My Personal Favourites and Recommendations
Moisturiser - I use an emollient cream on a daily basis as I have sensitive skin and when I'm doing a mani' I treat my hands to some Bio Oil!
Nail files - I always use the softer emery boards as I have weak nails and generally go for Boots own brand because they are the best I've tried... They don't leave nail edges rough.
Orange Sticks - I like to use these or a damp cotton bud to push back my cuticles rather than using preparations to remove them completely, any brand will do...
Base Coat - I stick to Barry M 3 in 1 Nail Hardener, Base coat & Top coat, everything you need all in one bottle from my favourite nail polish brand.
Nail Polish - As mentioned above Barry M is my favourite brand of polish, along with Models Own, Nails Inc, Andrea Fullerton, NYC and Rimmel... I do occasionally stray (as any good shopper does) when I see a great shade or a bargain.
Nail Polish Remover - I have tried sooo many removers, Boots own brand Conditioning Nail Polish Remover is my favourite, it not only works well and is inexpensive - it smells nice!!!
Tape - This can be used for all manner of designs and is quick and easy to use. Sellotape and Masking tape work just fine and are inexpensive.
Nail Art Striper Polish/Pens - Nail art in a bottle/pen. I love these!!! Andrea Fullerton or Nubar Nail Art striper polishes are my go to's and I like Models Own for the pens.
Nail Art Dotters - These are must for any budding nail artist... A set with different sized dotters is best, I chose a set of 5 on Amazon from Cheeky. They are good quality, pretty colours and were a great price!
Nail Art Brushes - Another must have! Any polish can become a striper colour and they make manicure tips and intricate patterns/designs a breeze... I also got my set of 7 brushes from Amazon.
Nail Art Stamping - I am fairly new to this technique but it really is easy and gives fantastic results!!! My stamp and scraper are Konad but the image plates I got from Cheeky, both on Amazon. I reviewed many different image plate brands such as Konad and Bundle Monster but the Cheeky ones are by far the best quality and the best price. Win Win!
Acrylic Paint - For fine detailed or splatter designs Acrylic Paint is a better medium to use than polish, fairly inexpensive and easy to work with when thinned a little with water. I tend to use System 3 or Liquitex brands because that's what I've always used for painting artwork.
Nail Stickers/Foils - I'm not a huge fan of either method but foils are definitely better than the whole-nail stickers. Foils are fairly simple to use and do give a good finish, the stickers, well, suck! Bit of a faff, pretty expensive and usually look a little shabby.
Gel Nails - I am yet to try the home kits available as my nails are brittle and I've always worried how they'd cope but I am going to give one a go in the near future in the name of science... And pretty talons!
Decals/Rhinestones/etc - These you can find anywhere and really can be the cherry on top of a design! I've so far got them online, £ shops, the front of magazines and Boots/Superdrug stores. I would avoid water transfers... they always seem to pucker under the top coat!