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How to build your perfect mani kit with Stefanie Sanchez (@polished_yogi)

Behind-the-scenes tips from a pro nail artist Stefanie Sanchez (@polished_yogi)

By: Stefanie Sanchez
Jul 09 2021

Hi, I’m Stefanie, a nail art hobbyist and lover of all things cute & aesthetic! I grew up with an artistic background and have chronicled my nail art journey on Instagram (@polished_yogi) for over six years. Read on to learn more about my nail care routine, my favorite products and tips!

What tools and products do you use when you do your nails at home?

Nonacetone remover, ManiMe's cuticle pen, alcohol to cleanse, a base coat such as ManiMe's Miracle Base Coat or Seche Clear Crystal Clear Base Coat, nail art brushes, a topcoat such as ManiMe's Max Top Coat No. 2, clean up brush with pure acetone, and cuticle oil.

At which step do you use each product?

After using a non-acetone remover to clean off my current mani, I gently push back my cuticles with ManiMe’s Magic Cuticle Pen. An orange stick or liquid cuticle remover works, too.

Next, I’ll wash my hands and then cleanse my nail plate of any remaining residue or oils using alcohol or ManiMe's provided prep pads.

Then, I almost always do some form of nail art using a small nail art brush. My current favorite is the smallest brush in the berry wine trio by @winstonia_store. When I’m finished, I use a short, flat clean-up brush dipped in pure acetone to get rid of any mess around the skin or cuticle area.

I let that dry and apply a quick dry top coat like Seche Vive. Last, I apply cuticle oil to nourish my skin and nails!


Any tips or tricks on how to use these products to the fullest? 

Cleaning your nails before your base coat with alcohol and capping the nail's free edge with a top coat helps with the longevity of your mani. It also prevents chips or tip wear.

If you struggle with the painting part, I would say to slow down, apply thinner coats, and remember to have fun, especially if you’re trying something new!

Also, a tip regarding the nail art brushes, you can buy an affordable set of brushes from a craft store and trim/thin them down to a preferred size. I used a brush that literally had one bristle for the longest time!

What’s your absolute favorite product to use? 

A really good cream polish! It’s so satisfying to apply on it’s own and also makes nail art easier to do.

What’s one nail product that is completely underrated? 

For the average consumer, I definitely think cuticle oil is super underrated.

Another product is actually a good base coat. Everyone’s body chemistry is different. A single brand won’t work on everybody’s nails. It’s important to try a few and see what works best for you. My tried and true is Seche Clear base coat.

What’s your favorite tip to keeping your hands, cuticles, and nails healthy?

I’m going to sound like a broken record, but cuticle oil really is a game-changer! I’m personally not a fan of using hand lotions, but I always get compliments on my hands and fingers and can definitely attribute that to how often I would reapply oil to my nails and spread it to my fingers.

My favorite brand is @shopnbm because their portable cuticle buddy is just so cute and functional, and she has a ton of amazing scents!

A more practical tip would be to wear a base coat instead of just having naked nails and wearing gloves when cleaning!

Thanks again for having me! Painting my nails has become such a therapeutic exercise for me, and I loved sharing how I get my perfect manicure.

You can follow me at @polished_yogi on Instagram to keep up with my latest nail art looks!