1. Nail Design Pen: Perfect for creating lines, dots and other details, a nail design pen is a must-have for any nail artist. Rather than frustrating yourself by using the brush from your regular polish, use the fine tip of a nail pen to create a clean design with minimal fuss. Be sure to seal the polish, or it will wash away with water.
Sephora by O.P.I Nail Design Pen, available in rich grape, bright white, royal blue, bold pink, vine green and metallic gold, $10, sephora.com
Migi Nail Art Pen Packs, $24, miginailart.com
2. Polish Barrier: If you lack a steady hand, or simply want to ensure a perfect mani, a paint-on barrier will help product your cuticles from unwanted stray polish. Simply draw the barrier on your cuticles and peel off once your polish is dry. To make perfectly straight French tips, draw a line with the pen where you would like your French tips to end and only paint up to that line. Like painter’s tape for your walls, it will protect the nail beneath the barrier. When you peel it away, you will have a neat French mani. The same product can be used to create nail designs.
Liquid Palisade by Kiesque, $22, liquidpalisade.com
3. Crystals and Glitter: To make a night out extra special, apply crystals or glitter to your polish. When applying, be sure that your colour coat is completely dry, then apply a coat of clear polish. The glitter will stick to the wet polish, so you can add glitter to the whole nail, or only apply it to the tips or to a simple design that you have drawn on your nails. Once the glitter is fully dry, seal with a top coat. Similarly, apply the crystals to a clear coat, and seal with two layers of top coat. To pick up the crystals, use a toothpick dipped in a small amount of clear polish and use the pick to push down on the crystals once they are on your nail.
Excalibur Crystals, available in over 30 colours, $3-4 for 100 of one colour, republicnailusa.com
Sephora by O.P.I Nail Glitter, available in gold, gunmetal, pink, purple, silver, $5, sephora.com
4. Nail Stickers: Decals are a great way to achieve pretty designs even if you have no artistic talent whatsoever. Apply your colour and allow it to dry fully, then press on your decals and apply a top coat. That’s it! You’re good to go.
Haute Nails 3D Rubber Art Nail Stickers, hautenails.ca for stores
5. Quick Dry Spray: When creating nail art, you don’t want to risk the chance of a smudged or dull finish. To help accelerate your drying time, spritz the tips of your fingers 45 seconds after you have sealed your nails with topcoat, and your nails should be good to go in minutes.
Sephora by O.P.I Quick Dry Spray, $12, sephora.com