9 Best Nail Art Brushes & Brush Sets

nail art brushes

Using the best nail art brushes makes all the difference when you’re working on a manicure. With the wrong brushes, you can’t get the control you need and end up with fibers shedding from the brush stuck to your nails. These are the best nail art and acrylic nail brushes around.

What Are the Best Nail Art Brushes?

set of paint brushes and nail art tools Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Includes dotting tools and striping tape
  • Organizer bag
  • Wide range of brush shapes
Price: $15.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
misaki brush in case Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Kolinsky sable
  • Crimped for flatter center
  • Perfect for applying acrylic
Price: $26.75 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Blue rhinestone nail brush Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Kolinsky sable brushes
  • Different sizes are different colors
  • Quality cap
Price: $9.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
purple nail brush with case Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Kolinsky sable brushes
  • Variety of sizes
  • Salon-grade materials
Price: $16.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Three micro-thin liner brushes Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Suitable for polish, acrylic, and gel
  • Three different sizes
  • Holds up to acetone
Price: $9.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
brushes for painting flowers Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Unique botanical shapes
  • Perfect for flowers, leaves, and feathers
  • Makes nail art faster
Price: $9.48 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
fine tipped paint brushes Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Perfect for fine detail
  • Includes striping brush
  • Known stamping brand
Price: $7.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
turquoise paint brush set Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Includes case
  • Double-sided for 16 tools
  • Well-known brand
Price: $10.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
nail art tool kit Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Wide range of tools
  • Affordable
  • Comes with striping tape and rhinestones
Price: $8.19 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Beaute Galleria 50-Piece Nail Art Kit

    • 15 brushes of many different shapes
    • Five double-ended dotting tools
    • Includes bag to hold brushes and dotting tools
    • For gel, acrylic, or nail polish.
    • 30 rolls of striping tape
    • Trusted brand
    • Good value for the money
    • Brushes are synthetic
    • You may not need all of the extras
    • No dedicated clean up brush

    If you’re just getting into nail art I highly recommend the Beaute Galleria Nail Art Bundle. The set comes with 15 different nail brushes, five double-sided dotting tools for a total of 10 sizes of dots, 30 rolls of colorful striping tape, and an organizing pouch with built-in slots for your brushes and dotting tools. 

    The brush set includes a wide variety of brush sizes and shapes including oblique gel brushes, flat gel brushes, fan brush, 3D sculpting brush, striping brush, and three sizes of detailed painting brushes.

    The five dotting tools are a great inclusion that both makes creating dots and circles easier and gives you more tools to play with and discover what you like using. I actually prefer to use my dotting tools over brushes when doing less intricate reverse stamping work as I find it’s less likely to smudge. 

    Unless you are striping day in and day out, 30 rolls of striping tape is going to last you a while. With this set, you get a bunch of different colors including metallics, holographics, and stripes. Striping tape is versatile in that you can apply it and leave it like a nail sticker or use it to create your own stencils. 

    Overall it’s a nice bundle to set you up with all the tools you need to get started for an affordable price. I featured Beaute Galleria’s nail mat in my Best Nail Mat guide.

  2. 2. Misaki Kolinsky Crimped Acrylic Brushes

    • Built for applying acrylic with greater control
    • Kolinsky sable brushes
    • Crimped for a flatter brush
    • Long-lasting
    • Lightweight
    • Wide range of sizes
    • Pricier than others
    • Not for painting detailed work
    • Not everyone loves the thicker handle size
    • Requires special care and no acetone

    These Japanese Misaki brushes are carefully designed to help you work faster with more control when applying acrylic. The pure Kolinsky sable is crimpled at the base to create a bowing in the center of the brush which gives it a flatter shape without compromising the round tip. With this shape, you can use more of the brush to create a more even application of acrylic.

    It’s an extremely lightweight design making it perfect for preventing hand fatigue during long sessions of work and it comes with a protective cap and case. The Kolinsky bristles have been treated for working with acrylic and will function better if not cleaned with acetone.

    You can get a wide range of sizes in this brush style depending on your preference from size #8 brushes up to size #22 brushes.

  3. 3. Kolinksy Brushes by Twinkled T

    • Kolinsky sable brush
    • Cute rhinestone handles
    • Matching color cap
    • Different styles and shapes
    • Trusted indie brand
    • Pricier than others
    • Not a huge range of brushes
    • Not all Twinkled T brushes are Kolinsky so make sure you check

    I love sticking with indie nail art brand when I can and I love Twinkled T. Their line of Kolinsky sable brushes are durable, well-designed, and cute to boot. I like that their caps are sturdy like marker caps instead of those clear plastic tools that cheaper brushes come with.

    It provides so much more protection which is important because if you’re good to Kolinsky the brush can have a seriously long lifespan. My glitter-loving soul is enamored with the rhinestone filled handles and each size is a different color, as well as clearly marked, so it’s much easier to quickly grab the one you want. This is teal one is the #000 liner brush for fine details and their #00 cleanup brush is bright pink.

    Twinkled T’s brushes are more geared toward nail stamping and freehand nail art and are best for those working with gel nail polish.

  4. 4. Pana Professional Kolinsky Acrylic Nail Brushes

    • Perfect for nail acrylic and UV builder gel
    • Konlinky sable brush
    • Range of sizes
    • Salon-grade
    • Not vegan
    • Not for fine detail painting
    • Pricier than others

    For professional nail technicians working with acrylic and UV gel, there’s nothing like natural Kolinsky brushes. Kolinsky sable brushes use the fur of a weasel (not actually a sable) and are considered the best brushes available in the nail and fine art world. 

    If your thought is a brush is a brush is a brush, consider sitting your Apple laptop next to some off-brand laptop and deciding if you think there’s a difference. Quality materials and made are everything. Kolinsky handles differently than synthetic and is longer lasting.

    This Pana brush has a lovely oval shape perfect for shaping acrylic and comes in a range of sizes for size six to 22. If you’re not sure about sizes, according to Nails Mag, bigger tends to be better for acrylic application. 

  5. 5. Anself Nail Art Liner Brush Set

    • Super-fine liner brushes for detail
    • Three differents sizes in the set
    • Work with nail polish, acrylic, and UV gel
    • Come with protective caps
    • Holds up to acetone
    • Cute rhinestone handles
    • Only liner brushes
    • Synthetic brushes
    • A little heavy for some

    I’m a sucker for shiny things so I love these brushes from Anself that have a hollow handle filled with rhinestones. The set is of three liner brushes in sizes 3 (11 millimeters long), 2 (nine millimeters long, and 1, (a teensy seven millimeters.)

    The super-thin liner brushes are perfect for very fine detail work and doing freehand nail art. They’re durable enough to work with nail polish, acrylic, and gel as well as handle cleaning with acetone. They have a little bit of heft to them that some folks love and others don’t. It’s all a matter of preference there. 

  6. 6. Specialized Gradient Brushes

    • Eight unique shapes
    • Gradients create instant shadowing
    • Perfect for botanical images like flowers
    • No lining or clean up brushes
    • Really just for this style of art
    • Not a well-known brand

    These aren’t your typical nail brushes. They’re carefully designed to create organic looking images without spending forever freehanding them.

    Flowers have an undeniable organic, individual look to them that comes off as cold and lifeless when it’s too uniform, but painting the details on each petal by hand would take hours. My hat is off to those nail artists who love that stuff, but I do not have the time.

    These brushes are meant to be dipped into a couple different colors of polish and then when painted they create a gradient petal shape that has shadowing built right in giving your nail art 3D depth.

    It takes some practice to use a technique like this (and I recommend playing with them on paper before your nails) but once you get the hang of it, you can whizz through flowers, feathers, leaves, and other shapes from nature.

  7. 7. Winstonia Fine Tipped Detail Brushes

    • Affordable
    • Four detail brushes and one striping brush
    • Perfect for very fine details
    • Liner brushes are different sizes
    • Known stamping brand
    • No wider brushes
    • Synthetic brushes
    • Doesn't include storage pouch

    When you’re looking for precision, you need super-fine liner brushes and this set from Winstonia has that covered. It’s a five-piece set of four different size liner brushes with ultra-fine tips for the most intricate details as well as a thin striping brush for creating lines. 

    It’s a straightforward set without any flash or extras which keeps the price down and doesn’t leave you with stuff you don’t want or need. 

  8. 8. Maniology 8-Piece Dual-Sided Set

    • Trusted brand
    • Eight brushes and eight dotting tools
    • Variety of brush shapes
    • Includes organizing case
    • Compact dual-ended design
    • Not for use with acrylic or monomer
    • Clean with non-acetone
    • Synthetic brushes

    This set from Maniolgy (formerly Bundle Monster) is geared toward nail stampers and less toward 3D hard gel art or freehand work. If you do a lot of reverse stamping and need a set of tools that won’t take up a ton of space, this may be exactly what you need.

    The eight handles each hold a brush on one end and a dotting tool on the other so you can store 16 tools in the space of eight slots. I love using dotting tools for covering larger areas and detail brushes for smaller images in my reverse stamping so this is an awesome setup. For brushes, you get three different detail brushes, one striping brush, and four shapes of clean-up brushes.

    These are for gel and regular nail polish as well as traditional art paints like acrylic. They aren’t meant to hold up to working with nail acrylic or monomers so grab a more durable set if that’s your medium. It’s also best to clean these with non-acetone as acetone can strip the color from the pretty turquoise handles.

  9. 9. Teenitor Nail Art Design Kit

    • 15-piece brush set
    • Double-ended dotting tools
    • Striping tape and rhinetones
    • Very affordable
    • Not the highest quality
    • Synthetic brushes
    • Won't hold up to acetone

    This set is perfect for those who are just starting out in nail art or those who are looking for a wider range of tools but aren’t necessarily professionals in the field. The Teenitor set fits into this list because of its variety, value, and price. They aren’t the best nail art brushes out there, but they might be the best nail brushes for you.

    It comes with 15 nail brushes (including liner brushes, fan brushes, oblique brushes, and flat brushes), five double-ended dotting tools, 10 rolls of metallic striping tape, and two 12-pot containers of nail rhinestones. That’s certainly the tools you’d need to experiment with several different types of nail art. 

    I have this set of dotting tools and they’ve held up for me for years with no troubles.

    Because of the price, I would stick to nail polish, acrylic paint, and gel with these. If you’re using nail acrylic or builder gel, I would invest in a professional set. Similarly, you’ll want to clean them with non-acetone remover.

What type of brush do I need?

It really depends on the type of work you want to be doing, although everyone needs a good clean up brush. A cleanup brush is a dense oval or angled brush used to clean up the edges of your manicure and remove any polish that has strayed onto your skin.

Acrylics. If you're a professional working with nail extensions you want acrylic brushes, preferably with Kolinsky sable bristles which can hold up to daily use for years with the right maintenance. Avoid cleaning with acetone and instead, use a monomer soak.

Detail work. If your nail art is more in the freehand painting or nail stamping category, you're going to want smaller, more varied brushes to get the level of detail you need. This is also where fan brushes, asymmetrical, and super-long brushes come into play for creating different marbling and other abstract nail art effects. 

For this kind of nail art, go for brush sets so you have lots of options for shapes and sizes.

Because the only way to remove traditional nail polish is with harsh removers that break down bristles, it's not worth investing in Kolinsky brushes. Cheaper brush sets are fine, just be aware that you'll need to replace them regularly.

But, if you work with UV gel for your nail art painting, you won't have the same problem since rubbing alcohol or monomer can generally take care of uncured gel. 

For more info on best nail art brush care check out this article in Nails Magazine.

Synthetic or Kolinsky?

It's a personal choice. Kolinsky sable fur brushes will always provide a higher quality, longer-lasting brush with better control than synthetic. That said, they are made from the tail fur of Siberian weasels who likely didn't survive the process. Synthetic brushes support the petroleum industry which isn't ideal either.

You just have to go with what you're comfortable with.

See Also:

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