Find Out the Tools Nail Art Pros Use

POPSUGAR BeautySource: Find Out the Tools Nail Art Pros Use

While gel formulas give professional manicurists the ability to create fantastic nail art, there are plenty of other tools of the trade that you can use too. Get ready to take your DIY designs to the next level with the objects the experts use to create eye-catching nail art. The best part? Almost everything is under $10, so you can get a professional-looking manicure at a fraction of the cost at home.

For even more nail art and polish trends, be sure to check out our ultimate nail guide!

  • 3D Nail Charms: Rhinestones are great, but 3D charms, like these sparkly bow nail art charms ($4), take that dazzling look one step further. Just sandwich them between two layers of a fast-drying top coat.
  • Dotting Tool: While you can use practically anything with a fine tip (bobby pin, toothpick, etc.) as a makeshift dotter, dotting tools, as featured in this Sephora Nail Art Set ($10), work nicely. The metal balls on each end come in various sizes to create different sized polka dots, and they're easy to clean with a swipe of nail polish remover. Also try the Martha Stewart embossing tool set ($16).
  • Striping Tape: Metallic rolls of colored tape add standout striped detailing to your nail art, like this set of striping tape ($2). Considering the low price, there's no reason why your nails can't have the perfect stripes.


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  • Clay Cane Slices: You can mix and match elements of fun (and color) with these clay creations. They're available in their cane form, like this variety set of clay nail art designs ($6). There are also presliced versions, as seen in this heart set ($3) and this flower set ($3), both by Crazy Cart.
  • Loose Glitter: Add some customized sparkle with loose glitter. Any craft store has a variety of colors, sizes, and types of sparkle, so you can paint on an unlimited amount of nail art designs. This 12-piece set from Martha Stewart ($18) has all the basic colors, but you can find single vials in many other shades, too.
  • Stamping Kit: Creating intricate nail designs is made easy with the use of templates. There are many brands to choose from, but a good way to get started is with the Salon Express Nail Stencil Kit ($15). Stamping works by applying nail polish to the metal plate, scraping off the excess, transferring the design to the rubber stamp, and applying it to your nails.
  • Brushes: Take your designs to the next level with brushes made for creating fine details small enough for your nails. Draw on stars, hearts, and all kinds of tiny shapes with these fine-tipped nail art brushes ($2 for the set).


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