All About Nail Art | Part 1 ~ Brushes & Tools

People have been painting their nails for centuries as a means to accessorize outfits and express themselves. Today is no exception and nail art has become a big part of the nail tech industry and new techniques are always being developed.

With all the different colours and tools available, it is no wonder that nail art has become a hobby for girls and women alike. However, whilst it is true that decals, glequins, fimo canes and a whole lot of other embellishments facilitate nail art, personally, I think that hand-painted nail art gives a sense of satisfaction like no other, both to the client and the nail technician. 

In this first post of this mini series, I will be going through the different brushes and tools you will need for hand-painted nail art.


Brushes are technically the most used tools in nail artistry enabling us to create beautiful detailed work on such a small area as the nail.  You will need different brushes for different techniques but these are the most common brush types.

Detailing brushes are the brushes you are going to need most to create intricate work. If you are a professional nail artist, it is best to invest in some sable Kolinsky brushes rather than the ones that come with the cheaper sets from ebay. A size 0 and a size 1 brush are your best bet and you can find these on ebay, craft stores or artist shops. The Kolinsky brushes will be a bit more expensive because they are made out of natural hairs but they will last you a life-time. If on the other hand you have just begun experimenting with nail art, you can get a set off ebay for like €5 to start with, then upgrade as you go along. Make sure that your brush is not too thick, otherwise, you will not be able to create such intricate details (you can always cut your brush up to the size you want though).

Striping brushes are more adapted to create long, flawless, straight lines. Again, a striping brush made out of natural hair is better over one made out of synthetic hair as the latter ones tend to sort of bend little, hence there is no flexibility to produce a nice, fine line.

A fan brush is going to be your best friend when you want to apply glitter or when you want to clean up any nail art embellishments that didn't adhere to the nail polish underneath such as flocking powder and steel balls. You can also create beautiful gradient effects with a fan brush by painting on multiple colours at once.

Square tipped brushes and slant tipped brushes are most suited for what is known as ons stroke nail art where you use two colours to create life-like paintings on the nails, usually flowers. It is good to have a few different sizes and they don't need to be expensive. Just make sure they are stiff enough.


Dotting tools are great to create small and bigger dots alike to give nail art a more complete look. You can buy a set of like 5 double ended pieces from ebay or online nail art stores such as for a very cheap price.

Another useful tool to have is a pair of rhinestone tweezers to make it easier for you to pick up rhinestones and place them wherever you want on your nails.

Lastly, it's good to have a little tray where you can catch nail art embellishments that didn't stick to the polish to transfer them back to their pot.

Cleaning and Storage Care

In order for your tools to last and make sure they give you the best results each time, it is imperative that you clean them thoroughly with some nail polish remover after every use. Take care not to let the remover touch the ferrule as it may damage the glue inside and cause the bristles to shed.

Remember to store brushes with their protective caps on to maintain the bristle shape.  If brushes happen to lose their shape, just wet the brush with a little water and run it a few times over a bar of soap. Shape with your fingers and leave to dry.

Coming up in Part 2 ~ Nail Art Paints

6 comments on "All About Nail Art | Part 1 ~ Brushes & Tools"
  1. with regard to the square tip brushes for micropittura, i find that the stiffer they are the harder it is to paint with them, especially if client has a small nail bed. For me I find that the softer the brush is, the better it works

    1. true Lorraine :) I guess that also depends on the design you want to achieve :)

  2. Hi dear nice blog wana follow each other?

  3. you have mention very nice nail art accessories, I was not aware about this nail colors. Very nice design ..beautiful color.
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  4. Very nice information for nail art tools.. i was not aware about this tools. Thank you for the post.

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