What Are Nail Art Tools?

nail art tools

Nail art is there for eons, and they are still popular. Nail arts are worn in parties, special occasions, dates etc. Professional nail art designer charges a lot of money for doing nail. Yet, people pay them, which shows the demand for nail art. To do nail art, you need various tools. Without these tools, you cannot do nail art.

So, what are nail art tools? Nail art tools are those tools that are used to make nail art. These tools comprise of nail art brush, stamping pad, stamper, nail art special polish, nail stickers, nail dryer etc. These tools are used in the proper sequence to complete nail art. The sequence is essential for completing the nail art.

History Of Nail Art

The origin of nail art can get traced to ancient Egyptian civilization between 5000 to 3000 BC, where women got their fingers and toenails dyed. Similar nail embellishment took place at other places around the world too. In Babylon in 3000 BC, men got their nails covered in black and green before they went to wars.

Around the same time, the first form of nail polish surfaced in China, where this liquid got made from beeswax, gelatin, egg white, vegetable dyes, and gum Arabic.

The women folks dipped their fingers in this dye for long hours and left them to dry. Around 600 BC, in the Zhou Dynasty, the royalty to signify their social status got covered their polished nails with gold and silver dust.

Between 1368-1644, people of the Ming Dynasty, the rich were known to grow their nails long and wrap them with covering made of gold and precious stones.

Since their servants did all the household chores, they were able to maintain such elongated nails.

The first actual nail art gets recorded during the Inca Empire between 1438-1533 in South America. They used to paint eagles and other motifs on their nails.

In early 1800, Dr. Sitts invented the orange stick, which got introduced to push back the cuticle from the nail surface. By 1892, his niece developed a full set of manicure, which quickly started the nail care movement. Earlier, scissors, acids, metal rods got used to taking care of the nails.

In 1907, the first colorless nail polish got invented, and a short while later, basic color shades became available. By 1925, half-moon or lunar manicure got introduced with red and pink painted on the nail bed.

Between 1970 to 1980, the natural polish was in vogue. In 1976, French manicure became fashionable, and from 1980 onwards, nail art got established and has been growing exponentially ever since!

Nail Art Tools

To get your manicure done, these are some of the essential tools that you require, and are a must for your kit.

Scissors And Clippers

You should have a few small and sharp nail scissors in your kit. They get used to cut any chipped or cracked nails. You can also cut those hangnails or the dead skin at the corner of your nail. Be careful not to snap away from your skin or nail from the base.

The safest way to cut or shape your nail is the clipper or cutter. They are formed similar to the nail curve and reach the most difficult corners. Ensure that you have 2-3 sizes for your fingers and toenails, and they must be sharp. If the cutters are not razor-sharp, you tend to chip away at your nails, leaving them frayed and uneven.

You must be careful while using scissors and clippers and dispose of those when you notice rust on these tools. In case you have accidentally clipped to close to the base of your nail, or snapped away a bit of skin, immediately clean the area with antiseptic cream or ointment.

These days you find scissors and clippers, which are straight and angular, and you should choose the ones that suit your requirement. For pricing information on nail art products click here.

Clipper Design

Clippers typically get made from stainless steel materials, and there are two types – plier and compound lever type. The compact clippers also have a small metal file to smoothen rough edges.

Nail File

A nail file is a tool that gets used to shape and even the nail edge after being trimmed by an appropriate nail clipper. These files get made from emery board, glass, ceramic, crystal, or metal, and depending upon your nail type and requirement, choose the file. Electronic nail grinds get preferred by nail technicians and professionals.

Emery File

These files get made from emery boards, which has an uneven surface, to smoothen your nail edges. There are specific grains, which gets used for nails, and are less abrasive than metal files.

You must always file in one direction, especially from the top down along your nail edge. File inappropriately will lead to chipping and cracking your nail edges. Do not try to file a very long nail. It is better to clip the extra nail, and then buff to smoothen and shape your nails.

Glass File

Glass files are less abrasive than emery or metal files. They come in various types and get preferred by professionals. Nail files have different roughness to their surface, and you must pick the ones that suit your nail thickness and type. This will help you shape your nail with a minimum number of filing actions.

Use shorter nail files to have better control during your filing. You must sterilize files before use if different people have access to your files. Ensure the salon and spa you visit, use appropriate files on your nails. Skin infection gets spread from such tools, and it is always better to be cautious than sorry.

Cuticle Trimmer And Pusher

These trimmers get made from metal, and their cutting edge is the shape of an eagle’s beak. They look like pliers and are small so that you can handle them with ease. Cuticles are a layer of soft skin that protects your nails from external damage, especially when they grow.

It is not advisable to trim cuticles, since you may nip your skin and cause infection.

Spas and salons use these nippers to snap any loose hanging skin tissues, to beautify your nails. You have to protect your cuticles by applying cuticle oil and moisturizers, to keep them healthy.

Cuticle pushers could be metal or wooden, with an angular edge on one end, which gets used to push the cuticle skin back to the nail bed. This makes the nail look bigger and protects the cuticles from getting damaged and clipped.


Nail polish is a lacquer, varnish, or enamel, that gets applied to your nails, to protect and decorate them. They get made from organic polymers and various additives to make the product durable and deliver the promise. Ultraviolet components in the polish help it to remain intact, and the harsh sunlight does not affect the coating. For pricing information on nail art products click here.


There are various types of polishes, and they get used as per the requirement of nail art. Let’s look at them broadly.


This type of polish is transparent, or pink-colored, and gets used before the application of further coats of polish. They protect your nail from other harsh polish or nail art glue. Sometimes they get used as ridge fillers, and some polish has properties to get peeled without acetone.


As the name suggests, we use this polish as a final coating over your nail art, since it’s properties help harden the surface and deter from chipping and damage. This polish is transparent and quickly dries after application.

Gel Polish

Made from methacrylate polymer, this gets applied similar to regular nail polish. The difference is that it does not dry on its own, but requires to get cured using a UV or LED lamp.

This type of polish has double the life span from other polish and is equally hard to remove. You need to get your nails soaked with acetone for a few minutes before you can get the coating off your nails.

Matte Polish

Matte polish is similar to regular polish, except that the outcome is flat and not shiny like others. They get used in nail art applications since glossy designs on a matte surface stand out prominently. Over the years, these types of polish have gained wider acceptability and implementation.

Some Prominent Finishes

Nail polishes these days have a different type of finishes, and you choose, which would complement your other nail art activities, and your outfit. Some of the nail polish finishes are:

  1. Glossy or shiny

  2. Glitter or dazzling

  3. Shimmer or shine with waveform

  4. Magnetic or textured

  5. Holographic or rainbow effect

  6. Frost or icy-toned

  7. Micro-glitter

  8. Micro-shimmer

  9. Lustre or reflecting light

  10. Crackled or crack effect

  11. Iridescent or color change from an angle

  12. Opalescent or dispersing of light as in opal

Nail Polish Remover

This organic solvent may also include scent, oil, and coloring, and comes in the form of liquid, foam, or cream. They are available at different prices and get used as per preference.

Acetone also gets used as a nail polish removing agent, though extensive uses cause skin dryness and cracking of the nails.  Acetone also removes artificial nails and glued materials. Isopropyl alcohol is another polish removing agent, which gets used.

Nail Brushes


To create art on your polished nails, you need varieties of these brushes. Acrylic paints generally get used for this purpose. You could either create a design using these brushes or add a few strokes, along with other tools. For pricing information on nail art brushes click here.

What Are Nail Brushes Made Of

Nail brushes are either made of natural or synthetic bristles, depending upon the application and monetary consideration. Maintaining natural bristle brushes are essential to its life.

Though they are costlier, you can work on detailed artwork with such brushes. Natural nail brushes get made from Kolinsky sable. These are hair found on the tail of Siberian weasels. Low-quality brushes use hairs of other commonly found animals.

Types Of Nail Art Brushes

Nail art brushes come in various forms and sizes since each gets used for a specific set of activities. Let’s look at the basic types of brushes and their application to nail art.

Round brush

Round brushes are present in everyone’s manicure kit since they get used most often. You can make intricate designs using this brush, including some firm strokes. You can also create a 3D design using this type of nail brush. For pricing information on nail art brushes click here.

Liner Or Striper Brush

You can create strips and lines with this brush. Zebra and tiger stripes are made easy with such a tool. They come in three different types and get picked as per the required design. This is a handy brush for your nail art kit.

Stripette Brush

This is the shorter form of striper brush and gets used for short stripes and lines required in your design.

Flat brush

There are different sizes of flat brushes. You use them to create shades, waveforms, and strokes. They also get known as a shader brush and is particularly useful for flower designs. This brush gets mainly used for gel polish and design.

Angled Brush

This brush has its bristles, set at an angle. It is quite useful in loading two different colors on both ends and creating shades using a single stroke – another useful brush for creating exquisite flower designs on your nails.

Shader Brush

Brushes, which are in the form of a right angle on both ends, gets to be used for creating shades and filling up the gaps. They come in 2-3 types and get picked up as per requirement.

Fan Brush

The fan-shaped brush has multiple uses. You can create swirls, shades, and strokes with this brush. Gets used for dusting glitter on your design, or remove glitter from dried corners. For pricing information on nail art brushes click here.

Detail Brush

The fine-tipped brush is a must-have in all your nail art kit since this brush gets used to add details to all your nail art activities. You can remove and correct with such a brush. More exquisite features get integrated into your nail art, more use for such types of brushes.

The shorter, stiffer bristles of this brush help create a logo, characters, outlining, lettering, shapes, and patterns since you will have better control over your design work.

Crooked Detailer Brush

These brushes have a short length and are round. They get to be used for finer details and for creating outlines.

Pointer Brush

This gets used for broad stripes, petals, and designs. You can add pressure initially and then reduce with your stroke.


Your brush kit is incomplete without this dotting tool. Gets used on creating dots in your nail art designs. For larger dots, you may have to choose a larger instrument.

Each of these brushes has many sizes, depending upon its applications. Different brands provide varieties of add-ons to these brushes, like cases, cover for the tip, and bristle tip perfection with professional cuts.

How To Take Care Of Nail Brushes

Both types of brushes get best cleaned using nail polish thinner and monomer. Do not for any reason whatsoever use acetone or nail polish remover for this purpose. The sable bristles will quickly lose their moisture and start dropping off. The synthetic bristles will soon follow this path.

Immediately after completing your nail art activity, dip the brushes inside a container with nail thinner, and wipe the wet brush on soft tissue or waste cloth. Remove all traces of paints and polish from the brush, shape the tip, and get dry.

Do not wash your brushes with water, since the thinner will get sticky and cling on to the bristles. If your brushes have stubborn paints, sticking to the base of the hairs, soak them in a polish thinner, or monomer for a few hours.

Clean the brushes to remove the liquid with the pigment on waste material, and allow to air dry. Ensure that this cloth is lint-free.

If your synthetic brushes have stubborn, hardened polish stuck to the bristles, you may have to soak them in acetone and quickly wipe them on lint-free waste. This process may weaken the hairs, but it’s much better than disposing of them. For pricing information on nail art brushes click here.

Nail Art Stickers


Hence, alongside the nail-art trends, nail art stickers got invented. They come in various forms – nail wraps, decals, nail art transfers, or just nail art stickers. They are easy to use, and your nail gets beautified in a flash! For pricing information on nail art stickers click here.

Difference Between Nail Wraps And Nail Stickers

Nail wraps cover the entire nail and do not require any base polish or coat. However, nail stickers require a base shade, and also a topcoat. Only the design film or decal gets transferred to your nail.

Plain Stickers With Adhesive

These are the most common and are available in multiple options. You have motifs, flowers, dolphins, flags, and lots of other designs. You need just to remove the stickers from its gummed backing using tweezers and place them on the pre-determined place on your nail.

Depending upon the sticker design, your base polish color and type must get decided. Use a silicone stick to fix the sticker to the nail evenly, and apply a topcoat to safeguard the manicure.

Lace Nail Stickers

Lace nail art stickers are similar to the earlier type. Clip the portion required for your nail art, remove from the gummed backing paper, and place it on your nail using tweezers. You can use more than one design on your nail, depending upon your perceived outcome.

3D Nail Stickers

You get multiple sets of designs and are similar to the above stickers. You can pick up the chosen design using your tweezers and place them on your nail for completing the nail art process. Floral designs are some unique 3D options available in these types of stickers. For pricing information on nail art stickers click here.

Fimo Nail Stickers

Made from polymer clay, these type of nail stickers comes in sticks or pre-cut shapes. You need to clip them to the sizes required for your nail-art. You can store the cut designs in wheel-shaped see-through containers.

Pick up the required piece and attach them to your nail surface with the help of nail glue. If you have used gel-based polish, you can press these cute designs to your nail surface and then cure using a UV lamp. Apply a few layers of top coat to protect your design.

Metal Art Stickers

These stickers get made from metals, and you can store them in wheel containers. You can stick them to your nail surface with glue, and the process is similar to Fimo nail stickers.

Acrylic Stickers

Very similar to fimo and metallic nail art stickers. These types of stickers get made from acrylic and come in various cute shapes.

You can attach them to your nail using the same process as others of the same type. You also store them in transparent wheel containers, so that you can pick up those which will add value to your manicure.

3D Silica Gel Stickers

Made from silica, these types of 3D gel stickers are soft and spongy. They get fixed to your nails using clear polish or nail glue. Topcoat cover and curing is essential to save lock your nail art, and protect them from damage for a few weeks.

Full Nail Stickers

These nail stickers cover your nails entirely. You will not require base colored polish; you need a natural bottom coat so that these stickers evenly stick to your nail surface. Before removing from its backing, ensure that you cut the sticker design as per your nail shape.

Remove the film off the gummed surface with another tweezer. Place the sticker delicately on your nail surface. Align properly before you press from the center to the sides, using a silicon stick. Ensure no air bubbles are there under the sticker. Complete the manicure with a layer of topcoat to fix the sticker well to your nails.

Gel-Filled Full Stickers

These are similar to above full stickers, except that there is a gel layer, giving you a protruded look between two films. Some delightful motifs and designs look good in these types of stickers. They get stuck to your nails, similar to full stickers.

French Tip Stickers

French tip guides and stickers get meant to beautify your nail tips with different shades or designs. Both these are stickers with glue on the underside.

Various types of French tip stickers gets attached to the edge of your nails, which complements the rest of your nail shades. The guide stickers help you to polish the exposed nail tip before you peel away the guide.

Full Nail Art Polish Stickers

These full nail stickers come in various shades and hues of nail polishes. You also have gradient designs on these stickers. They can be peeled and glued to your fingernail.

Shiny Nail Art Stickers

Glitter polish paint designs get found in these stickers and can be peeled and stuck like the other stickers.

Water Transfer Nail Stickers

Wet these stickers in water with a tweezer. Place them on your polished nail upside down. Lightly press the design area onto the nail surface for the transfer to take place. Slide away the backing film, and then complete the protective covering process.


These thin film of polish with the required design can either be made by you or available off the shelf. Place them over polished gel nail, or gel topcoat to cure. A final coat will help you to protect the design.

Modern Ultra-Thin Stickers

This thin-film, gummed stickers are easy to use. The sleek designs can either get placed on top of pastel-shaded nail polish or nude. For pricing information on nail art stickers click here.

Nail Stamping

This is the newest craze, a fashionable shortcut to nail art and manicure. There are parlors where you can get the stamping done, or you could get it done yourself. Hand-painted nails are getting replaced with this method since the outcome is much more detailed and exquisite.

You would require a base coat and nail polish, metal design plate, stamp holders, unique stamping polishes, and topcoat transparent polish.

You will need wipes to clean the metal stamps and acetone to clean the stamp after every application, buds, and a scraper to clean the plates and polish application brush to apply the special polish to the engraved stamps.

The Metal Plate And Nail Stamp

Choose the nail stamp with utmost care. Ensure that you know the measurement of your nail. If you plan to grow your nail, keep your nail’s expected size as your basic configuration.

Pick up a nail stamp to cover your entire nail with a single stamping.

This is the best way to do nail stamping on your own. Do not join designs on your nail initially.

You can do all the experiments after you have mastered the necessary steps. Silicon jelly stamper head works best since they are sturdy and can get cleaned often, without losing its smoothness.

The design metal plate could have multiple designs. Choose the design which you wish to transfer to your nail. The quality of this metal plate with the design engravings must get chosen with care. The etchings must be sharp so that the design transfer is immaculate.

The metal should be hard enough to get used multiple times. Stainless steel is the most preferred plates available in the market. The plate must be sturdy and glossy, and the etchings must be deep enough to hold the polish for the transfer.

Stamping Nail Polishes

This type of special polish is generally thicker, have denser pigments, so that they are opaque, and do not dry fast. They deliver better, sharper, and more precise images on your nail. The reasons for using different polish for stamping are:


These polishes are thick, so they stick to the metal plate engraving and don’t run away and spread across. Every ridge and trough would hold the pigments so that the transfer of the images are accurate. When the nail stamper transfers the images to the nail, they maintain their intricate patterns.

Higher Pigments

The special polish has denser pigments and dye. This helps them transfer images from metal plates to the stamper, and finally, to your nail remains sharp and clear.

Longer To Dry

The polish has unique properties, which does not allow the polish to dry quickly. This helps the image to remain wet, till it gets transferred to your nails.

Gel Stamping Polish

Here are some reasons, people prefer gel polish over regular stamping polish:


Gel polish helps you to retain your stamped nail art to remain longer compared to regular stamping polish.


The design seems to have more sheen compared to the other.

Does Not Dry

The regular stamping polish giv