Have you ever scrolled through nail Instagram, feeling inspired by all the fantastic nail manicures on there, then wondered how people make nail art? From pristine lines to tiny details, how do nail techs create such intricate designs on a small surface? Well, the answer comes from many different types of tools tailored precisely for nails’ limited surface areas. Here are some nail art products, specifically focusing on those used in creating designs on nails.
Applied before the nail polish color goes on, base coats help nail polish last longer and prevent yellow stains on the natural nail. They also smooth the nail surface before color or nail art is applied.
It is always best to use a base coat before any type of manicure. A base coat will also provide a semblance of the naked nail under nail art designs.
Check out DEMIblue’s Hydrating Base Coat.
The fundamental medium for all manicures, nail polish is a given. In this day and age, nail polish comes in a wide variety of colors and finishes, from glittery to holographic to matte. They are the equivalent of paint, but for nails. However, to ensure polish stays on nails, especially fingernails that encounter a lot of daily wear and tear, nail polish can contain many toxic ingredients that can weaken your nails over time. So it’s best to look for polishes free of formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and toluene like DEMIblue.
For best application, make sure hands and nails are dry. Use a base coat. Make sure the polish is completely dry between coats. A simple application technique for full coverage polish is to start with a drop of nail polish on the end of the brush. Swipe down the center of your nail, then fill in the sides by slightly angling the brush closer to the sides of your nail. Finish with a top coat to preserve the manicure.
Check out DEMIblue’s collection for some fun, clean, and vegan nail polish colors.
Applied after the nail art or nail polish, top coats help preserve the manicure and create a smooth finish. They also come in a variety of formulas. As your hands take on daily activities, a top coat keeps your nail polish color vibrant, protecting it from outside forces like water or even UV rays.
Make sure your nail polish is completely dry before applying a top coat. Top coats are also a fun opportunity to add a little extra to your nails. They can come in a classic glossy finish or shimmery and glittery finishes. A top coat will ensure your nail art won’t get scratched up over time.
Nail Polish Remover
Helpful to fix any errant nail polish marks, nail polish remover is great to have on hand for any manicure. Typical removers contain acetone. These conventional store removers dry out nails, so cuticle oil or hand lotion after using them might be helpful. Otherwise, you can opt for entirely acetone-free, nontoxic removers like DEMIblue’s Soy Polish Remover with Vitamins.
Soaking your nails in nail polish remover and then wiping it off with a cotton pad will remove all the polish. Sometimes, removers can come in a more precise pen form for those small mistakes or for fixing up the edges of a manicure. If not, a Q-tip dipped in remover will work just as well.
Nail Art Paintbrushes
There is a massive variety of nail art paintbrushes out there. From tiny thin brushes to angled or fan brushes, it can be pretty overwhelming. However, two brush types that are very useful for small nail art designs are detail brushes and striper brushes. A detail brush is basically a super small paintbrush, and as the name suggests, suitable for details. A striper brush has long, thin bristles, allowing it to create straight lines or for outlining areas on the nail.
Many brushes specifically made for nails are sold in packs, useful for experimenting with the different uses of these brushes. While nail art brushes are not fundamentally different from regular paintbrushes, they are tailored to be very small, allowing for more ease in painting on the surface of your nail.
You can just buy paintbrushes, but the paintbrush variety extends to much larger sizes, and packs often include those large sizes. Make sure to clean brushes after use, whether with water or nail polish remover. Just a quick wipe will do.
Aptly named, dotting tools have a round metal tip, the perfect shape for creating the ideal dot or circle. But they are also very flexible in application. You can use these tools to create virtually any kind of rounded design.
Usually sold in packs of varying sizes, you can experiment with design possibilities. They’re also easy to take care of. Just wipe with water or some nail polish remover after use.
These stencil stickers work to block areas of nails to create a clean design. Nail vinyls come in sheets and in a large variety of shapes and designs. From swirls to chevrons to mermaid scales, they can be applied to the nail and later peeled off. There’s probably a nail vinyl out there for anything.
For nail vinyls, wherever the shape is applied would be the area that will not have your polish on it. For instance, if you have a base color, you can apply the nail vinyl on top of it, then add another color over the vinyl. Peel the vinyl design before the nail polish completely dries, and voila! The design will show up in the base color.
Check out "Do-It-Yourself: Popular Nail Art Trends" and "Short Nails? No Problem! Nail Polish Ideas for Short Nails" for popular nail art inspo.