Nail Art Supplies- The Basics

Friday, May 18, 2012

Originally, I had intended this to be a quick post but somehow I wound up typing more than I thought.  I guess this is sort of a "behind the scenes" type post to show you guys some of the things I use when creating my manicures.

The basics:

1. Acetone
Handy for anyone doing their nails, even if you're not doing nail art. I prefer acetone to nail polish removers that contain water and other ingredients or non-acetone removers because acetone works faster and in my opinion smells better than non-acetone removers, even though its own scent is quite strong. I add a bit of glycerin to mine to keep it from getting mummy fingers (read loodie loodie loodie's very helpful explanation here) and my preference is 1 teaspoon of glycerin and 1 teaspoon of water added to every 16oz bottle of acetone. I like it that way because it is just enough glycerin to keep your fingers from drying out, doesn't leave much of a residue and is still highly effective because the acetone is not too diluted.

2. Nail polish thinner
If I can't find my bottle of nail polish thinner, I won't even attempt a manicure- honest! It's so useful in getting your polish to the right consistency for painting, which is especially important when you're mixing colors on an open surface like a piece of foil or whatever you use for a palette. My favorite is Orly Nail Lacquer Thinner (I literally have backup bottles) because the only two ingredients are butyl acetate and ethyl acetate, the two most common solvents contained in nail polishes. I have Seche Restore also, and I know that Sally Beauty Supply sells a brand called Beauty Secrets but those contain toulene and heptane (respectively). Adding toulene to Big 3 Free polish sort of defeats the purpose of having Big 3 Free polish, you know? I just like to not add anything to a bottle of polish that wasn't already there.

3. Vaseline
I can't even begin to explain how many uses petroleum jelly has! It's great if you're doing water marbling, you can coat your fingers and cuticles with jelly before dipping it into the design. It makes polish peel off very easily once it's dried, instead of trying to clean up half your hand with remover. Also great for covering cuts on your fingers to protect it from the sting of polish remover if you're masochistic stubborn like me and insist on doing your nails even with paper cuts.

4. Palette
A palette to mix colors is really helpful, especially if you have limited colors or need to mix shades for a fantastic ombre manicure. Whether you're using a piece aluminum foil, a glass dish or something else (I use a tin that's meant to hold gift cards, fancy huh!) it should probably be acetone resistant.

5. Fast Dry top coat
Lots of nail art can involve overlapping layers, or layers that are already dry. I'm not a patient person. If it wasn't for fast dry top coats, I wouldn't do my nails period.  I use a variety of them (every one under the sun, it seems). Usually I use Sally Hansen Insta Dri. I know lots of people like Seche Vite, but it tends to get very goopy very quickly, like 1/2 way through the bottle. I also like Barielle's No Chip Speed Dry and Ultra Speed Dry Manicure Extender but do not like CND Speedey because it tends to "pick up" your nail polish color and make it bleed.

6. Brush for clean up
This one is self explanatory. I use a small natural bristle brush (natural bristles because synthetic ones will sometimes be dissolved by acetone) dipped in remover to help clean up my cuticles if I'm doing a extremely messy manicure. You can buy these at Michaels, the one I'm using is a 3/8th Lowell Cornell Maxine's Mop. Pretty cheap, I think $4 or so.

7. Small scissors
I use a small pair of Tweezerman Nose, Ear, Facial hair scissors because they're rounded and I have a tendency to toss my nail scissors into the supply box, later reaching into the box groping around for them... and a desire to not get stabbed. Any small scissors will do, for precision. You could use embroidery scissors, even.

8. Tweezers
You know what tweezers do. Picking up small piece of things, placing them on other things. Don't use your good, sharp tweezers. Cheap ones will do.

9. Orange wood sticks
Again, a myriad of uses. Pushing back cuticles, mixing colors, etc. I have two kinds pictured here. The long sticks have square, beveled edges while the short ones have a pointed end and and the other side has a rounded bevel edge.

10. Small nail striping polish bottle filled with acetone
This is very handy! It's great for cleaning up stained cuticles and for blurring and dragging polish. It's also a very useful thing to have because instead of buying lots of polish stripers in lots of colors, you can can use the brush plus any polish you want and just shake the little bottle to clean the brush.

Information overload, anybody?

I hope that covers most of it, but if you have any questions- feel free to ask! I'll have other posts on other tools I use for nail art as well as polishes that I use.

Products featured were purchased by me, for my own use. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

So, what do you think?
Please be respectful and do not spam links. If you'd like to link back to your own site, please use the feature in Disqus that allows you to do so.