The Nail Products That Won Our 2021 Beauty Awards

Are you ready for your ring close-up? Get pristine digits with the best nail products.
Best Nail Products
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maddy sims the knot associate editor
Maddy Sims
maddy sims the knot associate editor
Maddy Sims
Associate Editor
  • Maddy writes for The Knot, with a specialty in beauty, sustainability, mental health and inclusivity.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Maddy wrote for several different publications, including Insider, Bustle, Real Simple and Apartment Therapy.
  • Maddy has a Bachelor's degree in magazine journalism and a Master's degree in health, science and environmental reporting (both of which are from Northwestern's Medill School ...
Updated Aug 31, 2021
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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 necessaire

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

best hand sanitizer lather

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 mo mi protect and nourish serum

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 jinsoon power coat

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

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 zoya

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 opi rapidry

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

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.

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