What are the best acrylic nail products? Buyers guide

the best acrylic nail products

Curious about acrylic nail products and brands? If you’re looking for a guide to the best acrylic nail products, this post is for you.

We’ll look at the best acrylic nail brands and what you need to start doing acrylic nails.

I’ll share plenty of tips and advice as well as some of my favorite acrylic nail products.

Let’s get started.

In a hurry?

Then here are the product recommendations:

Best acrylic nail kit for beginners

The best acrylic nail brush

Best powder and monomer

The best tacrylic nail brush cleaner

Best colored powder set

What brands have the best acrylic nail products?

The first thing you need to know when choosing any acrylic nail product is whether the brand is any good.

If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the popular brands that sell acrylic nail products.

Here’s a list of some of the most popular brands that sell or specialize in acrylic nail products:

Brands that sell the best acrylic nail products:

If you want to learn more about each of these brands and find out if they are right for you (and your budget) then check out my guide to acrylic nail brands which goes into much more detail.

A note on mixing brands

I always get asked if it’s a good idea to mix acrylic nail brands.

My answer is always that technically you can mix products, but I don’t recommend it.

Of course, you can use a Pana brush with a Mia Secret powder for example.

That doesn’t matter too much.

But when it comes to monomer and powder, it’s much better to stick to the same brand.

This is because a powder and monomer from the same brand have been designed to work together.

You can mix monomers and powders from different brands. But it doesn’t always go well.

If you do mix, you are opening yourself up to problems with beads, dryness, cracking and lifting.

So save yourself the headache and find one brand you like and stick with that.

If you’re interested in hearing a discussion on brand mixing check out this video from Young Nails:

What products do you need to start doing acrylic nails?

In this section, we’ll look at all the tools and equipment you need to get started.

There are lots of products out there that can help you get the perfect results, but do you really need all of them?

Let’s take a look at what equipment and tools you need to start doing acrylic nails.

We’ll start with the essentials. 

Here’s a list of acrylic nail stuff you absolutely must have to do your own acrylic nails at home:

Must have items for doing your own acrylic nails:

  • Nail dehydrator
  • Nail Primer
  • Monomer
  • Acrylic powder
  • An acrylic nail brush
  • Dappen dish
  • Brush cleaner
  • Nail file
  • Acetone (for removal)

The above list is the bare minimum that you’ll need to get the job done.

If you want to learn more about what each of the items in this section is used for – check out this complete list of acrylic nail supplies.

If you’ve been looking at acrylic nail kits, you may have noticed that there are a ton of other items that come with them.

So let’s explore some of the acrylic nail products that are nice to have, but not essential to doing acrylic nails.

Nice to have products for doing your own acrylic nails:

  • Colored acrylic powders
  • Nail art items (gems, brushes, striping tape, dotting tools, stampers, glitter, etc)
  • A cuticle pusher
  • Cuticle nippers
  • A nail drill with bits (aka an e-file)
  • 4 sided Buffer (aka buffing block)
  • Nail tips
  • Nail forms
  • Tip cutter tool
  • Nail edge clippers
  • Drill bits
  • Nail glue
  • Dusting brush
  • Acrylic dust collector
  • Gel nail polishes
  • Gel topcoat (matte, glossy or both)
  • A UV or LED nail lamp
  • Lint free wipes
  • Cuticle oil
  • Toe separators
  • Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
  • Comfortable chair
  • A lamp

As you can see, there are a lot of acrylic nail products that are not necessary.

But most people who do acrylic nails will own a few of these non-essential items too.

It’s up to you to choose which items you want, will use, or you think you could benefit from.

What acrylic nail products do professionals use?

In this section, we’ll look at some of the more high-end acrylic nail products and brands that professionals use.

But first let’s find out what extra tools and equipment professionals need for doing acrylic nails for clients.

In addition to the tools and equipment listed above, professionals may also need:

  • A selection of powders and polishes
  • Carry case or toolbox
  • A display rack
  • Handwash
  • Towels
  • 2 comfortable chairs
  • A desk
  • Portable storage

High end brands that sell the best acrylic nail products:

The following brands sell professional-quality acrylic nail products.

Please bear in mind that some of these brands are only available to qualified nail technicians and salon owners.

  • CND
  • NSI
  • Harmony Prohesion
  • Entity
  • Ugly Duckling (Canadian)
  • Naio Nails (UK) 

The best acrylic nail products

Now you are familiar with the most popular acrylic nail brands and all of the tools and equipment you need.

It’s time to review some products!

We’re about to answer the question, what are the best acrylic nail products you can buy?

Let’s start with the best complete kit for beginners.

Best acrylic nail kit for beginners

Morovan acrylic nail kit 

This is a great value basic beginner’s acrylic nail kit from Morovan.

I like it because it comes with the basics but doesn’t include all the unnecessary stuff that always gets thrown in with acrylic nail kits.

This kit comes with monomer, as well as clear, pink, and white acrylic powder.

You also get 3 acrylic nail brushes in sizes 4, 8, and 12 (size 8 is the best size for beginners). 

This beginners kit also comes with nail form stickers, a file, and a dappen dish which is useful for monomer dipping.

It isn’t a complete kit, so you will need to buy a primer and dehydrator separately.

It’s easy to use, the powder is good quality and it glides onto the nail well. The white powder is nice and opaque and the clear is fully translucent and not cloudy.

The quality of the acrylic nail brushes is also very good compared with other kits I’ve seen.

Some of the reviews on this mention that it dries too quickly for beginners to use. But as long as you add enough liquid monomer, you should find that this product is easy to apply.

The downside of this is that you will go through monomer more quickly.

This is a great kit for beginners because it’s cheap but the quality is good.

If you’re not sure if acrylic nails are for you, this is a great kit for you to try it out.

Here are the main pros and cons of this kit:

Pros: 

  • Great value for money
  • Good quality brushes in 3 sizes
  • Very easy to apply powders
  • Salon quality powder

Cons:

  • The brushes are a bit small
  • Doesn’t come with a lot of monomer
  • You don’t get a dehydrator, primer or tips/glue

Best acrylic nail brush

Pana USA 100% Kolinsky sable Acrylic nail art brush.

This is hands down the best acrylic nail brush I’ve come across!

Pana is one of the best brands for high-quality acrylic nail brushes.

Professionals and DIYer’s use Pana brushes, because they are silky soft and salon-quality.

This beautiful brush is made from premium Kolinsky sable. It comes in 3 different colors (teal, mahogany, and clear).

The handle is hardwood and has a great hand feel. The weight of this brush is just right.

It’s a well-made, long-lasting flexible brush that’s an absolute pleasure to use.

It’s so easy to create perfect beads with this brush. It soaks up monomer well, so it’s easy to get the powder to liquid ratio right.

With this brush, I always get a seamless and smooth application. Plus – no visible brush strokes!

There are some negative reviews of this brush, but don’t let that put you off.

Most of the bad reviews are from people who didn’t brush up (pun intended) on how to care for kolinsky hair brushes.

The brush has starch in it to hold the shape. You have to remove the starch before you use the brush.

As long as you follow a couple of simple steps, like flicking out the starch and cleaning it properly in warm water BEFORE you use it, you’ll be fine.

Here are the pros and cons of this brush:

Pros:

  • Salon quality
  • Attractive design
  • Very soft bristles
  • Durable and Long-lasting
  • Doesn’t shed or clump together
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Easy to use
  • Very fine tip point (great for getting to edges)
  • Keeps its shape
  • Glides on smoothly
  • Absorbs monomer well
  • Easy to pick up beads
  • The packaging doubles as storage 
  • Easy to clean – even if you forget and have to go back later!

Cons:

  • Not the cheapest
  • Requires proper care

Best powder and monomer

Mia Secret 4oz set

As we’ve learned, it’s always best to use an acrylic powder and monomer from the same brand.

I can highly recommend this 4oz acrylic powder and monomer set from Mia Secret.

Mia Secret is one of the best acrylic nail brands.

Their products are extremely popular because they are cheap but the quality is very good.

This acrylic powder is great for beginners and intermediates. It’s a good quality powder that’s easy to work with.

It doesn’t set too quickly (setting time is 1 to 3 minutes depending on how much liquid) which means that you will have plenty of time to get your nails looking perfect.

This powder works with or without tips and you can use it for dip nails too.

Sometimes, “clear” acrylic powders dry grainy or cloudy. But this one is truly clear so it’s great for designs where you want to encapsulate something.

It’s also very hard-wearing so your nails won’t chip when you file them down. 

The monomer in this is EMA and non-yellowing which is great.

Here are the pros and cons for the Mia Secret set:

Pros:

  • Products work well together
  • Easy to apply
  • Dries truly clear 
  • Hard finish that lasts ages
  • Consistency is smooth
  • Self leveling
  • Won’t lift
  • Great value 
  • Non-yellowing monomer

Cons:

  • Because of how hard it dries you’ll need a strong nail file if you want a smooth finish.
  • The monomer has a strong smell – you will need to open a window.

Best acrylic nail brush cleaner

Tammy Taylor nail brush cleaner

Tammy Taylor is a brand that supplies high-quality acrylic nail products to professionals.

A lot of their products are difficult to get hold of – unless you’re a nail tech.

But this amazing Tammy Taylor brush cleaner is available on Amazon.

It’s not the cheapest brush cleaner you can buy, but it is specially formulated for acrylic nail brushes.

In my experience, it’s worth investing in a good quality brush cleaner, and this is one of the best ones on the market.

I’ve used cheaper ones in the past and they ruin synthetic brushes (because they contain acetone).

Some brush cleaners also cause real kolinsky sable brushes to shed.

The last thing you want is to ruin all your nail brushes by soaking them in a dodgy brush cleaner, so do yourself a favor and get a good one!

This solution is great for removing acrylic, even if it’s dried on. It gets right inside and gets rid of every last bit.

You can also use this brush cleaner to reshape bent brushes.

Pros:

  • Works perfectly to remove all of the acrylic 
  • Doesn’t damage brushes
  • Save you buying replacement brushes!
  • Lasts ages
  • Works on gel as well as acrylic
  • Leaves brushes nice and soft

Cons:

  • Not the cheapest brush cleaner (but worth it)
  • Strong smell

Best colored powder set

Modelones 12 color acrylic powder set

Modelones is another brand that is very popular in the nail world. In fact, I think Mia Secret and Modelones are my top 2 brands for acrylic nails.

Modelones acrylic powders are amazing! 

I like them because they are finely ground and glide on like butter.

Finer powders are easier to use, especially for beginners.

Why?

Finely ground acrylic powders soak up more monomer, which gives you a wetter bead. Moist beads stay workable for longer.

This 12 color set from Modelones is a great buy.

It’s not just one set of colors. There are actually 3 different color collections to choose from.

The names they give them are:

  • Gray collection – muted soft shades plus 2 glitters. Very elegant and classy.
  • Green collection – Bright vivid colors and great orange and greens for halloween.
  • Pink collection – A mix of pinks and purples with 6 glitters.

Here are the pros and cons of this colored powder set:

Pros:

  • Good selection of shades 
  • Highly-pigmented colors
  • Excellent value 
  • It’s easy to mix the colors in the same design because they all have the same consistency
  • Nicely opaque
  • Colors look the same in real life as online
  • Fantastic quality, superfine and easy to use powders
  • You can use them with monomer or as dip powders

Cons:

  • Small containers 
  • They don’t mix well with monomers from a different brand. They get sticky.

Final thoughts:

So, that’s it. What a lot of useful information!

I hope that you liked my “best acrylic nail products” post.

I’d say that the key takeaways are to know your brands, and to stick to the same make of monomer and acrylic powder.

Good luck on your acrylic nail journey and I wish you cute nails in the future. 

you might also like our best acrylic nail brush article here: