UV Nail Lamps AKA Nail Dryer

UV Nail Lamps AKA Nail Dryer imageUV nail lamps are an essential item for those who are serious about their nail art. If you are looking to buy one, scroll down to the bottom of the page where you can find some good quality nail dryers on sale at Amazon.

What’s so great about a UV nail curing lamp? They can reduce drying time to under a minute depending on the quality and wattage of your nail dryer. UV nail lamps are also known as UV lamps, nail dryers, UV nail curing lamps, UV curing machines or equipment.

What to look for in a UV nail lamp?

Ideally you want to buy a 36W UV nail lamp as this will allow you to dry Shellac Nail Polish as well. Any lower wattage and it can take forever and if you go any higher you could risk skin damage to your hands if you use the dryer without sun protection administered.

Will you be wanting to paint your toenails as well? If so you need to be able to buy a lamp that will fit one foot at a time in to help speed up the drying process. Some nail dryers come with removable plates so there is enough room to squeeze in a foot.

It can be worth paying a bit extra for a lamp with a timer built in. This will ensure you always dry your nails for the required amount of time.

Points to consider before purchasing a nail dryer

How much can you afford to spend? When you decide you are going to skip the salon to start creating beautiful nails designs at home you need to ask yourself how much you are willing to pay for your nail art supplies? Keep in mind how much money you normally spend at the salon and how long you want the process to take at home.

How long do you want to spend doing your own nails at home? Some 9W UV nail curing lamps will take 3 minutes for each coloured gel nail as coloured polish takes longer for the UV light to penetrate. Multiply that 3 minutes by how many times you need to use the nail dryer and how many coats you will be applying. Do you have that much time to spare?

Will you be using Shellac Nail Polish at home? If so, shellac requires you cure your nail with 36W UV curing equipment.

It might be cheaper to buy a battery operated nail dryer at first but think of how annoying it will be changing the batteries when you are half way through drying your nails. The cost of batteries over time will also start to add up.



  • Possible UV damage to your hands – this can be avoided by wearing a good Broad Spectrum Sun Cream that blocks UVA and UVB rays. Another way to avoid UV damage is to wear a pair of Anti UV gloves which are full arm gloves that only expose the nail beds. Further studies are being conducted on the damage caused by nail dryers.
  • Price – decent UV curing machines can be expensive, this is why it is necessary to weigh up how much you would be spending in the salon to work out what you can afford to spend at home. A good quality nail dryer can be a very good investment.
  • Replacing UV lamp bulbs can be fiddly and annoying.

LED vs UV nail dryers

UV Nail Lamps AKA Nail Dryer (2) imageYou might be considering buying a LED Lamp as a way to minimise UV damage. If this is the case you should be aware that LED lamps still can cause skin cancer, they omit UV rays as well.

Before making a purchase you will need to research first whether an LED lamp will dry your nail products. With some gel nails it is necessary to buy an LED cured gel nail polish and this can be expensive and doesn’t normally have the range of colours. OPI and Red Carpet both sell LED cured gel nail products and both lots of products look great and are easy to apply.

LED nail lamps are expensive at first but you will never need to have to replace any bulbs (they promise 50,000 hours) and they work fast. As LED lamps are more efficient you will be doing your bit for the environment as well. Read up on the best LED Lamps in my recent post.

Decent Nail Dryer brands

I’ve tested both the USpicy and Vogue brands of Nail Dryers and have been happy with the results for both. If you are looking to spend a bit more money you might want to consider investing in a professional UV lamp these normally cost $100 or more but they have a longer warranty and come with extra features such as timers and have UV lamps on the top and sides of the nail dryer.

If you’re looking for nail dryers that have built-in timers as well.

Lynda Wyatt


Acrylic Nail Supplies

Acrylic Nail Supplies picIf you are new to doing your own acrylic nails then when buying acrylic nail supplies it might be worthwhile buying an acrylic nail kit. Most kits come with all the basics you need and also have detailed instructions.

If you decide to buy your nail art supplies separately – here are the basics that you will need to purchase.

Acrylic Nails Supplies List

  • Acrylic files and clippers – normal nail files and clippers don’t work as well on acrylic nails.
  • Acrylic Liquid – Monomer
  • Acrylic Powder – Polymer
  • Mixing bowl
  • Acrylic brush
  • Acrylic tips
  • Nail tip glue – only necessary if you are using acrylic tips
  • Q-tips
  • Cushion nail file
  • Paper towels
  • Non-acetone nail polish remover – acetone will dissolve acrylics
  • Top coat
  • Acrylic nail drill
  • Acetone nail polish – only when you want to remove acrylics permanently
  • Cuticle pusher or orange wood stick
  • Cuticle oil

Acrylic Nails Info

Acrylic nails can be harmful to your nail bed so it is best to know the facts about using acrylic nails before you apply them and possibly ruin your nails.

Where to buy acrylic nail supplies?

With proper application and removal of your acrylics you will do minimal damage to your nails, what ruins nails is over-filing on application and over-drilling on removal.

If you do use acrylics regularly it is healthy to have a break for a few months every year. This allows your nail bed to breathe and your nails to grow back naturally.

When wearing acrylics it is important to be aware if a gap develops between the acrylic nail and your natural nail as this can cause an infection on the nail. Other causes might be if your acrylics are too rigid or too long, or if you do not clean your tools well before applying the acrylics. You will know if you have a nail infection as the nail will be sore and inflamed.

Avoid pushing back or trimming your cuticles immediately prior to applying acrylics as this can also increase the risk of a nail infection. Make sure you protect the skin around your nails from the chemicals used in acrylics.

Always apply your acrylics in a well-ventilated area or outside if possible as the fumes can be strong enough to cause blackouts. Pregnant women are usually advised to avoid using acrylics because of this reason.

Cheap Acrylic Nail Supplies Online

If you are looking where to purchase your nail art supplies. Go to Born Pretty Store who stock a large range of cheap acrylic products or read my post on where to buy acrylic nail art supplies.

Another great place to find a good deal on acrylic nail art supplies is Amazon. Here are some that I found recently.

Dotting Tool for Nails

One of the most handy nail art supplies you can have in your kit is a dotting tool for nails. As the name suggests, it is a tool that makes dotting patterns but it can do so much more, it is great for making stripes, swirls and flower designs. Nail dotting tools are very adaptable to any design.

Nail dotting tool set imageBy using nail dotting tools you can make simple nail art designs by hand. Dotting tools are cheap to buy and can be bought separately or as a set. Or alternatively you can make your own dotting tool from items around the house.

The picture opposite shows a very good value nail dotting tool sets from Born Pretty Store. It shows their 2 way 5 set of dotting tools that have different angled and sized dots. They are really good value and can be used for professional or home use. They also sell a set of two dotting tools if you are looking for something under $2. Don’t forget about the free worldwide shipping so there are no extra hidden costs.

DIY Dotting Tools

If you’re new to nail design or don’t have the money to spend on nail dotter tools then you can try making your own at home. Here are some items from around the house that you can use to make a simple nail dotting implement.

  • Bobby pins – just stretch out the bobby pin and starting dotting!
  • Toothpicks – for really small dots.
  • Straight pins – rummage through your sewing kit or use the type from a cork board. If you want more control when using these pins you can try sticking the pin end in a pencil eraser or a wine cork. It works a treat!
  • DIY dotting tool imageSmall hardware nails – these work great and you can use the same tips for straight pins by attaching them to a pencil or a wine cork.
  • Biros – ideally use one that has run out of ink.
  • End of a small paint/nail brush – just flip your brush around and you’ll find a new dotting tool waiting to be used.

When using my dotting tools either store bought or a DIY dotting tool I like to test out the size of the dots on a piece of paper before applying it to my nail. It saves me from creating a blobby mess on my own nails!



Stamping Nail Art

Stamping Nail Art ImageStamping Nail Art is easy, fast and you end up with unique beautiful nails. If you don’t have a steady hand or don’t like the idea of doing freehand nail art designs then stamping nail art is for you. It allows you to stamp on nail art to apply beautiful delicate images on to your nails in minutes. There are lots of stamping plate images to choose from.

It becomes very cheap once you have made the initial outlay on your stamping kit, you will be about to do cool nail art at home for a fraction of the price.

All you need to get started is a Nail Art Stamp Set this should contain a nail art stamp/stamper, scraper and some image plates/nail art stencils. These nail art supplies can all be found at beauty supply stores or bought cheaply online. Here is a list of some reputable suppliers that sell quality and not cheap nail art supplies.

  • Konad Nail Art Stamping Kit – they are the pioneers of Stamping Nail Art
  • Mash – they sell Konad images at a cheaper price, the quality isn’t always as good though
  • Born Pretty – another company that sell Konad copies
  • Bundle Monster Nail Art – have a huge range and cheaper than Konad
  • Cheeky – cheaper than Konad but the plates are sometimes not deep enough
  • ENAS – these are usually sold with nail polish as a set and don’t work out as good value
  • Shany – my favourite brand after Konad as they have some great designs

You don’t need to use any special types of nail polish with nail art stamping, for best results you should use a nail polish that only requires one coat to cover your nail. I’ve attached a video so you can see how quickly you can get stamping with some nail art designs step by step!

  • Before stamping you need to wait for your base layer of nail polish to completely dry before you can start.
  • Apply desired colour to the stamping image plate.
  • Use the scraper to remove any excess nail polish from the plate, use this at a 45 degree angle.
  • Use the stamp to press down softly on the image plate.
  • Stamp the image on your nail.
  • When applying the stamp image plate, do not press too hard as this can cause the image to smudge.
  • You need to work quickly to get the best results and don’t work in a room with a fan or air conditioning as this may cause the transfer to dry before applying it to your nails.
  • You might need to clean your stamper between every nail or second nail, use your own judgement here.
  • Clean your cuticles of any excess nail polish before applying the top coat.
Nail Stamping Art Kit
Nail Stamping Art Kit

Once you are happy with the results it is best to wait a few minutes to ensure that it has dried before adding a top coat. Again it is best to use a nail polish that only needs one coat application. Applying more layers of the top coat can cause the nail stamping to smear.

There is quite an art form to using stamping nail art kits at home, the best thing to do is just keep practising until you get it right. Once you do get it right you’ll find it addictive and your beautiful nails will be the envy of all your friends!

Here is a link to the BornPrettyStore which have a very inexpensive array of items including really nice Nail Stamping Kits, like the products shown to the right. Have fun!

Here are a few products that I found on Amazon that I thought you might like.

Where to Buy Acrylic Nail Supplies?

Acrylic Nail pics imageIf you love the look of acrylic nails and want to start doing them yourself at home, you might be asking yourself where to buy acrylic nail supplies? This post will give you details on which acrylic nail suppliers are reputable and offer a good price.

It is always best to pay for your first set of acrylic nails in a salon. This way you are able to watch a professional nail artist apply and remove the acrylic nails and decide if it is something you want to try at home. You will be surprised by how cheap acrylic nail kits can be and once you have decided to try acrylic nails DIY you will save yourself a ton of money by not visiting the salon every couple of weeks for infills and the removal.

Types of Acrylic Nails

Acrylic nails can cover the whole nail or you can buy acrylic tips for your nails.

Nails can be glued directly on to your nail bed or you can prepare the acrylic product yourself. To do this you will require a polymer, which is the powder and the monomer, which is a liquid acrylic product – use a brush to apply. It normally takes a few minutes to harden so you will need to work quickly during the application process. There’s no need to buy a nail dryer or a UV lamp for the hardening process which makes acrylic nail kits cheap compared to gel nails and all the associated nail art supplies.

Cheap Acrylic Nail Kits

pics of acrylic nailsYou can buy acrylic nails online. If you are just starting out you might consider buying a do it yourself acrylic nails kit – these usually come with the drill that is necessary for taking off acrylic nails.

The best acrylic nails starter kit are from Kiss. If you want to know where to buy acrylic nail supplies individually consider any of the following brands – Creative, Entity, EZ Flow or Young Nails which are all sold at Amazon.

Where to Buy Acrylic Nail Supplies Cheap?

bornprettyBorn Pretty Store have acrylic nail products for sale at really cheap prices. If you are looking for cheap acrylic nail kits than Born Pretty are probably the cheapest online stockist you will find.

Another great online nail shop to buy acrylic nail kit supplies is from the UK based Viva La Nails. Viva La Nails have a lot of quality nail products and you can find plenty of acrylic and gel nail supplies for sale. You can find professional acrylic nail kits and they do offer a wholesale discount for those who buy in bulk.

Another great place to find some good online deals is at Amazon.