At the start of quarantine when nail salons were closed everyone began scrambling to buy manicure products. No one could fathom how they were supposed to survive without getting manicures or keeping up with their gel manicures. I did not have that problem as I've been doing my nails myself for years. I had all the supplies I needed to care for my nails, from remover to cuticle oil, to treatments.

I don't give myself manicures at home in a sense that I don't cut my cuticles or file my nails -- I'm not good at it nor do I like the feeling of doing it. If my nails need some cleaning up I just head to the nail salon. However, I always paint my nails and care for my nails though. 

When everyone started to get more into nail care, it got me thinking about my favorite items to help keep my nails looking and feeling healthy. Today, I'm going to do just that. 

These are my favorite items to help care for my nails and the products that help in giving me a decent at-home manicure!

nailcare items, manicure, at home manicure

Ella + Mila Cuticle Oil

I've gone through so many different cuticle oils over the years but this is one from Ella + Mila is one of my favorites, for the sole reason that I love the applicator. It has a nail polish brush so that you can just gently and easily apply the oil without it spilling everywhere. The oil itself is also really good - it's not too slippery or oily, it has almost a dry texture to it if that makes sense. I also don't feel the need to constantly reapply it which means that it's doing its job instead of further drying out my nail beds.

Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Cream

It was about a month or so ago where I felt like I needed more from my cuticle oil(s). I needed more moisture, I needed something thicker than an oil so I looked into a cuticle cream. When looking at reviews and recommendations, this Deborah Lippmann cream kept coming up. I've used their nail polishes in the past but never the care items so I immediately ordered it, feeling intrigued. It comes in a pot, and is a heavy, thick cream that you just smear over your cuticles and it's instant relief. The cream sinks into your skin so it doesn't leave your cuticles and nails overly greasy. It actually works to heal your skin instead of just masking the dryness; similar to Ella + Mila, it doesn't make your nails crave more moisture. In my opinion, the oil and the cream are different because the cream is heavier, thicker, and I use it when my hands and nails are super dry and need extra TLC. 

Ella + Mila Quick Dry Drops

I've gone through a handful of different quick dry drops and I'm testing out a new one now but these Ella + Mila ones reign supreme. They really get the job done in terms of drying my nails faster and leaving my nails with a nice finish. I notice such a huge difference when I don't use drops vs when I do. My manicure lasts longer and looks better when I use these drops. They are a must-have in terms of at-home manicures.

Julep Oxygen Nail Treatment

I always use a base coat when I paint my nails but sometimes I seek out a base coat that strengthens my nails, almost like a treatment. This base coat from Julep is the best one I have ever used and my nails are so much better when I use it. *I went through mine and need a new one* The Oxygen Nail Treatment has vitamins and Oxygen technology to treat and strengthen your nails... the product description also says this hydrates your nails which makes sense because I feel like my nails don't break as much when I'm using this consistently. You can wear it as a base coat or wear it alone if you want to give your nails a break. I've done both and they really look fabulous. 

*The treatments come in a pearl/white version and a pink.

What are your favorite nail care items?

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