What We Like
Dozens of appealing designs
Comes with versatile nail art tools
What We Don't Like
Practice polish is watery and streaky
Intricate designs take patience and practice
A bit pricey
Pandas, penguins, and cupcakes topped with sprinkles and a heart—these are just a few of the 25 designs that kids can learn to make with the Klutz Nail Style Studio Kit. Klutz is known for creating craft packets for kids that really teach, and this is no exception. The full-color illustrated book helpfully details every step in the nail design process. The kit also includes stencils, practice nail polish, and a versatile dotting tool that’s essential for adding intricate details. We asked our 12- and 15-year-old daughters—and their 8-year-old friend—to test out the set, which is hailed as a go-to gift for 11-year-old girls.
Design: Eye-catching and inspiring
We found that the book’s sturdy, glossy pages and simple formatting made it easy for the kids to follow, while the bright colors and fun accents gave the set plenty of young-person appeal. Photos of multicultural teens modeling their cute nails while sipping cocoa or playing the guitar made each design that much more irresistible. All three girls found it hard to decide which design to start with!
As for the materials themselves, we thought that the six included bottles of polish were a bit small, and the consistency was watery (more on that later). The dotting tool was a hit with our 12- and 15-year-old daughters, while the stencils were easier for the 8-year-old to handle.
The six bottles of polish that were included were a bit small, and the consistency was watery.
Entertainment Value: Artistic and absorbing
The included nail polish takes a while to properly dry, so even the simplest polka-dot design will take at least 20 minutes to execute. The more intricate ideas that require layering colors take even longer. But watching the flamingo, owl, or sneaker style take shape was exciting and addicting, which meant our kids stayed engaged for the long haul. And, since there are 25 fun designs to choose from, we love that they can come back to the kit again and again to try something new.
Keep in mind that younger kids (and the non-artistically inclined) might have trouble making their artwork look like the picture, especially if they’re attempting more complex designs. They may get frustrated and want to give up. But the six peel-off practice polishes are included as a way to encourage kids to expect mistakes and keep trying.
Age Range: Ideal for older tweens and teens
All of the kids had fun, but the older girls had the most success. While simple designs, like polka dots and stencils, are a little more manageable, the advanced styles proved to be more challenging for elementary-age kids. Even with step-by-step illustrations and detailed instructions, these ideas take patience, time (remember, it involves letting several stages of paint dry), and a steady hand, making the kit ideal for older tweens and teens.
Ease of Cleaning: Polish peels off
The kit includes six small bottles of non-toxic nail polish in an array of colors. It’s meant for practicing designs, so it’s not as thick as regular polish. When our girls messed up, they simply peeled it off and started again—no need to continually douse their nails in acetone. This also means if it spills, it’s easy to clean up. However, we found that most kids will quickly want to graduate to real nail polish, so be sure to have newspaper on hand to protect your surfaces.
All of the kids had fun, but the older girls had the most success … The advanced styles proved to be more challenging for elementary-age kids.
Price: Not cheap, but worth it
The kit includes a 60-page, full-color book with 25 designs, a dotting tool, stencils, and six small bottles of practice nail polish, all for around $25. Is it a bargain? Yes and no. Sure, you’d pay more initially if you bought the components separately: Dotting tools typically come in a set of five for about $8, a nail art book with 50 to 75 designs will run about $15, and stencils cost $7 to $10.
But polish purchased elsewhere would probably last longer than the bottles that come in this kit—so it’s possible you’d get more for your money that way. But it definitely won’t have the same impact as this starter kit designed just for young people.
While those other kits only work as long as they haven’t run out of polish and stickers, the Klutz kit offers a useful book and tool that can be used again and again.
Klutz Nail Style Studio Kit vs. ALEX Spa Sketch It Nail Pens and Ultimate Nail Glam Salon Kits
When it comes to offering a nail art set that focuses on teaching, not just playing, the Klutz kit wins hands-down. The ALEX Spa Sketch It Nail Pens allow kids to doodle on their nails with a fine-tipped polish pen, while the Ultimate Nail Glam Salon Kit relies on stickers and gems to create designs. These kits only work as long as the polish pen and stickers last, but the Klutz kit offers a useful book and dotting tool that can be used again and again.
60-page book of designs, 6 bottles of non-toxic peel-off nail polish, nail design tool, 250 stick-on stencils
A great gift for tweens and teens.
If you have a mani-pedi-obsessed tween or teen in your life, this kit will help them create adorable designs they never thought they could do themselves. The instructions and tools included extend the longevity of the kit past the shelf life of the practice polish and can set the stage for a fun nail art hobby that will last for years.
- Product Name Nail Style Studio Kit
- Product Brand Klutz
- Price $24.99
- Weight 13.6 oz.
- Product Dimensions 8.2 x 1.2 x 9.3 in.
- Manufacturer Recommended Age Range 10-15 years