Nail Art pens: Barry M vs. Sally Hansen

Hello 🙂

As promised in my last post (mini-mani whiteboards), today I am going to do a review for some nail art pens that I purchased.

Barry M vs Sally Hansen

I still like to use typical brushes and stripers in order to create my nail designs, although nail art pens are very useful, especially for creating chalkboard or whiteboard nails.

In case you’ve never seen these pens before, I’ll go through the basics. Nail art pens are quite new to the market in the UK, they are a must-have for budding nail artists and are very easy to use. The clue is in the name really but they are just like a normal pen. Nail Polish is stored in the barrel of the pen and as you move the nib across the nail, the nail polish is released. One top tip of using these pens is to ensure that the base colour is completely dry before use. It is very easy to smudge the base colour with the pen nib and this can cause the pen to get blocked and a bit messy.

So which pen should you buy…?

Barry M

After walking past the Barry M make-up stand in Boots many times, I finally decided to purchase two pens, one in black and one in white. They retail at £4.99 per pen. This may seem quite expensive if you are just looking to doodle on your nails but I chose to use my Boots advantage card points so I managed to save some money. You do get a good amount of polish in each pen and the polish is very opaque which means you don’t have to draw over your design many times to get a good result.  They are currently available in 4 colours- white, black, silver and pink.

Barry MThe nib is very different to most nail art pens. Instead of a small, needle-like nib that usually decides to remain blocked after one use, the Barry M pens are able to keep dispensing polish. You can create detailed designs, they are also very useful for creating aztec designs and as I said earlier, I love using the white pen to resemble ‘chalk’ when creating matte chalkboard nails.

Barry MThere are not many disadvantages to this pen, however, I do find them quite difficult to hold. The pens are quite small, they are about half the size of an ordinary pen. Personally I would prefer a thinner but longer pen to allow even more precision. Apart from that, I would recommend purchasing one.

Sally Hansen

I actually found this Sally Hansen nail art pen at a cosmetics stall in a shopping centre for just £2.50.  The Sally Hansen pens are available on amazon at prices ranging from £2.99. Although these pens are cheaper than the Barry M pens, they are less opaque and are only visible on some base colours. I purchased the gold pen because it was the only colour available, the black or white pens may be more opaque, but this pen did disappoint me which doesn’t encourage me to order the same pen in a new colour.

Sally Hansen Gold pen

I do prefer the shape of this pen as it is longer than the Barry M design. Also there is a slightly more pointed tip but the nail polish does not always flow continuously. I wouldn’t buy a Sally Hansen pen in the near future, I much prefer the Barry M pens even if they are a little more expensive.

Barry M vs Sally HansenAs you can see from the picture above, there isn’t a major difference between the two pens when you look at them, but after testing them, there is a clear difference.

Overall, I would give the Barry M pens an 8/10 and I would give the Sally Hansen pen a 5/10.

I hope to produce some new designs with these pens soon, so watch this space…

Ljmoo123 🙂


3 thoughts on “Nail Art pens: Barry M vs. Sally Hansen

  1. Pingback: #OMD3nails! Day 21 – Travel | The Adventures of a Nail Artoholic

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