Nail Art Tools

Nail Art Tools
Nail Art Tools

There are dozens of nail art tools on the market, many of which are common household items or craft supplies that you might already own. The following lists include the key tools that every aspiring nail artist should obtain, plus miscellaneous items that are used in the projects in this book.


A clear base coat creates a smooth first layer before color is applied and aids in polish bonding to the nail.

A clear topcoat is a glossy sealant that provides a protective layer for the completed look and adds a gorgeous shine. A fast-drying topcoat is a must.

class=”fontstyle3″>Nail polish or nail varnish is a lacquer that applies color to the nail.

A striper polish is a nail polish featuring a brush that is long and thin, perfect for painting stripes (as its name implies), intricate curves, and covering larger areas of miniature decoration. Stripers are available in a wide variety of colors, just like nail polishes.

Nail Art Tools
Nail Art Tools


An angled-edge eyeliner brush, typically used on the eyes, is recommended as a nail art tool for applying nail polish remover with precision. (It is important to designate one brush for the exclusive purpose of nail art. For safety and sanitary reasons, do not use one brush on both nails and eyes.)

A cotton swab, with the tip thickly coated with nail polish, can be used as a stamp to create organic round shapes on the nail.

A disposable white plastic plate makes an excellent painter’s palette, providing a clean, flat surface for polish puddles.

A double-sided dotting tool features round metal knobs at each end. Dip them in polish and apply to the nail to create small dots and perfect circles. The knobs can also be used to apply individual pieces of glitter and crystals to the nail.

class=”fontstyle3″>nail file is used to shape natural nails before polish is applied. class=”fontstyle3″>Nail glue adheres to crystals and other embellishments to the nail. class=”fontstyle3″>Nail polish remover is key! Do not attempt a nail art project without it. Apply polish remover before, during, and after projects as needed. Paper reinforcements are an office supply item used in nail art to create a smooth outline of the moon area.

Nail Art Tools
Nail Art Tools

The standard size

(with a center hole that is ¼ in/6 mm in diameter) is most suitable for these projects. A plastic soda cap is handy for holding small amounts of nail polish remover, providing convenient, instant access to this crucial cleanup tool. Keep scissors on hand for when cutting is needed—while preparing clear sticky tape for stenciling, for example, or cutting lace and other nail decorations.

Sticky tapesuch as clear packaging tape and masking tape—can be used as a stencil. Cut it into strips and shapes and apply it to the natural, unpolished nail. When painted over, they help create smooth lines and clean shapes. (Do not apply tape to a wet nail, as the tape can damage underlying polish.)

toothbrush can be used as a coarse paintbrush, to splatter polish on the
nail, creating marbled or sprayed effects on the nail. (For obvious health
and safety reasons, it is important to designate one brush for the exclusive
purpose of nail art.)

Toothpicks can be used for painting tiny dots, and for applying individual pieces of glitter to the nail if a dotting tool is not available.

Tweezers have multiple uses in nail art, primarily acting as an extension of
your fingers as you allow wet nails to dry. Use them to pick up tiny
decorative crystals and transfer them to the nail, or to remove adhesive
strips from the nail with precision.



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