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In need of a fresh manicure but you’re still waiting for Phase 3 to commence before you head down to a nail salon? Then it’s time for a DIY paint job. If you’re bored of plain old nail polish and tired of waiting for your coats to dry, however, we have a suggestion: nail pens.

With fine or flat brush tips, nail pens make it easy to draw on intricate designs and patterns. Plus, your 10 digits will be dry in no time, so you don’t have to blow at your nails or dip them in a bath of cold water. Think of it as the adult version of painting your nails with a highlighter pen (we know you’ve tried it at least once when you were younger).

If you’re ready to have some fun, here are the nail pens to add to your collection! But before that, let us give you a quick introduction to nail pens and how to use them.

How to use a nail pen

First, decide if you want a coloured base. A bright background can make your nail design pop, but if you want to keep things simple, a clear background using regular topcoat looks great too.


To shade in your base colour, use a nail pen with an angled brush tip. This will give you more coverage in one swipe. Go over it twice or thrice to build up the opacity.


For pens with a pointed, marker-like tip, you can use them to draw on anything you please. Experiment with dots and stripes if you’re still getting the hang of it. Once you’re more comfortable, you can play up your illustrations and patterns. Here’s some nail inspo for your next nail pen art!






Nail pens with flat, angled tips for base colour

Yiber 3 in 1 Gel Nail Polish Pen

Nail Pens Yiber 3 In 1 Gel Nail Polish Pen

This set of nail pens come in 20 different shades, so you can mix and match for various background shades. Each pen uses a non-toxic formula that’s quick-drying and easy to use.

Yiber 3 in 1 Gel Nail Polish Pen (20 shades) retails for $37.80 at Shopee.

Yinikiz 3 In 1 Gel Nail Varnish Pen

Nail Pens Yinikiz Nail Polish

Available in 18 colours, the Yinikiz nail pen has our go-to reds and pinks.

Yinikiz 3 In 1 Gel Nail Varnish Pen retails from US$0.55 – US$1.46 each at AliExpress.

1 Step Nail Painting Varnish Pen

Nail Pens Gel Painting

If you like gel manicures, try this nail varnish pen. Once it dries down, it leaves an ultra-glossy finish, so you won’t have to apply a topcoat over it.

1 Step Nail Painting Varnish Pen retails for S$4.09 at Shopee.

Nail pens with fine, pointed tips for details

One Step Gel Varnish Pen

Nail Pens One Step Gel Varnish

This gel formula comes in 12 solid colours in hi-shine finishes and six glittery shades.

One Step Gel Varnish Pen retails from $2.61 – $3.19 each at Shopee.

16 Colors Set Nail Art Pen

Nail Pens 16 Colors Set

With a pointed, marker-like tip, creating cute nail designs in a breeze. This set contains 16 colours.

16 Colors Set Nail Art Pen retails for S$18.70 at Shopee.

Uni POSCA Paint Marker Pen – Extra Fine Point

Nail Pens Uni Posca

These may not be professional nail pens, but POSCA’s water-based pigment ink is non-toxic, lightfast, and waterproof. Plenty of people have experimented using them on their nails too, with great results!

Uni POSCA Paint Marker Pen – Extra Fine Point (12 colours) retails for S$48.90 at Amazon.