Omg, omg, omg, I have the awesomest thing to hit the nail world in so long I can't even remember! It's the Uber Mat by UberChic Beauty, and it's designed to make manicures and nail art easier and safer (in terms of damaged furniture) than you ever imagined they could be. Yes, I absolutely love this product, and can't say enough about it.
I did a video showing some of the uses of the mat here:
And I'm going to walk you through it here, too. Take a look at the awesomeness:
|Uber Mat by UberChic Beauty|
The UberMat is made of some mysterious, magical silicone-like substance that makes it perfect for manicures and nail art; plus, UberChic Beauty has put on some awesome features that make it an actual tool to help you create your nail art, not just a mat that protects your table.
Why do I love it?
- It's nail polish, acetone, and nail polish remover safe. So if you're like me and you constantly spill or set your acetone-soaked cotton pad on your table and pull off part of the finish, this is for you, and may even save your marriage. (Maybe that part's just me.)
- It's huge, 16" x 12" so you have plenty of room to do your nail art, and if (or in my case, when) you spill your polish, you're gonna be safe.
- You don't have to put paper towels under your stamping plates anymore if you don't want to; any nail polish that gets on the mat can be wiped up with remover/acetone, or picked up with sticky tape.
- There are nail guides right on the mat that allow you to plan out nail art.
- You can make nail decals right on those nail guides.
- You can test which polishes go together right on the mat.
- You can test which polishes stamp over the polish you want to use, right on the mat. No more little flat marbles or nail swatch sticks.
So let's take a closer look!
The most universally useful thing about this mat, whether you do nail art or not, is the polish/remover resistance. You can do your full manicure on this without worrying about spills; whatever you spill can be wiped right up. If it's nail polish, you can wipe it up with acetone/remover, or if you try to limit your exposure to those chemicals (since I do my nail so often, I try to avoid acetone/remover whenever I can), you can let it dry and peel it off/use sticky tape.
This is especially useful when you're a stamper. We've all filled up countless paper towels when we scrape and wipe the polish from our stamping plates; with this mat, you can scrape right onto the mat:
|Scrape that polish|
|Right onto that mat|
|Then wipe it on off|
|And you're good as new!|
Now, for me personally, I will still use paper towels when I'm using bigger plates, so I don't have to worry about setting my plate on wet polish--that's just me being anal. But with smaller plates that I can just move over another inch each time I scrape for a new nail, I'll be skipping the towels from now on. :)
Make Nail Decals
The fingers printed on the mat provide a perfect place to create nail decals. Whenever I use ziploc bags or page protectors, I have a tendency to forget where exactly my topcoat ends on the sheet. This mat has the perfect guidelines already drawn out for you, and you can work on all 10 decals at the same time, and still have plenty of room to do other things on the mat while they're drying.
1) Brush on your topcoat. When I was playing around with this, I found out that some topcoats work better than others. My beloved Seche Vite doesn't work too well for this unless I put on a generous coat, but my Qtica topcoat worked perfectly with a single, light coat. So test your polishes out to be sure of what works.
|Brush on your topcoat|
2) Stamp your image. This is just like making decals on any other surface, just stamp once the topcoat is dry.
|Stamp your image over your decal|
3) Decorate as desired. This is also the same as on any other surface.
4) Peel off your decal. There are a couple of ways to do this. Bend the mat and the edges should just pop up--then you can grab the edge and peel off. If it's more stubborn and you need to be careful to avoid ripping it, you can use an orange stick or similar tool to loosen the decal.
|Bending the mat will likely make the decal edges pop off|
|Or you can use an orange stick for more stubborn decals|
|And up it comes!|
Testing polish combinations
You can test to see which colors look good together, or which polishes will show up when stamped over another polish. You can do this anywhere on the mat, but they've designed it with three circles set to the side for just this purpose. As a stamper, this is one of the coolest things ever--I can swatch my heart out and test polish after polish. LOVE.
|Swatch 'n' stamp! I prefer the one on the left, don't you?|
Then, when you're done, simply wipe off with remover/acetone; if you want to avoid those, peel off or use sticky tape:
|Pull off! Easy-peasy. :)|
Other kinds of nail art
I love the nail guides not just for stamped decals, but also to plan out placement for things like rhinestones, striping tape, etc. I am forever starting a mani and misjudging the spacing or number of rhinestones I need:
|Preplanning saves a lot of frustrated nail fails...sigh...|
I haven't tried it yet, but I think this might be a great way to do other sorts of nail art as well. I know a lot of people struggle with decorating their dominant hand with their weak hand; you could use the same decal principle as above and do your freehand or fishbraids or whatever directly on the mat, then pop them off and put them on your nails.
I do have one warning: if a polish stains your nail stamper, it will stain the Uber Mat, too. So if you want your mat to stay pretty and perfect, don't use those polishes on it. Luckily, very few polishes stain in that way.
As you can see, I'm in love with this mat, I think it has so many awesome uses for nail fanatics; I rarely say things are must-have products because tastes differ, but I think this is a must-have for anyone who does their nails regularly, and doubly so if you're into nail art. :)
You can purchase the mat directly from UberChic Beauty here; while you're there, check out the awesome new nail plates they just got in stock. I have a review of Collection 4 here (the plate you see above is from that collection) and Fairytale: Sweet April here. UberChic ships internationally too!
Happy, safe, and mess-free stamping!