Everything You Need To Start Doing NAILS

I often see people asking for a list of stuff to buy, to do nails. What items you need to do nails will depend greatly on what your goals are. So I decided to break it down into sections.

In this article you will find 5 lists

  1. Nail prep
  2. Gel polish only
  3. Nail art
  4. Gel extensions
  5. Acrylic extensions

Each list serves its own purpose, but the first one, the most important one is the Nail Prep list. You will use this no matter what you are doing to your nails be it a manicure, gel polish, gel or acrylic extensions.

Scroll on for the ultimate list….

I wouldnt be able to perform any service without all of these things so that’s a great place to start.


  • Nail scrubbing brush
  • Sanitiser
  • Cuticle softener
  • Cuticle pusher
  • Manicure Scissors
  • Cuticle nippers
  • 100/180 grit files
  • Buffing blocks
  • Lint free wipes
  • Kitchen Roll/ Paper Towel
  • Alcohol with or without dispenser
  • Acetone with or without dispenser
  • Barbecide (or a sanitiser of your choice)
  • Cuticle oil
  • Dusting brush
If you only intend on doing gel polish, you will only need lists one and two.


  • UV/LED lamp
  • Primer (brand optional)
  • Base coat
  • Colored gel Polish
  • Shiny Topcoat (Regular or No wipe)
  • Matte Topcoat
  • Foil or removal clips
Below you will find a basic list to get you going. The exact things you need will depend entirely on the artwork you are creating. But these are items that have multiple uses and also things that I wouldn’t be without so it will definitely be enough for a beginner, until you desire something specific that isn’t listed. Also, I will assume that you have everything in the first two lists when I’m writing this, so I won’t duplicate things I have mentioned up to this point.


  • Fine detail brush.
  • Striping brush.
  • Flat brush.
  • Fan brush.
  • 3d Acrylic brush.
  • Ombre brush.
  • Dotting tools.
  • Gem picker.
  • Paint pallet.
  • A good white gel paint
  • A good black gel paint
  • Silver/gold gel paint
  • Foil gel/glue.
  • Foils.
  • Striping tape.
  • Spider gel.
  • Blooming gel.
  • Glitters.
  • Gems ranging from size 3 to 6.
  • Gem Adhesive gel
  • Silver caviar beads.
  • Gold caviar beads.
  • Rose cold caviar beads.
Below is a list of everything you need to make your nails longer with any gel product that is designed for such use. You can also use gel products to create an overlay on the natural nail, just to make it stronger . Again, I assume you own everything on the first two lists.


The product of your choice e.g. Obviously you will only use one at a time, but the process is relatively the same for each. And you will use a lot of items from list 1.

  • Builder Gel
  • Hard Gel
  • Polygel
  • Biab
  • Base coat (brand specific)
For all of these products except for BIAB you will need a flat brush Either square or round or both! See what you like to use best.

If you want to add length to your nails you will also need

  • Nail tips & Glue and/or paper forms
  • Tip cutters

I feel like this goes without saying but…you will need a UV/LED Lamp as well.

Some companies advise using their base coat with their products and by all rights you will have the best results with that. I use whatever gel polish base coat I have on hand for everything though 🤷‍♀️


Again, these are just the basics. There will be many more things you want to buy over time, but this will get you started. You will also need everything included in the first list (prep)

  • Primer (acid or non acid)
  • Kolinsky acrylic brush (size 8 -10 is a good starting point)
  • Monomer
  • Dappen dish
  • Cover pink acrylic powder
  • Soft white acrylic powder
  • Crisp white acrylic powder
  • Clear acrylic powder
  • A couple of colored acrylic powders
  • Nail tips & Glue and/or paper forms
  • Tip cutters

That concludes the list! I really hope this makes things a bit easier for you. I will try and update with links to Amazon so you can purchase, but thsts a big job for another day!

Let me know if I’ve forgotten something

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