Hey everyone! How are you doing? I have a review of a new to me nail product for you! Some time ago the nice people of KKcenterHk contacted me and asked if I wanted to make a review for them. I love their fake eyelashes but I was even more happy when they offered me something nail-related, the full nail water decals! They were so nice that they sent two sets of my choice! This is my first review, you know me, I'll be chatty, thorough and tell you all I feel need mentioning, it will be pic heavy too. But I want to make this as useful as I can. If you think the review is too long, my observations, advices and final verdict are at the very bottom (but I would appreciate comments on the whole story, since, you know, i did write it down :)). Here we go!
The first contact, their page KKcenterHk.com is nice and inviting, I had no troubles browsing through all their labels and their choice is vast, from hair wigs to make up. If you need to contact them via email, they reply quick and polite, I had no troubles with the communication, they answered all my questions in a friendly manner.
The water decals: their choice is great, I had such a trouble picking only two! They have full nail decals, french tip decals and DIY decals, I picked my two from their 52 images of full nail decals.
I got the package in only 7 days, which is very fast in my experience, especially from outside EU.
The water decals I picked are numbers 39 and 80.
The instructions in the back. The sentences are shortend a bit weird, but are understandble. You'll see i didn't followed them completely.
The stuff you need. Excuse the state of my plastic sheet, I use it for everything polish related, so it gets a lot of polish on it.
Ok, now. To clear some stuff first. I'm a complete beginner to the usage of water decals, I've never tried them before in my life, so this was the ultimate test for these babies. Second, my nails are fairly large, especially my middle nail and thumb nail, so I was worried the decals won't be big enough. As it happens, the thumb one was a little too round on the edges and the middle finger one was just a tiny bit too smal, like when you don't apply your polish right to the edges of nails, but nothing too problematic, they are completely wearable to me.
The problem began, when number 39 decal with the beautiful butterfly image on it won't stay smooth on my nails. I did everything I was supposed to and it all went well, right to the point I put top-coat on them. Then it wrinkled like crazy. I thought to myself, I must be doing something wrong, being a rookie and all. So I googled decals, found a few tutorials and the only thing girls warned about was not to use fast drying topcoats. Well, I wasn't! I was using Nfu Oh Ultra Shine top coat that isn't fast drying! Still, the final results were horrible.
See how the ring fingernail is smooth (no TC there yet), but the pinky is completely wrinkled after putting TC on? Frustrating!
From afar it doesn't look too bad, actually, it looks really cute and adorable, but it's the close up that kills me [picture below].
This has annoyed me like chipped polish annoys me. It's just not happening, not on my nails.
I was really disappointed, I watched the tutorials and read the reviews to see if any other girl had the same problems and nothing appeared. I kept this on my nails to comment on duration of the labels, but the whole mani peeled off after about two hours.
I was actually worried to try the second one. I waited for about a week (I took my time, not knowing how long do these things last and since I wanted to comment on the duration too, I took about 5 days for each, just in case) and then put the other one on. And ladies, it was magic!! I have no idea what happened, what changed in couple of days, that number 80 behaved so nicely, went on my nails without a problem and went on well with my top coat. The difference is incredible, in every aspect. Even the decals seem a bit different on the touch, but it could be just me.
See how much smoother they are? They also held to my nail much better than #39.
Look from afar is of course great, but even the close up is looking good! The index fingernail has a little wrinkle at the very tip, but that's my fault, I put the TC on too fast and forgot to smooth it out. :(
Since these acutally behaved as I thought they should, I put them through a serious test. I was wearing them on a normal day, trying them out while preparing dinner, studying, washing my hands many times, jogging, and a long shower that included my night routine with my face-cleaning too. This is how it looked like after I came back to my lightbox from the bathroom. I was seriously impressed. Keep in mind my index fingernail is chipped because I messed it up while applying the water decal. The middle fingernail has little bit of tip-wear, but the ring and the little nails are untouched!
The last one, made for fun, because I liked how this ring looks with the pattern. :)
Number 80 was tons easier to apply, I got them on my nails basically wrinkle-free, the TC didn't wrinkle it one bit and it lasted on my nails for 5-6 hours of everyday work, including a long shower and using a lot of hand creme, it was in the same state as on the picture when I got up the next morning, I had to remove it with a remover, it wouldn't peel off.
You can see why I'm confused. While the #39 falls flat and is completely useless, the #80 is great and I can only recommend trying it out. Plus, the pattern on it is gorgeous.
Here are my advices when applying the water decals:
- I didn't use the cuticle pusher to adjust the decal, I simply used my fingers and then pressed the decal on the nail with cotton pad, it works better and faster.
- If you don't like how the decal sits on your nails or if it starts to dry too fast, just put a few drops of water on it, it will get flexible again.
- Don't file the decal in the end!! The tutorials also warn about this one. It's no good, you can tear the decal or at least pluck it and it won't look good at all. When you put your TC on, just remember to put a little bit on the edge of the nail, like when you wrap your nails, and then remove it with the wooden cuticle pusher. It will go off easily and fast.
- If any decals are too small for your nails, place it in the middle of the nail, so the amount of naked nail will get lost on the both sides. But trust me, if the middle finger one was only a few milimeters too small for me, it will fit your nails for sure. :)
- Water decals take less time for me than stamping (rookie in that department too).
- They're tons easier to remove than polish.
- Water decals are like a finished mani in one step. No layering, no stamping, no sponging and whatever we can all do with polish. It dries as fast as your TC, and then you're set to go.
- For 4,50 dollars per set one could say they're expensive, getting only one manicure out of it, when you can get a bottle of polish to use it many times for that money. True. But go to your polish stash and count the bottles you have and used only once in months, even years. I think nail polish fans can afford to spend 4,5 dollars on water decal, since we spend that money on one manicure per bottle too sometimes. See the next dot for more on that.
- I see the water decals (and nail stickers, for that matter) as something to spice up your outfit when you're going out on a special date or party or something. Not something you use on your nails every day. And for that purpose they pass the test. They last for hours, especially if the only thing you'll be doing is drinking, eating, dancing, sitting in a theatre and such. But they won't last for days like nail polish can, so I don't advise you these if you want your manis to last for a few days.
- The one thing that bugs me is the 50-50 chance the water decal will work for you. Is #39 the only weird one, did I get a wonky set? There are problem children in polish department too, but the #39 is completely useless for me, you cannot save it, it looks bad, period. I don't like the odds, tell you the truth. I love #80, I love the pattern, how it works on the nail, the little trouble it gave me, but the odds are not good IMO.
Final verdict: You see, if I got only 39, I'd tell you never ever to try this and if I got only 80, i'd totally recommend you to try it out. If you rock the water decals, maybe the 39 would work for you too, for me it didn't. Still, the experience I had with 80 encourages me to try water decals again. If I'd get another bad set, I'd be seriously angry though. You pay 4,50 for something that doesn't work for you? Not a good impression, I'd say. But if you get something so gorgeous like number 80 is, I think it's well worth the money. So if you're into water decals, try them, all in all the experience was good, they are nice, deliver fast and when the decals are good, they're really good! I personally will consider them when having a special occasion to have something extra on my nails, since I prefer them over the whole stamping process. But if I'd get another bad set, I'd stop buying X&D for sure.
Wow, this is a long one. Thank you very much for reading the review! What are your experiences with water decals? Have you tried them at all, would you try these?