My must-have nail art tools

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When I just started out my nail art passion, I was a bit lost and had no nail art tools at hand. There’re tons of tutorials available on YouTube and various blogs. Some of them use special tools, some make no-tools manicures. You can get overwhelmed pretty quickly.

But I noticed that when I finally got the right tools my inner nail artist finally unveiled itself.

Yes, some will say, that if you are talented you don’t need any tools: ‘A real artist will always find a way’. But the thing is that if you struggle too much at the very beginning, you may just quit. And nobody wants that! So let’s see what you need to have in your tool box to start (to my opinion).

Acrylic paint.

Acrylic paint is one of the most powerful things in nail art. Many artists use just polish. But if you really want to go freehand you need acrylics. It’s easy to mix to get the colors you want and make shading, you can scratch it off with a toothpick if you made a mistake, you can make really thin lines with it and –the-holy-grail- it doesn’t smudge when you put on your top coat.

When I want to draw something a bit more complicated I always opt for acrylic paint. My number 1 nail art tool! And secret, shhh…

Make-up sponges.

Yes, make-up sponges are actually nail art tools, not make-up tools 😀 LOL If you want to do some blending, apply glitter densely or make a gradient, you need sponges. At least small eye shadow ones. It’s always good to have them in your tool box. And you can’t really replace them with anything else.

Small detail brush.

I use my little brush almost every time I want to do a nail art. Sometimes to draw details, sometimes to add a little stroke here and there.

Once I got a real detail brush my nail art started to be so much more fun. I finally could do more complicated designs and try new things. I really think it’s a must-have. Though you can replace a brush with a toothpick, you’ll limit yourself if you do.So do spend good 10 dollars an important tool that you’ll keep for years.

I use Tartofraises Kolynsky size 00 from Adnails Manucure. Btw, have you heard of Tartofraises? She’s a talented nail artist from France 😉

Toothpicks / Dotting tools.

Another important thing you’ll need for so many different designs is a tool to make dots. There’re so many things you can do with just dots…

You can buy a small set of dotting tools of different sizes or just use some toothpicks and other things you can find at home. I, of course, would recommend to buying a set of dottings tools – it really helps in creating amazing designs.

Clean-up Brush.

Depending on how pro you want to go and whether you want to take pictures of your creations, you might want to get a flat square brush to clean up your cuticles when your design is completed. It’s a must for taking pics of your nails (really, very important) and just a nice thing to make your hands more accurate for everyday wear. And all your friends will not only be amazed by your nail art, but also by how perfectly you paint your nails 🙂


I think once you have these 5 things in your hands, you can start creating amazing things on your nails. It will liberate your creativity and bring you to the next level. And then you can always add one or more tools in your collection once in a while!

So what’s in your nail art toolbox?

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