The Nail Products That Won Our 2021 Beauty Awards
Picking your wedding day shade and type of manicure is only half the battle when it comes to perfectly polished nails before your nuptials. The condition of your hands and nails may be the last thing on your mind right now, but there are going to be a lot of people looking at your digits to catch a glimpse of that shiny new ring, so finding the best nail products is essential. And while nail technicians are great, they're not miracle workers. You can't come to your appointment with chewed-up fingernails, hangnails and destroyed cuticles and expect Instagram-worthy wedding nails in an hour (sorry!).
To get your hands in pristine condition before your day, treat them with some extra TLC. For instance, if you know you're an avid nail biter (no shame, many of us are), make a conscious effort to kick the habit in the months leading up to your wedding. (We recommend getting regular manicures to make chewing on them less appealing.) It's also a great idea to assemble a nail emergency kit, full of the best hand cream, best cuticle oil, best nail polishes and beyond. Below, shop our editor-approved nail products and get ready to kill the #ringselfie game.
Best Hand Cream
Using our pick for best hand cream before your day is another wedding beauty must, as the skin on your hands can show your age even more than your face. Get into the habit of massaging this über- luxurious cream fortified with peptides, multivitamins and skin-soothing niacinamide into your knuckles and cuticles before bed to wake up with picture-perfect hands that feel smooth and silky (but never greasy) all day long.
Best Hand Sanitizer
In light of the COVID pandemic, hand sanitizer is a new must for everyone's beauty routine. We recommend this sanitizer from the brand LATHER because you can't even tell it contains alcohol. It's formulated with moisturizing aloe vera and antioxidant-rich green tea extract to nourish as it sanitizes. It also contains glycerin to prevent water loss and rose water for a soothing effect. Our favorite part? The light citrus smell, which is a welcome departure from most hand sanitizers on the market.
Best Cuticle Treatment
Why is finding the best cuticle oil out there a prewedding necessity? Applying cuticle oil can increase the circulation around your nails, stimulating nail growth. It can also help to protect your nail and cuticle from damage and makes your hands look altogether healthier. Our fave is this luxe oil-based serum, which is infused with essential oils like calming neroli, clarifying sweet basil and restorative hinoki. Use it twice a day for stronger nails.
Best Base Coat
The best base coat should do more than just make your mani last. This one also strengthens your nails thanks to superstar ingredients like biotin, diamond particles (which help with durability), calcium and methiopeptide (an amino acid from keratin)—protecting them from cracking, peeling or breaking.
Best Nail Polish Color
This year's winner for best nail polish color is a bright, opaque white. This shade strikes the perfect balance between elegant and playful and works for any skin tone. Plus, it's nail art-friendly, so you can use it to draw any design you heart desires (think: crisp french tips, unique ombre fades or intricate lace patterns). And, if it turns out you're looking to make a bolder statement with your wedding day mani, no worries. This line offers dozens of gorgeous options in other shades.
Best Gel Polish Kit
Gel manicures have some major pros: They last longer than traditional manicures, they make nails feel harder and more resilient and they tend to have a glossier finish. The major con? They can also be pricey and require a long trip to the salon. Enter: Our pick for best gel polish kit, which is a totally affordable at-home option that will give you the quality of a professional gel manicure.
Best Top Coat
The last thing you want to worry about on any important day is messing up your nails. Swipe on our winner for best top coat on for a durable, high shine finish that seals in polish and dries almost immediately after application. Make sure to pull it all the way over the tips of your nails for long-lasting results.
Best Nail Polish Remover
Our pick for best nail polish remover dissolves even the darkest and most stubborn polish without any of the typical harsh chemicals (or icky acetone smells). This nontoxic, soy-based formula also gently moisturizes your hands and nails thanks to vitamins A, C and E as well as grapefruit essential oils.