10 products you need for retro nails

Nail Color & Care

Through the years, nail polishes have included a variety of ingredients such as beeswax, gelatin and formaldehyde, which make some people allergic to the polish itself.

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Which products for retro nails are best? 

A flawless mani-pedi can add the perfect final touch to your outfit. Whether you prefer French tips, pastel hues, rosy prints or wavy patterns, there’s a whole catalog of vintage nail designs that you can choose from. You can add new clothing pieces to your wardrobe, but experimenting with your nails adds a splash of color to your outfit while helping you stand out, wherever you are.

Nail art is a great way to express yourself and your unique personality when you’re getting ready for a wedding, birthday or fancy dinner. Subtle or flashy, retro nails have so far stood the test of time and will always be in style. 

Nail products to consider for nail art

Brushes

There are different nail art brushes you can choose from based on your unique nail art needs.

  • The most common and multipurpose brush tool is the round brush. Its versatility allows you to create intricate designs, a variety of stroke patterns and 3D nail art.
  • Striper brushes aid in creating straight lines effortlessly, while a flat brush helps with blending and shading.
  • Angled brushes are typically used to double up two nail polish colors on one brush.
  • Detail and dotter brushes allow you to add more details with precision.

Tweezer

You’ll want to make sure you have a quality pair of acetone-resistant and stainless steel tweezers in your personal nail kit. This way, you can easily clean off your nail stamping plates with acetone at a safe distance and pick up miniature nail art pieces like rhinestones, gems and stickers.

Cuticle pusher

A silicone pusher helps you achieve a cleaner and more polished look by gently pushing back your cuticles with its flat or round side. Experts recommend that you soak your nails in water or apply cuticle oil to soften your cuticles before pushing them back at a 45-degree angle.

Emery board

Also known as nail files, emery boards come in different lengths and grit sizes that help you round or shorten your nails depending on which side you use. The coarse side buffs or files down your nail, while the finer side helps create finishing touches and contours each nail into a specific shape.

Top coat

Made to dry quickly and add strength, top coats help protect your mani-pedis from daily wear and tear. Their formulas are thin and contain ingredients that create a scratch-resistant, shiny and durable surface on top of your nail after polishing.

Base coat

All base coats are clear in color and are painted on your nails before applying actual nail polish. However, they should never be used interchangeably with a top coat. There are plain or ridge-filler formulas you can choose from based on whether or not you have damaged nails. Their thick and sticky formula helps nail polish adhere better, while the inclusion of proteins, vitamin E and calcium aids in improving the health of your nails.

Nail polishes

Finding the right kind of polish type and color is equally as important as finding the best nail look to suit your personal style. There are a myriad of choices based on the brand, formula, tint and application technique you prefer. Be aware that some polishes are easier to apply than others and require less skill and precision to use.

Nail & cuticle clipper

A well-made and rust-resistant nail clipper can help you trim your toenails and fingernails as well as any hangnails you have. There are four main types available: guillotine, lever-type, nipper and scissor nail clippers. A stainless steel cuticle clipper is sharper and smoother than a nail clipper and can be used to clip any dead skin or hangnails you may have.

Nail polish remover

Acetone and non-acetone are the two types of nail polish removers available. Most brands offer each kind and it should be noted on the bottle. Although both are a solvent, acetone-based formulas are more powerful and remove nail polish quickly and easily but can dry out your cuticles. Non-acetone polish removers contain different active ingredients that are gentler on skin.

Top products you need for retro nails

Best nail polish remover

Ella + Mila Soy Nail Polish Remover

Ella + Mila Soy Nail Polish Remover

Certified by PETA, this vegan and cruelty-free polish remover is soy-based, acetone-free and enriched with vitamins A, C, E and lavender flower essential oil. It’s designed to effectively remove all natural nail polishes that aren’t gel-based without the use of alcohol, which in turn helps encourage healthier, moisturized nails. 

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Best nail brush set

Beetles Nail Art Brushes Set

Beetles Nail Art Brushes Set

This six-piece tool set is made with premium-quality materials that won’t corrode or easily become deformed with repeated use. The entire collection includes a nail extension gel brush, builder gel brush, nail carved pen, nail art liner brush and nail dotting pen. The manufacturer also offers a 100% money-back guarantee if you have any issues with any of the six pieces. 

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Best nail tweezer

Aoshang Stainless Steel Straight and Curved Tip Tweezers

Aoshang Stainless Steel Straight and Curved Tip Tweezers

Each coated tweezer is made from stainless steel that won’t bend easily or rust. Their perfectly aligned arms allow for an easy ergonomic and comfortable grip. Lightweight and easy to handle, you can use the curved pair to select individual nail art pieces, while the straight pair is useful for picking up smaller pieces used for fast detailing. Both are sized at 3 by 0.5 by 0.5 inches. 

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Best cuticle pusher

Revlon Dual Ended Nail Groomer

Revlon Dual Ended Nail Groomer

This dual-ended tool is specifically designed to create flawless cuticles without excess skin. The ease of use allows for salon-quality results, even by beginners. You can either use the flat edge to gently push back long cuticles on your nail’s surface, or the scoop end to help remove any dirt lodged underneath each nail. 

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Best emery board

MR.GREEN Stainless Steel Nail File with Anti-Slip Handle

MR.GREEN Stainless Steel Nail File with Anti-Slip Handle

With a leather carrying case included, this double-sided metal emery board is capable of filing down each nail smoothly for the best results. Made with high-quality Japanese stainless steel, you don’t have to worry about the tool rusting or wearing down after each use. Small and lightweight, the nail file can conveniently be carried anywhere and stored easily. 

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Best top coat

OPI Nail Polish Top Coat

OPI Nail Polish Top Coat

After applying this high-gloss top coat to your painted nails, it helps seal in the color while preventing scratches and chipping. This long-lasting coat needs to be swiped on three times before it can provide 7 days of wear and protection. The coat’s formula isn’t prone to yellowing, unlike similar products from other brands. 

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Best base coat

essie First Base Adhesion + Protection Base Coat

essie First Base Adhesion + Protection Base Coat

Featuring a paraben-free formula from a trusted brand, this base coat helps provide a smoother surface for nail color application and pulls double-duty helping protect your nails during the color adhesion process. Once you apply this heavy-duty base coat, it creates the best foundation for the bonding of nail polish to your nail’s surface. 

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Best nail polish set

SHANY Cosmopolitan Nail Polish Set

SHANY Cosmopolitan Nail Polish Set

You can wear any combination of the 24 polishes available in this set. Each semi-glossy nail polish color is expertly designed for a one-coat finish that provides premium-grade full coverage. All shades are formulated with a quick-dry formula that’s chip-resistant, bubble-free and built to last for longer wear. Easily choose from either a highly pigmented hue or a shimmery one with full opacity. 

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Best nail clipper

Harperton Nail Clippers Set

Harperton Nail Clippers Set

Harperton’s set of multipurpose clippers can be used to trim your fingernails and toenails. Featuring an ergonomic and easy-to-use handle, each one can be held in your hands without losing control of their handles. This duo is crafted with hand-sharpened stainless steel blades that cut nails with the utmost precision regardless of their thickness level. 

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Best nail lamp

JEWHITENY UV LED Nail Lamp 54W

JEWHITENY UV LED Nail Lamp 54W

Expedite your nail polish drying times with three different timing intervals on this well-made LED nail lamp. Although powered by 54W, this lamp still packs a hardy electrical punch that’s both energy-efficient and effective at curing polishes. Featuring an on/off auto-sensor, smart touch and 30-, 60- and 90-second intervals, it can conveniently be tailored to your exact needs. 

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Ashton Hughes writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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