“ Brand: Stargazer / Type: Nail Varnish / Subcategory: Pen / Suitable for: Nails „
I originally bought this for a 'pamper' party of mine and bought a few colours in order to create smaller, more detailed designs due to the two ways in which you are able to apply.
I bought around 25 of these in bulk so they cost a lot less, however they retail at around £3 each and in each nail varnish you get a good amount so this isn't too expensive. You can pick them up cheaper from eBay and Amazon or sometimes at carboots I have seen loads of them being sold at just £1 each, so it is worth looking around for them.
There are two ways to apply with this, which is what helps you to create great designs, one of them is what is known as the 'striper' or the 'brush'. This is where you unscrew the nail varnish to see a very thin brush.
This is great for doing longer, smoother strokes on the nails, or stripes. The brush easily brushes across the nail due to it being quite sleek, this is also great for doing french manicures, as it is small it allows for nice lines across the top of the nail, also due to it being smooth you can move it swiftly across your nail so that it doesn't look all blotchy. I do find that the bristles are not always of the best quality and sometimes they can be left behind in the nail varnish or can spew out in random directions. Nontheless, this happens quite rarely and other than this it is very easy to use and creates lovely smooth, glossy strokes.
The pen / dotter has to be my favourite thing though, at first you do have to squeeze it quite hard in order for it to come out, however after this a very small squeeze will be fine. The nail varnish does come out quite fast so you do have to be quite quick with this in order to get neat designs, the pen is great for creating dots or flowers. I do find that it is quite hard to get all the dots the same size as sometimes I find the nail varnish comes out faster than at other times. This dotter tool is particuarly hard to use when the nail varnish is less than half full or almost ran out as you have to squeeze the tube very hard and sometimes this can still result in no nail varnish being released, or sometimes there is a sudden gush of it creating a messy look on the nail.
I have to admit, I did find it a little difficult to use at first and found that the strokes were much too thick or the dots looked more like wonky ovals, however with time and practice I now find the pen much easier to use and can use it to create really detailed designs. If you are a bit stuck on what kind of designs to create then it is worth searching the internet or youtube as I find there are many simple to follow designs on there!
The white colour was not quite as white as what I had wanted it to be. It had a slight creamy/ivory colour and wasn't the clean white I had wanted it to be, nonetheless the colour is still very bold and stands out clearly on the nail. I also find that the white colour can discolour very quickly on the nail if no top coat is added and the design can appear grubby.
The nail varnish dries quickly too, so you don't have to worry about smudging your design and the these don't just come in white, but almost every other colour, including glittery and metallic ones! I find that I need to apply a top coat over the top of the design as sometimes I find that it can start to chip more easily than my other nail varnish, or begins to peel off. I do find that the block colours, such as that of black, white, blue, pink, green, etc work better than those that are glittery or metallic as they create bolder designs that look clearer on the nail as I sometimes find the glittery ones can be a little watery.
Overall I would highly reccomend this item to everyone who wants to create their own nail designs!
I have a friend who does amazing nail art, she does amazing tiny pictures of flowers and butterflies amongst other things on peoples nails using normal nail varnish. I decided that I wanted to try and create some funky patterned nails for myself but found creating detail with a normal nail varnish brush was almost impossible. I came across the stargazer nail art pens on Ebay, you can buy sets containing several different colours but I chose to buy a single pen first to see if I liked it choosing the white one.
Stargazer are a company which specializes in making funky make up, I love their nail varnishes in general because not only are they cheap they are really good quality and come in cool metallic colours as well as the normal boring colours. I buy stargazer products from a shop in Sterling Mills designer outlet for a pound or two each but you can also buy them from the stargazer website for £3.
The nail art pen differs from normal nail varnish because it is in a squeezy plastic bottle and has two ways to apply the varnish. When you twist the top off you get a brush like normal varnishes but if you pull the top part of the lid off there is a pen which allows you to make dots or draw fine lines. The pen is actually a very thin metal tube which allows the varnish to be squeezed out, the nib is very fine probably less than a mm across and the tube gets blocked with dried out varnish easily so you need to have a pin on hand to unblock this nozzle when this happens.
I find the varnish inside the nail art pen stinks, the normal star gazer nail varnish does not have such a high odour and I wonder if this is because this varnish has more solvent in it to allow it to be slightly thinner than normal. Because the nail varnish is for stripes and dots the brush is extremely thin and almost impossible to use to paint a whole nail. It does however make it fairly easy to draw a fairly thick line with it, I have found it difficult to draw anything but straight lines using the brush as when I try any kid of curves then it always ends up smudging and looking messy. The pen nib adds tiny dots or draws nicely in straight and curved lines but you need to have a steady hand.
The white colour is almost cream rather than bright white and once it is on the nails it stays put for a very long time with no chipping and flaking away. Because you put a thin coat on the design does not protrude from the surface of the nail making it easy to catch on things. The colour is not very evident on naked nails but once you have applied a deep base coat it stands out nicely and the bottom coat does not show through even if you use black as a base. The colour has a nice pearly shiny finish which shimmers under the light and is really attractive.
The stargazer nail art pen is not perfect, the fact it smells so bad and you can't use the brush easily to cover a full nail are downsides meaning that I am going to try out different brands to see if they fare any better rather than buy more stargazer pens in other colours.