Disclosure: This is a guest post by KT of Polish Panic. Press samples were provided.
A few days ago, I received some Hot Designs nail art pens to review. This past weekend, I was able to get some polishing in and used the nail art pens for the first time.
The pens tout a dual-use feature where you can either use one side of the cap to create precise polish lines or use the brush on the other side of the cap to paint broader strokes of polish (both pictured below). Each pen has two colors of each with 0.16 oz of polish in each color—Flame Red, Kelly Green, Star White, Hot Pink, Royal Blue, and Midnight Black. The kit also comes with pins to clean the pen tops with and a cute little instruction manual that shows how to achieve different designs. Definitely great for beginners.
The first thing I tried was the brush side because of course, you need a good base color for nail art. I must say I was quite disappointed. The polish has a weird consistency and is quite thick (hoping polish thinner will solve this problem). Also, the bristles on the brush don’t spread as they should. Instead, they remain clumped together, making it a nightmare for application. Lastly, since the bottle stands so tall, you must be very careful when using the polish so as not to tip the bottle over and make a mess.
I still managed to get a coat of each color on my nails, and to my surprise, the colors are quite vibrant and opaque in one coat with the exception of the white (which I expected to need two coats as all whites do)!
For my first design using the nail pens, I wanted to do something simple so that I could get the hang of using the pens. I painted all of my nails in Hot Pink and went for a lace accent nail. The “pen” side of the cap is quite thin and spouts out just the right amount of polish with a tiny squeeze of the bottle. Look how precise those little lines and dots are! I’m never able to get it quite right when I’m using my brushes alone. Looks like these Hot Designs pens might be able to redeem themselves!
Of course, I had to put the pens to the test and try a more difficult design. Enter tribal nails:
Once again, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the pen side worked after getting the hang of it!
While I was VERY disappointed in the formula of the polish and quality of the brush in terms of just general nail polish, the “nail pen” side of the these pens is actually pretty good! The colors are vibrant and the pens are easy to use. I really wish they would have stuck to it just being a nail art pen or vastly improving the quality of the polish and brush.
Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Til next time,