Play Time: Topshop/NPW Nail Art Pens


I bought these cutesy little nail art pens in Topshop a while back. They’re not actually Topshop branded, I had a quick google for ‘npw’ as seen on the box and it’s just a general gifting website. So, as far as I’m concerned these are Topshop nail art pens!

Anyway, I’ve been through about a million and five nail art pens in my time – my grandparents bought me my first set when I was 8! Since then I’ve used many different ones from eBay, which at face value seem like a bargain for the amount of colours you’re getting but it’s not exactly unusual to end up disappointed by their lack of pigmentation and watery formulas.

These Topshop ones cost £10 for 5, and they’re colours that I don’t really have already (at least not in pen form!) so I figured, why not? Obviously at £2 each they work out a fair bit more expensive than eBay ones but if they’re better quality, it’s obviously worth it.

£2 is also a lot cheaper than the likes of the Models Own/Wah Nails pens . The Models Own ones do have a striping brush inside the cap, unlike these Topshop ones or the Nails Supreme/Migi ones. While stripers are extremely useful and versatile, it definitely shouldn’t be a deciding factor when buying nail art pens. Just get a set of striping brushes from eBay (like these ones for a couple of quid) and then every polish in your collection can be used for striping.

So if a striper isn’t important in a nail art pen, what is? Simple answer: a formula with a good amount of viscosity (so it doesn’t gush out of the tip!), and opaqueness. The real test for opaqueness is whether or not they show up well over a black base. Below I had a little play with the colours over both white (China Glaze White on White) and black (China Glaze Liquid Leather). I must say, I’m impressed!

So while decent quality nail art pens might not be the cheapest things you can add to your nail art arsenal, they aren’t exactly bank breakers and they are infinitely useful for details and really, just for fun. In a fit of laziness, when I eventually got round to doing a full manicure with these I only used a black pen but I used the colours from these pens for some leopard print on top of China Glaze Pink Plumeria for a serious neon rainbow manicure!

Are you a fan of nail art pens? What are the best (and worst!) ones you’ve ever tried?

14 thoughts on “Play Time: Topshop/NPW Nail Art Pens

  1. I was considering buying the Supreme ones, what did you think about those ones? Your review was really helpful, I wonder if I am still going to find those pens at Topshop :) Thanks!

  2. I got a set of Rio nail art pens in my teens when I first got into nail art. The solid colours are excellent, the shimmery silver and purple ones are not so good, which is dissapointing when a set of 8 costs £25! (xmas pressie) Due to this i’ve never even bothered buying cheaper alternatives.

    Are the striping brushes you mentioned very very fine (like the rio ones?) as i have bought striping brushes before but they are always way to thick (although I could just pull some of the bristles out…)

    1. Ahh my first set was the Rio one too! I hated the silver and purple ones too, hahaha.

      Yes, nail art striping brushes are very fine – they usually come in sets of 3 or so and it can be a bit of pot luck whether they’ll be as thin as you want them to be, but it’s really easy to trim them to your required thickness. Check out Robin Moses on YouTube (robinmosesnailart), amazing nail artist and she’s got a playlist of really helpful tutorials for things like trimming brushes.

    1. You were with me when I got them you absolute spoon, I showed them to you and you were all like ‘nah’… You KNOW I’m always right, when are you going to start accepting that? ;-)

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