Nail Technician Supply List: Everything You Need!

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Becoming a nail technician is a popular job option, but many people have no idea where to begin when looking at supplies and equipment! This is why we have created a full Nail Technician Supply List of all the items you will need.

Whether you are a student, just starting your business, an enthusiastic DIYer or you have been in the nail tech industry for a while, we’ve got a list for you!

So without further ado, let’s take a look at some useful information to get you started on your manicure, pedicure, and nail art journey.


Important Tools for Nail Technicians

It is vital that those getting into nail treatments need to acquire the right tools, implements, and supplies. If you’re joining an established salon, they probably have a recommended list and vendor. But if you’re acquiring items yourself, you’ll need a good list!

Although it may be tough to buy all the nail technician supplies you need in one purchase, start with the basic items before building your supplies to become fully professional.

It’s important to note that some of the consumable items, like nail polish and acetone that are used in a nail business can be hazardous and must be handled with care and caution.

Nail Technician Supply List

Below is the list of supplies you will need to properly practice as a nail technician doing nail services, including manicures and pedicures, which are the most common nail-related procedures. 

To perform these services, many of these tools are needed:

Nail Clippers – these are used to reduce nail length. Nail technicians should have two sets of clippers – one for fingernails and one for toenails. You need good-quality clippers for optimal performance. Don’t forget to regularly disinfect your clippers.

Emery Boards and Files – these items are used to smooth the edges of the nails. An emery board is rougher compared to nail files, and is used to focus on the nail’s surface where the polish is applied. 

It smoothes the ridges in the nail to give a shiny appearance. Emery boards must be disposed of after every client. Emery boards and files are used together with the dusting brush to remove dust to give a smooth, clean finish.

Buffer – there are different types of buffers available, including sanding sponges, shiners, and block buffers with various shapes. Different tasks require different buffers, so you will need several of these.

Nippers – these are used to clip dead cuticles.

Cuticle Pusher – cuticle pushers are used to remove skin from the plate of the nail.

Cuticle Cream, Lotion, or Oil – these are used to soften the cuticles and dry nails. It is used after each treatment. Additionally, it may be sold to clients for daily use.

Glue – this is used for some nail art, but primarily used for dipping when applied to the tips.

Acetone – Different techs prefer to work with various tools, but most will want to have a bottle of acetone handy, even if you prefer another removal technique. Sometimes you just need the ‘tone.

Soak Off Solution  – this is the non-acetone solution used to remove nail polish. You will also need acetone to soak off gels, acrylic, and gel polish.

Sanitizers and Disinfectants – this is for hygiene purposes and is used to protect you and your customers from various germs carried by the hands.

Enhancement Kit – these kits are ideal for beginners in the industry, which offer the essential tools needed at a lower cost than buying the main items, making it more economical. If you are looking to learn about gel, acrylic, silk, or fiberglass enhancements, this type of kit is ideal.

Nail System – you need a nail system, like gel, acrylic, and dip systems. You also need the accompaniments, including resin activators and acrylic powders.

LED Nail Lamp – If you’re doing gel nails, you’ll need a nail lamp to dry the gel. Make sure that your gel brand is compatible with your lamp (LED and UV are different)

Practice Hand – this may seem redundant, but when you need to practice different techniques and products, a plastic practice hand is ideal to use before using them on clients.

Manicure Bowl and Dappen Dish – a manicure bowl is used to soak the nails and the dappen dish is used for nail polish remover and acetone. These items are quite inexpensive, so crystal options are affordable.

Toe Separator for Pedicures – this item is vital to keep the toes apart during a pedicure so the polish and art does not get smeared by the neighboring toes.

Nail Art and Polishes – as a nail tech, a wide variety of polishes and nail art items are needed. A paint kit can provide you with a good starting point, including gel polish, a lamp, nail, art, base coat, and acrylic polish. Include some nail art items in your purchase as well as alcohol swabs and finishing wipes.

Smock – while this is not an essential item, a smock gives a professional look and also prevents liquids from getting onto your clothes. Many have pockets for tools and supplies, your phone, keys, and any other items you may need quick access to.

Nail Tipsnail tips or forms go on the ends of the nails to extend their length.

Electric File – this is very handy (pun intended), especially if you see many clients in a day. Nail drills save energy and time.

Nail Dust Collector – Nail files make lots of dust, and that dust could be hazardous. You should have a nail dust collector if you’re working with any serious volume of customers.

Fine-haired Brush – most people will choose a sable hair nail brush because they are natural and durable. They give a streak-free, smooth appearance to whatever is on the nail surface. Clean your brush regularly to ensure it works well.

These are just some of the main items you will need in your nail tech supply kit. There are plenty of other items you can add based on what you plan to do or what your clients want.

Buy the best items you can afford as professional tools and products last longer and perform so much better.

Best Places to Purchase Nail Art Supplies

There is a big debate about the best place to purchase nail art supplies. This is because of the rise in popularity of online sites that offer fake reviews to get more sales of low-quality supplies. 

Purchasing high-quality nail products from nail product supply houses allow you to get the products at a cheaper price to save a lot of money while guaranteeing the quality of the products.

Amazon has made these purchases very quick and easy, where professional companies can reach consumers anywhere in the country.

Upsides of Sourcing of Your Supplies Online

Almost anything that you need as a nail tech can be found online at very competitive prices, including nail art tools, supplies, equipment, and implements.

If you do not live in a bigger city, buying online can allow you access to a lot of the items you would not normally have access to without a physical store. Online suppliers can simply mail the items to you from their online catalog.

There are many sellers for nail supplies and manicurist products, which means the prices are often great deals, allowing you to offer your clients great prices too. Suppliers like Amazon and eBay are very popular for nail items.

Can You Make Your Own Nail Supply Kit?

The nail industry has become so large and advanced that most nail technicians will create their own nail supply kit with the items that they like most. This can include polishes, designs, pigments, glitters, and tools.

When you start your nail tech career, it is important to know that you don’t have to shell out heaps of cash on pre-made kits. One that you make yourself will have exactly what you want in it, and it can be lots of fun to decide on what you want in the supply kit. Plus, it can save you a lot of money to make your own kit with your chosen supplies.

How To Keep Everything Organized

You can save a lot of money by making your own nail kit by purchasing the supplies and tools in bulk. But once you have bought the items, you will need some sort of organization and storage option to keep everything neat and sorted. Most people use a large box of some sort, but the most ideal option is a nail organization and storage box.

You want it to be made from thick and durable plastic. The best thing about these tackle boxes is that they are very economical and portable, keeping everything safe and sound.

Most tackle boxes have organizational compartments, which is perfect for keeping everything ordered.

Once you have your tackle box and supplies, you will be ready to get started with your own nail tech company.

What are Nail Technicians?

Nail technicians, who are sometimes also called nail techs or manicurists, are professionals specializing in styling and shaping nails. They will commonly use all types of nails, including gel nails, acrylics, dip powders, and more.

Nails techs can also offer nail treatments like pedicures and non-medical nail care.

In the US, most states require that nail techs must be trained and licensed by local authorities to practice nail treatments. Cosmetologist training typically also includes caring for nails, if one is looking for a broader beauty career. 

In the US, most states require that nail techs must be trained and licensed by local authorities to practice nail treatments.

As you can expect with most beauty careers, nail techs need various supplies and implements to do their work. Nail professionals can work in a salon or a spa in a physical location or on cruise ships, from home, or travel to their clients for treatments.

Final Thoughts

No matter whether you are at the beginning of your nail career or are looking for fresh ideas for your supply list, we hope that this list of nail technician supplies has been helpful for you. You can use various tips and styles from the different kits to see which will work best for you. 

The best part is that you can practice all of the techniques on your own nails before trying them out on clients.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).