My Favourite Nail Art + Cleanup Brushes for Blogging

by - Monday, July 17, 2017

* Includes Press Sample

One thing I feel there is always talk of in the nail art community is what brushes everyone uses. When it comes to cleanup brushes people tend to prefer wide but flat brushes, and for nail art of course the smaller the better for detail!

Today I'm sharing with you five of my favourite brushes: my three go-to nail art brushes and my two favourite cleanup brushes (well, really it's my favourite and my backup).

I'm going to break down what I use each of these brushes for and where I got them in just a moment, but first off I want to show you a full shot of what I'm working with - the three to the left are for nail art, and the two on the right are for cleanup. Do any of these look familiar from your own art or cleanup? :)

So here are the brushes I cannot live without when it comes to nail blogging...

  1. Julep PliΓ© Wand with Striping Brush Attachment (originally reviewed here and here) - Purchased from - This brush is technically a striping brush but I find it manipulates really well for detailing in general. It has a very fine tip and I find the artificial fiber it's made up of makes it really resilient. 
  2. Born Pretty Store Transparent Crystal Handled Nail Art Drawing Brush (originally reviewed here) - Sent for review by - This is literally my holy grail brush, and pretty much every freehand look you have seen me do involved this brush at some point in the process. It comes with a cap that fits on top too so you don't have to worry about the bristles getting ruined when you're not using it. I know a number of brands now carry this brush with their own logo/design on it, and as far as I know they're all the same base brush.
  3. Fine-Tipped Detail Brush - Gifted to me by a friend from Dollarama -  I use this brush mainly for colouring in larger patches of space for nail art looks as it's small but not as small as the other brushes I often use. It covers a lot of space but still lets me use some precision. You can get a similar brush in the art section of any dollar store for the most part. :) 
  4. Angled Shader Brush - Purchased at Curry's Art Store - An angled brush is perfect for cleanup as far as I'm concerned. I've had this one at least four years and it's only now starting to show some real wear. I'm already worried about the day I'll have to replace it as it works SO WELL, but when that happens I'll probably just take my butt back to the art store to see what else they have in stock. You can get angled shaders both from the makeup world and the art world. 
  5. Flat Shader Brush - Purchased from - I got this brush in a pack of 15 different sized brushes (which you can get here) for dirty cheap, and out of all of them it's the best for cleanup. As I mentioned earlier this is more my backup for when the Angled Shader dies, and even then I'm not going to love using it and will probably get a new main brush fairly quickly. I use this one sometimes when I clean up with acetone and want to paint on some cuticle oil or moisturizing remover after I've used acetone (so I don't have the white dusty looking post-acetone fingers).

Here's a shot for you of how fine the lines are that come from each of my nail art brushes. I didn't have a ruler handy so they're lined up beside a Canadian dime. Dimes measure about 18mm across (picture like three peas lined up - that's about the same) so even if those lines look big with how close the shot was taken, in reality even the largest is still really tiny. :) 

And my much-loved cleanup brushes. :)

Different people have different techniques when it comes to maintaining their brushes, and mine isn't anything special. For the most part I use acetone to clean them (except when I use acrylic paint - those times I just clean the brushes with water) and store them pointed up in a vase to try to protect the tips. Unfortunately this means sometimes they get gnawed on by my cats (they seem to like the Fine-Tipped Detail Brush in the middle in particular) but it doesn't happen often enough for me to want to store them another way.

So those are my brushes! I hope this post is helpful for any of you trying to figure out what brushes you should look for or buy. :) If you have any questions let me know! I'd also love to hear about your own favourite brushes.

Thanks for visiting! xx

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  1. Its great to see and know what your favorite nail art and clean up brushes are.

  2. I've always wanted to read a post about brushes so thanks a bunch πŸ’œπŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

  3. Great review, it's nice to see a variety of different brushes. I've been considering getting an angled brush for clean up.

  4. Great review. I'm getting ready to need a new brush myself. I might be referencing this when that time comes for sure.

  5. Totally agree about the BPS detail brush ;)
    And wow, your angled brush has been lasting for 4 years? I've already gone through 4.. But I buy them cheap from Ebay, so it's okay ;)

  6. Thanks for the great post! I need better nail art brushes.

  7. My very favourite cleanup brush is the Elf concealer brush. Unfortunately Elf stopped selling and shipping to Italy so that one is now off limit for me. I bought the Bornpretty one you are using but it's just not for me. I don't like it even half as much as my Elf one. Gotta keep searching :(


Thanks for your comments! Even if I don't get a chance to reply I read and appreciate each and every one of them!! <3