Product Review: Sally Hensen Nail Art Pen

Did Sally Hensen deliver on the Nail Art Pen?

By: Amanda Anderson

Sally Hensen has always been one of the more superior beauty companies, with a huge variety of quality nail products that are known for being affordable and very easy to use. I myself have fallen in love with her extended wear nail polishes, and will admit these products have become personal favorites during my weekly drug store cosmetics binging. Like any beauty addict, I am always searching for a new way to bring a little life to my natural nails. I gave up nail salons over 4 years ago, and I have been constantly searching for products that don’t allude to the withdrawal ever since. In Sally Hensen, I have found a faithful lover…and an oh so faithful beauty dealer. So naturally, I was elated to hear that the company would be producing its own line of nail art pens. I expected nothing but the best, since this nail junkie is obsessed and not ashamed to admit it.

So have I discovered a new love or new hurdle in my love affair with Sally Hensen? Let’s talk about the product first, and then I’ll happily dish over the dirty details.

The Product

As always, the cosmetic companies promise the perfect product. Rarely does any company deliver on every ode to perfection and every packaged promise, but it’s the promises that makes us fork over our hard earned money. We only hope that we get a product that delivers on MOST of the promises, and that we won’t feel cheated at the end.

Here’s what Sally Hensen promises of the Nail Art Pen:

* Unique pen and fast-drying formula allows anyone to “Design & Go!” Create nail
designs over any nail color.
* Fine-tip pen makes it easy to control and draw precise lines for a French Manicure.
* Mistake-proof formula can be removed or corrected with a moist cotton swab
without damaging dry nail polish.
* Water-based formula is environmentally friendly.
* Great for French Pedicure tips too!
* Available in 8 designable shades.
* Toluene, DBP, and Formaldehyde free.

All of this sounds good, but let’s talk about what this product is really like.


False. One of the most annoying quirks of this nail art pen is its inability to dry without the hassle. The instructions advise using a clear coat to top the design, but it still takes it forever to dry. The formula also isn’t fade proof, so once you’ve managed to allow it to dry; you then have to worry about the pen fading within a couple days of application.

Easy to control and draw precise lines due to fine tip?

False. Application is so messy, I felt like chucking this thing in the nearest garbage can 5 minutes after opening the package. Sure, the pen did deliver on a fine tip, but precise lines? Hardly!

I’m not sure if it’s the formula or just poor pen construction, but anything I drew was messy and ridiculous. It was as if I had taken a Crayola washable marker and went crazy on my nails; rather I drew hearts, lines, or boxes; everything was a disaster. I expected precision and an easy to use tip, and instead, I got a huge mess on my hands (literally). It’s not easy to draw with this pen, and nor does it look as precise and fabulous as it did on the box.

Easy to remove with a moist cotton swab?

False! Removing the ink is hell, period. I am so serious when I tell you that it took me at least 15 minutes to remove the ink from EACH nail. I finally gave in and used nail polish remover. The ink destroyed by base coat, and so I ended up having to re-paint my nails. Regardless of the nail polish remover, there were still traces of the nail pen on a few of my nails. So much for easy removal.

To Sum it up…

This product sucks and I wouldn’t recommend it to my worst enemy. It is messy, hard to remove, and just plain out inconvenient. You’d be better off using a bad ass polish, and a couple coats of glitter to achieve a dramatic look on your natural nails.

I’m still in search of the perfect design tools for natural nail wearers, but I just haven’t found anything that works or worth bragging on. But when I do, you’ll be the first to know. Until then, stay away from these despicable nail art pens, and save your money for products that are actually worth the buy.


  1. I found some great color nail art pens from Sheba Nails – Color Gel Nail Art Pens. They come in a bunch of colors for just $2.99 each. You don't need a uv lamp, they flow from the pen like gel for smooth lines. I have had a lot of success with these and really recommend them.

  2. I totally agree with this review. The first push down on the pen and I had white ink all over my hands and the kitchen counter!!! When I put a top coat on, the white ink cracked like the crackle finishes they have now.. needless to say, that was not the look I was going for.

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