Okay, maybe not MUST have. But if you do your nails often, these things will definitely make your life easier. One thing that I preach when it comes to these tools (especially the ones that cut spare stuff off your body!) is to get good quality tools and take care of them. Keep them clean and sharp.
You see Tweezerman on here several times, and that’s because I love that they will sharpen your tools and send them back to you. The only cost you incur is what it costs to ship your tools to them. If you do use this service, please make sure you clean your tools with isopropyl alcohol before sending them. You don’t want others to sharpen your dirty clippers, do you?
My most used tool is my Mont Bleu Czech glass nail file. It never dulls. If it gets grimy, wash it with soap and water. There is enough grit to take down some serious length, but it is fine enough that it won’t split your nails or cause a haggard finish. Take care not to drop it or step on it. they are definitely breakable. Ask me how I know.
Hang Nail Nippers
Repeat after me... “I will never cut my cuticles with scissors. I will never let anyone else do this to me either.” Say it one more time for good measure. Your cuticles may be dry. They may be hard. But they are living tissue and cutting them will cause inflammation and could cause infection.
Hang nails? Those are different. Hang nails are usually V-shaped skin that pulls back from the sides of the nail. These should be clipped as they can catch on clothes, purse straps, etc and pull back. They can also become infected.
This tool isn’t cheap, but a good quality one will last forever. Get a good Tweezerman one here. Clip close to the good skin and follow up with some moisture.
I usually use my glass file for shaping and taking down length, but every now and again I need to use clippers. After I’m done clipping, I finish with the file to smooth edges. This is a tool that works much better when it is sharp. I love this Tweezerman set available here.
Take care to trim your toe nails straight across. By angling down at the edges, you’re setting yourself up for ingrown nails. They can become infected, and sometimes you have to have the whole nail removed.
You can use a simple wooden orange stick to push back your cuticles, but I love this steel pusher because you can clean and sterilize it easily. It is a simple thing to do after you get out of the shower to keep your cuticles in check. Get this pusher/cleaner combo here.
Clean Up Brush/Dappen Dish
These things make cleaning up any polish that’s gotten on your skin so easy! I’m including a photo of a dappen dish because most people do not know what they’re called. You can pick them up for crazy cheap at any beauty supply store. You could also use a shot glass if needed.
An inexpensive concealer brush is the perfect size to get into the skin around your nails without smudging your manicure. I use an e.l.f. concealer brush. They are available anywhere for $1-3.
If you pour some acetone or nail polish remover into the dappen dish, and use that to clean up, you can let the extra evaporate or soak it up with a cotton ball. If you dip your clean up brush right in the acetone bottle, you’ll tint the acetone pink and that will end up on your fingers. Ask me how I know.
I hope you’ve found this list useful and are able to use it to up your manicure game! Those links aren’t affiliate links. I get nothing if you choose to buy them.