A Beginners Guide to Nail Art

Views 6 Likes Comments Comment
Like if this guide is helpful
A Beginner's Guide to Nail Art

Nail art involves creating attractive designs by using nail polish and a variety of tools. To a beginner, picking the right tools can be a challenge, so it is advisable to keep it simple, both with the designs and the chosen tools. Simple nail art can be both beautiful and eye-catching, whereas complex designs created by inexperienced nail artists can often be visually displeasing. A budding nail artist should learn how to choose the most basic essential tools, and master them fully before expanding their collection. Dotters allow buyers to create perfect dots on the nails and brushes are needed for freehand painting. Also, a selection of nail polishes is required. Choose high quality nail polish to make the process as easy as possible, and to achieve the best results.

eBay has everything that a buyer needs to start experimenting with nail art. It is possible to purchase used tool kits to allow beginners to get a feel for the craft before investing in a new set. Buyers can also save money by purchasing some items in bulk or sets.

Nail Polish for Beginners

A nail artist is not going to get very far without nail polish: it is the most basic and most essential item required. Buyers need to purchase nail polish that is of good quality. This does not automatically mean that buyers must purchase the most expensive nail polish on the market. A top coat is an advisable purchase, as it provides a protective covering for the nail art.

Nail Polish

For the best results, buyers should choose nail polish with a smooth, but fairly thick consistency. For beginners, it is beneficial to buy quick-drying polish that is not prone to clumping. It is recommended that buyers purchase a small number of different colours of nail polish to begin with, including black and white; classic colours, such as red; and bright colours, like blue, yellow, and green. Buyers can also consider purchasing a glitter nail polish and any other types that fit their personal style.

Top Coat

A top coat is a clear liquid polish used over the coloured polish. Many top coats also produce an attractive shine. Buyers should consider buying a high quality top coat, rather than a less expensive alternative. A good quality top coat forms a thick protective layer, and when applied properly, does not smudge or smear the artwork beneath. A good quality top coat also dries much quicker than poor quality products that can stay sticky for an hour or more. A top coat can increase the longevity of the nail art, with some products being effective for a week or more, even when the wearer performs regular housework tasks, including washing up.

Basic Nail Art Supplies for Beginners

There is a huge array of nail art supplies available, and knowing which items to choose can be a very daunting prospect for a beginner. However, when they understand the basic elements, the choice is much simpler. Not all nail artists, particularly beginners, require large numbers of implements to accomplish their craft. A few essentials work much better than a multitude of tools that are never used.

Nail Art Dotters

Nail dotters are one of the most useful and basic tools that beginners require for nail art. A nail dotter is a long stylus with a body similar to a paint brush or pen. Dotters are used to place circles or dots of polish onto a nail. Rather than having a nib or a brush on the end, nail dotters have small, round, ball-shaped protrusions. They are available with a variety of head sizes, and it is possible to purchase individual dotters or buy a multipack that contains a range of sizes. Some double-headed dotters can also be found, and are useful for those with limited storage space.

It is important to take plenty of time and care when first getting accustomed to using nail dotters. Beginners should practise their technique on an old piece of card or paper, remembering not to press too hard, as this can create an uneven finish.

As a cheaper alternative for beginners, it is possible to make nail dotters at home very quickly and easily. Hairpins make a fantastic substitute, as they have rounded tips that can be used to create the dots. They can be bent straight simply to make them easy to use. However, it should be noted, that only one size of tip is readily available, and the thin wire construction means that hairpins are not comfortable to hold for long periods of time.

Nail Art Brushes

Nail art brushes are another basic yet essential item for beginners to add to their tool collection. Like dotters, these can be purchased individually or in a set: when bundled, nail art brushes are usually less expensive per brush than when buying them individually. Fan-shaped brushes; long, thin stripers; and short, delicate nail art brushes are among the most common required by a beginner. It is also possible to trim artists' paint brushes to the desired shape, but dedicated nail art brushes provide a better finish and are built to withstand the use of nail polish and acetone.

Tape for Nail Art

Adhesive tape is a useful addition to every beginners nail art tool kit. Any form of adhesive tape, from sellotape to masking tape, can be used to help to create straight lines. By adding tape to the nail, users provide themselves with a straight guide that prevents them from accidentally painting other parts of the nail. Tape in nail art is most commonly used to create stripes, lines, or geometric patterns.

Embellishments for Nail Art

Embellishments include anything that the nail artist applies to the nails except nail polish and top coat. Beginners can add glitter, rhinestones, gems, beads, or novelty items. To save money, these items can be purchased in bulk very inexpensively. Some items are self-adhesive and easy for a beginner to apply, but others require a separate adhesive to secure them to the nails.

Image Plates and Stampers for Nail Art

Image plates are very useful for creating more complex designs, such as characters, paw prints, detailed flowers, or animals. Each image plate has multiple images cut out. These cannot be stenciled straight onto the nail very successfully. Instead, they need to be used with a stamper and scraper. Image plates are usually made of metal, with the image embedded into the plate. Nail polish is applied to the plate, then a metal scraper is used to remove the excess.

The stamper has a rubber head, and is carefully pressed over the image plate to transfer the polish. The design is then transferred from the rubber stamper head to the nail, using firm pressure and a rocking motion. The rocking motion is required to achieve the best finish because nails are domed rather than flat. Beginners should transfer the image quickly before it dries, and lift the stamper directly upwards when removing it, to avoid smearing the design on the nail.

Buying Nail Art Supplies on eBay

Buying nail art supplies on eBay is simple. Buyers can perform a search from the eBay home page for any nail art supplies, and then narrow down their search by navigating to the most appropriate features of the product. Buyers can also include brand names in their search, or any other specific details about the product that they want, such as nail polish color or nail dotter size. The price can also be restricted if the buyer has a particular budget.

Beginners to nail art may be able to search for complete beginners kit containing everything that they need to start practicing nail art. Beginners should consider purchasing a used tool kit that is in good condition, while they decide if they want to continue with the craft, rather than investing in a brand new kit. When searching eBay, buyers can choose to view only new or only used items.  Both beginners and experienced nail artists may also save a considerable amount of money by buying bundled brushes, dotters, or nail polish.


Nail art involves a steady hand, the right tools, an artistic eye, and creativity. While there are many different tools and products available, a beginner only needs a handful of essential tools. The most basic element is a variety of nail polish. Black and white are recommended, along with a selection of other colours of the buyer’s choice. Nail dotters are useful for making circular designs on the nails. A variety of nail art brushes are necessary to make freehand designs, or to use in conjunction with stencils. Adhesive tape helps to create straight lines and geometric patterns, and a top coat protects the artwork and give the nails an attractive shine. Embellishments are used by many nail artists, including rhinestones and characters. Image plates and stampers take practice to use, but produce beautiful, intricate designs with relative ease.

Buying some items, such as dotters, brushes, nail polish, and embellishments in bulk can save a considerable amount of money. eBay has everything that a nail artist needs to get started.

Have something to share? Create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides