Creating accent nails is my favourite part of nail art. It makes your manicure unique. I've been doing my own nail art for quite a few years now, and I want to share some tools I just can't seem to live without.
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Dotting tools are a must have for DIY designs. Polka dots, flowers and more are so easy to do when you have the right tools.
Make your own dotting tools:
Use a bobby pin- open it up, dip it in the polish and get dotting.
Use a pencil- stick a pin in the end of the eraser for small dots. Use the lead end (make sure it's a dull point) of the pencil for larger dots.
Striping brushes: I like to have at least 3
1. long brush (11mm or more) for creating long straight lines.
2. medium brush (9mm) for zebra stripes, zig zags etc.
3. short brush (5mm) for fine details. Swirls, filigree, roses etc.
You can use a toothpick instead of a short striping brush. It doesn't hold as much polish but still works well.
Cotton ball holder
for stamping, this tool will come in handy. Just soak a cotton ball in nail polish remover, push the button on the top and little metal claws will extend to grab the cotton ball. You now have a mess free way to clean your stamping plates between each use. Who wants to spend the time to do amazing stamped art, and then ruin it by cleaning your plates? Been there, done that (and tapped into my inner trucker with some words muttered under my breath!)
Wax jewel picker-
If you use rhinestones or any kind of studs, I highly recommend using one of these. You sharpen it just like a pencil and the gems stick to it for easy application. Plus, the wax is clear so it leaves no visible residue. I have also found that a white crayon works really well but sometimes leaves behind little white wax marks on the gems. You can clean the wax off of the gems with isopropyl alcohol.
Builder gel brush:
I love using builder gel (hard gel) over my sparkles. It adds a glossy, smooth shine that lasts for weeks. Builder gel is also useful for extending the nails. To apply hard gel, I use a short bristled brush so I don't pick up too much product and flood the cuticle area. I am not a professional nail tech, this is just what I've found works best for me. I find it easier to work with less product to avoid extra filing at the end. Experiment with your brushes and find what works for you or, check out my post on builder gel in a bottle!
Acrylic is my least favourite nail product to work with. The main bonus is that there's no heat spikes like builder gel, but it's really hard to get the liquid to powder ratio perfected. The acrylic brushes are the most expensive nail art brushes I've ever purchased. Plus the monomer smells terrible. It's so strong you need a well ventilated room to use it. When I feel like being a glutton for punishment and attempt to do acrylic extensions, I use a long rounded brush. The length helps make it easier to pat down the product and the rounded end helps to get the acrylic into the cuticle area easier. Well, sometimes …….if I can actually get the ratio right. The struggle is real. Don't expect an acrylic tutorial from me anytime soon!
What's your must have mani tool? Comment below!