Nail polish and brushes

Nail Brushes: When Do I Need Them and Which Are Best?

When it comes to your next manicure, your nail care tool kit is essential. The proper tools make it easier to get the looks you love and deliver on salon-quality styles. Maintaining a proper nail care routine can help protect your nails and cuticles from damage, dryness, and irritation, and make it easier to keep your nails strong and healthy for years to come. 

One important addition to any nail care kit is the brush, and you have lots of brush options to pick from. Don’t worry, though! Nailboo is here to help you find all the tools and resources you need to care for and design your nails properly. 

In addition to our catalog of nail dip powder kits, we also offer guides and resources for getting started on your next manicure. Whether you’re after winter nails, summer styles, or something shiny, here’s what you’ll want to keep in mind when picking the next great brush. 

When Do I Need Nail Brushes? 

We all know about the brushes that come with our nail polish, but there’s actually more to the manicure brush world than meets the eye. Picking out the perfect brush for your needs will depend on a variety of factors, but here are some of the most common reasons you’ll need to have a nail brush on hand. 

Applying Polish 

The most obvious manicure brush is the nail polish brush. They come tucked into the cap of the nail polish for easy application, but you can also purchase specialized nail polish brushes in larger or smaller sizes or unique shapes to get the application, texture, and style you really want. 

Applying Gel 

You’ll apply your gel nail polish in a similar process to the way you apply your regular nail polish, but gel manicures are a little bit different. A gel is closer to a lacquer than paint and set with a UV light or UV light alternative, so you want to make sure that every layer of gel paint you apply is very thin. There are great brush options available for getting those perfect thin layers every time. 

Applying Acrylics 

When it comes to acrylics, you have lots of brush options to pick from. That’s because acrylic nails are one of the best nail choices for performing unique and custom designs due to their larger size. 

Your acrylic brush choices will vary depending on what kind of style you’re trying to achieve and what your skill level is. Acrylics may be large for nails, but they’re still a small surface to paint on, which is why you have so many different acrylic brush options. 

Top and Bottom Coats 

Most manicure options have top and bottom coats that need to be applied as a way of protecting the nail against potential damage and keeping the top layer of the paint smooth and glossy. 

The brushes you’ll use for the top and bottom coats will vary depending on what kind of paint or application process you’re using or following. With regular nail polish, for example, you’re going to want to use a thicker application of top and bottom coats than with gels. 

Styles and Designs

With nails, it really is all about the designs. Acrylics are one of the easiest options for creating custom and personal nail designs, but gels, Shellac, and dip nails are fairly easy, as well. 

When it comes to picking out the best brush for your custom style, it all depends on the look you’re after. Common design and style brushes include detail brushes, round brushes, angled brushes, flat brushes, and the striper, which is used for creating the thinnest, straightest possible lines on your nails. 

How To Pick Your Brushes 

We need different nail brushes for different reasons and styles. Here are a few things you’ll want to consider when picking the best nail brushes for the job. 

Consider Your Style 

The type of style you’re adorning can make all the difference when it comes to picking out your next brush. Always consider whether you’re painting on nail polish, gel nails, shellac nails, acrylic nails, or dip nails before you buy. 

Think About the Design 

How can you get that perfect design if you don’t know what that perfect design is? Before you pick out which brush you’re going to use for your next manicure style, consider what kind of look you’re going for. 

Is it geometric with straight, thin lines that are uniform on every nail? Or do you want a splatter pattern that can only be achieved with the flicking of a thick, flat brush? Always keep your final design in mind when picking out which brush is best for you. 

Check the Cost 

There are so many different brush options to pick from, it can be easy to get carried away. While the most expensive brushes can be high-quality and long-lasting, you can also find many great options available that won’t break the bank. 

When you consider the cost of the available brushes, you may be able to make room in the budget for more great brush options, which means possible styles and designs you haven’t even had the chance to try out yet. Always consider the costs of your brushes and polishes before you get started. 

Practice Makes Perfect 

Before you begin painting on the surface of the nail, it can be very helpful to practice your designs first. Not only will this make it easier to get a look you love without using an entire bottle of nail polish remover, but it will make you more comfortable and at ease with even the smallest brush. Consider testing out brushes to find which one feels best in your hand. 


Whether you’ve been applying gels, acrylics, and innovative nail decals for years or you’re just getting started, it’s important to create a nail care and manicure kit that you can rely on. That’s why it’s so essential to find the right brushes for your style and your favorite design, and why practicing with them is a key part of the nail care process. 

When picking out your next brush, there are a few things you’ll want to consider, like what style your nails are (since acrylic nails will have very different brush needs than traditional polish nails), and what styles or designs you’re after on your nail adventure. You also want to check the cost of the brushes and always make sure that the brush feels like a good fit in your hand before you get started. 


Nailboo is here to help. We don’t just carry easy-to-use nail dip powder kits that you can try out from the comfort of home. We also want to share all we’ve learned about manicures and nail care, so you can get the looks you love with the tools you trust. Explore your nail brush options and begin drawing up your next gorgeous manicure design today. 



Gel Nail Polish 101: Everything You Need to Know About Gel Manicures | Teen Vogue 

Want to Master Nail Art? Here’s the Brush You Need for Every Design | Today  

Shellac Nails Vs. Gel Nails: What’s the Difference and Which is Better? | Women's Health Mag 

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