A Complete Guide: Nail Supply List for Beginners


If you are a nail tech student, or you love doing your own nails at home, then you know having the right equipment is necessary. And just like any other beauty professional, to get good results you need good tools.

Acrylic nails require quite a bit more equipment than you would need for doing a regular manicure or pedicure. As a beginner, it can be quite overwhelming trying to figure out what you need.  There are so many different tools and products you could buy, and on top of that there are different brands for each tool and product.

To help you out and get you started, we have put together the ultimate acrylic nail supplies list.

Here’s to beautiful nails!

Acrylic Powder Kit: Acrylic powder mixed with acrylic liquid provides strong base to work from. Your kit should include the powder, liquid, a brush and glass cup (Dappen Dish).

Acrylic Nail Clippers/Nail Edge Cutters: Standard nail clippers aren’t strong enough – get good quality stainless steel cutters. Acrylic nail clippers will also give you options for the shape such as well-cut, straight-edge, round-edge etc.

Standard Nail Clippers: These will be used to trim the natural nails.

Acrylic Nail Tips: Many suppliers offer nail tips in sets of 500. This will provide you a variety of sizes for different sized hands, and keep you stocked up for a while.

Nail Cleanser: A nail cleanser cleans the nail plate and skin around the nail and helps prevent infections. The cleanser will also temporarily dry the nail plate to allow for better adhesion.

Nail Polish Remover: Go for one that includes a moisturizer to help counter the harsh effects of the remover.

Cuticle Exfoliator: This is to get rid of dry, rough cuticles.

UV Topcoat: Not acrylic nails supplies list would be complete without mentioning the topcoat! Your topcoat gives protection and keeps the polish looking fresh.

Hand Soap: Use a gentle one so that you can also use it as soak for your hands. If your hand soap has oils in it too it will help soften the hands and nail beds.

Moisturizing Lotion: To really pamper hands choose a good quality lotion. Match the brand to your hand soap to make your kit look smart.

Nail Glue: This is the adhesive part of your acrylic nails. Use the same brand as your powder and liquid, as different brands do not always mix well.

Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer: It keeps your hands clean and free of germs that could infect the nail bed.

File Kit: This kit is used to file and smooth the edges of your acrylic nails. Have a variety of grits – the rougher grits (lower numbers) are used to file away rough edges, and the smoother grits (higher numbers) are used to smooth the edge of the nail. Select the best quality you can afford – a bad nail file can mess up your nail and undo all the hard work you did to make them look beautiful.

Sable Brush: No acrylic nail supplies list would be complete without mentioning a sable brush. A good quality nail brush is one of the most important tools on this acrylic nails supplies list. You will need to decide on the right size and shape for you. The better quality your brush is, the better the finished sculptured acrylic nail will be.

Reusable Nail Forms: Stop going through rolls of paper forms and get reusable ones instead. These keep the acrylic nail shape and get the c-curve while drying, and also stops glue getting under the natural nails.

Diamond Nail File: Diamond nail files are coated in diamond dust – diamond is the hardest natural mineral in the world. This makes a diamond nail file a durable, strong nail file that is washable and therefore very hygienic.

Nail Buffers Blocks: Buffer blocks come with 4 sides, each with its own use. File, buff, polish and shine your nails to perfection.

Bond Aid: Bond aid is brushed onto the natural nail before the glue. It balances in the pH in your natural nails to the optimum level for the acrylic nail to adhere.

Manicure Towelettes: Used to clean brushes and remove treatments and chemicals from hands.

Toe Separators: Separators make it easy to apply the treatment to each toe, and prevent toes rubbing each other and smudging the polish.

Cuticle Oil: The oil softens your cuticles and makes it easier to push them back.

Cuticle Pusher: Pushing cuticles back neatens up the nail and provides a better surface for your acrylic nail. These can be made of steel or wood.

Cuticle Nippers: This tool makes snipping excess cuticles easy and precise. Be gentle with this tool – cutting too much can lead to bleeding. Not only will this hurt but it increases the chance of an infection.

Pedicure Foot File: Used to reduce and smooth calluses. Get a two-sided one with a rough and fine grit.

Manicure Bowl: A manicure bowl is used to soak the nails. You can use either a simple round bowl, one one specially designed for manicures. It has a section for hand to rest on so only the nails sit in the water.

Dappen Dish: This small glass dish will be used to hold your acetone and nail polish remover as you are working.

Salon Smock: A smock is great idea to keep your clothes protected from the chemicals.

Electric Nail File: Decrease the time taken to file nails with an electric nail file. This is more of an optional suggestion, but if you are going to be doing acrylic nails regularly then you should seriously consider getting one. There are many entry-level, affordable ones on the market.

Tackle box / Tool box: Once you have purchased all your tools from this acrylic nail supplies list, you will need something that will store everything. A tackle box or tool box are more economical that professional kit cases, and they come with compartmentalized sections so you can separate out your tools. Keep this purchase for last so you can be sure you get the right size.

And there you have it – the ultimate acrylic nails supply list to get you started. Are there any other tools you think are a must-have for a beginner? Read more articles for recommended nail products and comment below!