Nail art can seem intimidating at first glance. I know it was for me. I used to suffer from anxiety a great deal and the very thought of nail art would send me into a tail spin. Keep in mind I started on the scene when gel polish wasn’t even a thing yet! Actually they had just come out with Shellac and I thought it was NEVER going to take off! lol can you believe it! Now I can’t picture my life without gel polish. Total game changer.
So nail art. Yes, it used to scare me, but as with anything, It just gets easier. There are tools that definitely make our nail art lives easier. So I have narrowed it down to my top 3 Must Have Nail Art Tools.
The dotting tool. Such a basic idea. One little tool that makes perfect dots every time. But these tools shouldn’t be limited to dots. We’re talking flowers, hearts and even tie-dye!
Typically you can buy these little tools in groups of three or more. They all have different sized balls on the end for all different sizes of nail art. Nail sizes vary so it is nice to have a few options for your dotting tools.
I think dots are a great and easy way to add a little nail art without things getting too complicated. I have added a few pictures from Pinterest for some inspiration. Also refer back to my article “Some Simple Nail Art Ideas” to see a few of the ones I have done recently.
The striping brush. This is not your normal paintbrush. The bristles on this particular brush are long and narrow. Often looking like there may only be three bristles on this brush! What am I paying for??? The little brush that makes a huge impact!
This brush can also be purchased on eBay or amazon for usually under $8. Worth the investment I tell ya 😉
Very precise line work or even whimsical more carefree lines can be done with this brush. I think this is a staple in any nail artists tool kit. But I have to say this one takes a bit of practice. Just getting a feel for the brush when pressure is applied. And how to drag the color across the nail makes a huge difference in your line placement.
Practice makes perfect, especially when we are doing line work.
The jewl setter. The gem picker upper. The pick up tool. Don’t panic these are all the same tool. But it does serve a few purposes.
Picking up rhinestones with your own nails or with a pair of tweezers is not only painstaking but also a complete waste of time! This little tool will save you so much grief. Some can be found with a waxy tip that allow the gem to lightly adhere while you move from the container to the clients nail. While others are just made of stainless steel and you would dip the tip ever so gently into the gel and then dab the top of the gem so it sticks long enough to travel to the nail. Make sense?
I have also used my pick up tool to make dots when I was in a pinch. Or even to swirl a couple colors together on the nail plate to make a cool water color or tie-dye effect.
These 3 must have nail art tools I believe should be in every nail techs bag of tricks. Start practicing with them immediately. Research pics and videos online to gain some more inspiration. And GET TO WORK!
My very first nail art attempt was just with glitter. New Clients would ask if I did nail art and I would try to sell them on the glitter because that was all I knew. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. One day I had a relatively new client come in and tell me that on her next appointment she wanted to have some leopard print on her nails. It was in memory of her mother who had recently passed. I reluctantly told her “No Problem!” I mean, how could I say no!?
I then spent the next three weeks practicing leopard print on everything. My nails. My Co-workers nails. Paper. In my mind.
I would ask people what they thought it looked like. Does this look like leopard print or am I crazy!!???
She finally came back to see me and I prepared myself for my first real nail art attempt. Was it perfect? Nope! I am way better at it now!!! LOL But, we were both pleased. My client was thrilled and continued to honor her late mother often. Every time the design got a little easier and more creative. We recently talked about doing it again soon, as it has been a minute 😉
The moral is:
- Get Inspired
- Get the tools
- Do the research
- Practice Practice Practice
- DON’T SELL YOURSELF SHORT (Especially if you know that you are a perfectionist. You will see flaws that no one else will! Don’t get hung up on the small stuff)
Nail art is a super fun way to express yourself! Dive in and get dirty its totally worth it!
What do you guys think? Any favorite techniques you have used or received lately. I would love to hear from you. please leave any questions or comments below and I will be sure to get back to you ASAP!
Good luck out there!
Cheyanne / The Nail Lamp Tramp