Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Messin' with the Plie Wand

As a Julep Maven, this month I came into possession of their newest and much hyped product, the Plie Wand. I'm going to say up front that it was through the kindness of an abundance of crowdfunders that I have this product, because I didn't pre-order it. Even after watching the video, reading the blog post, and viewing the Facebook posts about it ranging from rabid enthusiasm to 'yawn,' I was unenthused about what it can do for me. I'm used to painting my nails, and now that my cleanup skills have improved, I don't worry as much about precision polishing. While I can't say I'm overwhelmingly converted to the camp that this is a must have product, I've played with it a little, and it's pretty cool I guess.

First I tried it for painting my toenails, which is the only reason I was particularly interested in the Plie Wand at all. It passed that test. Painting my toes was much more comfortable with the Plie Wand and looked much less like a 3 year old did it. Then I tried it on my fingernails. Julep compared it to spending your whole life writing with a pen the size of the cap, then being handed a whole pen. Mmm, not exactly. It felt more like trying to color with a crayon stretched to the shape of a pencil. Just not quite right. I can see how the bendy stem would be great for people with limited control due to arthritis, Parkinson's, or other conditions that impact hand control, though. Since I have pretty steady hands, it was more a hindrance than a help to me. But then I started striping.

I officially LOVE the Plie Wand for striping, precisely because it is like holding a pen. For painting it was in the way, but for striping it was perfect. Julep markets the Plie Wand as something to use with Julep polishes, includes a regular size precision brush (it has slightly shorter bristles than a regular Julep brush) that can be used with any polish. They sell a striper/dotter add on kit, but I already had a frayed Julep polish brush that I'd cut down into a thin striper. I pulled the overcap off and popped the brush into the Plie cap. It's a nail art dream.

I started to get a little mad when I couldn't get my carefully cultivated striper out of the wand, though. Ack! How did I forget the negative review on the website that the wand eats brushes and you can't get them out?! It didn't give me any trouble before, and now my striper's stuck? So annoying! I yanked with my tweezers. I tugged. I wiggled. I pulled. The inner cap wouldn't budge. Then it hit me that Julep had built in a simple feature to the Plie Wand for exactly this situation.

Instead of a solid cap, the removable magnetic cap that snaps on to the Plie Wand has a hole in the top. I'd noticed it, but didn't give a second thought to why they'd done it. Now I know. I pushed an orangewood stick through the hole, and my cap popped right out. The Plie Wand was restored to favored status for my precision nail art needs.

The colors used for this stamped French tip look were Sally Hansen XTreme Wear White On, Julep Caitlin for the hearts, and Essie A Cut Above for the stripe (I'm learning that there is no imperfection that glitter can't improve).

Oh, I almost forgot- I wouldn't be a very good Maven if I didn't show you my polishes. This month, I went Bombshell. Laree and Saaya were colors I had to have. Laree is a gold shimmer infused pink, while Saaya is a subdued yellowish apricot-more yellow than I expected, which was a minus for me, but I still think I like it. I instantly thought they'd make a beautiful gradient, and I was right! I also stamped these, using Julep Nellie. The downside: my tips chipped almost immediately, and the polish popped off in sheets the next day. I haven't played with them enough to see if this is going to be an issue or if I just laid down a bum base coat that day or something. I put Laree on my daughter sans basecoat, and her manicure actually lasted longer than usual, so the jury is still out. Laree has also replaced my go-to Nan on my toes with no issues. Hopefully it was a fluke, because Laree is a lovely summer pink, and I don't have anything else like Saaya. Mavens, what did you think of this month's collection? Is the Plie Wand a must have or a skip? Any polish problems?

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