Friday, September 27, 2013

FAQ: Nail Art Brushes

Hey guys! I finally have time to create a FAQ post about nail art brushes! I was asked to create a tutorial on how to use nail art brushes from and thought I should just go all the way and explain everything you'll need to know about brushes for some nail art. ;) Let's get started guys!
Brushes from KKCenterHK

So I'm going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about nail art brushes but if I missed something that you this is important, please let me know so I can add the question!
Why do you use brushes for nail art?
I think the easiest tool for nail art is a brush! Sure, you can use toothpicks/mechanical pencils but brushes will give you the best results. They also feel much more natural to use than bobby pins or whatever else you might use.
Is there any difference between 'nail art brushes' and 'regular brushes'?
There isn't a specific difference between the 2 -- obviously though nail art brushes need to be small because your canvas (aka your nails!) are much smaller than say a piece of paper or real canvas. Obviously what the bristles of the brush can vary too!
So can I use regular paint brushes for nail art?
Yes! You can use any brush you want but keep in mind, the thinner the brush, the better for nail art.
Where do you buy these nail art brushes?
Well, specifically for nail art brushes, you will most likely buy them online. I currently am using a 15 piece brush kit which you can find here but I also have some that I just bought off eBay! If you're looking to by online, I'd either just google "nail art brushes for sell" or try out where you can use the code "justforpolishpals" for a 12% off discount your total order. You can buy really small brushes that'd be perfect for nail art at craft stores like Michaels if you don't want to order online too.
What's the average price for brushes?
The price of your brushes totally depends on where you're buying from. For instance, on eBay you can find sets of brushes for like $1 but it may take FOREVER to ship or maybe the product isn't what you wanted. Craft stores tend to charge at LEAST $4 per brush because they're really nice brushes. :p So I'd say brushes are probably anywhere from $1-$8 per brush but you can get nice sets with a variety of brushes for $1-$20.
How long do your brushes last?
The life of your brush depends on how frequent you use it and also how good you've taken care of it. After I finally realized how to take care of my brushes, I've been using the same brush for like 6 months that I bought off eBay. (I've only been doing nail art for 1.25 years!)
What types of brushes are there?
For nail art, I use striper brushes (the super long, skinny one) and detail brushes (short and thin ones) the most. There are also fan and angled brushes but I don't use those very often.
Here is just an example of what the most popular brushes look like! You can read more about the brushes I use here
Okay! So I hope that answered everything you need to know about nail art brushes, but how do I do nail art?
What do you use for your nail art? Polish or paint?
I personally use acrylic paint just like I would with a "real painting" because it's much easier to clean up than polish. You only have to use water! In my opinion, to be good at nail art, having nail art brushes is really important. But the 2 colors you MUST HAVE in acrylic paint is black and white! You can use nail polish but I find it much harder to clean and tends to destroy your brushes faster than if you used paint the majority of the time.
You really need black and white acrylic paint! I use it with almost EVERY mani.
But here is my entire acrylic paint collection! :) I don't ALWAYS use acrylic paint but I do use it often when I have designs with black or white.
Where do you buy acrylic paint, how much does it cost, and how long does it last?
You can buy acrylic paint in any craft shop or any craft area. I've bought mine from Walmart and Michaels. The paint from Walmart (Apple Barrel Brand) is only like $0.59 cents a bottle! So cheap and works great. Oh, I've I've had all these bottles for at least a year... They last waaaay longer than polish -- and that is why black and white acrylic paint is essential! I haven't ever had to replace my acrylic paint.
So what do I do if I only have polish?
I'm not saying you HAVE to have acrylic paint to do nail art, but it makes nail art so much simpler! However, if you only have polish, you can still use that with your brushes! It just takes a lot more effort to clean. I don't recommend using nail polish remover (acetone) to clean your brushes!! I ALWAYS use nail polish thinner to clean my brushes with nail polish on them.
This is the nail polish thinner I use! I just pour some onto a cloth and clean the bristles of my brushes. :) You can buy this thinner from Sally's Beauty Supply.
Okay, I think I hit everything but I have one last photo which is my little tutorial on how I use brushes:
 I open the cap of the acrylic paint and just put it upside down. Then I dip the brush (right now I'm using a striper brush) into the paint. Go ahead and paint onto your nails now! I was painting a black leaf for my rose nails. Finally, when you're done with the acrylic paint (or just want to use another color lol), all you have to do is rinse off with water. I use a bowl of water and paper towels to dry off and clean my brushes. (And yes, I have my designated paint bowl which I've kept for a few months. I rinse it out when the water gets super murky). It's just that easy!
If you're using nail polish, just put some nail polish onto some scrap paper and dip your brush in and paint it onto your nail but remember to clean RIGHT AFTER YOU'RE DONE with either nail polish thinner or acetone. Water will NOT clean up nail polish.
You must clean and dry your brushes after you're done using them and they'll last you a while! If you forget to clean the brushes, you may have to replace them because the bristles will dry and clump together and you will be a sad panda. :( As for storage, I just store all my brushes in a spare cup. Make sure your brushes are upright too (bristles coming out of the cup) so they aren't getting squished which will also ruin them. :/
Woah. Super, super long post but I hope this was really helpful to those who want to get better at nail art! Remember, it just takes a lot of practice BUT nail art brushes can help you get better a lot faster! :) Let me know if you still have any questions at all!
Your Polish Pal,


  1. Awesome post! That was very helpful!
    I love Nail art and this certainly helps to see this art from a different (brush) perspective.

  2. Lovely post! Thanks a bunch for ALL the great ideas! I paint ceramics and NEVER even thought to use my acrylics for my nail art! Duh!! LOL!! ��
    I have a silly question though... what do you do to finish the nail off?? Anything special or will a regular top coat be sufficient?? I just didn't want to do a nail, have it turn out spectacular, only for me to ruin it with the wrong finish!!! Hahaha!! My luck tends to turn out that way! ��
    Thanks again for ALL of your help! And I hope to hear from you soon so I can get started on some 4th of July/Summer nail art ideas!! ��
    Take care!

  3. Hey thats great!!!

  4. I really love it !!!! It was AWESOME ^.^

  5. Annonymous, I have been doing nails for 19 years, and have always used Acrylic paint for the nail art. It's the best. it dries quick and u can use with gel polish or regular polish. Yes you just topcoat it.

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