When the government canned non-essential services, many a grooming routine got shot out the window.

And so, our eyelash extensions fell like dead petals. Our eyebrows took a left at Bushwick and detoured to bushy (and so did every other hair-producing bit of our body, no shame). Our nails devolved from click-clack glamour to Creature from the Black Lagoon. It be that way sometimes.

While we cannot help with your lash extensions or offer a stand-in for your hair removal therapist, we can solve one pressing issue for you, and that is nail trouble. Everyone with a manicure or a pedicure knows that these digits require regular upkeep beyond just the ‘ol cut-and-file. Nail care follows no template either, as everyone’s needs are different, whether you’re looking to get a low-maintenance manicure or deal with removing a gel set that is edging into horribly overgrown territory.

To help you out, we’ve found a variety of at-home DIY manicure kits that are available in Singapore to tide you through the emancipation of your nails from salon-grade care.

For nail wraps: Nodspark

at home manicure kit singapore
Photo credit: Nodspark

Those not content with a plain coat of coloured polish can turn to nail wraps to keep their fingers looking fly during quarantine (self-love, it matters). Nodspark is one of Singapore’s leading retailers in that department, with a variety of designs to suit any nail art inclination. Want minimal geometric prints? They have it. Want something that stands out? A kebaya print nail wrap is your go-too. Want to shine? Sparkly nail wraps galore on Nodspark’s online shop.

Application and removal are straightforward too — all it takes is a bit of time.

For gel nails: Saint-Acior Decoration Kit

diy at home manicure singapore
Photo credit: Christina Chauskina/Unsplash

For those who have mastered the art of being able to paint their nails with little issue, doing your own gel manicure is the next natural step. Honestly, the purchase of a DIY gel manicure kit is one of the most cost-effective investments you can make if this is your favourite medium for nail art.

Platforms like Amazon sell comprehensive gel nail kits, which include all the tools, polishes and the UV lamp for you to sort our your manicure in less than an hour. We recommend the kit from Saint-Acicor (S$31.99), but plenty of online retailers like Lazada and Shopee have their own options. Take it as investing in a new skill.

For gel nail removal: Etude House Enamelting Gel Nail Remover

diy gel nail manicure kit singapore
Photo credit: Etude House

A hot-button nail care topic that surfaced when the lockdown was implemented is “how to remove a gel manicure without damaging your nails?”. Because, as anyone who has ever had one will know that when those grow out, it ain’t pretty.

Gel manicures require heavy-duty removers, like this Enamelting Gel Nail Remover (S$5.90) from Etude House, which helps flake the coat of polish off while doing little harm to your enamel. Simply follow the steps accompanying the product, and watch as your gel polish comes off seamlessly.

For press-on nails: Dashing Diva

diy manicures in singapore
Photo credit: Dashing Diva

Now that acrylics are no longer an option, try press-on nails as a replacement. Dashing Diva is a New York-based press-on company that has been around since 2003, with the full intention of making press-on nails accessible for everyone, in every colour (and pattern) of the wind. The added allure of these is that it takes a mere second to press on a single nail, so you could have a manicure in under a minute.

For nail maintenance: Tweezerman Nail Rescue Kit

manicure kit at home
Photo credit: Tweezerman

Basic maintenance could be all some of us can hope for right now, and for that, a simple kit like Tweezerman’s Nail Rescue Kit (S$40.50) will suffice. Complete with a file, a cutter, tweezers and a cuticle pusher, this handy kit will keep you in check for the absolute bare minimum until your next manicurist visit.

Beatrice Bowers
Features Editor
Beatrice Bowers writes about beauty, drinks, and other nice things. When not bound to her keyboard, she moonlights as a Niffler for novels and can be found en route to bankruptcy at your nearest bookstore. Don't tell her boss.