Nail art is so much fun. This is the first true hobby I have ever had and I am really enjoying it! I have found a creative outlet when I didn’t even know I needed one and need it, I did. Since I’ve started doing my nails and nail art I am much more positive and happy in general. I have something to look forward to that is just for me. I don’t know how to explain it without sounding utterly selfish. I think everybody needs a guilty pleasure, something that makes them happy. I have finally found my “thing” 🙂 I don’t want to become a nail blogger at all, but I do enjoy doing my nails and I like to share what I’ve done. I want to share the joy and if anybody else is interested in giving it a whirl I’d like to show them things I’ve learnt that can help them. Some nail art looks so difficult to do, but when you break it down into steps it is fairly easy. A lot of people have commented on my manis and said they could never do anything like it and my response is usually that they should not underestimate themselves! If I can do it, anybody can! YouTube has some awesome tutorials that show you how to recreate manis step by step. Almost everything I’ve done has been copied from somewhere. Almost.
So if you want to make certain effects you need a few tools. The most commonly used nail art tool is the dotting tool. It can be used for so many different things! The truth is, you don’t need an actual dotting tool to create dots, stripes, hearts or whatever. You can use things you have in the house! You could use a bobby pin, ballpoint pen or a toothpick! Of course I wanted a dotting tool. I won a polka dot set from Ordinary Misfit‘s blog which included a dotting tool and 3 mini polishes and I later bought myself another dotting tool. They come in a variety of sizes. The black one is the one I won and the pink one I purchased from Planet Nails.
For more intricate art or special effects you’ll need special brushes. The first brush I purchased was a fan brush. I had seen a fan brush tutorial on Siobhan’s blog and I really wanted to try it. Recently I purchased a 12 piece brush set from Maskscara to do more intricate nail art or at least to make it easier for me. The butterfly I did was really hard to manoeuvre with the dotting tool. I haven’t decided what to do with my brushes yet, but I’ll think of something! I see the set also came with an one sided dotting tool.
I also have 3 striping brushes I bought from Planet Nails. Stripers are used for lots of different techniques, but mostly as their name suggests, for stripes. I have only used one of these before to fix up lines on the mani I did for my mother’s 50th birthday. I needed a really small brush to clean up some mess ups and it worked a treat.
This purple thing is referred to as a picker upper. It is designed to pick up rhinestones and studs. I bought it to pick up the little shiny heart I had purchased, but it didn’t really work for that. I don’t have any rhinestones or studs to try it on, yet 😉
I have a really broad white nail file I bought at Planet Nails. This is the best nail file I’ve ever used. It is a 100/180 grit nail file. 180 grit is the best to use for natural nails. The higher the number, the finer the file. I think I paid R12 for it. It files my nails beautifully and takes length off easily which is important for me since I have started filing instead of cutting my nails. Below my nail file you see my UBU gel eyeliner brush. One of my most important nail art tools. I use this brush to clean polish off my cuticles where I have messed or painted on them. You don’t have to be great at painting your nails if you have a brush like his to help you clean up and perfect your mani. I dip this brush into acetone, lightly touch it to tissue paper to get rid of excess and the paint my fingers where I don’t want the polish. I wash this brush with soap and water after each use.
Below is a picture of the first fan brush I bought. You can see it is much smaller and the bristles are much closer together than the fan brush in the set pictured above. I also bought some tip guides that you stick onto your nails to do perfect French tips. I don’t know about you, but I’m not good enough to freehand those yet! They were also quite cheap. I paid about R15 for 60.
The last nifty gadget I received as a gift from Sanita for my last birthday. It is a nail polish bottle holder. It holds your bottle steady and at an angle while you paint. This is really awesome for when your polish starts running low. It tilts the bottle which coats the brush with polish which is hard to do with an upright bottle which is half empty. It is plastic and quite flexible to accommodate different bottles. I have tried both my Tip Top Miraculous Results and Essie top coat bottles in it with no problems.
So if you have any inclination towards painting your nails and adding some funk to your mani, hit Pinterest or Google some tutorials. You would be surprised at how easy some things are to do! Please feel free to share your manis with me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (links in the sidebar).