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The 5 Best Acrylic Nail Brushes

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There's more to creating the perfect manicure at home than just the technique. The tools you use are half the battle, so before you dip your toes— er, nails—into the world of acrylics, you'll want to find the right brush for your needs. According to celebrity manicurist Elle, the best acrylic nail brushes come in a size 8, have a precise, pointed tip, and are crafted from natural kolinsky sable hair.

Elle, whose clients include Jennifer Lopez, Blake Lively, and Kristen Stewart, says a size 8 brush (which refers to the diameter of the hair) is ideal because it's small enough to focus the liquid directly where you want, but large enough to cover a decent amount of your nail bed. "You never want to be working with too big a brush," she says. "If your brushes are too big, then you get [acrylic] liquid all over your fingers, and that can cause an allergy."

In addition, Elle says a pointed tip lends itself to acrylic application better than something more squared-off. "You don't want to apply your acrylic by brushing it on like nail polish," she explains. "You want to almost smear it on, like mayonnaise."

You'll find most bristles are made from all-natural kolinsky sable brush hair, which Elle says helps acrylic products glide on smoothly. If you prefer something synthetic, however, you'll still be able to find a quality nylon option.

Ahead, you'll find the best acrylic nail brushes to take your manicures to the next level— and they're all highly rated and available on Amazon.

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1
The Overall Best Acrylic Nail Brush

For a professional-level manicure at home, following a professional nail artist's advice is always a good idea. Elle recommends investing in a good brush even when you're just starting out because it does a lot of the work for you and can help you develop your technique. This Modelones Acrylic Nail Brush (in size 8) comes with a higher price tag, but Amazon fans call it a "must-have for beginners" because it "makes application a dream." They also rave about how easy the 100% kolinsky sable hair is to clean and how comfortable and solid it feels in the hand. Plus, that decorative glitter inside the handle actually floats around in a clear liquid, adding a nice touch of whimsy to an otherwise utilitarian tool.

2
The Most Affordable Acrylic Nail Brush

This Rolabling brush, also in size 8, is less than half the price of the first pick, but is still a good quality brush worth adding to your arsenal. The handle itself is slightly thinner, so it might be a little difficult for beginners to maneuver, but its pointed tip will still paint acrylic on gorgeously. Plus, the 100% natural kolinsky sable bristles won't clump as easily.

3
A Brush With A Cap That’s Perfect For Travel

Take your acrylic work on the go with this compact size 8 brush, which comes with a metal cap to keep it protected while it's in your bag. It's made with kolinsky hair that stays super strong and doesn't clump easily. Popping the cap on to the opposite end of the brush will also help extend the length of the handle, giving your hand more control. Pro tip: After you use it, always allow your bristles to dry completely before popping the cap back on— it isn't vented, so enclosing damp bristles can potentially cause bacteria to grow.

4
The Best Brush With Synthetic Hair

If you would prefer to use a brush with synthetic hair, look no further than this eye-catching tool by Reonyx. Like the rest of the picks, it's available in size 8 and has the ideal pointed tip, but in lieu of natural bristles, it's crafted with nylon ones. It's also the least expensive of all the single brushes on this list. "Love the looks of this brush and it works amazing as well!" boasted one Amazon fan.

5
A Minimalist Set With All Of The Essentials

If you want to take your DIY nail skills up one notch, this Makartt set contains all of the essentials. It comes with enough sable-haired brushes and sizes to do both acrylic and UV gel nail applications, including two pointed brushes (sizes 2 and 8), two round brushes (sizes 4 and 6), and two flat brushes (sizes 4 and 6). The metal handles are sturdy and you'll be able to keep your tools extra protected thanks to the included caps and handy brush roll.

Expert:

Elle, a celebrity manicurist and nail stylist