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The Essential Tools & Techniques For Basic Nail Art

The Essential Tools & Techniques For Basic Nail Art

When you're new to nail art, mastering essential tools and techniques can be overwhelming. Plus, all those detailed designs and flawless finishes on social media are enough to intimidate anyone.

But don't worry about getting everything perfect on your first try! Armed with the right nail design tools and methods, you’ll be creating masterpieces before you know it. Here's everything you need to know to kickstart your nail art journey.

Nail design tools every aspiring artist should have

Every nail artist needs a well-stocked toolkit to bring their creative visions to life. Here are nail design tools you'll need to achieve professional-looking results:

  • Base and top coats

Base and top coats truly are the unsung heroes of nail art. A quality base coat acts as a protective layer between your nail and the polish. They help prevent staining, improve polish adhesion and create a smooth canvas for your artistic creations.

Then, a top coat is applied to lock in your design, prevent chipping and add that perfect finish — be it glossy, matte or glittery.

  • Nail polishes

A vibrant nail polish palette is your secret weapon for unleashing endless creativity in nail art. It's important to include black and white polishes in your palette, which are vital for creating contrast and enhancing other shades.

Experiment with matte, glossy, neon, pastel, metallic or glitter finishes and discover how each interacts differently with light and texture. Neon makes designs pop, metallics bring a luxurious touch and pastels are perfect for understated chic.

  • Dotting tools

Dotting instruments offer unmatched precision. They come in varying sizes, allowing for complete control over the size and spacing of dots. These nail design tools can be used to create different designs, such as flowers, hearts or abstract patterns. You can also use them to make precise lines or swirl colours together for a marbled effect.

  • Striping tape

Striping tape is a thin adhesive tape used to produce sharp, clean lines that can be difficult to paint freehand. They act as a guide or barrier when painting different colours, keeping patterns neat and flawless.

Striping tape is generally inexpensive and comes in various shades and widths. You can layer multiple hues or use the tape to section off areas for different finishes or textures.

  • Detailing brushes

Nail art brushes come in different forms and shapes, such as fine liners, angled brushes and flat brushes.

Smaller, pointier brushes are perfect for adding colour to tiny areas without overflowing beyond the design's boundaries. They help paint intricate elements like leaves, petals and abstract accents. On the other hand, flat and broad brushes are great for blending colours and producing gradient or ombre effects.

  • Tweezers

Tweezers allow for precise placement of small decorations such as rhinestones, studs, decals and sequins. Tweezers keep the nail polish or designs from being smudged or disturbed by fingers.

Sometimes, nail art accessories aren't perfectly aligned or positioned exactly how you envision them. Tweezers enable you to make minor corrections without damaging the wet polish.

  • Stickers and decals

Stickers and decals offer a quick way to add texture and dimension to your designs. Just peel off the sticker from its backing, place it onto the nail and press it down smoothly. Then, apply a top coat over it to prevent peeling and enhance durability.

Decals are available in a wide range of shapes, from classic geometric forms to more elaborate elements like flowers, hearts, stars and lace patterns. Additionally, 3D stickers such as raised flowers, bows and tiny pearls add an elegant flair to your nails.

Must-learn techniques for creating stunning designs

Here are basic nail art designs and methods that are perfect stepping stones to more advanced techniques. As you practise, you'll not only improve your skills but also find your unique style.

  • Dotting

This basic nail art technique is versatile and easy to learn, making it an excellent starting point for beginners. It lets you achieve various designs, from simple and minimalist to complex and detailed. Dotting also teaches you how to place designs intentionally and manage the amount of polish on your tool.

  • Sponging

Sponging is great for creating textured looks, ombre effects and soft colour transitions that can really elevate your manicure.

Apply a small amount of your chosen nail polish directly onto the sponge, dabbing the colours close together. Gently press the sponge onto your nails. You can dab multiple times or layer different shades, depending on the effect you’re aiming for.

  • Marbling

Marbling produces a swirled effect on the nails, mimicking the appearance of marble stone. This technique can be done with water or directly on the nail.

Water marbling involves floating nail polish on the surface of water to create a design and then dipping the nails into the design. On the other hand, dry marbling is done directly on the nail, using a small tool to swirl different coloured polishes applied in dots or short strokes.

  • Stamping

Nail stamping lets you effortlessly transfer basic nail art designs from an etched metal plate right onto your nails. If you want to add text, numbers or monograms to your nails, stamping provides a neat and uniform appearance. Likewise, any design that requires symmetry, like mandalas or certain tribal patterns, is easier to achieve with stamping.

Master nail art basics at NSI Australia

Flawless nail art involves a lot of practice, patience and probably a few nail polish remover-soaked cotton pads. At NSI Australia, we offer a range of nail design tools and nail art basic courses to help you build confidence and skill.

Shop now or enrol in one of our nail art courses and achieve salon-quality manis and pedis!

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