I've always liked to be quite creative with my nails, unfortunately though I'm not arty in the slightest so when I want to have a go it's always turned out to be a total mess. The normal nail art pens with the little brushes? I've tried so many of those and made such a mess with them I tend now to avoid them, so when I was shopping in Superdrug a few weeks ago and eying up the beautiful colours of the Barry M nail varnishes - I spotted these and decided I'd just give one a go just in case it was one I could actually use. I am ever the trier!
~*~ Barry M ~*~
Barry M are a fairly large company in the cosmetic world - they have sections in both my local Boots and Superdrug which is quite a miracle knowing how little we have in Boston. They have such a range of items, from nail varnish, eyeliner, eye shadows, lip sticks, and they even sell their own version of self-tan now which I find weird considering the majority of their items are bright and sparkly I hope it's not quite the same as those, wouldn't want to be all sparkly and brown think that would look weird. Given that the majority of Barry M products come in bright colours, you can't miss them - I first got into Barry M as a teenager, completely taken in by their luminous eyeliners and eye shadows, I wanted them all but I soon got over that as they went up in price. Now I'm addicted to their nail varnishes, no matter what colour or style I really like them.
~*~ Nail Art Pens ~*~
Pens that make me look relatively good!
~*~ To Get It Started ~*~
Well I half expected to just open the pen and be able to draw on my nails straight away, unfortunately for my eager mind - I needed to unwrap and then shake well before starting to use the pen, it suggests leaving the lid on. I didn't but it didn't do anything, so I wouldn't worry too much about keeping the lid on when you're shaking it - you only shake it the same as you would a normal nail varnish to ensure the colours are mixed enough to be able to coat the nail well so I didn't mind doing it. However then it asks you to pump the nib before use, to start with I had no idea what on earth it meant, I bought the silver pen so expected to see a silver nib. However it was a white nib which explains why you need to pump it, to get the ink flowing through - I did this on the lid of the pen because I didn't know if it would end up coming out quite quickly all over my finger if I pressed it there, or ruin my nail varnish if it came out really quickly. Thankfully it didn't only transferred if I pressed it against skin or nail, no unnecessary flow which I was very pleased with.
~*~ Can I Draw? ~*~
No, I can't draw because I'm so bad at art it hurts - but I can make funny patterns and shapes and when it comes to personalising nails I'm happy with that. If I do nail art it's normally on false nails and then stick them on, because it means I can use my right hand to do all ten nails, because I am by no means ambidextrous unfortunately so if I tried it on my right hand it would look like a child had done it. This pen does make it a little bit easier though, because the 'ink' it's nail varnish but it's a pen so I keep thinking its ink, comes out across the entire nib. Rather than just out of the end which is where I'd been quite frustrated with pens in the past, because I like to do big bits of art and colour them which with a single thin nib it's really hard work and ends up ruining the nail varnish underneath so I was more than happy to have a thicker side that coloured in the outline I'd drawn without too much pressure and ruining the nail varnish underneath. The thing is with this ink/varnish is that if you've got a dark base colour you do need a good couple of coats to make it last, because even on just a purple colour my silver does sink into the surroundings so I find that I do need three or four coats over the area to make it thick enough to look different from the base coat. It's not a problem because it doesn't take overly long to dry it's just that if you're doing it on your own nails, it might get a little bit tedious. It doesn't bother me on falsies because I can go over them all, and go off and do something else (like a bit of rating) and come back and go over them again. It is a time consuming job nail art, but it's not something that puts me off even though I am pretty shocking at it. The pen it comes in is quite easy to use which is a bonus, it's a sturdy pen rather than a squeezable one which is good because I think I'd be tempted to squeeze it if I'd got one like that to get a big blob on my nail to spread out, although it might look good for Halloween maybe not so good when I'm trying to make a nice pretty pattern on my nails.
The nib of the pen itself is really quite sturdy as well, because no matter how hard I press on it, it doesn't seem to want to bend or break, or even split which given it's a fibrous tip it looks like it might with a fair bit of hammer on it. It's one that will stand the test of time by the feel of things, which it needs to when you consider how you start it going by pumping it in and out of the pen. The nail varnish once it's on needs to be coated with clear nail varnish, whether it is a Barry M one or not makes no difference really. The ink/varnish inside is quite think so doesn't take much to chip or damage in things like hot water if you've not got it coated. This is one of the things I did to start with, and had a really hot shower and washed my hair it seemed a bit less obvious and like there were tiny bits missing. To start with it doesn't make a huge difference, but the more you use your hands afterwards the bigger difference it will make, so just remember to put clear nail varnish on over the top and it will preserve it for a bit longer than going on without it. The nail art with clear nail varnish on over the top will last as long as you're willing to leave your base coat without reapplying really, so it's your own decision how long you leave it. Obviously removal will be a bit more difficult if you've got a lot of layers of nail varnish, base coat, colour, art and clear nail varnish, but I've not found it to be much of a problem to get it off - nothing more than any more stubborn nail varnish that takes a bit of getting off so it's not a massive inconvenience for me. It's quite versatile when it comes to drawing items on your nails really, I can easily draw letters, hearts and patterns - not so good with detailed items because I'm not arty, for some it might be easier, but as I said because of a nob that allows varnish flow all round it's a much easier way to make nail art than some of the other nail art pens around. I just wish they did it in a few more colours, at the minute it only comes in silver, white, black and pink - I'd like a lot of different colours would mean I could possibly get better as I'd have a wider palette of colours to play with, but this will do for now!
~*~ Price and Availability ~*~
It is available for £4.99 from Boots and Superdrug and on the Barry M website, in Black, White, Silver and Pink!
I am going through a bit of a polka dot phase at the moment for some reason and decided I wanted to do a polka dot effect on my nail and as I didn't have a nail dotter tool I decided to go for this Barry M nail art pen in white although it also comes in silver and black too. At £4.99 it is really good value (the next cheapest option I could find in Boots was £6.00) so I decided to give it a go.
This nail art pen basically looks like a small eyeliner or maker pen with a removal lid and one of those nibs that you see on tippex pens. However, one thing that really impressed me was the fact that it didn't come in a separate cardboard tube which I hate as it is such a waste of packaging.
So far I have only used the pen to apply spots to my nails but I found it really simple to use. Basically it comes with a really fine tip (about the of a fine liner pen). The idea is that you shake the bottle for about 10 seconds and then depress the tip onto a piece of paper so the colour comes out. Once you have done that you are free to experiment with your polish.
So far I have only really done dots on my nails but have also tried out stripes (on a coke can for some reason) and it is really easy to use. One thing I would say is you do need to have a steady hand especially for your right hand or left hand if you are not right handed. However, that said you do with any nail polish.
One thing that really impressed me was how quickly it dried as mine was touch dry within a few seconds (however, if you do a thicker or more complicated design that might take longer). This means it's really fast and easy to apply and there are no worries about your art work smudging while you are waiting for it to dry. However, make sure your base coat is completely dry before applying the nail art pen as it will make a mess otherwise. However, once I had done my nails I was really impressed with the results as they looked really professional and were so simple to do.
In terms of how long it lasts well that has a lot to do with the base coat but if you have a decent base coat and colour and then put a top coat over this will mean you should get about five days wear out of it which is pretty good.
At £4.99 from places such as boots and online this pen is really good value and is really versatile. I can see myself not only using it for nail art but to apply the tip to a French manicure as well. To me it's well worth the price.
Review also appears on Ciao under user name SamanthaL82
I've never been that into nail art because of how fiddly and time consuming it looks but when I saw the Barry M nail art pens in Superdrug I decided to buy one as it looked like it would be easy to use. There were a few different colours available including black, pink, white & silver.
I was torn between the black and silver but in the end I decided to buy the silver one as I thought it'd look really nice on both pastel and dark nail varnish, whereas i thought the black one might be a bit too prominent against pastel varnishes and obviously not noticeable against black and other dark coloured varnishes.
As I chose the silver colour, the bottle that it comes in is silver too. The bottle is designed like a felt tip pen which really appealed to me as it seemed like it would be much easier to use than the other nail art products that I've seen around. The pen has four steps on the back of it which explain how to use the product which I love, it made it so much easier to use and I liked that these instructions were included. They are very easy to understand and follow too.
The pen is a little shorter than an average felt tip and quite a lot thicker but it is still easy to grip and it isn't fiddly or anything. When holding the pen it was easy to control and it felt just like I was holding a felt tip! Using the product is simple once you know what to do but without the instructions I think the results would not be anywhere near as good! First you need to shake the pen (with the lid on!) and then remove the lid and pump the white nib against a spare piece of paper (I used a bit of kitchen roll). Once the nib was silver I knew that it was ready to be used.
I had painted my nails beforehand and ensured that the varnish had dried before using the pen. The nib is very thin and precise and I like that the nib is plastic rather than metal as this made it less likely to make a dent in my nail varnish. The paint flowed out smoothly and steadily whilst I was using the pen and I didn't need to keep pressing down of it or anything which meant that all I needed to concentrate on was the design. The only nail art I've used in the past was glitter which came in a squeezy tube which needed to be squeezed constantly so the design of this pen is much better.
Once I had finished I was happy with the design and the silver nail art stood out from my bright raspberry pink nail varnish. The nail art took a very short time to dry which pleasantly surprised me, and after it had dried I applied a top coat. I wouldn't say that the overall look looked flawless or professional but this is only because the lines were a little wonky - this is purely because I'm not used to doing nail art though and once I get used to it and get a steadier hand while doing it I think the overall look will be just as good as the professional nail art. I did a simple zig zag design but the possibilities are endless.
I am going to get a white, black and a pink pen too because I want to do flowers and I also saw an adorable pig design on the Internet of a nail which had half blue, half green varnish with a little pink pig in the middle haha it was so cute. I also really want to try the Cath Kidston polka dot design with the white nail pen on a pastel background. Although I like my silver pen I think it isn't really the right time to wear it as it is coming up to summer, but when it is Christmas time I can't wait to do some Christmassy nail art with it!
All in all I love my nail art pen and I will definitely be buying a couple of other colours! I highly recommend this product and I give it five out of five stars.
The Nail Pen
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The product I am reviewing is a new addition to the Barry M range and I only purchased it a few weeks ago when I saw it in my local Boots store. The product is a Nail Art Pen which is available to purchase in a different range of colours. I have purchased nail pens in the past but I find that some are hard to use. I couldn't resist treating myself to the black and silver nail art pens by Barry M. These nail art pens are extremely easy to use due to the fine tip and easy grip bottle meaning you can design with ease. The pens are smaller than a normal felt tip pen but are slightly chunkier to hold. On the pen it states what the product is and who makes it and it also has instructions on how to use the pen. With nail pens you can create endless amount of designs for your nails, whether you want something plain and simple or something more creative these pens will help you create the look and style that you want.
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I purchased the pens from my local Boots store where they are priced at £4.99 each. There are 4 colours to choose from including Silver, Pink, Black and White. You can also purchase these from Superdrug and the Barry M website. Please note that prices may vary.
Using the Nail Pen
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I painted my nails in pastel colours which are nail paints from the Barry m range. As the weather is getting better I love the look of pastel coloured nails in the summer and I thought that the black nail pen would show up perfectly on them. Although the silver nail pen would ideally show up better on darker nails I thought I would give it a try anyway. Ensure that your nail paint is dry before using the nail pen as this can ruin the nib of the nail pen. Shake the pen well before use, ensuring that the lid is securely on. You will hear the pen rattle a little as you shake it. I normally shake it for a good 10 seconds before using it. The lid comes off the pen easily to reveal the felt nib which is white in colour. Using a scrap piece of paper you need to pump down on the tip until the colour appears. Some people may be familiar with this as often you have to do this with some markers (silver & gold one's in particular). Once the white nib turns the colours of the nail paint you can start to get creative on your nails. I wasn't really sure what designs to do so I googled some ideas for some inspiration as I wasn't really sure what design to do. Lots of ideas came up and some looked easier than others. As it was my first time using the pens I decided to go for something fairly simple and easy.
I started drawing some lines on one nail and was surprised at how easy it was to use the nail pen. It was literally just like using a felt tip pen on my nails. The nail pen was really easy to use and I didn't need to apply much pressure on the pen in order to draw the design on. It was a lot easier than I expected. Although my hand was a little shaky at first and some of the lines weren't exactly straight I was impressed with some of the few designs that I did on my nails and now I had the hang of it I'm sure I would be much better at it next time. It suggests applying a top coat over the nail design to make the design last even longer. I use the Barry M, 3 in 1 clear top coat for this.
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After applying the top coat and looking at my nails I thought they looked quite professional and I was really impressed with the results. I have to admit that my favourite design was the nail with the Pastel Green nail paint on as I think this looked a lot tidier than the others and it also looked more professional. I did add some silver to this design as well but you can't really see it very well in the picture. If I have had a white pen I probably would have added white instead of silver as it would have shown up better on the pale green. I had a few compliment about my nails and a few people asked where I got them done and they were surprised when I told them I had done them myself. The design on my nails lasted as long as my polish would which was at least 3-4 days before the nail paint started to wear off round the edges of the nail. The nail design came off easily using normal nail polish remover. I didn't need to scrub at the nail in order to remove it.
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I did have high hopes of this product as it was a Barry M product and I find their nail products, especially their nail paints really good. I have to admit that I was surprised at how easy the pens were to use and I was impressed at how little pressure you need to apply to the tip in order to draw the design onto the nail. The pen is really easy to grip and hold and is comfortable when trying to draw a design onto your nail. I have to admit that it can be a little tricky trying to draw designs on your own nails; how-ever with some practise I'm sure this is something that most people will get better at. In terms of value I think the pens were very reasonable as they work well and are really easy to use. Although I have some other nail art pens from other brands these Barry M pens are by the far the easiest one's to use. I am planning on purchasing the white and pink nail pen to add to my collection. I hope that Barry M will bring out some colours in these pens as I think they are brilliant.
(review also on ciao)