My Nail Products Must-Haves

Hi hi! ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I’ll be sharing with you my nail products must-haves and where you can purchase them in Canada (that I know of) in case you want to try them out. If you know of places that I did not mention (and for other countries as well) please share them in the comments section.

Before I got into nail polish last fall I didn’t do my nails often and I didn’t let them grow either. They were very thin and weak and if they were long I could bend them with ease. I also didn’t really know how to take care of them so they just looked awful. When I did my nails I would always use a base and a top coat, but that was it.

Through the world of Instagram I learned so many tips and tricks from the wonderful ladies I follow and they are all what brought me to where I am today.

So, onto my favourite products…


Nail Treatments

OPI Nail Envy Original Nail Strengthener

My go-to product is OPI Nail Envy Original Nail Strengthener. I use this all the time. I also use it as my base coat.

This product works really well as a base coat, my nails can go for days without chipping – and they don’t get stained from the polish either.

When I first started using this product I also started a new brand of nail polish. At first I thought it was that specific brand of nail polish that lasted really long, but now that I’ve used this treatment with multiple brands I can tell you that this product is what made all the difference.

This product dries to a clear finish.

I get my OPI products at Chatters, but you can also get them at NailPolishCanada.com. Many salons and spas carry OPI as well.

Nutra Nail – Triple Power Gel Strengthener

The nail strengthener I used before OPI was Nutra Nail – Triple Power Gel Strengthener.

It does an awesome job as a strengthener, but under polish not so much. My manicures would chip very easily even with brands that are good at not chipping.

If you’re not planning on doing your nails and you just want to fortify them, Nutra Nail – Triple Power Gel Strengthener is a great product. But if you want to do your nails I would recommend using OPI Nail Envy.

This product dries to a clear finish.

You can get Nutral Nail products at Shoppers Drug Mart, Walmart and NailPolishCanada.com.


Base Coat

As I mentioned above I use my OPI Nail Envy as my base coat. But I do have OPI Natural Nail Base Coat which works great. So if you don’t use/need any kind of treatment on your nails, this is a good base coat to use.


Top Coats

Nubar Diamont

This one I mention in every nail post I do and it’s by far my FAVOURITE top coat!

I used to be a Seche Vite girl, but it would always shrink on me and it gets goopy really fast. One day on Instagram I saw a post by Lacquerloon about her favourite base and top coats and she mentioned that Nubar Diamont was like Seche Vite, but minus the shrinking and goopiness. So I took note and bought it. Of course I used it as soon as it arrived and… *cue angel voices singing – aaaaahhhhh* IT WAS AMAZING!

If you’re a Seche Vite gal but you’re tired of the shrinking and goopiness, get on the Nubar Diamont train! ๐Ÿ™‚

You can get Nubar Diamont at NailPolishCanada.com.

Sally Hansen’s Ultra-Wear Top Coat

During my quest to find a new top coat (before I found Nubar Diamont) I bought Sally Hansen’s Ultra-Wear Top Coat.

I did not like it. It’s very thin and dries at a slow pace. I would have my nails done 2 hours before going to bed and I would still wake up with bed sheet prints on my nails. Not cool.

That being said, this makes it ideal for glitter placement manis. Once you’re ready to add your glequins, apply a coat of Sally Hansen’s Ultra-Wear Top Coat as your “glue”. Given that it’s thin and it dries slowly it’s perfect for this.

Side Note:
In case you’re wondering what the hell are glequins???, it’s a term commonly used for big glitters like I used in my Red Heart Glitter Placement – Nail Art post. They are bigger than your average-sized glitters but smaller than sequins. Glitters + sequins = glequins. ๐Ÿ™‚

You can get Sally Hansen products at many places including Shoppers Drug Mart, Walmart and NailPolishCanada.com.

Gelous Nail Gel

I’ve seen a few ladies on Instagram talk about using Gelous to tame glitter manis so I wanted to give it a try.

On most glitter manis you need to add 2 to 3, and sometimes 4, coats of top coat to get a smooth finish, and it’s no different with Gelous. Maybe I’m doing something wrong, but I get the same results as I do with Nubar Diamont. However, this is less expensive so I will usually do my first 2-3 coats with this then finish off with a coat of Diamont.

You can get Gelous from Sally Beauty.

GOSH Matt Effect Top Coat

Last but not least is my GOSH Matt Effect Top Coat.

This is the only matte top coat that I have so I have nothing to compare it with, but I find it does a great job. A bit slower to dry than Nubar Diamont, but not too bad.

You can purchase GOSH products at Shoppers Drug Mart.


Dry Drops

I don’t use these products often, but when I want my nails to dry extra fast I use one of the following:

China Glaze Fast Freeze Quick Dry Drops

These are the first dry drops I tried.

This is meant to be used at the end of your manicure on top of your top coat. It leaves an oily film on your nails and cuticles which I like because it helps rehydrate my cuticles after I’ve dried the life out of them with acetone during the cleanup.

However, since it’s blue it can leave a blue tint on your nails. I learned this the hard way… on a white manicure! *sigh*

I get my China Glaze products at Chatters, but you can also get them at Sally Beauty and NailPolishCanada.com. Many salons and spas carry China Glaze as well.

OPI Drip Dry Drops

I got this one in a combo package (it came with Alpine Snow).

These work as well as China Glaze and have the same oily finish, but they won’t tint your manicure since they’re clear.

I use the OPI drops on light manicures and the China Glaze drops on dark manicures.


These are it in terms of my nail products must-haves. I will do a separate post for my cuticle products.

Do you use some of these? What are your must-haves?

– Chantal ๐Ÿ™‚

Computer geek by day and super mom by night, Chantal loves to try products of any kind and share her thoughts with the world.

  • Man I wish there was a Sally's nearby here. You'd think there would be one but nope! I have been wondering about Gelous too. I'll have to find another way to get some. Top coating glitters can be so annoying! Also I found out that I do have Nubar's top coat so I think I'll have to give it a try one of these days. I just started a fresh bottle of Seche Vite so the love is fresh and new again, haha. (Just wait till it gets goopy…)