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The beauty aisle at the drugstore or department store is as far as you need to look to find manicure tools. For a minimal cost, you can use these tools to perform your own manicures at home or do simple touch-ups between trips to the nail salon. When used properly, you can keep your nails in top condition with minimal expense.

Fingernail Clipper

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The most common of manicure tools is the fingernail clipper. Use this simple tool to keep nails trimmed and shapely. During a manicure, use a nail clipper to trim down nails that are too long to file down with a nail file. Clippers provide a quick solution that is easy and safe to use. Wash and dry the nail clipper after each use to keep the blades clean and prevent nail infections.

Emery Board

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Use an emery board that is gentle on the nails. Metal files are not a good choice because they aren’t flexible and are rough on the nail. Check the packaging to determine if the file is made for artificial or natural nails before purchasing. When filing, work in a single direction. If you file back and forth, you may tear the nail. File from the edge of the nail, toward the center. Replace your files often for sanitary purposes and to achieve the best results.

Orange Stick

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Use the orange stick to gently push back the cuticles. Replace the sticks often to prevent the growth of bacteria and germs. Use the flat end of the orange stick to gently push the cuticle back toward the hand, starting in the middle of the nail. Use a cuticle softener beforehand to make this process easier.

Cuticle Trimmer

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When using a cuticle trimmer, be very careful. Only use the tool to cut cuticles or hangnails that are protruding and easy to reach and cut. Be careful not to cut the skin. Keep the trimmer clean by washing it in warm soapy water or soaking in rubbing alcohol to kill any bacteria.


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Using a buffer can eliminate ridges in the nails and provide a lasting shine. This will extend the life your new manicure by providing a good foundation to build upon. When your nails are not painted, use the buffer to provide a natural, healthy shine with minimal effort. Many buffers come in the form of a rectangular block, which has four different surfaces for maximum benefits, including stain removal.

About the Author

Addie Scearce

Addie Scearce has been working in the natural health field since 2003 and freelance writing since 2005. Her articles appear on eHow and LIVESTRONG.COM. She is a naturopathic doctor, certified natural health professional and certified Pilates instructor. Scearce has a Doctor of Naturopathy from the Trinity College of Natural Health.