In this post I am only going to review six different brands’ brushes and handles: butter LONDON, China Glaze, Essie, OPI, Orly, and Zoya. I have more brands in my collection, but they are still in my untrieds and I didn’t have time to try them before this post (I’m supposed to be doing schoolwork, shhh, don’t tell my fiancé, lol).
butter London’s brush seems on the narrow side at first glance, but it is wonderfully supple and fairly thick. As you can see from the bottom picture the brush spreads out nicely and this is with very little pressure. I enjoy the brush while painting my nails most definitely. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the handle. It is very short and stubby. Though not unmanageable, it is definitely not the most easily maneuvered. To it’s credit, the ridges do help. Of the six being reviewed, I would say that the brush is my second favorite, but the overall combo ranks number four on my list.
The China Glaze brush has a nice width and the handle is tied for the longest, making it much easier to maneuver. The brush spreads, but not as extensively as the butter LONDON. It is fairly soft, as well, allowing for nice contouring around the nail. Even though the brush isn’t as supple as the butter LONDON the handle is longer and overall the combo make the polish easy to apply. So, China Glaze rates number three.
The impression that the Essie brush is thin is, unfortunately, quite correct. Thank goodness that Essie typically has great formula, because their brush and handle both leave something to be desired. The brush is nicely springy, but just doesn’t have enough bristles to spread out over the nail. This leads to me too often having to make more dips and swipes than I would like to cover a nail. The handle is also stubby. Not as stubby as butter LONDON’s, but it is smooth which makes it harder to hold on to. Though this is one of my favorite brands of polish overall ever (the brand that started this all), the brush/handle ties for last place in this line up.
OPI has one of my favorite brushes of all time. Truly. It is wide, thick, springy, and supple - everything I look for in a brush. This type of brush is a true joy for me. I recognize that some may not like this brush's width, though. I have wide nail beds, so I appreciate it. If you have more narrow nails, you might try using the narrow side of the brush, or strategically placing your swipe so that you only need one ;) The handle is among the longest so it is easy to maneuver. I wish it had some texture or something, like butter LONDON or Orly (coming up next). I would love that with all of the smooth brushes, honestly. This is my overall favorite brush/handle combination (I wish it wore better for me! :( I know most people have great luck with OPI, but it just really struggles on my nails).
Orly has my favorite handle overall. It may not be as long as the OPI and China Glaze handles, but it has a contoured and rubberized grip that makes it quite comfortable to hold and apply the polish. The brush is on par with the China Glaze brush. It is very similar in thickness, springiness, and suppleness. But since the handle is so wonderful, Orly's combo ranks number two on my list overall.
Zoya's brush is on the thinner side and is abnormally short in my opinion. It does spread out more so than the Essie, but is a little stiffer and SO short. The handle is not much longer than the butter LONDON handle, but still shorter than the Essie handle. Thankfully the shape provides an easily maneuverable. It's about equally frustrating to me as Essie so it falls in the same spot. Last.
I know that this long, but I hope that it is helpful for some of you. As usual, feel free to leave comments and questions :)
Thanks & Gig 'em!