Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Foiled Again! Epic Nail Foil Transfers review

I'd say I'm sorry for the title, but I'm sure you all know how much I love groan worthy puns by now, so you wouldn't believe me even if I did.

As a relative newbie to world of nail "stuff", I've seen nail foils mentioned quite a bit, usually in close conjunction with "dammit, why won't these cursed things work?!" Like watermarbling, I'd put them aside as something that would be nice to play with at some stage, but that looked rather too tricky for my clumsy fumblings just now. However Epic Nail, an Australian based purveyor of nail goodies, was kind enough to offer me one of their Kaleidoscope Nail Foil Kits to review, which seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up just because I was worried about messing them up.

The Kaleidoscope Nail Foil Kit in all it's shininess

I was pretty darn excited to open up a box of so much shiny! The kit comes with six colours of foil, glue to hold the foil to your nail, orange sticks to smoosh the foil onto the glue, and very clear instructions on how to make the whole process go. After diligently poring over the instructions, I set out to give this whole nail foil thing a bash.

Because it said so in the instructions, I started with a base of plain polish. In this instance I chose black, because given a choice and no other directions I will almost always choose black. In future I will probably go with a polish that matches the foil as closely as possible, just so any tears are less obvious. Unfortunately with this black, every little tiny patch was glaringly obvious. Apparently you can do foils just as well straight over bare nails, but I would probably only recommend doing that with lighter or silver foils so any tears don't show up as obviously. For the video below, I used purple polish under purple foils, and it looked perfect.

This is Models Prefer in Little Black Dress, one coat. It's my favourite black this week.
You should probably theoretically wait for it to dry all the way, but I am super impatient and so I put a quick layer of Rica Glossy Glam fast dry topcoat over it. Nail foil comes in big long rolls, so I did a SUPER smart thing and cut the foil into little rectangles for each nail, and laid them out on the table BEFORE putting the glue on my nails. You CAN do this after putting the glue on, while you're waiting for it to dry, but you run the risk of getting it glued to the wrong parts. If there's a way to prevent my clumsy self from stuffing something up, I'm going to take it.

Once I had my little rectangles all laid out, I put a thin layer of nail glue over the base colour. It goes on quite white and opaque, but dries clear, so you can see pretty easily when it's dry. However, I'd been warned to leave it for longer than I thought I needed to, just to make sure it was really SUPER duper dry, so I left each nail to dry for about five minutes. Be warned though, the glue remains sticky even when dry - it is kind of the point of it. But it does mean if you pat your cat, for example, not that I know anyone who would do that, you'll have to start again.

Once I as convinced the glue was sufficiently dry I cleared all the stuff that could possibly stick to the glue out of the way, and laid out the little rectangles, and cotton buds so I wouldn't have to go scrabbling for anything. I decided against using the orange sticks to smooth the foil down, because I was advised cotton buds are a bit easier on the foil when you're not 100 per cent sure of what you're doing - the foil is quite fragile, and will tear if you poke it with pointy things accidentally.

Okay, so I'd already done two nails when I took this, but the principle remains relevent.
I then carefully and gently placed the foil rectangle as square in the middle of the nail as I could. I just patted it in place, being careful not to smoosh it too hard and make wrinkles.

Once I was happy with my patting, I got my cotton bud and gently (but firmly) smoothed down the foil, starting from the centre of the nail and moving outwards. I've also seen people advise going from one side of the nail to the other, but my nails are really curvy and a sunburst sort of pattern seemed to work better for me. Once that was done, it looked like this;

The foil was starting to come away a little bit, which I took as a good sign, so I carefully peeled it back. I've seen it suggested that taking it off quickly like a bandaid is better, but slowly worked better for me. Once you've peeled it off, the nail is done!

Now do this nine more times, and you've got a full mani!
 Overall, I found these foils surprisingly easy to use. For all the wailing and knashing of teeth I've heard about foils in general, the only issue I had was a tiny bit of patchiness on the first round, and I didn't get any patchiness the second time I tried them. I think using a cotton bud and slowly, carefully smoothing it out was a big contributor to my success, so I made you a little video showing just how I did it. Please be sure to let me know what you think of the soundtrack!

Once you're happy with the way the foil is sitting on your nails, it's best to put a top coat over them because, as I mentioned before, the foil is quite fragile. I put a coat of Rica Glossy Glam over the top with no problems, but I have heard that you're better off using a water based top coat if you've got the time to wait around for it to dry. I did something of a skittle mani for this post, but it wasn't really a deliberate design - more wanting to try ALL THE COLOURS at once!

From left to right, these are Date Night (my ABSOLUTE favourite), Bonfire, The Deep, and Irish Flair. 

Seriously, I couldn't stop wiggling my fingers around to make my nails flash when I had these on. They were amazingly simple to use, and while I have no idea how well they last (I imagine this would depend on what top coat you use) they are super easy to get off again. You might have noticed between taking the photos and making the video I had to do some serious slash and burn on my nails, but the upside to this nail disaster is that the foils seemed much quicker and simpler on shorter nails. I found it much easier to get them smooth on shorter nails, whereas on my former talons it did take a bit of fiddling to make sure they didn't crease.

I did find some foils transferred a little easier than others - Date Night worked perfectly every time, but I struggled to get Irish Flair to transfer as cleanly as I would have liked. But since there are approximately one billion options to choose from available from Epic Nail, I would be pretty surprised if there wasn't something there to make everyone happy. There are a bunch of other reviews around, so if you want to know what the colours I haven't covered here are like before investing, I'd suggest taking a gander.

The Kaleidescope kit is available from Epic Nail, as well as all the individual components if you want to just dip a nail in the water before committing to a whole box of shiny. Epic Nail have also generously set up a coupon code just for you guys! If you put in spend more than $30 they are offering free standard shipping - all you need to do is enter the code BLOGFEMME at the checkout.

Now they've converted me to foils, I am eyeballing Epic Nail's epic collection of shellac polishes pretty hard. Since a couple of you have asked me about shellac polishes, I think I might have to pick some up and test them out sometime soon!

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  1. Replies
    1. They look so fancy considering how little effort is required :)

  2. Yay! Thank you so much for that tutorial. Nail foils always confused me but now I see they are not the mysterious beings I once believed them to be. :)


    1. I was pretty blown away by how easy to use they were. I'm planning on trying some other techniques to get different finsihes.

  3. I love the video. The nail foils look amazing.

  4. That music is going to be STUCK IN MY HEAD ALL DAY THANK YOU FOR THAT.


    The tutorial looks remarkably easy, and thank you for the video! I was also struck by how AMAZING that black looks (your 'before' picture). Man. I need to spend more time practicing my nails so I don't look like I've had a mani done by my 7-year-old niece. :)


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