FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q) Are your nails real?
A) Yes. I do all my nail art and swatches on my real nails. No acrylics, wraps, or enhancements.
Q) What kind of base and top coat do you use?
A) I use Essie Ridge Filling Base Coat most of the time, but sometimes when they're weak I will use a Sally Hansen Nail Strengthener. I pretty much always use Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, just because I am too impatient to wait for the polish to dry naturally.
Q) Where do you get your nail supplies (polishes, art supplies)?
A) The art supplies, most of them I get off of eBay. Just type in "nail art" and you should get a wide array of tools and decorations. For polishes, because I do not live near any type of beauty supplier, most of them are drugstore brands. Every week, I go to Walgreens and RiteAid to see what deals they have. If I'm going to be spending over $5 on a bottle of nail polish, it had better be awesome. I used to be able to get OPI sort of easily (although rather expensively), but the stores that I chose went out of business. So now, I'm relying on my salon supplier, and online sites. Because nail art has become more and more popular, tools are a lot easier to find. I would still rely on eBay though because that tends to be much, much cheaper than the kits that the drugstores sell.
Q) What kind of tools do you think are necessary for nail art?
A) Nothing is really necessary. My first nail design was black polka dots on a white base, made using a bobby pin. But tools do make it easier. I have a set of 5 dotting tools that I bought off of eBay for something like $2. I also have something like three or four wheels of rhinestones that my sister picked up for me in Chicago, although I've definitely seen them in craft stores and on eBay. I just received a pack of 100 fimo canes for only $3, and a wheel of dried flowers. These are all just accessories though. If you want to do something simple, I would recommend the dotting tools and investing in some striper nail polishes. I've got 10-15 in my collection. You don't need to buy the super expensive Kiss ones, either. I mostly just hit up dollar stores when I see them, and they usually have different colors for a dollar each. Also, Sinful Colors has a whole line of stripers for only $1.99, although I've only seen that at Rite-Aid.
Q) What nail polish remover do you use?
A) My all-time love: Zoya Remove+. It takes nail polish off immediately. I used to wrestle with the drugstore-brand-$1 nail polish removers, and it's just not worth it. Save yourself the time and effort, and buy a bottle of the Zoya. Otherwise, when I run out, I use a bottle of Pure Acetone from Sally Beauty Supply.
Q) What nail polishes do you recommend?
A) For long wear ones, I love China Glaze, OPI and Zoya! Because I try to change my manicures weekly, I don't mind using Sally Hansen or Revlon though because I can get them for cheap and they last just long enough.
Q) What do you do to treat your nails?
A) Nothing, really. Make sure you keep your hands hydrated (use lotion). Before I paint my nails, I usually file them (using a regular emery board at first with a crystal nail file to "close" the layers (crystal nail file that I ordered off of ebay), then buff them (using a Deep Sea Cosmetics buffer which makes my nails shiny!). I apply cuticle oil to my cuticles (right now I'm using a Borghese cuticle oil because I got it on sale), then push them back. Wipe them down with a cotton ball of Zoya Remove+ (even if I'm not wearing nail polish at the time) and then start painting.