* Prices may differ from that shown
I may have mentioned before that I like having nice nails. I am also, fundamentally, bone idle and with a very short attention span. So, whilst I often start out with the intention of giving myself a manicure and making my nails look all pretty, nine times out of ten I get bored before the second coat dries and smudge my nails. So, when I spotted a product in Asda that claimed to be a 'French manicure in a pen' I was sold.
At just over a fiver this product is slightly more expensive than buying a bottle of nail varnish but I was prepared to put up with that if it made the manicure process a bit easier. Nailene is a well-known brand and I entertained high hopes for its efficacy.
The pen is about the same length as the average biro, although a lot thicker. It is predominantly pink with a small window through which the product can be seen. The top of the pen can be clicked down to dispense product onto the brush at the top of the pen.
The first time I used this pen I was pretty pleased with it. It takes quite a few clicks to get the nail varnish flowing but once this has happened it's a really nice, natural colour that looks lovely on the nails. The brush is a bit shorter than I would like and it left brush strokes on the surface of the varnish when first applied but these disappeared when the varnish had dried. The first coat dried quickly and gave an even result with a lovely shine. However, I applied the second coat about an hour later and this took an absolute age to dry. It was touch dry within about 15 minutes but stayed soft for hours after that, meaning any time I brushed my nails against anything it left big scuff marks in the polish.
On subsequent applications the pen has fared even less well. The brush doesn't dry out as long as you put the lid on tightly, but it does get sticky and clumpy with the polish residue left on it and this makes it really difficult to apply an even layer. This means that some nails had a thicker coating of polish than others, giving a weird overall effect. Also, because the brush clumps together when you click the dispenser you either end up with not enough to properly coat a nail or so much that it drips all over your hands.
If you do manage to get all your nails done one of the pluses is that the varnish lasts a long time - up to a week depending on how careful you are. Over this time it retains its shine and, if you've managed to be patient enough to let it dry thoroughly in the first place, doesn't mark or scratch easily.
Most nail varnishes seem to make my nails flake eventually and this one seems to have a more pronounced effect than most. After a week of wear I found that the tips of my nails were peeling very badly; possibly because the formula of this varnish is quite thick. Because of this it's now not one that I'd wear for more than a couple of days or without a decent base coat underneath.
Overall, this is a great idea which fails in its execution. The fact that the brush isn't immersed in varnish all the time makes it sticky and awkward to work with and the results aren't worth the relatively high price tag. Not recommended.