Friday, June 7, 2013

Review: MASH nail art pens


Today is turning into review day, apparently, and maybe I should have waited to post this until tomorrow, but I'm really excited about it and couldn't wait, and because there is currently a good deal going on for this product (25% off the bundle). You know I love a good deal, and have to pass it on. :)

A while back when some British nail art pens were announced, I was a little sad face because they aren't easy to find here in the US. Shortly thereafter, though, I was contacted by Mash to see if I'd like to review some of their products, and my heart did a little flutter at the chance to try their nail art pens.

They sent me 4 different colors to try out: White, Black, Silver and Gold. Here are what the pens look like in their packaging:

Mash Nail Art Pens in their packaging

Here is what they look like outside of the package:

One of the things that have made me hesitant to use nail art pens in the past is the type of nibs they have. I've struggled through the ones with the fibers that fray almost the moment that you try to use them, and then make all your nail art messy because the fibers and polish go everywhere. I've gone through felt-tip types of pens that give you clumsy lines and uneven polish control. So I was extremely happy to find that the tips of these pens are really well designed; they're made of plastic, and the polish comes down in a controlled manner to the very tip of the nib:

No fraying. No uneven polish. Very fine tip, with excellent control. Things were looking good.

I decided to play around a bit with them, just to see what I could do with them. Could I color in large areas without it looking striated and uneven? Could I do precision work with the tips? The answer to all of this is yes, and the possibilities were marred only by my artistic limitations. Here I played around with some flourishes and filigree, over a base of InDecisive Sugar; keep in mind there was no intent to create a unified manicure here, this was just my very first, initial attempts to work with the pens, presented to you as is:

I had no problem drawing big flourish shapes, the pens gave me perfect control to get curves and points. Filling in with the same color worked wonderfully--the color blended into itself perfectly, and didn't look like it had little stripes or goopy overlapping areas (although this close up I see a couple of tiny little bare spots I missed, lol, which was my technical error). I didn't shake the white enough, so it came out milky; once I shook it up a bit more, it was fine and solid, so make sure you shake up the colors thoroughly (this probably goes without saying, lol).

My favorite thing about these pens is the fine-tip control you get from the pen nib. The flow is continuous, so you don't get bald spots, but not so much that you get runny polish that compromises your design. Look at these precise lines, and keep in mind these were my very first attempts using the pens:

Now that you've seen the precision, here is another design I did that I wanted to be a little more thick and rustic, like a metal-work grate:

Also, I used the silver to make dots of various sizes so you could see that you can make dots of different sizes (This is over D&R Apothecary's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, if you're wondering, and I'll be reviewing that soon. :) ).

Okay, so...I had to do the ultimate test: The Off-Hand test. Yes, that's right--I attemped to do a manicure with my off-hand, to see if I could get any sort of relative precision with my shaky, poorly controlled right hand. I wanted to do a cat in profile, watching birds (yes, I love this theme):

Base polish: InDecisive Brick

I'm pretty impressed with that as an off-hand mani. Of course no nail art pen is going to make you able to draw with your off-hand as well as your on-hand. But what it can do is not make things worse, and give you the best control you possibly can have on those occasions when you need to do some nail art on both hands. And these pens pass that test, in my opinion. :)

My conclusions? These pens have an excellent delivery system, the nib is long-lasting, the colors are rich. These are wonderful for nail art, and I highly recommend them. The only issue I had was that I had to make sure to shake up the white well, and that's the case with any creme nail art pen, really. :) Oh, and? While they don't need topcoat--they were shiny and pretty without it--when I did apply top coat (my normal Seche Vite), it didn't smear at all. And I tried to make it smear. I brushed over it slowly, brushed over it more than one time, brushed over it hard--no smearing no matter what I did.

You can find these pens by clicking here. The pens come in a variety of 6 colors, and if you buy all 6, you get 25% off--which, if my math is correct, is 6 for the price of 4.5. if you buy them separately, the sell for $5.99 each.

Thanks for reading, and happy nail-arting!

(The pens shown in this post were sent for my honest, unbiased review.)


  1. You are pretty good with these!! I need A LOT of practice!

    1. You'd be surprised at how easy they are to use. Anything you can do with a normal pen you can do with these. I was really, really impressed.

  2. These look so fun and easy to use too! Really neat designs you made with them :)

    1. Thank you! Seriously, I can't stress enough how easy these were to use. You know I'm a nail art noob, and they were so awesome!

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Make my day--leave me a comment!