Nail Art on a Budget

Having painted nails is something that can make you feel good on even your worst days.  Who has time for it though?  Certainly having some of the nice designs you see celebrities sporting in magazines must be incredibly expensive and time consuming right?  Wrong.  Anyone can learn to do elaborate designs and there are a lot of tools that minimize how much artistic talent that requires.  Below are 7 things you can use to keep your fingers and toes looking fabulous all year long (and beyond).  *Hint: You can click on the name of the product to be taken to its page on

kleancolor spring nail polish

Kleancolor Nail Lacquers- Spring Color Set Kleancolor has put out a set of spring pastel colors.  Not only are these great for preparing for Spring picnics and family get togethers (Yeah for Easter!), but they’re also a great neutral base for someone who’s just stepping into nail art with simple designs.  For the price, you’d expect these to be watered down, but they’re a pretty good brand for the value.  (They’re close in quality to a brand like OPI.)  I personally have ordered a set because I can’t resist doing a french tip manicure with those pale blue hues.  ($15.00 for six bottles)

You can use the purple and other vibrant colors in this set along with some silver glitter to create the Frosted Nail Manicure look without having to go to a salon.

OPI Black Onyx Nail Polish A lot of basic designs will involve black, whether you’re trying a cheetah-print, drawing lace, or putting eyes on Hello Kitty.  OPI has a great true black polish that has no shimmer or extras in it to alter the design.  It’s also not a fast-dry polish, giving you a little time to make corrections as you go. ($7.50)

You can use a bottle of black polish to do a design like this Game Day Nails one from The Dirty Floor Diaries, but with fine black lines between the colors.  I already have the colors I need for our team in metallic shades.  I highly suggest OPI or Essie for the colors as they’re affordable brands that won’t bleed into each other.  The black lines will hide any slip-ups you may have when layering.

Essie Good To Go Top Coat I love Essie’s fast dry top coat.  It’s a high-gloss clear coat that keeps your polish from chipping and holds sequins in place.  Most won’t use a fast-dry formula for this, but I prefer to because it helps with fastening everything in place before you have a chance to accidently knock it off. ($4.70)


 8 Piece Nail Art Tool Set You will have a much easier time doing make-up and nail art once you have a good set of tools to do it with. This set of brushes and pens has several small brushes to do tiny details that make all the difference in how clean the design comes out. It also has a nice dotting pens and a carrying case for you to keep them together.  Of all of the little things you can have in your arsenal for nail art, these tools are your most important piece by far.  ($11.95)

These dotting tools and small brushes are great for easy, detailed designs like this adorable Minnie Mouse French Tip Manicure.

Caviar Nail Art Beads This trend is really hot right now and there’s no reason to pay a fortune at the salon for it!  The beads are actually pretty fun to play with while you’re waiting for the other hand to dry.  This set comes with 12 different colors that you can use solo or combined.  White beads with just a few pink scattered throughout it anyone? ($2.94 for 12 pots)

Nail Rhinestones Wheels This one might be a little overkill, but it’s the only rhinestone set you’ll ever need to buy.  Rhinestones can be placed on your nails to make your designs pop and shine.  This set has five wheels in total (That’s 7,400 sparkly rhinestones!) and they range in color and shape.  I absolutely love that there’s two wheels of silver so that it can go with any design.  ($9.89 for 7,400 rhinestones)

Nail Art Polymer Slices Dragonflies, Cupcakes, Bows, Fruit Slices… How brave are you feeling with your nails today?  These polymer slices are thin 3-D additions for your nail art.  Paint your nails with green and brown like leaves and have a delicate little dragonfly on the thumb or draw Hello Kitty on your nails and fasten a bow on for a fancy touch that doesn’t cost much at all and takes all of 15 seconds to stick on.  Nobody will ever know that you don’t have an expensive, fancy manicure. ($10.05 for 8 wheels)

*Honorable Mention: While there’s not as much bang for your buck, I really love the Cheeky 5 Wheels Super Set for its selection and quality. ($9.99 for 5 wheels)*

Have you ever seen a manicure that you’d love to have done yourself?
Tell me in the comments below!

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I'm busy diving into motherhood stilettos-first while earning a modest living from my couch. I have an obsession with baking and a passion for handmade products. Connect with me on Google+.

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