Although I don't always have time for it, one my of favourite things in life is taking good care of my nails. For me, sitting down and taking the time to treat myself to a good ol' DIY manicure is incredibly relaxing and stress relieving, so I do try to fit it in as often as possible. To make the process as smooth as possible, I like to keep all of my nail care bits and bobs in a convenient location, and a Glossybox lid has been my 'manicure box' of choice for a fair while now. So without further ado, here's a sneak peek at the contents of my secret nail stash...

Nail polish remover:
A manicure box would be pretty pathetic without a trusty nail polish remover, and my personal favourite is the good ol' Boots Essentials Nail Polish Remover. For me this does the job perfectly without drying my nails out too much or damaging them, and at only £1 for 250ml, it simply can't be beat! Don't forget to stock up on those cotton pads too!

Nail Scissors/clippers:
Another essential for a quality manicure is a good pair of scissors and/or clippers. I'm personally not really a clippers kinda' girl, so I tend to stick to using these basic nail scissors from Boots. As far as I can tell, you don't need to splurge on expensive nail scissors to get the job done - just make sure they're small, precise and nice and sharp! 

Crystal nail file:
The day that I bought a crystal nail file was the day that my nail game changed forever. I purchased this Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File a few years ago, and I can confidently say that I will never go back to a regular nail file again. Crystal nails files are a bit more expensive than regular ones, but they never get blunt and they prevent breaking in the nail, so they are definitely an investment worth making.

4-way nail buffer:
I've been a fan of 4-way nail buffers for years because they improve both your nail surface and the longevity of your manicure, amongst other things. In all honesty, any buffer will do, but I tend to go for generic ones like this Boots own brand 4-way buffer because they all do the same thing, and as they wear out fairly quickly, I don't see any point in spending more money than you have to. 

Nail Brush:
A nail brush is an essential tool for me for a simple reason - without sounding grim, all sorts of rubbish hides out under your nails, and a brush is the best way of getting rid of all of that nastiness, full stop.

Cuticle care: 
When it comes to cuticles, I like to have a number of tools in my arsenal. To start things off, I use the Sally Hansen Gel Cuticle Remover in conjunction with a cuticle pusher and trimmer duo like this one from Elegant Touch to make sure that any dry skin is removed and my cuticles are pushed back. I also like to have a nail oil on hand to top off my manicure, and the one that I'm currently using is OPI's Avoplex Replenishing Oil, but I've tried a lot of oils in the past and I'm yet to come across a dodgy one yet.

Hand scrub:
A great step in any manicure routine is the Rituals Miracle Scrub, an oil-infused nourishing hand exfoliant that truly takes a basic mani to the next level. A hand scrub really is a luxury and certainly not an essential for a manicure box, but if you're feeling fancy then it's a step that you certainly will not regret!

Base coat:
No matter how hard I've tried to find a cheaper alternative, whenever I stop using OPI's Nail Envy I instantly notice my nails changing for the worse. At £19.50 a pop it is ridiculously expensive, but it is amazing at strengthening your nails and keeping them healthy, and luckily the bottle lasts for months - even when using it as a daily treatment. If someone can suggest a cheaper alternative then please let me know, but until then I'll be saving up my Boots points to pay for my next bottle!

Top coat:
I've said it once and I'll say it again, nothing beats Seche Vite when it comes to top coats. Despite the fact that it becomes too thick to use half way through the bottle every.damn.time, it's super glossy, super quick drying and ensures an extremely long lasting manicure. I wish I could use more than half of the bottle, but for the result it gives, it's more than worth the hassle. 

Hand cream:
The final goodie in my manicure box is an essential final step to any manicure, and that's a good quality, extremely moisturising hand cream. I'm constantly trying out different creams so I don't have a specific recommendation for you, but just make sure you have one to top of your mani routine, as well as to keep your mitts soft and nourished in between DIY treatments. 

So that's a basic overview of what's in my 'manicure box'! I hope some of you have found this remotely useful if not interesting, and if you have any favourites that I've forgot to mention, please do share in the comment section! 


  1. Literally just saw the thumbnail on bloglovin and was like ZOMG. Gonna actually read the post now x

  2. Ok, I really need to make myself a manicure box too! There's so many great products here, thank you for the recommendations!

    Tessa at Bramble & Thorn

  3. I have a manicure bag, I probably should add to it though - it contains cuticle oil and nail clippers... :P

    Kate xo //

  4. Hahahaha I treated myself with a DIY pedi last night! love your idea of a box sounds more practical; my stuff currently resides inside a mason jar! I really want to try seche vite havent heard of someone who doesnt love it after trying it. really liked the post! x

  5. No problem Tessa! If you do sort yourself out a box, I'd love to see a post on it! x

  6. Hope the read was as good as the thumbnail haha! x

  7. A mason jar sound tricky to deal with with wet nails - a box is far safer ;) x