Professionals nail techs, nail students and serious nail fans all need good tools — just like barbers and other beauty professionals — in order to get the best results as they work. We’re dedicating this page to showing just what supplies you need in order to do a nail salon quality job on your nails or your client’s. We’ll cover things like nail decorating tools, some nail art materials, nail art apparel, the best place to buy nail art supplies, and what a nail tech student kit consists of.
Though many of the items mentioned below are OPI brand, we aren’t affiliated with them — they just happen to make professional-quality tools and supplies in many cases. And professional is the way you want to go if you are aspire to do the best nail art and manicures/pedicures you can.
Complete Nail Tech Student Kit (Starter Kit)
Every nail tech school will be a little different in what they require in a student kit and it might be that schools in Texas require different supplies than do schools in Florida or Canada. Many schools make it easy on students and supply a kit as part of the tuition cost. If you’re serious about your nails and want elaborate professional finishes with acrylics and so on, a nail technician’s starter kit is a good beginning.
- Acrylic Powder Kit – Acrylic powder and liquid, solvent, two brushes, sanding lime, 500 transparent fake nails, glass cup, nail clipper.
- Nail Cleanser – Cleanser sanitizes the nail and stops bacteria and fungus growth.
- Nail Polish Remover – usually an acetone formula that includes some moisturizer like aloe vera to reduce the harsh effects that remover can have.
- Cuticle Exfoliator – helps get rid of dry, rough cuticles.
- UV TopCoat – Great for sealing your nails so they last a long time.
- Hand Soap – as with other products this should be salon-quality. Your clients want the best and more than a little pampering! Your soap should be cleansing but also gentle enough that it can be used as a soak.
- Nail glue – the adhesive part of acrylic nails — it should absorb well to maintain a long-lasting nail finish. Whatever adhesive you use it should be the same brand as the rest of your acrylic kit. Brands can be chemically different and might not mix and match well.
- Moisturizing Lotion – pick a high-quality lotion as this reflects on your professionalism. It also looks good if the brand matches the rest of the products you use.
- Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer – this is self-explanatory. Anti-bacterial sanitizers keep your client’s hands and nails healthy as well as your’s.
- File Kit – should include variety of sizes and shapes of files (of course).
- Sable Brush – A brush with very fine but strong hairs is super-important for giving a smooth finish to whatever you are applying to nails.
- Reusable Nail Forms – essential for gel, acrylic and French manicures. Otherwise how will the nail keep its shape while drying? 🙂
- Diamond Nail File – don’t worry sand-sized diamonds are cheap 😉
- Cuticle Pusher – a multi-use one is best.
- Nail Buffers – easily brings natural nails and nail art to a high-gloss shine. The green side removes bumps and scratches while the white side polishes and buffs.
- Nail Glue & Bond aid – bond aid helps perpare the nail so that the best adhesion is obtained.
- Towelettes – important for cleaning brushes and removing treatments and chemicals.
- Toe Separators – so that after a pedicure a toe’s treatment doesn’t get smeared by the toe’s next door neighbor. Or even worse two toes don’t get stuck together – it happens!
- Cuticle Oil – this mixture will soften and replenish dried out nails and cuticles. It can be used for rough elbows and heels as well. Making a client (or yourself or a friend) feel soft and renewed is an important part of the nail tech’s job.
- Nail Brush
- Nail Clipper Set – get good ones as you’ll be using them every day and, again, you want to show your clients that you are classy all the way.
- Nail tips – an assortment of sizes is great for training and for different nail sizes of course.
- Cuticle Nippers – look for one with smooth action, good sharp steel, durable, and so that it feels comfortable in your hand.
- Pedicure Foot File – to remove calluses. It’s good to get a two-sided one with rough and fine grit.
- Manicure Bowl – for soaking the nails.
- Dappen Dish – for acetone and nail polish remover.
- Nail Edge Cutter – some kits will have this item, some not. You will need one eventually so why not start with one and get used to it? These allow for more power to cut tough nails and at the same time more accuracy.
- Salon Smock – essential in order to look professional and in order to keep stuff off your good clothes.
- Optional is an electric nail file, but if you are a student or professional you’ll be using one regularly and need to get one at some point.
|Electric Nail File|
Vogue Professional My Manicurist Electric Nail Drill Kit
PureNails 7-piece Professional Manicure & Pedicure System
Belle Electric Acrylics Nail Art Drill File
KlipPro 1/4" Jaw Cuticle Nipper
Cuticle Nipper Cutter - Stainless Steel
1/2 Jaw Single Spring Cuticle Cutter
|Nail Clipper Set|
Clipper with Nail File, Case and Emery Board
Harperton Klipit Nail Clipper Set
Seki Edge Craftsman 2-piece Clipper Kit
That’s it! As mentioned before, some schools will list more tools and supplies and some less. Students will gather different products and equipment along the way while they are training. And many things that are included in nail tech shop supplies are not reusable so you’ll need to re-stock regularly as well. Professional nail tech equipment lasts longer than cheaper materials, so it is better to spend a little more now for the better stuff than it is to have to rebuy broken tools or replace with good ones later on.
Best Place to Buy Nail Art Supplies
Nail art supply stores are all over the place online. You can get 3d nail art supplies, nail art tools and equipment, japanese nail art supplies… what ever you need! There are vendors like theBorn Pretty Store, eBay, Amazon, OPI, and so on who are in fierce competition to get your beauty and nail merchandise dollars.
The best place to get cheap nail art supplies that are often on sale is — in our opinion — Born Pretty Store. It brings together pretty much every brand of nail equipment. It offers free shipping on most orders. Your manicure and art supplies will get to you quickly too. If you don’t get what you ordered or are disappointed it is easy to return items as well.
Perhaps the most important point that makes Born Pretty super-attractive as a nail supplies store is that everything gets reviewed honestly (though fake reviews can be a problem on any site). That way you can assess a nail art product’s strengths and weaknesses without even seeing it first. This is especially useful for those living in small towns or centers where there isn’t a good selection of beauty supply stores (if any) unlike California or New York where there are many nail schools and many stores.
When you are on Born Pretty type in the name of the product you are looking for — for example Acrylic Liquid & Powder — and then click the “Hot Specials Only” button to see the listings that have the best value that day — you can get some really good deals this way!
Here’s a link to Born Pretty nail art. Happy shopping!