I've always wanted to achieve the perfect French manicure at home, but I always struggle creating a perfect finish when using my left hand with the varnish brush. Being right handed is cumbersome when trying to achieve perfection on a right hand, and I expect left handed people feel the same the other way around. When I spied this French manicure pen I knew I had to try it. It had to be easier than using a nail varnish brush to create great white tips didn't it? ==Packaging== The pen looks like a shorter stubbier version of a normal pen. The lid has a little clip just like your standard pen, it's just designed to look like a beauty product rather than a writing implement by being shaded in a stark white colour. Once you take the lid off the pen which is a nice fit and secures with a good solid click, you are greeted with a chubby tip, much like a child's first felt tip pen. This is your drawing implement for your nails rather than paper. Overall the product is nice to look at and you wouldn't get too confused between this and a writing pen. ==How to use== The first time you use this pen you will need to create the flow of varnish before applying to your nails. To create the flow of varnish, the packaging advises you to hold the tip down on a surface for 30 seconds until the tip fills with varnish. I found this to take longer than the required time, but it was easy to see when the varnish started to flow through. Whilst it didn't spill over the top of the nib, I would suggest you used a surface such as a scrap piece of paper. Once the pen is ready to use, you can then apply to your nail tips. You can use guides but these aren't included in the packet so would have to be bought separately. I found the varnish to be a good consistency which wasn't too runny, nor too thick. I did find it quite easy to create a thin tip with a steady hand, but getting to the corners of rounded nail tips are quite difficult to achieve smoothness with the chubby tip of the pen. Some cleaning up time is needed with an orange stick dipped in nail varnish remover or such like to clean up quickly, as I found the varnish to dry very quickly. Once your tips are done, and I would suggest a couple of minutes between doing each hand, it dries quickly for you to be able to apply clear nail varnish over the top. Without adding clear varnish the tips looks too stark and bright and very fake in appearance. They are also quite rough to touch which isn't a nice feeling, and very different than if you were to apply white nail varnish from a manicure set. The finished product looks quite nice when the whole look is completed, but sadly I have found the nails to show flaws very quickly after finishing. When only doing your average daily use with hands, I saw chips and cracks in the white tips very quickly after only a few hours in the day. This made my hands look tacky and like they needed re-doing. I would have preferred a couple of day's perfect finish from the polish before having to re-apply. ==Cost== The product will cost your £4.99 which includes the pen and a small bottle of clear varnish. Made by Nailene, I really don't think this product stands up to other products on the market designed to give you the same effects.
I like having nice nails. And, if you're a low maintenance girl like myself, a French manicure is a good way to go as it lasts ages and the chips aren't as noticeable as if you'd used a dark polish. However, to get a really good French manicure, you have to have a long enough attention span to put on a base coat, two coats of colour, a white tip and a top coat. I barely have the attention span to dress myself properly, so all that fannying around with nail varnishes is a lot to ask. Plus, if you want to do the white tip properly, you either need a white pencil and a steady hand (as you colour in the underside of your nail) or you need those sticker guide-things and a bottle of white polish (and I always, always mess that bit up). This white nail varnish pen looked like the ideal hassle-saving solution. ~*~Appearance~*~ It's about the same size as a Bic ballpoint, but a lot chunkier. The actual tip looks a bit like one of those permanent whiteboard markers. ~*~Use~*~ In theory, the fact that it's a pen should enable you to get a much neater line and give a level of precision that's tricky to achieve with a regular nail varnish brush. To activate it, you press down on the tip to get the white varnish flowing, and then apply to nails that have had a coat of varnish. Which all sounds terribly straightforward until you realise that it's actually a bit more problematic than it should be. The consistency is very fluid and this wateriness means that it's difficult to control how much of the product is deposited on your nails and makes them look very messy. The nib is quite hard so you end up drawing on your nail, rather than painting on it and any varnish previously applied becomes wet and then gets dragged up, leaving big trails and ridges in your otherwise pristine nails. I tried applying this first, on bare nails, but as soon as nail varnish was applied over the top it went smudgy and the line at the tip of my nails looked blurry and indistinct. I then tried applying this the day after I'd put on the coats of coloured varnish, but the consistency of the white polish and hardness of the nib still meant that my nails became very messy. I couldn't find any way of using this that didn't leave my nails looking awful, so I ended up binning it after about 5 uses. I'll stick to nail guides and white polish or white nail pencils in the future. ~*~Price and availability~*~ I bought mine in Asda, where it cost £4.99. That's an absolute rip-off for a product as poor as this.