I'm a huge nail art enthusiast. It's my creative outlet and I spend on it more than an average woman would. Most of it are not easy to find as well or would cost you much for shipping. But trust me, there are a lot of alternatives that deliver almost the same quality and sometimes even better.
1. Nail Art Brushes
I have two sets of nail art brushes and it's easier to find unlike five years ago. Honestly, I don't get to use it as often because sometimes, it just can't deliver what my design needs. So what I do is, I purchase a regular paint brushes for bristles. If you have an old nail polish to throw out, you can use that too. Just cut off a few, dab a little clear polish on one end to keep it intact and tape it to a barbecue stick to have a handle.
More often than not, this delivers better result than the store bought one because you can estimate the thickness of the bristles that you need for your design. It's not as durable but, it works.
2. Dotting Tools
This one is effortless. You can probably see on my nail art videos that I'm using tooth pick more than an actual dotting tool. You can also use a pencil, bobby pin or a head pin. Actually, anything with a round end will be great
3. Nail Gems
You can find a lot of decals at Hortaleza or Watsons but seven years ago, we don't have it where I live. So back then, most of the nail gems I use I got from the crafting section of National Bookstore or Pandayan. Sometimes I also get to find a few at Chinese general merchandise stores and at the wet market where they sell stickers for kids. The downside is, most of it are plastic gems in round or floral shapes only.
4. Make-up Sponge
You can purchase cheap ones from Daiso or Japan homes. You can also get a dish washing sponge but sometime, it transfers with the polish. Anyway, if all your store can offer is the P35 per piece of a small make-up sponge, you may want to try using paper towels instead. It absorbs just as much liquid plus you can fold it to reach the corners. You can only use the same piece twice though or it'll transfer. But even if it does, it normally leave a smooth surface unlike the dish washing sponge.
5. Liquid Latex
Who doesn't want an easy clean up after doing your polish? Most of the nail artist use liquid latex but as of now, I cannot find it in any local store near me. Alternatively, you can use a non toxic glue or petroleum gel. I also tried using oils and it works by making you nail polish crusty so it's easier to chip off and at the same time, it hydrates you cuticles.
This is all I got so far. Is there anything you can suggest? I'd love to hear it.