Acetone is used to remove nail polish. It has a drying effect on nails and skin.

It must not be used on acrylic nails.

Non acetone is used on acrylic nails


Prevents the multiplication of micro-organism, used for sanitising hands

before treatment, as well as soaking client’s hands and feet during the



Colourless liquid applied on the nail before coloured nail polish, to prevent

staining of the nail plate and it allows the nail polish to readily adhere to

the nail surfaces. Some base coats have nail strengtheners.

Cuticle oil

Special oil used to soften and lubricate cuticle around the fingernails and toe


Hand creams

A cream used to soften the skin on the hands and cuticles. It provides a ‘slip’

for massage, this means that the therapist ‘s hands glide smoothly over the

skin without causing friction and discomfort. Hand creams have an oil base

and whereas hand lotions are water based.


A product used to remove dead skin cells, cleanse the skin; conditions soften

and refresh the skin. It is applied with a deep circular massage movement and

used on both hands and feet to improve blood circulation. It is also called a


Foot powder

Powder used to sprinkle on client’s feet to absorb moisture and before

wearing closed shoes.

Hygienic liquid soap

Used with warm water to soak hands and feet in preparation for pushing back


Nail hardener/Builder Gel

There are many different types available, used for strengthening damaged and

brittle nails, condition and protect against, breaking, splitting, and peeling.

Nail polish/varnish

A nail colour or paint used on the nail plate to beautify and protect nails,

assorted colours are available to choose from.

Nail polish remover

Used to remove nail polish and to remove oil from the nail plate before

applying nail polish.


A liquid colourless sealer applied over polish to protect the polish, prevents

chipping and impart a high gloss.


Nail files are made from different types of material and come in different grit

levels. The grit level states the coarseness or fineness of the file. Never use a

coarse file on thin, weak nails. The rule is: start with a finer grit if uncertain

about the condition of the nail. Note that the lower the number the coarser the grit.

80 grit: This is very coarse and should never be used on natural nails.

Some might use this on artificial nails but even then, it’s still a little

too rough.

100 grit: This is still a coarse file, but 100 grit can safely be used on artificial

nails only.

180 grit: This is the lowest grit that should be used on natural nails but if

your nails are damaged or prone to damage, you might want to

use a finer grit.

240 grit: This is a softer grit and a file with this grit is often used for buffing

the nails to a smooth finish or buffing away stains.

500 grit: A file with this grit is an incredibly soft one that would usually only be

used to polish the nail.

So now that you understand grit levels, let us discuss the different types of files

that are available.


Cuticle knife

Has a straight cutting edge; is sharp and must be used with care. It is used to

remove cuticles or built- up dead skin on the nail plate.

Cuticle nipper

Used to trim or cut excess cuticles at the base of the nail, they are also used to

remove hang nails.

Cuticle pusher

Used to loosen and push back cuticles around the nail

Toenail clipper

A large clipper used to reduce the length of toe nails and reduce filing time.

Nail clippers

Used to shorten nails, clipping nails will reduce the filing time. A large clipper is

used for clipping toenails.

Orange wood stick

This is a disposable stick used to loosen the cuticle around the base of the nail or to clean under the free edge. You can use a cuticle pusher as an alternative.

Nail brush

Used to clean under and around the nails, with the aid of warm water and


Finger bowl

A bowl used with warm soapy water and antiseptic to soak nails during a manicure treatment.

Credo /corn blade

A blade to remove callus or hard skin under the feet. The use of this tool is illegal in some countries. Avoid using it. It is better to use a foot file to reduce

tough thickened skin.

Foot file

This is used to remove build-up of dead cells on the soles of feet. It could be used after sanitising the feet and before soaking and then again after the foot rasp to smooth roughness.

Foot rasp

Used to remove any built-up of hard skin. It comes in many different grits and shapes.


Bath filled with warm water, antiseptic and a soaking solution to soak the feet

during a pedicure treatment. Sometimes essential oils are added, for example tea-tree, peppermint, eucalyptus and menthol which have a cooling and invigorating effect.

Toe separators

These are used to separate toes while painting.

Manicure/pedicure mittens

They are usually used following the application of hand/ massage cream. The hands are dipped in paraffin wax and wrapped with a cling film or plastic placed inside a plastic pocket and place then into mittens for about. Electrical mittens or heated gloves are also used for the same purpose during

paraffin wax treatment.

LED Lamp

An electric apparatus used to dry nail polish faster.

Paper towels

Used to line the area on which you set up products.

Cotton towels

Used to rest client’s hands during manicure and for drying hands.

Sanitiser for tools

A container with a disinfecting solution used to place tools during the manicure.