Nail Art Brushes
I basically use 2 kinds of nail art brushes -- a detailing and a stripping brush. As of this post, I am using 2 detailing nail art brush that varies in length.
From left: (1) flat and pointed brush, (2) 11mm bristles long detailing brush, and
(3) 0.9mm bristles long detailing brush
Recently, I've also been using a flat and pointed brush that you can see in action here. I can see myself using this nail art brush for many more designs. It's a good choice for painting teardrops, flower petals, and hearts, to name a few.
There's really no big difference between the longer and the shorter detailing nail art brushes except that based on my personal experience, longer bristles can give better control when working with curve lines. I recommend having at least 2 sets of nail art brushes so that you'll always have an extra one just in case you lost or worn out the other one.
I bought these brushes in sets of 12 from Amazon. All are brandless. The important thing to remember here is that buying nail art brushes is a risk until you find that set that works for you. Each nail artist have a different personal preference when it comes to nail art tools. As for me, I settled for brushes with soft bristles. The good thing is that nail art brushes are relatively inexpensive so you can give yourself the option of trying a few.
I also have 3 pieces of stripping nail art brushes in various lengths.
Stripping nail art brushes in different lengths.
I bought these at Landmark (a local department store). I also have a few more that came with nail art brush sets I previously bought. But I've been using these 3 primarily because of the varying lengths. I have very small nail beds and these sizes works perfect for me.
For clarification, the acrylic paints I use for my nail art designs are different from acrylic powder used for nail sculpting or extensions. The ones I use for nail painting are the same acrylic paints used by artists that mostly comes in tubes and can be bought in craft stores and sometimes, bookstores as well.
This is my first set of acrylic paints:
Peebo Studio Acrylic Colour
I bought them as a set of 12 colors that came with a box at National Bookstore. It was the set I used during my first attempts at creating nail designs using acrylic paints. I still didn't know anything about acrylic paints when I bought this set but somehow I wanted to try at least another set for comparison. So I browsed online and stumbled upon a set that I eventually fell in love with.
This is my second set of acrylic paints:
Acrylic paints from Born Pretty Online Store
14 COLOR 3D NAIL ART PAINT Brush Pallet Acrylic Gel
I never used the Peebo acrylic set once I tested the ones that I bought from Born Pretty Store (BPS). The consistency is simply amazing. I now just use the former for experimenting on mixing colors and on occasions wherein I just need to lighten or brighten a color with white acrylic paint. Let me expound on that last statement by discussing consistency.
Take a look at this photo:
On the left is a sample of consistency from Peebo.
On the right is from Born Pretty Store.
Peebo has a thicker consistency compared to the acrylic paint from BPS. Brush strokes are harder to manage using acrylic paints with thick consistencies as it would weigh down the bristles. The usual remedy is to add a water until you reach that consistency you are looking for. The consequence of doing such is you lose opacity as you add water to a paint. This would mean that you need to add layers to your strokes. If you need to add more water to an acrylic paint, chances are it doesn't have the consistency you want to work with. And you can't add too much water because it will not stick to your nail.
Another way I remedy acrylic paint with thick consistency is to add another acrylic paint with good consistency. This method has been working for me. Most of the time, I mix a good white paint with colors from tubes that I have a problem with. For example, I need a pink color, I get the Peebo red tube and lighten it with my reliable white acrylic paint and tadah(!), consistency becomes very manageable.
I would have bought more sets of that BPS acrylic paint but shipping to my part of the world has become a burden so when I consumed the most used tubes, i.e. black and white, I resorted to trying other brands that were available locally.
I've tried several brands such as Galeria, Reeves, and Liquitex. I prefer Liquitex among the brands that I used and have been buying such for every BPS acrylic tube that I fully consume.
Liquitex Basics Value Series
White was the first Liquitex color I bought. When I ran out of black acrylic paint, I already knew what to buy. But I discovered that there was another kind of Liquitex acrylic paint. I decided to buy the more expensive one with the assumption that it would have a better consistency. I was wrong.
On the left is Liquitex Heavy Body and
on the right is Liquitex Basics
Below is a photo that captures Liquitex Heavy Body's consistency:
Liquitex Heavy Body
True to its name, the Heavy Body series had a very thick consistency. The thickness made it hard to squeeze it out of the tube. Watering it down was ineffective and it dried much faster too. Lesson learned here is that price is not an assurance for good consistency. The Liquitex Basics retails for Php96 ($2) while the Liquitex Heavy Body is priced at Php290 ($7) each.
Below is photo of Liquitex Basics' consistency:
From the above photo, notice how easy it is to squeeze out the black paint from the Liquitex Basics tube. You'd want to purchase an acrylic paint that comes out the tube easily. As for tte Heavy Body (left on the above image), I still had to press down the tip of the opening to fully dispense the paint from the tube.
In an attempt to find a better black acrylic paint, I also tried Reeves.
Liquitex on the left and Reeves on the right.
Here's the consistency comparison:
Liquitex on the left and Reeves on the right.
Liquitex Basics still wins in terms of density. Finding the right brand of acrylic paint boils down to finding the right consistency. But also remember that not all colors from a specific brand will render a satisfying texture simply because colors are made from different pigments. But once you find a brand that suits your taste, most of the colors will probably not disappoint you.
Bottomline, nail art tools such as brushes and acrylic paints can sometimes disappoint a beginner or even those that have been nail painting for a long time. It is important to be patient and persistent in finding the tools that will complement you and the way you work. And when you find those tools, don't stop from discovering other brands or sources. You'll never know when you'll be stumbling upon something better.
I hope this article was helpful to those who would like to try nail art painting using acrylic paints. And to all followers of this blog that have been requesting this post, I hope the wait was worth it. :)