National Mani-Pedi Day: How To Give Yourself Killer Nail Care

Happy National Mani-Pedi Day! Yep, April 25th is this fantastic holiday. Even if you’re a beginner, you can give yourself a killer mani-pedi – just invest in these tools, follow the steps, and you’re good to go!


For Pedis

Toe Separator

Don’t try your best to keep your toes separated without this because you think you can. It’s a worthy investment when you’re giving yourself regular pedis! Perfect from start to finish, acetone to drying, you’ll be glad you don’t have to consciously remember to spread your toes.

Pumice Stone

Pumice stones are created when lava and water mix. The result: a stone that gently sloughs away dead skin and softens ailments like calluses and corns, exfoliating without completely cutting through your skin. They’re perfect to prepare you for…

Callus Remover

These are like cheese graters, but they won’t splice you open on accident, and they’ll totally shed calluses after softening with the pumice stone. There are different sizes, and some kits are ideal because they contain smaller and bigger openings based on your needs. These sets and products both soften and shave.

For All Mani-Pedis

Nail Polish Remover

When you start your mani-pedi, it’s important to remove all debris and old nail polish. This way, your nail is a blank canvas. Acetone is extremely effective, but it can also dry out nails – especially if you’re regularly removing and reapplying. Try a nail polish remover without acetone for a gentler experience.

Nail Brush

After you’ve removed polish, it’s time for a deep scrub. Take a nail brush, run it under warm water with hand soap, then brush all around your nails – you want the surface to be pristine. It’s the perfect time to clean under your nails, too. Dry off, then move on to the next step.

Nail Clippers

Your next step: cutting those nails now that they’re super clean. There are many different kinds of nail clippers — which are arguably the most important tool for a mani-pedi! — but the universal lever model will do the trick. Don’t go to the center and clamp down – it’s easy to crack a nail that way! Move from left to right, following the curve of the nail cutters and clipping only a thin piece at a time, no matter how long your nails are and how short you’d like them.

Cuticle Cream

Cuticle creams help moisturize and soften dead skin around your nails, which is crucial when trying to get the cleanest lines and push back cuticles in preparation for polish. They also help strengthen and repair nails that are dry or cracked.

Cuticle Pusher

Time to push the cuticles back! This step is important because it pushes your skin back from your nails. Don’t cut the thin layer of skin! Be extra gentle in scooting that skin back to avoid infection — people with softer cuticles can use wooden sticks instead of metal.


Next up are nippers, which are more precise than your aforementioned nail cutters. These are perfect for picking at the dead skin lingering around your cuticles, as well as any hangnails that are crashing the party that is a flawless set of nails.

Nail Files

You’ve cut your nails, and sure, you may have had clean cuts… but I can guarantee that you’ll need to file some pieces down into submission for a fully smooth edge. Though the movies and even pros go super quickly, take your time filing, and never go back and forth all the way; work your way from one edge to the center instead.

Buffer Block

Okay, not gonna lie, this part always confused me when I was an awkward teen getting her prom nails done. Many, many years later, I know it can erase any visible lines on the surface, creating a lustrous base for your nail polish.

Nail Polish

Polish time! We recommend a polish that is 7- to 10-free, meaning they don’t include the most questionable ingredients you find in most salons. We love MGK’s UN/DN LAQR and Fluide’s nail polishes from firsthand experience, and Jeff Parshley’s NOW Nail Polish line is affordable and clean.

Top Coat

Make it last! A top coat can have a glossy or matte finish – no matter what, add one to the top of your polish to keep your mani-pedi fresh for as long as possible. Sometimes, top coats can make polish last for multiple weeks. Seriously, don’t skip this.

Pointed Cotton Swabs

Pointed cotton swabs are thin and precise enough to help catch and remove any stray polish or top coat without dragging through the rest of your freshly-painted hands. Plus, you can dip in nail polish remover should you have let your nails dry by this point.

Cuticle Oil

Last, but certainly not least, cuticle oil! This is the follow-up to your nails’ drying phase. Gently apply the oil to the base of your cuticles in order to keep them moisturized. Some oils have vitamins and antioxidants for added benefits – def invest in those!



You can let your nails air dry, of course, but investing in dryers can speed up the process on days you need to paint and go. For regular polish, it’s easy to find one that won’t break the bank and will blow up to 400W of air at once. Waving fingers around halfheartedly? You won’t know her.

Foot Spa

When you sit in a salon, they let your feet sit in a foot spa, which bubbles with warm water to soften your nails. (They usually just put your fingers in bowls, boring.) They’re not necessary, but if you’re wanting the ~spa-like experience~ then investing in one might be worth it.

We hope this guide helped you figure out what tools you need for your mani-pedi needs! While there are so many more tools out there, these are the basics you should be keeping in your mani-pedi kits. Now go out there and paint without spending the big bucks every other week.

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Do you have these tools at home for your mani-pedis? Anything you absolutely need that we didn’t list? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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