fast-drying top coat instead.

    8. A nail polish holder with some good bottle grip for at-home (or on-the-go) manis with a steady hand. After all, you wouldn't be caught dead with chipped polish once you arrive at your road trip destination (painting while you're the passenger, of course). 

    person using the ring-like nail polish holder

    I'm actually quite agile at painting my nails, but my Tweexy holder lets me be downright careless with that open bottle of polish. It holds several shapes of nail polish bottles securely! Lots of reviewers say they even use it in the car, but as a passenger. Safety before manis, folks!

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99 (available in 21 colors).

    9. A universal mani tool that'll fit on top of a variety of nail polish lids to help you *steadily* brush on that at-home color thanks to the larger surface area for holding. Even with your non-dominant hand!

    person using tool to paint nails

    This tool will fit on top of any nail polish bottle (not just the brand's)!

    Get it from Target for $16.

    10. A cuticle pusher and spoon easily transforms some nail beds with some help of cuticle oil. 

    Promising review: "I have been searching for the past months for an under the nail cleaner and cuticle pusher that went MIA in my home. Finally decided to give in and purchase a new nail tool and I received them promptly and love both the smaller one that I can carry in my purse and a longer one for both finger and toenail cleaning and cuticle pushbacks. It's such a pleasure to purchase something online and find that it's just what you were looking for." —Mary Dougherty

    Get it from Amazon for $5.29.

    11. A nail rehab treatment helps your damaged nails bounce back. 

    the bottle of nail rehab. It's transparent and fluid is a very, very pale pink
    BuzzFeed / Marquaysa Battle

    My colleague Marquaysa Battle swears by this stuff. Here's what she has to say: 

    "I wore acrylic sets faithfully before the quarantine hit. When I finally fixed my heart to soak off what would be my last full set for a lonnnng time, I had this in my bathroom and began using it regularly along with tea tree oil for my cuticles. Within a month, my nails started to look healthy although they had broken off during my soak-off session. After three months, my nails look even healthier and I'm 100% sure they're stronger now since I broke my pinky nail and it grew back WITHIN A WEEK like it hadn't even happened. YES, I now have supernails, LOL! I also love the very subtle pink shade of this treatment because it gives my nails a natural nude look that I can wear alone but when I wear it underneath other nail polish colors, it doesn't interfere with the other shade."

    Promising review: "This stuff works like no one's business. I am a housekeeper who was constantly tearing and breaking my nails. I don't know what's in this stuff, but it works! This stuff is so good I sent a bottle to my sister in Florida." —Rhonda L. Brockman

    Get it from Amazon for $8.04.

    12. nail design pedestal lets you corral all your at-home mani essentials in one spot. It's time to get creative!

    A person using the nail design pedestal to paint their nails.

    Promising review: "Just the hand rest part alone is worth the price — it is so helpful for painting my nails! To me the rest of it is just a bonus." —Louise

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99.