In this post I’ll answer some of the questions people ask most often about my nail art.

Are those stickers?

No, they are drawings. I used stickers in the past, but went full custom nail art a few years ago and I’m enjoying it a lot more.

Are your nails fake?

No, they are natural, I know the basics about applying acrylic nails, but don’t use them.

What kind of polish/paint do you use?

Because nail polish is glossy, it’s a bit too slippery for detailed drawings. Acrylic paint works best. However, acrylic paint doesn’t stick to natural nails. Because of this, the background color of my nails needs to be regular nail polish, then on top of that I draw with acrylic paint. I don’t use a specific brand, though I prefer the acrylic paint in the kid’s art section because it doesn’t have a strong smell. It’s a bit counterintuitive, but a lot of art products for kids are more convenient than the unpleasantly strong smelling stuff aimed at adults.

How do you draw them?

With a dip pen:


I further modified my main dip pen by making the tip thinner with a nail file. I prefer dip pens over brushes because brushes bend and the firmness of the dip pen makes it easier to control to draw fine details. I also prefer metal dip pens over plastic because they are more resistant and easier to modify without breaking them.

Got any nail art tips?

Use multiple thin coats rather than one thick one, it’ll dry faster.

There’s a difference between nail polish that is dry and nail polish that has hardened, be careful.

When using the well known cold water trick to make your nails dry faster, wait a few minutes before submerging your hands to avoid damaging your art. Don’t do this until you’re completely done and won’t add any more coats.

After drawing, use a gentle top coat (the watery blueish stuff that goes on transparent) and only one thin coat. Let it air dry and then add a coat of clear. Top coat is better at not messing with acrylic paint when you put it on, clear hardens better, but it can make acrylic run. To get the best of both worlds, protect the acrylic art with a gentle top coat and then add clear for extra protection.

If you using the hair dryer to dry your nails, put it on the cold setting. You can also use a fan.

Here’s a trick that doesn’t get mentioned quite as often: soap helps polish harden faster. Once your nail polish is dry, but not yet hard, gently cover your nail in soap foam and keep them that way for a while, then gently rinse them with cold water. Be careful, your nail polish will appear less sticky when covered with soap, so even if you can touch it without ruining it, don’t rub it with a towel when you dry your hands. Gently dry your hands without touching the towel with your nails and let your nails air dry.

Spray to freeze your nails can work, but be careful not to get it on your face and don’t pray it directly on your nails for too long. Some keyboard cleaning sprays may work too, though you need to be careful with what it contains.

Judge by consistency, not by brand. I’ve seen products that are vastly different despite being from the same brand. I’m typing this from my laptop, since I’m not home right now I can’t examine my supplies in detail and the picture I have saved is a bit outdated, but if you want me to write an entry about my experiences with the brands I’ve tried out, please let me know in the comments!


Deviant Art:
Fanart Central:


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