Here’s a list of all the little bits and pieces I find useful in the creation of my nail art. The items can be found in many online stores, however, the links that I provide with the products generally link to eBay or Amazon products.
Nail Art Brushes – eBay or Amazon – £0.99-£3.00
For me, these are the most important part of my tool collection. The thing to keepin mind here though is the saying ‘buy cheap, buy twice’. The ‘cheap’ ones are just fine but do wear out after a litte while if you are using the angled and flat brushes for cleaning round the edges with acetone, they get a little frayed. The paint on the brush will melt if you get acetone on it, so be careful! I got a nice set of black and pink brushes in Primark for £3 and those are stronger brushes and withstand more useage. I’ll soon be investing in a more expensive angled brush for cleanup, if that works out I’ll add it on to this list.
Clean up – angled/flat head brush
Fine lines, blossom trees and flower stems – Long fine brush
Freehand artwork – most of the other brushes used with acrylic paint!
Dotting Tools – eBay or Amazon – £0.99-£3.00
So-very-useful! The first time I used these I had a little trouble with some varnish strings so make sure the polish hasn’t thickened and that there is plenty (not too much) of varnish on the nib. Make sure you have a cotton wool pad near that’s moist with nail varnish remover for regular cleaning.
Dripping blood technique
Kath Kidston style nails
Animal tip nails
Gradient/foundation sponges: Amazon £1.84
Konad Stamping Nail Art Set: Amazon £8.50
This is the culprit of my obsession. I first came across the word ‘Konad’ on the Nailasaurus’ website and thought ‘what on earth is that?’. After looking it up I found a set on Amazon for £8.50 (I think the price has gone up a little now). The bigger sets were fairly expensive and I didn’t want to waste money on something I may not get on with, so I thought the small set was very reasonable. You get everything you need to start – one stamping plate, 5ml pots of black and white ‘special stamping’ polish, a 14ml bottle of top coat, a stamper and a scraper. The plate hasn’t got a huge variety of designs to choose from but it’s a great tool for getting used to the stamping process.
Nail Stamping Plates: Amazon £4.00-£25.00
Once the process of stamping had got much easier I looked into getting more plates like the one provided by Konad. These really do open up a whole new world of nail art designs. I was overjoyed when I saw the packs by Gals, Bundle Monster and Cheeky and that the prices were very reasonable for 25 plates. All my sets have cost about £16.99 and work really well with special polish and some normal polishes. There is the occasional plate that will not be engraved very strongly and so prooves difficult to use for stamping but so far I’ve had this problem with 2 out of 100!
Pure Acetone: Boots £1.75 (Pharmacy)
The must have for cleaning up round the edges of the nails with an angled or flat nail art brush.
If you do buy this please use with very carefully and with caution. It’s an incredible strong liquid that, if spit, can melt down keyboards, believe me, I know! It can be dangerous if spilt on plastic products by mistake.
Cuticle Care: Rosewood Sticks
These are wonderful for pushing down the cuticles. To remove stubborn skin from the nail I push down the nail but use a scrubbing circular motion (hard to describe!!) to get rid of the skin.
Cuticle Care: Lemony Flutter – Lush £6.50
My cuticles aren’t perfect but this products made a huge difference. All I do is line the cuticle with a tiny bit of product, leave it for 5 minutes then start pushing down/scrubbing off the dead skin with the rosewood stick.
Lastly – Nail varnishes!