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Nail Design

Buying Outside of the Box

by Staff Writer | February 4, 2014

Everyone goes to the beauty supply store. Wow your clients and outdo the competition by picking up nail art supplies at unexpected locations. These nail professionals share their shopping secrets so that you think twice before you buy.

Kenneth Vo, Rose Nails, Richmond, Va.

Kenneth Vo, Rose Nails, Richmond, Va.

Where he shops: I shop where I shop because none of my local supply stores have what I want. I started buying on eBay and now I have two business partners (@DesignerNailSupply and @PINKNOVELERA) who send me free supplies for a cross promotion. I started  networking on Instagram, where I show how I use my purchases.

1. Designer Nail Supply: 3-D colored lips

1. Designer Nail Supply: 3-D colored lips

2. Designer Nail Supply: Gold nail jewelry

2. Designer Nail Supply: Gold nail jewelry

3. Designer Nail Supply: Nail chains

3. Designer Nail Supply: Nail chains

4. Designer Nail Supply: 3-D skulls

4. Designer Nail Supply: 3-D skulls


Lorri Silvestre, Nail Candy by Lorri, Grover Beach, Calif.

Lorri Silvestre, Nail Candy by Lorri,
Grover Beach, Calif.

Where she shops: Get creative nail supplies right from your own backyard and home. Why pay more when you already have them?

1. Food coloring can be used with a clear acrylic to get a stained glass or mosaic effect.

1. Food coloring can be used with a clear acrylic to get a stained glass or mosaic effect.

2. Leaves are a great way to add color and texture to nails, especially in the spring or fall. You can dry them out if you wish, but they are easy to work with.

2. Leaves are a great way to add color and texture to nails, especially in the spring or fall. You can dry them out if you wish, but they are easy to work with.

3. Use two or three spools of thread to customize a look or twirl the colors together and embed in acrylic.

3. Use two or three spools of thread to customize a look or twirl the colors together and embed in acrylic.

4. Grating crayons of two or more colors and embedding them in acrylic make such a beautiful and unique look for each client. Crayon is so easy to work with and it doesn’t bleed out either.

4. Grating crayons of two or more colors and embedding them in acrylic make such a beautiful and unique look for each client. Crayon is so easy to work with and it doesn’t bleed out either.

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Aki Ishiguro, Akyish Nails, Houston, Texas

Aki Ishiguro, Akyish Nails, Houston, Texas

Where she shops: Tat (www.tatusa.enstore.com) just launched and they supply a lot of the art supplies I buy when I go to Japan.

1. This J Pen is like a fountain pen for nail art, it creates really detailed designs. I bought white and black ink to try it out. So far so good; I may buy more colors!

1. This J Pen is like a fountain pen for nail art, it creates really detailed designs. I bought white and black ink to try it out. So far so good; I may buy more colors!

2. This brand has so many cute gems in different colors and finishes. I bought 2 and 3 mm round shapes and 3 x 6 mm diamond shapes. In Texas I wouldn’t have been able to find these anywhere else.

2. This brand has so many cute gems in different colors and finishes. I bought 2 and 3 mm round shapes and 3 x 6 mm diamond shapes. In Texas I wouldn’t have been able to find these anywhere else.


LaShara Davis, Nails by LaShara, Spokane, Wash.

LaShara Davis, Nails by LaShara, Spokane, Wash.

Where she shops: Craft stores, the Dollar Store, pet stores, and hardware stores.

1. Hardware store: I get 4 x 4 pieces of metal screen for free.

1. Hardware store: I get 4 x 4 pieces of metal screen for free.

2. Pet store: They will usually give you real snakeskin for free; just ask for it.

2. Pet store: They will usually give you real snakeskin for free; just ask for it.


Anne VanSpronsen, McIntyre’s Salon and Day Spa, Portage, Mich.

Anne VanSpronsen, McIntyre’s Salon and Day Spa, Portage, Mich.

Where she shops: Bass Pro Shop, American Certified Bullion, and hardware stores. I look for things I can use in nail art wherever I am going.

1. Bass Pro Shop: Feathers

1. Bass Pro Shop: Feathers

2. American Certified Bullion: They sell gold and silver and have sent me free vials of loose leaf gold that I use for an upgraded nail art experience. Clients love knowing where these gold leaves came from

2. American Certified Bullion: They sell gold and silver and have sent me free vials of loose leaf gold that I use for an upgraded nail art experience. Clients love knowing where these gold leaves came from

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