In this picture are the things I think are essential for a good home DIY mani or pedi
* Nail Polish Remover
Hand Lotion/ Foot Lotion
First off, the starred items are what I think are most essential for any at home Mani or Pedi kit. Let me also note that I did not get all of these things together in a nail kit, I bought most of them separatley at local drug stores such as CVS. However if your looking for a kit Sephora* has one for $30 that has all the nail tools you need for a manicure. Anyway here is my step by step Mani/ Pedi routine
1. Take off any nail polish you already have on
-Any drugstore brand nail polish
2. Apply Lotion,
-For my feet I use my Bliss Foot Patrol and for my hands I like to use my Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream (both products available at Sephora) (You can use any kind of lotion you want I just prefer these two) After applying lotion for extra nourishment I like to open a gel vitamin E table and rub it on my cuticles.
3. Cut nails and cuticles
-Depening on your preference for nail length you can skip this step. And of course only trim your cuticles (with cuticle clippers) if necessary/ if you have any to cut
-Because I like my nails very short I trim mine every time I paint my own nails or get my nails done
4. Shape and Buff nails
-For this step you will need a nail buffer(optional step) and nail file. Use the nail file first to shape your nails so they don't have any jagged edges, and then to shape as you like them, (boxed, rounded, etc..) Then use the nail buffer on both the nail edges and the top of your nails to smooth them and give them some shine.
5. Apply Base Coat
-Applying a base coat will just help your nail polish stay on longer and really stick to the nail. If you don't or want to buy base coat you can put some nail polish remover on a cotton ball and swipe that over the tops of all your nails to take away any oils so that your polish will apply well to the nail.
6. Apply any polish you want!
-When painting your nails, expecially with a new polish be sure not to apply to few or to many coats. Two few coats can leave the color sheer, and two many can make the polish look bulky.
7. Apply one coat of your favorite top coat!
-Top coat does it a lot of things, it makes your your nail polish last longer on your nails, keeps it from chipping, and adds shine. My favorite is Top Coat BY OPI.
-If your going to use a mattifying lacquer such as Matte About You by Essie, then skip the normal top coat and use that one in its place!
Hope this helps!!