How to choose the right brush
Find out how to choose the right brush and more
How to choose the right brush
A nail technician needs to use a lot of different brushes for different techniques. There are countless different sizes, shapes, lengths and hair types to choose from, but that can make things feel even more complicated! Before we look at which brushes are most suitable for each phase, let’s take a look at some basic ground rules.
Both synthetic and natural- hair brushes can be used for most groups of materials. Only acrylic techniques require a natural-haired brush, but often the hair type, shape and size come down to personal preference. You can use natural or synthetic brushes for gel materials and water-based paints.
When it comes to acrylic gel, the most popular brush is the acrylic #6 but we have other choices as well. Many technicians like to work with smaller brushes with 3D acrylic, Sens Natural 3D L, Nero Merlo I. or even Gelly brushes. If you’re working with hard acrylic gel, you can even start the work with an orangewood stick to save your brushes from damage and keep them fresher for longer.
In the case of the gel polish technique, we’ve moved way beyond traditional solutions which meant smearing the colours to create a smooth finish. It’s now possible to create beautiful arches that match perfectly with the colours at the stem, and our super thin brushes are great for this. 0 Short, 0 Mini, Sens Liner XS, S are all synthetic brushes that can turn easily along the curves when used with a soft material. Our personal favourites for intricate work are the Art Design brush, Sens Natural Liner and Barbara II.
It’s recommended to choose a size 8 brush for acrylic building, as this allows you to build
the nail properly. The Big One, or Xtreme Acrylic Brush, is also a great choice.
Brush 6 can be used for coloured materials or applying very small amounts of material. We recommend you keep a separate brush for glitter and coloured materials, so the pigments don’t mix with the base colours you build with.
When you build with gel, the absolute Jolly Joker is the Gelly brush or the Sens Synthetic Round. I’ve tried them at almost every phase of my work since they were released. Because it’s round, not square, it’s easier to create an even surface with its edge, even without the need to file. It spreads nicely on the nail surface and works well with soft materials.
A square brush is recommended to create square-shaped nails, such as Xtreme Gel or a #6 gel brush. Or, for those who like natural hair brushes, the Nero Merlo II. is a good solution.
it’s possible to differentiate by colour. For white free edges I like to use a #4 gel brush and any thin brushes with gel polishes when I paint the smile line. For cover-coloured and semi-overlay materials, I work with Gelly, and I apply transparent materials as a base layer. Here the shape depends on the brush. The #6 gel brush or Xtreme Gel are great if you want to make a square shape, while Gelly is good for a rounder shape.
In addition to the Gelly brush or Sens Synthetic Round, the new K-colour brush is an excellent choice for Royal gel. The edges are round and soft, with supple hairs. Although these are synthetic brushes, a few of their hairs are embedded thinly flattened, making them very flexible.
For glittery and strong colours, you should separate one brush at a time. The range of brushes used for decoration is endless. It depends on the technique and desired effect you want. The most commonly used decorative brushes are: Loop, Art Design, Phantom, Ombre Pro, 0 Short, 0 Mini, One Move Brushes (One Move Brushes).
Sens brushes are designed specifically for nail art and are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. My favourites: Synthetic Liner brushes, Natural Liner, Natural Shadow, Synthetic Art.
There’s one eternal general rule for using brushes: once you have selected your brush and started applying a particular group of materials, that brush can no longer be used on another group of materials. So, for example, if you want to use the Mini 3D brush, you need as many different pieces as the number of the groups of materials you want to use.
Caring for and storing your brushes properly is also crucial, as they are your most important work tools. It is a good idea to choose brushes that have a lockable cap so that no light, dust or other contaminants can get into your hair.
Store your brushes hair down, especially if they're used for acrylic and acrylic gel. This stops the liquid from flowing back to the base, as it may corrode it.
Finally, how do you clean your brushes properly? This really depends on what material we used them for. If you have a gel or gel polish material, Brush Cleanser Gel is the perfect solution. It’s a transparent dilute gel, which due to its texture offers the fastest solution for removing pigments, glitter, brush initiation and softening. Never use on brushes that are used for other materials, and clean your acrylic brush only in liquid.
Orange Brush Cleaner is essential for water-based paints and can only be used on its own – never use it on oily brushes as it will damage them.