I admit I am without a doubt completely inept at ‘doing’ my own nails. I can’t file for the life of me, have no idea how to properly trim my cuticles and manage to get polish everywhere, but my nails. On top of that, my nails are very weak. Needless to say, I try to let the professionals work their magic as much as possible. However, with two little boys I find I really need to get better at performing at-home manicures because I just don’t have the time to run to the salon as much as I used to. I have found the Sally Hansen manicure tools pictured above have really helped me not perfect, but at least improve my capabilities. I recently learned a natural nail should be shaped to mirror the shape of your cuticle. This is the natural shape the nail grows and will keep the structure of the nail intact. So for me that means a more oval shape which is what I prefer over a square nail anyway. Breaking, cracking or splitting happens when the nail shape is altered. Always file in one direction (whoops) and never saw back and forth on the nail as this will shred the very delicate keratin layers of the nail, causing chipping and nail peeling…well that explains a lot! The Sally Hansen Ahead of the Curve 2 Step Sapphire File ($4.49) is double-sided featuring a two-part smooth and shape system with medium grit on one side and fine grit one the other. You start with the medium grit to adjust your nail length and shape then follow with the fine-grit outer curve for a perfectly smooth finish. Simple enough right? I absolutely prefer this file over my cheap emery boards! I then use the Sally Hansen No More Ridges Nail Shaper & Buffer ($1.49) to smooth, buff and shine nails my nails and get them ready for polish application. I love the natural shine, but know I can’t go without polish. My nails are just too weak. My mother has been raving about Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure ($7.99) polish for a couple of years now, but had yet to try it myself. She can’t sit still for 5 minutes so this 7-in-1 formula (Base Coat, Strengthener, Growth Treatment, Color, Top Coat, Gel-like Shine and Chip-Resistant) has been a God-send to her. I am used to applying a strengthener, 2 coast of color and a top coat and inevitably mess up at least one nail in the drying process. Not only is this polish awesome (and dries quickly) the precision applicator brush is rounded to fit the curve of your cuticles and is perfectly shaped to hug the contours of your nails. With an 800-bristle count, shorter brush length, and precision product pickup, the brush promotes better application which for someone like me makes it nearly idiot proof! With over 42 shades in the collection the options are limitless. What can I say? Mom was right. This polish is A-MAZING! I’m hooked. Be sure to check out the new pastels for Spring ’13; dusty (I Lilac You), urban (Gray-T Escape) and not your standard pink or lavender (Pink a Card) for a more wearable and less traditional spin. You can find Sally Hansen products at nearly every drugstore or visit sallyhansen.com. – Lauren Dimet Waters Disclosure: Samples provided for review.