If there is one thing that I have absolutely ZERO natural ability to do, it's painting my nails (and folding a fitted sheet...seriously how???). I tend to rely (heavily) on my local nail salon to keep my manicure lookin' fresh but the reality is I can't always find the time to get them done at the salon. I don't love the look of my nails without ANYTHING on them so I've been forced to perfect my at-home manicure.
I naturally lean toward neutral colors when I do it myself because 1) it's hard to mess up and 2) it's classic. Over the years I've found the perfect neutral shades that are great for a quick manicure at home and practically impossible to mess up (with the help of a super-fast dry top coat). So below are the 5 bottles that I keep in heavy rotation in my at-home manicure kit!
1. Sally Hansen Hard as Nails - Along with taking biotin & collagen supplements, I use this as a base coat to strengthen my nails in between gel manicures.
2. Essie Mademoiselle - Clean & fresh nude-pink color that goes on slightly sheer so you can build with multiple coats towards the color you like. Leans more towards pink-neutral.
3. Essie Ballet Slippers - A slightly thicker nude-pink color for when you want a little more color. Two coats are perfect with this color. Leans more towards white-pink-neutral.
4. Essie Gel Setter Top Coat - Gives nails a gel-like finish (shiny!) and makes the mani last a few days longer.
5. Sally Hansen Insta-Dry in Clearly Quick - I put this on top of the top coat because it makes nails dry SO FAST that I can get back to using my hands in about 5 minutes without fear of smearing or smudging!