How do I Choose the Best Nail Art Supplies?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

Although many painters and fine artists might scoff at this comparison, the best nail art supplies are much like the best painting supplies. As with painting, the best nail art brushes are designed to fit well in the hand. Also, like painting, the quality of the finished product will depend on the quality of the paint or, in this case, nail polish. Brushes that have bulky or uneven heads are not useful when trying to create fine details in nail art. Furthermore, nail polish of a low quality will quickly chip or crack on the nail.

Artificial fingernails with nail art.
Artificial fingernails with nail art.

In order to choose the best nail art supplies, it is best to either choose products from a trusted brand or to purchase products that professionals use. Although products that professionals use are not always available in the beauty aisle at a drug store, they can usually be found in a beauty supply store or a beauty supply outlet. The good thing about purchasing nail art supplies from these kinds of retailers is that they usually have a large variety of options, which makes it possible to create unique and detailed nail art.

A bottle of nail polish remover.
A bottle of nail polish remover.

In addition to nail brushes and nail polish, nail art supplies also include decals and rhinestones. Again, the best place to purchase these items is at a beauty supply store. In addition to having a number of options in stock, customers can rest assured that these products are the same products trusted by professionals.

Some people may choose to add 3D nail art to their fingernails for decorative purposes.
Some people may choose to add 3D nail art to their fingernails for decorative purposes.

For those who are serious about nail art and are willing to invest in their nail art supplies, an airbrush machine may be purchased. An airbrush machine can be used to create nail art designs that cannot be created by simply using nail polish. Rather, an airbrush machine can be used to create incredibly tiny details and also create graduated color changes. They can also be used with stencils to create patterns on the fingernails.

An airbrush machine and the nail art supplies that are used along with it are likely to be found in a beauty supply shop, but may have to be ordered from a company that sells this kind of equipment. This kind of machine can vary in price but is likely to cost well over $100 USD (US Dollars). As the machine is rather expensive and requires the use of products that are not readily available at most local retailers, it is only an investment for someone who is very serious about nail art.

The finished product with nails will depend on the quality of the supplies, including the nail polish.
The finished product with nails will depend on the quality of the supplies, including the nail polish.
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Discussion Comments


@croydon - I think you might have been ripped off. I've never had a rhinestone cost that much after a manicure. Usually all up the bill is less than $30 and sometimes much less depending on what I have done.

I don't get fake nails or fillers on though and I think those are where the really fancy art takes place. It's much simpler as well, since they don't have to factor in hand movements or anything like that.

They can just paint the nails and then glue them on later.


@indigomoth - I think airbrushing machines that are meant for nail art are probably a bit easier to use for that purpose than the type of airbrushing machine you'd have used in an art school.

I quite like the idea of nail art, but I don't think I'd ever be able to afford it.

I once got a manicure done as part of a beauty package and the woman who was doing it asked if I would like a rhinestone put on one of my nails as an accent.

Since my nails were being done in dark blue and the rhinestone was silver I quite liked the idea, since it was like a starry sky theme.

That is, I liked the idea until it came to the bill. That single rhinestone cost me $14! And it didn't even last all that long.

I shudder to think what it would cost to get my nails painted with actual art. Particularly if they are using quality professional nail art supplies.


I had the chance to use an airbrush machine while I was studying art at a community college.

While it was fun, even with the short time that I used it I could tell that it was extremely difficult to master.

You'd have to use it a lot in order to get the hang of even the simplest patterns. I think in most cases people end up just using it with stencils, because freehand airbrushing is very difficult.

Using it on something as small as a nail must take a lot of patience and a lot of practice. Although I suppose they might use stencils as well, I've seen some incredible details on nails that would take real skill and artistic talent.

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