29 BEST Tools For Nails & Nail Art 
Here are some of the best nail art tools for your DIY nails and also for at home nail salons. We are going to discuss some basic tools for nail art like dotting tools and then also some ideas that you may not have heard about yet, like an autoclave sterilizer.
No matter if you are a beginner nail artist or someone who is looking for some different nail design tools to stock up on, you have come to the right place.
Whenever you need to create nail art at home or looking for a nail art kit as a gift for that person in your life who loves creating nail art, we've got you covered.
Finding new and exciting nail utensils like nail stickers, nail art brushes and finely milled loose glitter for designs is so much fun, and this list also has an essential stainless steel manicure kit that everyone should always have on hand.
There's also some tips on how to use these ideas for your manicures.
Let's get started and find some cool tools from your new favorite beauty supply stores!
TOOLS FOR NAILS & NAIL ART DESIGNS
1. Geode Mixing Palette
If you love mixing and blending your nail polish colors, then you need a geode mixing palette in your life!
These pretty resin palettes come in many sizes and shapes, including geode rings that fit on your finger. Create custom colors, or use it to mix glitters into your gel polishes. Also, this will help create thin lines for an intricate detail.
You can purchase budget sets from Amazon or go to Etsy to find some unique handmade resin palettes that are one of a kind.
2. Holographic Glitter For Nails
Add a little sparkle to your nails with nail glitter. Glitter for nails comes in a ton of colors and shapes to choose from, so you can make the perfect look for any occasion.
Holo glitter is especially sure to make your nails stand out, while super fine glitter gives you a subtle shimmer to your nails.
3. Rhinestones For Nail Art
Looking for something fun and flashy for your nails? Then rhinestones and gems are just what you need.
Whether you want to make a statement with big, chunky rhinestones or go for a more delicate look with tiny gemstones, there's a ton of sets to choose from without breaking the budget.
4. Dried Flowers For Floral Nails
Dried flowers for nail art provide the perfect way to get pretty, spring or summer inspired nails. They can be used on their own or combined with other colors and materials to create beautiful designs.
5. Builder Gel For Embedding Objects
If you're looking for nail art supplies that will help you achieve strong nails that last up to 4 weeks, look no further than builder gels.
Builder gels are specially formulated to create strong and long-lasting manicures on natural nails and nail tips & forms.
And if you are embedding objects like flowers or polymer clay elements, builder gel is what you would need for that. Read up on builder gel tips & FAQ's.
In this video below, we show how builder gel works for embedding fruit pieces.
6. Manicure Set
No matter what kind of nail kit you use for a manicure, you always need to prep your nails properly first. Look for a nail art tool kit that has really small and sharp cuticle scissors.
Professional manicure sets will be made from good quality stainless steel so that they can be cleaned properly.
7. Fineliner Brushes For Gels
Whenever you need to make a tiny nail art design, you will need a thin fineliner brush. These brushes will also be used to make sure that the gel polish will go right up to the cuticles so that there isn't a ridge between your cuticle and gel.
A brush that is very thin is one of the best striping brushes to have for a professional manicure at home.
Even if you are using other brushes like a gel brush or acrylic brush, a brush with fine and long bristles is one of those must haves for a salon or home salon.
Tip: To prevent any of your gel brushes from hardening, clean them after each use and store them away from UV light.
Watch our video how to clean gel from a nail art brush. Subscribe
8. Metallic Gilding Flakes For Nails
You can get gorgeous shiny nails by adding some here and there or going all out. Foil flakes are one of those fun things to have on hand for doing your own nails.
It's easy to apply with either UV nail glue or regular nail glue and provide a gorgeous reflective enhancement to your nails. You can find all kinds of foil nail art kits in metallic colors like gold, red, silver and rose gold.
9. Nail Art Stickers
What nail art tool list would be complete without nail stickers and waterslide nail decals! There are literally endless ideas that you can use for your DIY designs. Some really popular ones right now are unicorn and fantasy themed stickers.
There's also cool 3D and holographic stickers too in all kinds of nail art themes.
Here's a video from our YouTube channel showing how to make a DIY unicorn nail art from stickers we ordered from an Etsy shop.
10. Nail Stickers Storage Book
With so many sticker packs to choose from, you might need a nail sticker storage book to keep everything organized by color or theme.
These are definitely one of the must have nail decorating tools to have so that you can just look through your book when inspiration strikes.
11. Printable Nail Stickers
Printable nail stickers are fun and easy to use. The best part is that you don't have to wait for shipping! With many themes and colors to choose from, you can mix and match until your perfect nail art ideas come to life.
Smaller stickers can easily be used with regular printer paper. The large printables will need to be printed onto decal paper so that they lay flat.
12. Dotting Nail Art Tools
To get tiny dots and polka dots onto your nails you will need a tool that has two different sizes. You can use what you have at home like toothpicks.
Or you can purchase a dotting tool set that comes in different sizes to make large and small dots easily.
The great thing about a dotting tool is that they are very inexpensive
13. Nail Striping Tape
Whenever you want to get a perfect line when using your gel polishes, that's where striping tape comes in. This nail art tool can be used for making lines and then also for adding dimension and color to your nail art ideas.
We recommend that you use some kind of top coat or builder gel to go over the tape so that it will last longer and not peel off.
14. Fine Liner Nail Polish
Looking for a new way to add some fine lines to your nails? Try a fine liner gel polish. This innovative polish is perfect for creating squiggly lines and painting on a perfect French line.
With so many fun colors to choose from, you're sure to find the perfect one for your style. Gel polishes require a cure lamp.
15. UV Nail Glue
UV nail glue is used for gluing down flowers, gems, glitter and polymer clay embeds. To use this glue, you will need a UV lamp to cure it.
In this video below, we show how this glue can be used to add round ball embellishments to a nail tip.
16. Gel Polish Kit
Gel polish kits are fabulous for beginner nail artists. Kits like these have all of the nail design colors to start making long lasting nails right away. And the nice thing about kits is that they come with many different nail polish colors to try.
For someone who is just getting into nails and wants to try gels, look for a kit that has a cure lamp, gel polishes and includes all the colors you like for doing your nails.
17. Cat Eye Polish
Here is an exciting nail decorating tool. Cat eye gel polishes are so fun to use and you can create so many different effects with just one set. Just remember that a gel polish cannot be removed with regular nail polish remover.
The magnetic polish creates a multi-dimensional effect depending on how the light shines onto it. When using this specially formulated holographic polish, and apply the topcoat it looks like a galaxy world, it's very fashion friendly.
Here's a tutorial on how to create a cat eye manicure.
18. Cure Lamps For Gel Nails
Cure lamps are one of the things that you need to cure gel polish. Professionals always have these in their studios. The best cure lamps will give you a quick cure time.
We have a super helpful article on how to pick the perfect nail lamp and give you some great options for your nail art designs.
19. Nail Dip Powder Kits
Nail dipping powder is a powder that you dip your nail into for a long lasting manicure. When the activator is applied, the powder will dry hard on your nails. This will usually give you a hard surface that will last for about 3 weeks.
Dip powders come in unlimited colors. Glitter dipping powder kits are really popular for giving gorgeous glittery effects that shine in the sun.
The powder is like a grittier glitter.
20. Matte Top Coat
One of the staples to have in your stash is a matte top coat for matte nail designs. This is for those times when you don't want any shine at all. A matte topcoat can be used on top of the color coat.
A matte top coat can be used on all of the nails, or just a couple when you want to have a different design on each nail.
21. No Wipe Glossy Top Coat
And here is another must have tool, and that of course is a no wipe glossy top coat.
Sometimes we find that even though some gel polishes say, no wipe, there is still a tiny bit of sticky that is left behind. If that happens, you can just remove it with some Isopropyl alcohol.
When applying a gel polish, do be sure that the polish doesn't pool into the side walls of the nails. We have some helpful tips for making gel polish last longer.
22. Silicone Practice Mat
These are great to have on hand for practicing fabulous ideas. Because they are made from silicone, whatever you paint onto it will come right off easily.
You can use a dotting tool to create ideas for ladybug or floral ideas. If you make a mistake, just wipe it off or use a nail polish correcting pen.
You can use a silicone practice mat for gels, acrylics and also regular nail polish.
To clean it, just take some soapy water and give it a gentle wash and then rinse. In this video below, we were playing with some new ideas for our YouTube channel.
23. Silicone Practice Hand
We use these here all time and it's one of our must have suggestions. Silicone practice hands are a helpful tool for aspiring nail artists. Whenever you have an idea, you can just insert your tip and get busy with your creations.
Check out this article about some of the best silicone practice hands that we recommend.
They are made of soft, flexible silicone that makes it easy to apply your nail products and adjust your nails. Plus, the non-slip grip provides extra stability when you're working on your next masterpiece. Look for a hand that has realistic looking fingers.
Here's a video on our YouTube channel on how to keep a silicone practice hand clean.
24. Nail Drill Or E-File
Nail drills are used to get gel or acrylic off your nails. You can even use them for different nail effects on nail tips and designs. In this video below, we are showing how you can create a rose look using layered nail polish and a nail drill.
25. Carbide Nail Drill Bits
Carbide nail drill bits are good nail art tools to have on hand for different manicure jobs like specialty carving, grinding off gel polish and shaping nail tips.
This set by Makartt will fit most nail drill machines that use 3/32" bits.
26. Nail Dust Collector
As a necessary step in both gel and acrylics, dusting off excess powder is key to ensuring a flawless finish. But anyone who's ever done their own nails at home knows that this simple task can quickly turn into a nightmare with dust powder getting everywhere.
Traditional methods like using a brush or your hand can leave you coughing and sneezing for hours afterwards, not to mention the risk of inhaling potentially harmful particles.
Enter the nail dust collector: a must-have tool for a manicurist who wants to keep their lungs healthy. This innovative device helps capture excess powder so you can breathe easy during and after your manicure.
27. Autoclave Sterilizer
For at home DIY nail artists, this might not be a tool that you need. But for an at home nail tech or professional this is definitely something to be on your must have tool list.
An autoclave sterilizer kills bacteria with steam under pressure. It will sterilize objects that have different shapes and crevasses that can't be cleaned by hand.
So after your appointment, you can run your nail tools in the autoclave to keep them clean in between nail clients.
28. Nail Train Case
A nail train case is a must have for nails on the go or for storage. Look for a kit that has plenty of room for your nail polishes, buffers, nail drills and other essential must haves.
The large train cases are on wheels for easy maneuvering. The trail case has a locking system and plenty of drawers and dividers.
29. Portable Nail Art Printer
Nail art printers are great for parties, special occasions, or just for fun to have in your nail studio. The machine prints directly onto your nails, and then you apply a top coat.
We hope you found this article helpful and can find some amazing new ideas to try out. You'll probably want to watch some YouTube tutorials and practice too, of course.
Whether you decide to invest in some more expensive items or just get started with the basics, they can make painting nail art easier (and better).
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Do you have a nail art Pinterest board? Here's a pin we made for you :)