Thanks to the folks at Migi Nail Art, who were kind enough to send me a couple of their pens to try and review. As soon as I saw the colors they sent, one thing popped into my head immediately - Watermelons!
The pens look like markers, and when hooked together (two colors connected in the middle), they're about the same size as a marker too. This really is an ingenious design, because it's far more comfortable to hold than most nail art pens that are too short. This design didn't make the palm of my hand cramp up like a lot of them do.
They come apart easily - just twist in and out of the coupler. You can buy refills, so once you buy the pen, you don't have to buy the whole thing again, which I like. They have a regular nail polish brush inside of the screw-cap, which is okay, but honestly, I don't normally use art polish to actually paint my base layers with. The consistency is just too thick for a base color (which is what makes it great for art - thicker is easier to work with when drawing designs). These bottles are also pretty small, so I wouldn't normally want to waste good art polish just as a base color. I'd prefer to see a skinny striper brush in here for more flexibility in art styles.
The slender metal pen tip is perfect - and it's what will get the most use, I think. You pull the top of the cap off (instead of unscrewing the whole thing), and the pen tip is right there. Very easy to use and control, not too long as some other brands are.
So now that we've explored the pens - on with the design! For purposes of trying the Migi pens out, I used the hot pink and green as base colors over Avon base coat for this manicure. They're fairly opaque in one coat, but I used two just to smooth out any rough spots. It really is much thicker polish than I'd normally want to use as a base. You can, but I wouldn't recommend it.
Then I switched to the pen tip, and added green tips to my pink nails to start forming the rind. Honestly, the pen tip isn't very useful for filling in the tip - next time, I'd use it to draw in the smile line, then switch to the brush to fill color over the tips.
I had the idea to make two of my nails look like the outside of a watermelon, so I used the white pen tip to draw in lines like you might see on a watermelon. They're never straight, so I "wiggled" them on purpose. It worked great - these pens are pretty easy to use right away, with less pressure than you might think.
This is what happens when you use too much pressure - the lines are too thick on my ring finger! I wasn't sure I'd be able to fix this problem.
But I used the green pen to go over some of the glaring white and took it back down to a manageable look. Then I used the white to accent the smile lines on my pink nails, and create the white part of the rind.
Next, I used the black pen to create "seeds". Many watermelon depictions only have a few seeds near the rind, but I've never eaten a watermelon that didn't have plenty of them, so I embellished.
Finally time for top coat. I used a glossy Avon topcoat for the pink fingers, and then, since watermelons are not glossy on the outside, I used Essie Matte About You on the green fingers, with great results! I did the green fingers first, and realized that the Migi polish does run under topcoat. I liked that on my green nails, since it toned down the white and made it look more like real watermelons.
For the pink nails, I got a good glob of top coat on the brush, and swiped it quickly over each nail, careful to not let the brush actually touch the nail. After that dries, the polish underneath is set and no more running problems. It takes practice - and as you can see, I'm not perfect at it yet.
Then a little clean up, and voila! Watermelon nails. Photo above is with flash, photos below without a flash. You can really see the difference between the glossy and matte top coats - I love the contrast.
I did this manicure on Sunday night, and I do have a little shrinkage at the tips. The Migi polish is great for artwork, not so great for base coats, and if they'd switch out that regular brush for a striper brush, these pens would be perfect. Even so, I'm still ordering more...the shape and pen tip are just excellent, and much easier to use than most art pens out there. This manicure went very quickly - about 1 1/2 hours start to finish (start being taking the old polish off, filing, buffing, etc). The polish dries very quickly.
No toes this week - I wasn't sure I'd have time. As soon as the prizes for the contest come in, I'll post them up!