You don't have to be new to nail art to be more than a little intimidated by it. Even pros will find themselves occasionally stumped by the huge and bustling internet nail art culture. This article is meant to be a very basic beginner-friendly guide on nail art tools for those of us who find ourselves equal parts terrified, horrified, and intrigued by words like "dotting tools," "striping tape," and "stamping."
Let's start simple. You probably already own the first few necessary basics.
Do you own nail polish? Good. Top coat? Check. From here you can start with basic nail art experimentation. Try playing with bold colors and painting one or two of your nails with a contrasting color or glitter for a trendy effect. From here, let's move on to tools that you're just as likely to have lying around the house.
Do you own toothpicks? Tape? Maybe even some acrylic paint? Good. Take some of the toothpicks lying on your bathroom sink and turn them into dotting tools. Do this by dabbing the tip into some acrylic paint (it's better for nail art because it won't dry as quickly as your average nail polish) and experimenting with creating different dots on your nails. Different shapes, sizes, and designs will take you far in the nail art world. Tape can be placed over (dry!) nail polish to create sharp edges and funky designs. Once you have these essentials in your nail art kit you're more than ready to start creating nearly any design you'd like -- and I guarantee that you don't need to spend anything more than few dollars to get there.
Now it gets a little (though not much more) complicated. Glitter, beads, brushes, tweezers, stampers, stamping plates, stamping polishes galore. Intimidated yet? Don't be.
Find old glitter around your house and use tweezers to experiment with creating different shapes and patterns out of them on your nails. For a really edgy look, use things like bullion/caviar beads to create a 3D effect. Scout around ebay to find cheap packs of nail art brushes for several dollars. Some basics include a striping brush, fan brush, and little itty bitty detail brushes. These three alone should get you started on creating phenomenal works of art on your nails.
Things like metal stamping plates, rubber stampers, and thick stamping polish might sound a little too intense for you, but fear not. You can find cheap sets of these online to create embellish your nail art with pre-made stencils. Think colorful stamping sets for children, except with nail polish. These will certainly take a while to master, but if you're dedicated enough to keep trying then you'll find a set of stamping tools a must-have addition to your burgeoning nail art collection.
To recap, you're probably already set for some intense nail art experimentation. Scout around the house for a few minutes, and you'll find that most of the essentials are within ten feet of your bedroom. Most of these nail art tools aren't necessary for beginners: with nail polish, tape, and some glitter, you'll be well on your way to becoming a certified nail art addict.