Friday, October 17, 2014

Jessica's Top 10 Nail Art Essentials

Having the right tools when doing nail art makes all the difference. I'm going to share with you my top 10 nail-art tool essentials that will make your experience with doing nail art a whole lot easier!

1. Nail File -- The first thing on my list is going to have to be a good quality nail file. There are so many different nail files out there, and I usually get a different one every time, but there are ones that I stray away from. You definitely don't want to get anything too rough, especially if you are working on natural nails. You also want to stay away from metal nail files. They're just....terrible. As of lately, I really like Tweezerman nail files. I own a matchbox of their itty-bitty files, and I'm loving them!

2. Brushes -- The key to making those bold lines, smooth strokes, and fine details, is all in the brush. With that being said, you're definitely going to want to pick up yourself up a pack of nail art brushes. There are so many different kinds of brushes out there, and you can easily find some that are inexpensive. I bought a 4 pack of nail art brushes from Sally's Beauty, and I'm in love with them! They're good quality brushes, and they're really cute, too! They are a little on the pricey side, but I bought them at 50% off, and I had been eyeing them for so long.

3. Dotting Tools -- I highly recommend getting a set of dotting tools! When I first got mine, that's when all the fun started. These things make doing nail art a breeze. You're able to do many different designs with dotting tools, and they're way easy to use!  Sure, there are ways you can make your own dotting tools (bobby-pins, toothpicks, etc.), but you can get a 5 pack of dotting tools with 10 different sizes for as low as $1.00 on Amazon . They are MORE than worth it, just trust me on this one.

4. Top Coat/Base Coat -- I don't even bother giving myself a manicure if I don't have a good base coat, and FOR SURE a GOOD QUALITY top coat. I can use the cheapest polish on planet Earth, and a good quality top coat will take my manicure from Toyota to Ferrari in less than a minute. These two products are going to help your manicure last longer. The base coat helps protect your nails, and gives the polish something to adhere to. The top coat seals your manicure, shines it up, and gets rid of any imperfections. My go-to base and top coat is by Seche Vite. It gives my manicure that finishing look, and helps it to dry faster. I love this stuff. You can find it at Sally's Beauty. Be sure to look for a deal, I always buy it when they do the BOGO deal.

5. Nail Art Pens -- So... Nail art pens are a lot of fun! The possibilities you have with nail art pens are almost endless! Basically, if you can draw it, you can put it on your nails. And the best thing about them is that they don't make much of a mess, and for anyone who does nail art... you know this stuff can get messy! I have yet to find a set of nail art pens that I love, but the Hot Designs Nail Art Pens ones aren't all that bad. I've even found some at the Dollar Store that worked for me pretty good. They are called "Sassy+Chic 3N1 Nail Art Pen".

6. Striping Tape -- Striping tape helps to give you those clean lines. You can make a really simple design with striping tape, or you can get really creative with it. Before I discovered striping tape, I just used regular Scotch tape from home, and I could never get that clean line that I was looking for, and that I get when I use striping tape. The striping tape adheres from your nail a lot smoother, without leaving any stickiness behind. You can find all kinds of striping tape on Amazon for really cheap. There's even more you can do with striping tape, which I will show you at a later date.

7. 100% Pure Acetone -- I seriously can't stand spending 15 minutes removing my nail polish with your everyday, standard nail polish remover... Wait, what's that? You're trying to remove a glitter nail polish? I'll take that 15 minutes and raise you 5. Talk about first world problems. Anyways... You're just not going to have that problem when using 100% pure acetone. This stuff removes polish, glitter, and even gel polish, and removes it in a timely manner! Definitely get this, you'll thank me later. I like the OnyxProfessional Pure Acetone. You can find it at Wal-Mart or order it on Amazon

8. Cuticle Oil -- It's only appropriate for cuticle oil to come next on my list, because if you're anything like me... you're constantly changing your manicure, and you're using acetone every time you remove your old one. Acetone can really dry out your nails and cuticles, so it's really important to keep them both hydrated. I find that cuticle oil helps me a lot, and it just makes your nails feel good right after a manicure. To be completely honest with you, I haven't found a cuticle oil that I really like. I'm currently using Beauty Secrets Cuticle Oil , and I'm just not that into it. There are a few out there that I still want to try, though. If any of you have some recommendations, please share them with me in the comments!

9. Konad Stamping Tool -- The Konad is pretty, pretty, pretty, cool. It's a stamping tool that can take some time to perfect, but once you do, you're gonna have a lot of fun with this thing. They have tons of different plates you can buy, with tons of different designs to choose from. I can never decide what design to use... story of my life. The Konad is just one stamping tool that is out there. You can find all kinds of stamping tools and stamping plates on Amazon. I found one at my local Sally's Beauty for $9.99, so you can find them for rather cheap.

10. Nail Polish & Art Wheel -- The last item on my list is great for those who are just starting out and need practice, and it's even good for those who are more experienced and looking to test out some new designs. It's the perfect item for doing swatches and testing new polishes. That way you're saving a lot of time testing polishes on your own nails. You can even use them as a type of portfolio, per se.

So there you have it. These are my top 10 nail art tool essentials. Aside from some fancy decorations, this is everything you need to start doing nail art on your very own!

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