Part of being a nail technician means keeping a check on your stock levels and ensuring you have an adequate number of supplies.

Nail technician supplies will vary between technicians – depending on your experience level or the style of nails you most commonly work on. Students and beginners may not have a full kit for example and need time to build up their kit, and if you mainly work with gel, you wouldn’t need acrylic supplies so much.

However, there are some common nail supplies that every technician will need – whether you are a newbie or run a salon.

Read on for a full list of common supplies and a brief description.

Nail Technician Supplies Checklist

As mentioned, there are some items you absolutely need to be able to function as a nail tech. Here are some top supplies and what they’re used for.

The Basic Essentials

  • Nail clippers – nail clippers are used for quickly reducing nail length on both fingernails and toenails. Invest in a good quality pair of clippers and you will only have to buy them once.
  • Nail files – there are many types of nail files and emery boards available. Emery boards are for smoothing the nail surface and files are used to create a smooth finish on the free edge of the nail.
  • Buffers – buffers are used for preparing the nail for polish and creating a smooth even surface. For the best value for money, choose long-lasting buffers that work with various systems.
  • Cuticle pusher – a must-have for any nail technician, a cuticle pusher is used to push away dead tissue from the nail for a clean and neat appearance.
  • Nippers – cuticle nippers are used to cleanly cut away dead skin cells in the cuticle area and are another essential nail prep item. Choose quality stainless steel nippers for a long-lasting piece of kit.
  • Glue – glue is essential for attaching tips to nail beds when using an acrylic dipping system. It can also be used to attach nail art. Choose a brush-on glue for more control.
  • Cuticle oil – say no to dry looking fingers and finish every manicure with an oil, cream, or lotion. Brush on oil is ideal for keeping in your kit whilst oil pens are ideal for selling to clients. 
  • Sanitisers – sanitisers and nail cleansers are essential for your safety and that of your client. A cleanser should be used on nails before starting work on a client and all equipment that isn’t disposable, such as nippers, should be thoroughly cleaned.
  • Dappen dishdappen dishes can be used to hold liquids, powders, nail art items or glitter. Buy several as they really come in handy for lots of different things!
  • Soak off bowlsoak-off bowls are used for the removal of nail enhancements or gel polish. They can also be used for pampering as part of a manicure service.
  • Acetone alternatives – soak solutions are an alternative to acetone when it comes to the removal of ordinary or gel polish. Use a soak-off solution in conjunction with a bowl for gentle removal and cleansing.
  • Acetoneacetone is something you will use frequently so ensure you are stocked up! Most frequently used for the removal of acrylic nails or gel polish.
  • Nail wipes/cotton padsnail wipes are used for removing tacky coatings, cleaning nails and numerous other purposes so always have a good supply on hand. Traditional cotton pads come in useful too.
  • Electric file – also known as an E file, an electric file is optional but many nail technicians find them useful when they have a lot of clients to perform services for.
  • Swatch sticks/displays – these plastic nails are ideal for showing clients examples of designs you can do and the range of colours you offer.
  • Brushes – the type of brushes you need will depend on the work you are doing but expect to need nail art brushes, an acrylic brush, or gel brush.

Nail Systems

Whichever nail system you use, you will need a steady supply of consumables. This includes:

  • Acrylic powders
  • Resin activator
  • Base and topcoats
  • Nail tips
  • Nail forms 
  • Gel polish
  • Traditional nail polish
  • Nail art supplies such as glitter and other additions

Nail Supply Kits

This list isn’t inclusive of absolutely everything you need, there will be some things you use more than others and some items you barely ever need. You will learn as you progress, how much of certain supplies you need to work on x number of clients or last you for a set period.

For beginners, a good way to ensure you have most of the basics on this list is to buy complete kits. Once you build your confidence and find your style, you can start to add other supplies you may need.

Here are examples of complete kits you can buy:

Visit the Posh Look Shop

Posh Look is a well-established Nail Brand and Training school based in the UK. We have 3 training centres in the North West – Rawtenstall, Rochdale and Widnes and also sell a wide range of nail technician supplies.

Use the links in this article to view specific items or view all the products we sell here in our shop.

If you need help choosing products or would like advice, please get in touch. You can call us on 01706 551 810, email us at or fill out our online form.