Today I thought I would share my first attempts and thoughts about my Ubermat! I purchased this myself after seeing so many blog posts about them. I bought mine from Girly Bits at the same time that I ordered the limited edition What Happens in Vegas polish. It arrived in less than a week from Canada to the UK, although it did take some time from order to despatch as the limited edition was a pre-order over the August bank holiday. I later discovered that UK retailer She Sells Sea Shells started selling them, so that's great news for UK based nail addicts, as I kept worrying that Royal Mail might destroy the package on it's way into the UK.
First thing I noticed was the size, it's a good size - I took the photo below with a full size OPI, my HTC One M7 (covered in smears) a scraper, dotting tool and regular round stamping plate on there. The Scratch magazine to the size gives an impression of the vertical length too. I had been using the magazine as a counter saver but now I have my mat, it has gone in the bin!
I couldn't wait to try it out, so I used it more or less straight away. I painted a layer of Essence top coat onto the nail shapes, I don't really know why I used them as I could have done it anywhere, but the guides seem a good place to start. I made five, to allow extra in case I tore them or buggered them up in any way.
The design is from a cheeky stamping plate, possible CH24, but I don't have it on hand to check and seem to have safely stored it away somewhere. Very safely. I stamped with MoYou Nails stamping polish in black and then filled in the pattern with OPI Do You Lilac it and SpaRitual Symmetry. The colours worked together and I was too lazy to go upstairs to my helmer to look for any other colours, so they were chosen simply for being the nearest!
After the filled in decals were dry, I peeled them off. One I ruined, another I took a big chunk out of.
And this is what I did with them, a simple accent nail.
The green is Sally Hansen Green Tea. I topped the gradient and plain nails with China Glaze Fairy Dust.
I have since used my Ubermat for several manis and just as a counter protector. I love that I can give it a quick roll over with a lint roller and dried on polish lifts.
In this next mani I used a stamping plate which has never worked well for me, it's one of the MoYou London biker plates. The skull image on my middle finger doesn't transfer well. I have tried several stamping polishes and every stamper I own. It just won't. By stamping on the mat I was able to finish off the missing polish easily and fill in the gaps.
Photo below is after two days wear, the pink is Grace Full polish Princess Rose, the white base is OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, the black polish is Barry M Espresso, the pink studs are from Born Pretty Store, the black stamping polish is MoYou Nails and the skull design on my thumb is from a Born Pretty hexagonal plate I was sent around 18 months ago. My CbL PDQ topcoat did cause some drag on the middle finger.
Other uses I have planned for the mat include making decals for patterns I never used as I couldn't stamp straight - I prefer random squiggly patterns so placement isn't an issue. Using it to make decals with vinyls I haven't been able to place.
I think that using the mat makes some more complicated nail art feel more achievable as I am looking at a proper, flat surface, I don't have to contend with potential hand shaking from two hands.
I have found it really handy to wipe the top coat brush on the mat between applications when top coating polishes that may transfer - usually I would wipe the brush on kitchen roll to avoid getting a tint in my top coat before reloading the brush. Now I can just wipe it over the mat and then roller it off later.
The Ubermat is a product which has given all those stamping plates I own and rarely use a new lease of life!
At the time of writing She Sells Sea Shells do not seem to have the Ubermat in stock, but Girly Bits do priced at £9.88 - the site shows prices in pounds!- postage is £5.11 making it £14.98 in total. Uberchic have the mat in stock for $14.99 and have flat rate shipping at $10. The Google conversion works the exchange out at £16.46, although PayPal may make it a different rate.
The first photos were taken with my new Samsung phone, the last one was the "normal" DSLR and lightbox setting - I'm liking this phone much more than my old one, the picture quality seems much better.