7 Nail Essentials from Celebrity Manicurist April Foreman

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7 Nail Essentials from Celebrity Manicurist April Foreman
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7 Nail Essentials from Celebrity Manicurist April Foreman

Cuticle Oil

Foreman says Dr. Haushka Neem Nail Oil, $39.95, is the MVP in her kit.

Glass Nail File

According to Foreman, not all nail files are created equally. "I prefer a glass nail file, since they are gentle on the nails, easy to clean, and will last a lifetime if cared for properly," she explains. How exactly should you file your nails? "Use one side to gently buff out ridges and the other to create a healthy shine."

By: Total Beauty

 Heel Lotion

Even if you've created pretty toes, cracked heels can ruin all of your pedicure efforts. Avoid this by using a moisturizing heel lotion. Foreman uses CND Cucumber Heel Therapy, $15. "It's light and absorbs into skin immediately," she explains. "You can put shoes on within minutes without the slip factor that happens with heavier creams."

By: Total Beauty

Vibrant Nail Polish Colors

For Foreman, the brighter the polish, the better. Which is why her current go-to shades are Thakoon for NARS Nail Polish Collection, $18 each. "They're playful and modern," she says. "Plus, nails are the perfect place to experiment with trendy, seasonal colors."

By: Total Beauty

The Best Base Coat

The key to creating a perfect manicure is a good primer. While no two fingertips are the same, Foreman swears Butter London's Nail Foundation Flawless Base Coat, $18, can fix any bumps, odd tints, or flakes. Even if you don't take care of your nails, or if your diet is off so that your nails have spots or are peeling, this product makes them look even and primes them perfectly for polish. "This base coat fills in the ridges and lightly camouflages imperfections, creating the perfect foundation for a flawless manicure," she says. Unlike clear primers, this base coat has a light nude hue, which allows sheer shades to stand out better when layered on top.

By: Total Beauty

The Best Top Coat

The last step in every manicure is layering on lots of shine. Foreman has been relying on the cult classic Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, $4, for years. "It dries super fast and is the glossiest of all top coats," she says. "I won't use anything else on an editorial shoot."

By: Total Beauty

Foot Scrub

At least once a week Foreman suggests cleaning your feet with a salt scrub. Although she's tested her fair share of exfoliants, she says she always goes back to Ole Henriksen Rub N' Buff Salt Scrub, $48. "It's a gentle yet effective foot scrub that isn't sticky or irritating like others can be. Plus, it has a mint essence that is fresh and invigorating."

By: Total Beauty

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Red Carpet looks are inspiring, but what really stirs up discussions in the Total Beauty office are the often-overlooked celebrity manicures.

Every morning we play beauty detective, zooming in on event photos, trying to figure out the exact lacquer shades and how to do the nail art trends A-listers are wearing. After all, while it may take a not-so-small miracle for us to look like Charlize Theron or Jennifer Lopez, we can try to imitate their nails and actually make some progress.

But here's some insider info: It takes more than knowing what nail polish colors to use to get a manicure that looks trendy and flawless. Celebrity manicurist and pedicurist April Foreman says the real secret is making sure these nail essentials are in your medicine cabinet. "The right tools will keep your skin soft and make your manicure last longer than it otherwise would," she says.

Foreman is no stranger to the Hollywood spotlight; she's been buffing and polishing the fingertips and toes of clients such as Natalie Portman and Christina Ricci for years. So when we had the chance to take a peek inside her mani/pedi toolkit, we couldn't wait to see her favorite nail essentials. Here are the must-haves Foreman says every woman should own.

More From Total Beauty:
Is Your Manicure Ruining Your Nails?
12 Best Nail Care Products

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Total Beauty

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