• 6 Best Acrylic Nail Brushes for Beginners in 2022 (Makartt, PANA, and More) 1
  • 6 Best Acrylic Nail Brushes for Beginners in 2022 (Makartt, PANA, and More) 2
  • 6 Best Acrylic Nail Brushes for Beginners in 2022 (Makartt, PANA, and More) 3
  • 6 Best Acrylic Nail Brushes for Beginners in 2022 (Makartt, PANA, and More) 4
  • 6 Best Acrylic Nail Brushes for Beginners in 2022 (Makartt, PANA, and More) 5

6 Best Acrylic Nail Brushes for Beginners in 2022 (Makartt, PANA, and More)

Long, strong, and smooth nails can take a long time to grow, but acrylic nails are a way to attain your nail goals in a matter of hours! When it comes to building anything, a strong foundation is absolutely crucial - acrylics are no exception. If you're trying to do your own acrylics for the first time, you'll want the right tools for dazzling results. 


The technical details of the types of acrylic nail brushes can be complicated, so we've created a handy buying guide below and compiled a list of five great acrylic nail brushes for you to peruse. Our favorite is Pana's Finest Kolinsky Acrylic Nail Brush. This brush has the quality Kolinsky sable spring to its bristles that will enable even a beginner to lay acrylic smoothly. 

Featured in this article

mybest US Editors
  • Last updated: 09-05-2022
Table of Contents

How to Choose an Acrylic Nail Brush - Buying Guide

Brushes are an absolutely integral part of the acrylic nail process, and the type of brush you choose plays an important factor in how easily, quickly, and successfully you get your nails done. Let’s go through some important factors to consider when choosing a brush. 

Choose Brushes in the 6-12 Size Range

Choose Brushes in the 6-12 Size Range

Brushes come in a variety of sizes, generally starting at size 4 and ending at size 22. Most beginners and intermediate nail artists stick with brushes in the 6-8 range because it's easier to control the application. The ratio of powder to liquid is easier to get right with smaller brushes, which is another critical factor in doing acrylic nails. 


However, seasoned nail artists prefer larger brushes in the 9-12 range because it cuts down the application time and they're comfortable enough in their craft. They know precisely how much liquid to take and how many strokes to do to get a clean application, so they can apply and finish faster.

Choose Brushes in the 6-12 Size Range

For most people, larger-sized brushes tend to make application difficult and messy. This makes it harder to apply acrylic liquid nicely and is a potential hazard since you may get it on your fingers. Allergic reactions can happen, so we want to be on the safe side and avoid getting any acrylic liquid anywhere except for our nails!


The size of your brush will also determine how many beads of acrylic you'll need to apply the nails successfully. A smaller brush will usually mean you have to apply more beads to fully coat the nail, so you may benefit from buying a set of differently-sized brushes so you can work your way up to larger brush sizes in the future. 

Decide on a Bristle Shape for the Technique You Want to Practice

Most of the time, an oval brush is used for acrylic nails. However, if you're using an odorless acrylic, you may consider using a round or square brush because the consistency of the monomer is thicker than traditional acrylics. 

Round Brushes Are the Most Beginner-Friendly

Round Brushes Are the Most Beginner-Friendly

Round brushes are the original form of acrylic nail brushes. They're also the easiest to use for beginners, as their shape ensures that you'll almost always absorb the right amount of liquid monomer


Due to their rounder bellies and pointed tips, round brushes are also useful for detailed acrylic work and for reaching those crevices at the base of your cuticles. It's hard to go wrong with a round acrylic nail brush, so we recommend this shape if you've never tried painting acrylics before. 

Oval Brushes Give You the Most Control

Oval Brushes Give You the Most Control

Oval brushes are the standard when it comes to acrylics nails. Oval brushes make it easier to make the balls of acrylic that will go on your nails, and the pointed tip allows you to get into small spaces with control to ensure a smooth, professional finish.


Some brushes are crimped, while others are not. Crimped brushes are set or pressed at the base with pliers or a similar tool. This creates a flatter belly that allows the brush to hold more liquid, which in turn can increase the size of your beads. 


There are ways to crimp brushes yourself. However, be aware that if you crimp your acrylic nail brush, the process can't be undone. There's also the risk of causing irreversible damage to your brush if you fail to crimp it properly, so you may want to ask a professional for advice.

Square Brushes Offer the Most Coverage

Square Brushes Offer the Most Coverage

Square brushes offer a lot of coverage and may be easier to some for that reason. It’s easier to evenly spread the monomer down to the cuticles evenly with square brushes. The monomer is the liquid you have to mix with polymer powder to create your acrylic paint. 


An even and efficient spreading of monomer can help speed up your acrylic painting process. However, when it comes to smaller nails, it may be tough to control your stokes if you use a square brush. 


Since square-shaped brushes are most commonly used at nail tech schools, it may be a bit difficult to find a set for use at your home. Still, so long as you do some digging, square brushes can be an effective addition to your set! 

Consider the Quality of Your Brush's Bristles

Consider the Quality of Your Brush's Bristles

The quality of the bristles is a crucial component for getting a smooth, clean finish. Bristles that break easily, get bushy after use, or become overly spread out, are going to make it nearly impossible to get that sleek look.


Kolinsky sable hair brushes are made of tail hairs from a species of weasel. These are a tried and true favorite among many nail technicians, as they're easy to clean, maintain their shape, and last a long time


These strong and flexible brushes can also hold a lot of acrylic liquid! They release liquid from the brush in appropriate amounts based on the pressure applied, which means you'll have a lot of control over your painting process. Kolinsky sable brushes are a good choice if you're aiming to be a professional someday.

Consider the Quality of Your Brush's Bristles

There are other sable hair brushes that aren’t kolinsky. These are called red sable brushes and are made of marten's hair. Red sable brushes are still effective at holding the liquid monomer and laying down the acrylic mix. 


However, red sable hairs aren't as long or as tapered as kolinsky brushes. This means they give you a little less control over your painting, but they're still a fine option for beginners who don't want to dish out too much money on a kolinsky sable brush set. 


Synthetic brushes such as nylon also exist. They maintain their shape well and are durable. However, they don’t do as good of a job at holding the acrylic liquid, which makes it more difficult to create the acrylic ball that goes on the nail. It's easier to damage synthetic brushes while cleaning, but they're preferable if you want a cost-effective and cruelty-free acrylic nail brush.

6 Best Acrylic Nail Brushes for Beginners

When trying to decide what acrylic nail brush to buy, think about your skill level, how often you plan on doing acrylic nails, and the style of nails you want. 

Image
Pana Finest Kolinsky Acrylic Nail Brush 1

Pana

Pana Kolinsky Crimped Acrylic Nail Brush 1

Pana

Pana Kolinsky Acrylic Nail Art Brush 1

Pana

Modelones Kolinsky Brush 1

Modelones

Beaute Galleria Kolinsky Sable Oval Acrylic Nail Brush Set 1

Beaute Galleria

American Nails Faux Kolinsky Cruelty-Free Acrylic Nail Brush 1

American Nails

Name

Finest Kolinsky Acrylic Nail Brush

Kolinsky Crimped Acrylic Nail Brush

Kolinsky Acrylic Nail Art Brush

Kolinsky Brush

Kolinsky Sable Oval Acrylic Nail Brush Set

Faux Kolinsky Cruelty-Free Acrylic Nail Brush

Features

Best for Beginners and Professionals Alike

Best Crimped Acrylic Nail Brush for All Skill Levels

Best for Creating Detailed Acrylic Nail Art

Best Budget Pick for Tentative Beginners

Best Acrylic Nail Brush Set for Beginners

Best Cruelty-Free Acrylic Nail Brush

Price$25.99$25.99$8.89$9.99$32.99$14.99
Sizes available 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 226, 8, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 222, 4, 56, 8, 10, 12, 14Includes sizes 4, 8, and 108, 12, 16, 18, 20
Bristle materialKolinsky sable hair Kolinsky sable hairKolinsky sable hair Kolinsky sable hairKolinsky sable hairSynthetic Kolinsky fibers
Bristle shapeRoundOvalOvalOvalOvalRound
CrimpedNoYesNoNoYesNot available
Handle materialWoodWoodAluminumWoodWoodBamboo
Link

PanaFinest Kolinsky Acrylic Nail Brush

$25.99

Sizes available 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22
Bristle materialKolinsky sable hair
Bristle shapeRound
CrimpedNo
Handle materialWood

PanaKolinsky Crimped Acrylic Nail Brush

$25.99

Sizes available 6, 8, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22
Bristle materialKolinsky sable hair
Bristle shapeOval
CrimpedYes
Handle materialWood

PanaKolinsky Acrylic Nail Art Brush

$8.89

Sizes available 2, 4, 5
Bristle materialKolinsky sable hair
Bristle shapeOval
CrimpedNo
Handle materialAluminum

ModelonesKolinsky Brush

$9.99

Sizes available6, 8, 10, 12, 14
Brush materialKolinsky sable hair
Bristle shapeOval
CrimpedNo
Handle materialWood

Beaute GalleriaKolinsky Sable Oval Acrylic Nail Brush Set

$32.99

Sizes availableIncludes sizes 4, 8, and 10
Brush materialKolinsky sable hair
Bristle shapeOval
CrimpedYes
Handle materialWood

American NailsFaux Kolinsky Cruelty-Free Acrylic Nail Brush

$14.99

Sizes available8, 12, 16, 18, 20
Bristle materialSynthetic Kolinsky fibers
Bristle shapeRound
CrimpedNot available
Handle materialBamboo

Frequently Asked Questions

Acrylic nail brushes are important aspects of your paint job, so it's vital that you care for your brushes the proper way. Here are some commonly asked questions about acrylic nail brushes and how to treat them before and after your nails are done. 

How should I clean my acrylic nail brush?

Acrylic can be a difficult thing to clean out of your brush head, especially if it's made of synthetic fibers. Either way, you'll want to clean your brush after each use to ensure hardened acrylic doesn't build up between the bristles. 


First, pour fresh monomer liquid into a small container and let your brush soak for at least an hour. Then, rinse your brush with warm water. Be sure to do this gently, without tugging at the bristles or trying to rub them against your hand. 


Once you've rinsed the brush head, swipe it softly against a paper towel or dry, clean cloth. Set it out to dry naturally to ensure there isn't residual moisture. You don't want your brush to get moldy! 

Can I use acetone to clean my brush?

You shouldn't use acetone to clean your acrylic nail brushes, as it can actually strip and damage them. This is especially true if your bristles are Kolinsky sable. Stick with the monomer method we mentioned above, and your brush should stay soft and clean!

Where should I store my acrylic nail brush?

Acrylic nail brushes need to be kept away from dust. Some brushes come with a cap or a plastic tube; we recommend making good use of these. If your brush didn't come with a storage accessory, wrap it in a soft towel or keep it in a box.


We also recommend that you store your acrylic nail brush on its side. Sticking it in a jar with its bristles facing up can lead to monomer running down from the bristles and damaging the ferrule and handle. 


Finally, always be sure that your brush is completely dry before putting it away. Any residual wetness can lead to mold or reduce the quality and lifespan of your bristles. 

Amazon's Best Selling Nail Art Brushes

Whether you want to get started with acrylics or prefer gel nails, Amazon's best seller list is always a good place to start. Check out more great brushes in the link below!

Products to Make Your Nails Even More Dazzling

Ready to make your acrylic nails pop? Check out the following links to take you there. And yes, you can use gel polish on top of your acrylics! 

A Beauty Product Scientist's Favorite Acrylic Brush

If you want a science-backed choice for your new acrylic nail brush, look no further than Michelle's top pick! Michelle has a Ph.D. in chemistry and loves to apply her knowledge to the world of cosmetics. She recommends the pinpoint accuracy of this acrylic nail brush for touching up her paint job. Read more about Michelle's recommendation below!

Expert's
pick

PanaAcrylic Nail Brush

$15.99

Author: Rachel Ikegami

Updated by: Erin Himeno, 9/27/2021


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