16 most popular nail care tools.

There is always people like me, standing in front of the manicure rack of a shop, lost in the endless offer of tools and accessories, wondering if that 1/4 jaw cuticle nipper is the right one for me, if I need clippers or scissors, if the polish remover should be with acetone or not and so many other questions. Reason why, we came up with this visual dictionary of Basic Manicure Tools for Dummies.

Terry Towels

  • To protect the work surface from chemicals and water
  • To dry our hands between procedures and before enamel application.

Orangewood Sticks

  • For gently pushing back the cuticle,
  • For cleaning under the free edge or
  • For removing excess enamel.
  • Alternatives: glass cuticle pusher

Cotton or Gauze Pads

For removing enamel and/or excess oil from the nail plate surface.

Polish Remover

For removing nail enamel or polish from the nail plate surface.  Polish remover comes in acetone or non-acetone (ethyl acetate) formulas.  The general consensus is that acetone based removers can be safely used on natural nails while some prefer to use non-acetone based removers on artificial surfaces.

Files or Abrasives

Remember NEVER use grit smaller than 240 on the natural nail plate or for shaping the free edge.
Recommended nail files:

  • Glass Nail Files – extremely smooth and gentle and yet highly effective. Hygienic and easy to clean. Don´t wear out and last forever.
  • 3-way buffers – grit higher than 3600. Used to buff natural nails to create a natural shine.

How to use:

  • Black side: refine
  • White side: semi-shine
  • Gray side: super shine

NOT recommended:

  • Emery Boards – grit of 80 too coarse for use on natural nails.
  • Metal Files – too rough to safely use as the coarser the grit, the more easily the nail plate layers are shredded

Cuticle Nippers

Nippers come with different sizes of cutting surfaces:  1/4 jaw, 1/2 jaw and full jaw.  What this means is that the more cutting surface there is, the easier it is to cut the skin with a single ‘nip’.  It is better to use a nipper with a smaller cutting surface if one is not accustomed to using these implements.  Remember, it is only the true cuticle that is removed during the manicuring process and not the live skin of the eponychium or lateral nail folds.

Nail or Toenail Nippers/Clippers and Scissors

Nail nippers are simply a larger size cuticle nipper which have been designed to remove excess nail length, and are usually used to cut the toenails. Nail scissors have a small, curved blade and are designed to remove length from the fingernails.  Nail clippers come in small and large sizes with a curved cutting edge, and are designed to cut the fingernail and toenail.  Always be sure you use the proper tool for the proper procedure.

Cuticle Pusher

A metal implement used to push the invisible, translucent true cuticle from the nail plate.  When using this implement, never apply heavy, downward force to push back the cuticle as too much pressure applied in this area can damage the matrix.


To ‘scrape’ excess cuticle from the nail plate.

  • Remove the true cuticle from the nail plate vs. simply pushing it back.
  • If used properly, no need for nippers.

Nail Brush

Used wet, and with warm soapy water for scrubbing the surface and underside of the nail plate to aid in complete removal of pathogenic organisms, dirt and debris.

Manicure/Finger Bowl

Usually a plastic container shaped to hold the fingers and hand in a comfortable position while soaking in a warm, soapy water bath.

Hot Oil Machine

A heating unit designed to warm lotion or oil in a paper or plastic ‘tub’. A hot oil manicure is always recommended for persons with extremely dry skin and nails.

Paraffin Machine

A machine that warms paraffin wax that is used during some manicure/pedicure procedures. Warm wax will benefit tired, sore, stressed hands while serving to deep condition and moisturize the skin. Some paraffin waxes contain additives of eucalyptus and other essential oils.

Pedicure Tub

A foot tub that holds and heats water for soaking the feet. Some pedicure tubs will massage the feet while they are soaking. It is not recommended that the feet of the elderly be immersed in very hot water or massaged using these machines. Seek the advise of the elderly persons physician before performing a pedicure procedure – especially one that may have a severe or debilitating health issue.

Foot File

This is exclusively used for pedicure to smoothen out rough heels. It exfoliates the dead cells from the feet soles and helps in softening the calluses. Highly recommended the Glass Foot Files

Toe Separators

Place these in between your toes before putting on nail polish so that they do not smudge

Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments.

Stay in touch with the latest #nailstime posts by following us:

Follow us on Google+

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on twitter

Sources used:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...