Wednesday, 13 June 2012

My brushes

I have had quite a few comments from people asking about the brushes I use to create my nail art, so I decided to do a dedicated post. I am not a painter and my knowledge of brushes and brush care  is only what I have learnt over the past year and I am ashamed to say that I don't think I take particularly great care of my brushes.

First of all here are my current set of brushes. I have been on a quest over the past year to find the perfect thin brush that will give me an extra fine line, which it why I have such a range of brushes (including more that I didn't photograph as I don't use them). You should also note that I cut the brushes to make them even thinner. I just cut of a small amount of bristles at the base of the brush using small sewing scissors. Robin Moses does a good tutorial on how to cut a brush and other brush related videos that are a good watch. 

I will go into more detail about the brushes below arranged by where I got the brushes from.

My brushes

Fist my favourite. These are my most recent brush purchase and are my favourite so far (maybe because they're new and un-frayed). I got these online from Nailtopia (striper, precision painter) then cut off almost half the bristles to make a fine tip.

top: striper, bottom: precision painter

These brushes were bought from a small tool specialist website, before I realised that it is just easier to cut down brushes. These brushes frayed quite a bit so I have cut them down since. I find these brushes a little stiff to use and they no longer have a fine tip and I wouldn't recommend them. 

Micromark brushes (size 20/0)

These four brushes below were all purchased from an art shop (Cass Art for anyone in London). They were the smallest brushes available from top to bottom size: 4/0, 2/0, 10/0 and 1. I don't really know what the sizes mean, but 10/0 is the smallest I have seen in an art shop (with the brushes above from Micromark being size 20/0). I have also cut some of the brushes at the base and at the top wherever they have frayed. They are all synthetic brushes (bottom 3 are 'daVinci' and the top one is 'Pro Arte') and are still good but don't have the finest point any more due to usage.

sizes from top to bottom: 4/0, 2/0. 10/0, 1

Finally these were the first set of nail art brushes I got. I bought them as a set off Ebay (just search nail art brushes). These brushes aren't too bad. I haven't cut them down much and they still have their fine tip, but note that the silver tip has fallen off most of the brushes (they were very cheap so no surprise). This hasn't really bothered me as I just superglued them back on - no problem!

As I said my favourite brushes to use at the moment are the first (silver) ones from Nailtopia. They are synthetic brushes and I think I prefer them to the natural hair ones like the ones from Micromark which I find tend to fray too much.

Cleaning your brushes:

After using my brushes I either wash them with water if I use acrylic paint of nail polish remover if I have been using polishes. Robin Moses also has a handy video on washing brushes. She uses a bar of soap to really clean them. I also put some vaseline on my brushes to keep them extra pointy (which I take off with acetone). I don't know if this is bad for your brushes, the only thing I have read is that bad when using oil paints - so no problem!

That's all I have to say on the topic of nail art brushes! I hope this has helped you in some way and feel free to email me if you want to know anything else.


  1. You've sure got a lot of brushes! That link to Robin Moses is really handy, thanks for sharing!

  2. wow! nice brushes *-*
    i want to buy brushes, too >.<
    i love draw :)
    such a lovely blog :*


  3. Great post, I only have a few cheapies from ebay, however I don't have your talent!! Do you use the fan brushes, what on earth are they for I have NO idea!!

    1. I have used the fan brush...once... for painting a layer of white acrylic paint. I have seen people use it for painting a gradient, otherwise I have no idea too!

  4. your blog is amazing! I'm your new blog follower =)

  5. excellent post - i like posts like these about the "science" of a good mani. Great tools - i think i need to go do some brush-pruning! xxx

  6. What a collection. Jenny! I have a few brushes, but I'm still learning how to use them (most of my nail art is either dotting or stripers). I keep hoping to find the right combo of brush & technique to use instead of feeling like I need to find a bunch of stripers to do all those little lines. ;)