10 Basic Tools for a Complete Manicure and Pedicure

The basic tools for manicure and pedicure allow the proper application of the techniques. Here are the most important ones you'll need.
10 Basic Tools for a Complete Manicure and Pedicure

Written by Edith Sánchez

Last update: 25 August, 2023

Manicures and pedicures aren’t complex procedures, but they are meticulous. They require knowledge, practice, and patience. In addition, they require a series of basic tools for a complete manicure and pedicure that must be used properly.

It’s not only about achieving an aesthetic appearance of the hands and feet, but also about preserving the health of the nails and skin. Therefore, it’s essential to implement good techniques and suitable tools. We will discuss this in more detail below. Read on!

The importance of manicure and pedicure tools for a complete treatment

Manicure and pedicure tools are the means to ensure that these procedures are carried out completely, without risks, and with the right technique. The more complete the kit, the better the results will be.

When properly implemented, it allows you to make your nails look beautiful. In addition, it revitalizes them, stimulates circulation, eliminates small hardnesses or skin imperfections, and prevents nail diseases.

Of course, it’s not only enough to have the right tools; you also have to know how to use, disinfect, and maintain them. In fact, it’s important to have the criteria to adjust them to each technique used. And what are these basic tools? We’ll tell you all about them here!

1. Nail clippers

Nail clippers are the most basic tool of all. The nails themselves are an area that accumulates dirt and bacteria. That’s why it’s important to trim them regularly. It’s not only a matter of aesthetics, but also of health.

This tool must be cleaned and disinfected. The nail should be between the two blades of the nail clipper, not too close to the skin. Do not cut too much so that the nail bed – or the skin under the nail – is exposed to possible infection.

Mayo Clinic staff recommend cutting nails in a straight line, then rounding the tips into a gentle curve.

2. Cuticle remover

The skin of the nails should be pushed outward and backward. A cuticle remover is used for this purpose. The steel ones are indicated when the skin is hard, and the wooden ones are recommended for soft skin.

The blade of the cuticle remover is used to push backward. The sharper end is used to work the corners. The action should be performed with care. The cuticle should never be cut, as this can lead to infection.

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3. A cuticle nipper

The nipper is used to treat cuticles that are very hard, dry skin around the nails, and hang nails. It provides precision and allows you to remove unwanted tissue without causing damage. It also helps to cut ingrown nails.

This tool is used after working on the cuticle with the cuticle remover. It helps to remove the pieces of skin or cuticle around the nail bed. Just make a gentle upward motion to remove those pieces, and then pull them away from the nail.

4. Nail buffer

The nail buffer, or Nail Buffer, is a tool that helps to remove the dullness of the nails and give them a natural shine. Previously, the nails must be moisturized, but at the moment of using the buffer, they must be dry.

The polishing must be done in the same direction. It’s not advisable to do it in a very vigorous way, as this can thin the nails more than necessary. It’s also not advisable to do it more than once a month. After using this tool, it’s good to apply beeswax or cuticle oil.

5. Tools for a complete manicure: A nail file

The nail file is another basic tool in manicure and pedicure. It serves to shape the nails, polish the edges and make them smoother. Files of different sizes and materials are available on the market.

Softer files are better than metal files, as they are less aggressive. Nails should be completely dry, because if they’re wet, they become more brittle. File in one direction only for best results.

6. A pumice stone

The traditional pumice stone helps remove the outermost layer of dead skin cells. It also helps reduce calluses and gets rid of cracked skin on the feet.

Before using it, soak your feet in warm soapy water. Once the dry skin is softened, rub the pumice stone gently against the area to be treated. Never exert too much pressure so as not to cause damage.

7. A nail brush

The nail brush is used in manicures and pedicures to provide a complete cleaning of the nails. It can also be used to help remove stubborn stains or dirt in the area. It should be used every day.

It’s best to soak the nails in warm water and apply a little liquid soap to the brush. Then, move it back and forth over the surface of the nails until it lathers up. To finish, just wash your hands well and that’s it.

8. Finger separator

The finger separator is a very useful tool during these procedures. As the name suggests, this is used to separate some fingers from others while applying nail polish, thus avoiding stains.

9. A wooden stick and scrub

The oregano wood stick has several uses in manicure and pedicure. It can be used to clean dirt, push back the cuticle, and even corrects mistakes after painting the nails. It’s practical and versatile.

The scrub should be gentle. It helps to achieve softer, smoother skin while acting as a relaxer. It facilitates the elimination of dead cells and, at the same time, stimulates good circulation.

10. Other useful tools for a complete manicure

Other basic manicure and pedicure tools include the following:

  • Pediklear. This is a roller with a mineral surface that helps to eliminate cracks and calluses on the feet.
  • Containers. A bucket or bowl is required for the feet and another for the hands. This facilitates the procedures.
  • Cuticle oil, olive, or almond oil. Helps to remove the cuticle.
  • Cream. One moisturizer for the feet and one for the hands.
  • Nail polish. This is optional. Beautiful nails do not need polish. If you use it, you should also have a nail polish remover.
  • Clean towels to dry hands and feet during procedures.
  • Sterilizer or antiseptic. This is required to clean tools and preserve hygiene.
Basic manicure and pedicure tools can be purchased in a complete kit or individually. Each one is important because it serves a specific function. So it’s best to have them all to do a good procedure.

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Caring for your tools

A manicure and pedicure well done are an art. Therefore, the tools used are very valuable elements that require care and maintenance. The most important thing is to keep them in good condition and perfectly clean.

Many people wonder why they should clean them if no one else uses them. The truth is that dirt, dead cells, and discarded tissue are treated with these instruments. Without proper hygiene, they can become a source of contamination.

The American Academy of Dermatology warns that they can harbor fungi and bacteria.

They should be cleaned each time they are used, before putting them away. You can soak them in warm water with antibacterial soap and this will keep them clean. You can also apply some antiseptic to them.

What to keep in mind

The basic manicure and pedicure tools are not really that many. Most are very inexpensive, so acquiring them is usually not a problem.

It’s a good idea to keep them in a separate box or bag. Ideally, they should be easy to carry from one place to another and have good durability. Those that aren’t made of stainless steel should be discarded as soon as they show signs of deterioration.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.