Mermaid Top Review 10: FinFolk Mythic Silicone Top

Top #10 Finfolk Mythic Silicone Top

Choose size and mythic color.

Price:

Part of a 2017 Black Friday Sale.

Top $250 + Shipping $9.26 = Total $259.26

Production Time:

  • Purchased 11/24/17
  • Shipping label made 4/12/18
  • Shipped 4/23/18
  • Delivered in Tampa, FL USA 4/25/18

Customer Service:

I truly want to say good things about the Customer Service for FinFolk. I adore the look of their silicone tails and their Mythic tails are very unique. I had also met Abby and Bryn in person at their Jan 2018 Disney Meet Up. They were so sweet and open and willing to talk about their products. We even discussed this top and the timeframe to make/receive it (I unfortunately received misinformation at that time.)

I am disappointed with the amount of time it took to get the top and the communication I had from the FinFolk Team.

When I purchased the top I was under the impression that they were pre-made and just needed the “Mythic” color choice before they would be painted and shipped out. I ordered the top from the FinFolk website. (From what I can tell none of that was true & none of the tops are pre-made prior to their sale.) At the time they only offered one of each size and some were already sold. I felt lucky and excited when I checked the site (it was a while after they had been posted for sale) that my size was still “In Stock” and I made the purchase.

This isn’t a custom top. The only choice I made in it was the Mythic color choice. I choose Gold because I wanted a neutral color.

It took 5 months for me to receive the top and that was after talking to them in person at Disney Jan 2018 (I was told it would be finished that month), sending an email 6 weeks later, sending another email 5 weeks after that and finally posting on the FinFolk Pod Facebook page. I will say that I did receive correspondence to all of my emails but they always were vague saying it should be finished that month or that they were working on it. I never received updates when it kept getting delayed and delayed.

In response to my final email final email, (I’d received a shipping notification and kept checking the tracking number as I had a photoshoot that week so I was hoping for the top to arrive before the shoot. It kept saying “pre-shipment” like they hadn’t brought it to the post office yet for over a week.) They gave some reasons for the delays:

1. Shipping: “we wait until we have a good number of tops, scale orders, etc. to ship before taking them all to their designated shipping provider to make the trip as productive as possible.”

2. The wait: “There were a lot of unexpected delays this winter– moving into a new space, plagued by horrible weather that gave us 1 good painting day out of 10, and quite a few other behind the scenes things, and we openly admit that the tops were delayed a lot longer than we anticipated and while some tops were delivered by the deadline and by March, others were not and for that, we’re extremely sorry.”

Quality/Durability:

The top is gorgeous!! The silicone base is soft yet supportive. The nude bra base has soft fabric. The shimmer and irredecence of the gold paint scheme is gorgeous. It seems to match all of my tails and pics up a bit of the color around it.

Unfortunately, the durability of the top is a bit lacking. I’ve only wore it one day swimming in the Florida Springs and already 2 of the silicone side fins have came unglued and are flopping all willy nilly. I know it’s an easy fix but it’s just not one I expected after just one day of wearing the top.

Also, as I was inspecting the fins I noticed that one fin is a white base instead of a gold base. There is a slight difference in color on that one fin but it’s only noticeable if you look very closely. It’s just an interesting note.

Fit/Comfort:

It can be worn strapless but it came with nude bra straps in a little bag. A photograph friend warned me prior that she had shot several mermaids in this design of a top and they have a tendency to flop over so she suggested always wearing straps with it. I did put straps on and it does flop over when swimming. I need to tighten my straps more or I need to add permanent ones to keep it up. I ruined several pictures and videos by grabbing at the top to put it back in place.

I have only wore it once but I wore it all day and went in and out of the water several times that day. I swam fast, dove deep and just lounged around in it. The top fits me well. It’s not too tight, in fact the cups are probably just a bit too large, but it is very comfortable. I plan on wearing this top very often because how comfortable it is.

Pros:

  • Beautiful
  • Photographs gorgeously
  • Very comfortable
  • The color matches almost everything

Cons:

  • Customer Service was lacking. No communication when it was delayed.
  • It took a LONG time to receive the top.
  • It tends to flop over when swimming or ascending quickly.
  • After one day the side fins are already came unglued

Lessons learned:

  • I was very worried and intimidated about possibly offending FinFolk by voicing my frustration. I thought I might eventually want a full silicone tail from them or maybe a Mythic sometime down the road and I didn’t want my new relationship with them tarnished. I felt I needed to get somewhat forceful with my emails and Facebook communication to let them know how frustrated I was getting waiting for the top. It wasn’t until I did this that I started getting a response I wanted from them and finally received the top. I’m not sure how long it would have taken if I didn’t reach out to them to keep reminding them that I still hadn’t received it.
  • As much as I love how this top looks and feels…I’m now uncertain about how much business I want to give FinFolk. (Although if I did get a full silicone tail from them…I’d definitely want a matching top 😄.)

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Mermaid Top Review 9: Mermaid Kariel Silicone Malia Scale Top of Art

Top #9 Mermaid Kariel Silicone Malia Scale Top of Art

Purchased pre-owned. Made to match a Sequin Tail of Art

Price:

Came with pre-owned tail purchase

Customer Service:

I purchased a pre-owned Sequin Tail of Art. This top was made for the original buyer of the tail. She wanted it to stay with the tail. The purchase was very easy. We communicated on Facebook. Then over the phone and text messages.

Mermaid Kariel reached out to me after my purchase and told me I could come to her with any questions or concerns. So far I haven’t had any.

Quality/Durability:

This top by Mermaid Kariel was made 3-4 years ago (2014?). I’m not sure how much the previous mermaid wore it but it has held up very well. The silicone is super soft and pliable. Each Malia style scale is individually crafted and then pieced together with silicone. There is a gorgeous white sparkly silicone shell in the center.

When I received it, I looked it over very carefully and saw a few places that the edges of the silicone scales were fraying or tearing. The silicone is very thin on certain scales, I choose to do a bit of doctoring with some silpoxy. I just added some to the back to give the scales some more support. I also put some more silpoxy under the silicone shell where there was a bit of a gap between the scales and the shell and clamped it down to dry.

Quality of this top is simply amazing! Mermaid Kariel was certainly clever about how she decided to make the top. The scales are somewhat white & translucent with a bit of lavender highlights and gold sparkle through them. BUT she placed them on hot pink bikini base so the way they are placed allows the fabric base shows through the scales and gives them a pink glow. The effect is simply amazing.

Fit/Comfort:

The bra base is a hot pink Victoria’s Secret strapless bikini. It is a 36DD and I’m about a 36B/C. I wasn’t sure it was going to fit but when I put it on it formed to my shape very nicely. It doesn’t squeeze me like some of my other silicone tops. I would wear this top all day long if I could.

As I swam around in the water (strapless) it stayed in place very well. Only once when I was at the bottom of the pool and pushed my way to the surface really fast did the top slip. That is no problem. Now that I know it does that I will be a graceful swimming mermaid and not make sudden movements in the top.

I’m also thinking about attaching a nude silicone halter strap to the top to hold it up better for me.

Pros:

  • Clever design
  • So much sparkle and glitter
  • Very comfortable

Cons:

  • I love this top. The only con is that the scales are thin and soft. As the top ages they are tearing and tattering a bit.
  • It didn’t come with straps & it’s a bit too large for me so if I swim with a lot of thrust it will slide down.

Lessons learned:

  • I can fit into a DD cup!! LOL 😂
  • I’m getting more comfortable working with silpoxy to do small fixes.
  • I hope someday Mermaid Kariel makes more tops and I can get another one.

Mermaid Top Review 8: DIY Lion’s Paw Real Shell Top

Top #8 DIY Lion’s Paw Real Shell Top

Shells and rhinestones attached to bra base by me.

Price:

Lions Paw shells from Amazon. 5-5 1/2 inches. *Cost around $12 for both shells.

Bra base from Amazon. *I bought a Warners Woman’s Easy Does It Wire Free Bra (super comfy!) for around $15.

Shells, rhinestone, flatback pearls from Michaels.

Production Time:

  • This was my first mermaid top that I made while waiting for my MerNation silicone tail to be made.
  • It took a few days of continuous work to make. Then another day or two to fix after my first swim.

How to/DIY:

I attached the shells to the top with e6000 glue. Use in a well ventilated area as this glue is harmful when the fumes are inhaled. I had a mannequin that I put the bra on then glued the shells in place and set a ziplock bag filled with water on top to weigh it down and hold the shell in place while the glue dried. I did one shell at a time over 2 days.

Then I added flat back pearls and rhinestones on the shells and on the top. I used a few different tops I’d found on Pinterest as inspiration. The rhinestones were cheap plastic from Michael’s and the e6000 melted the backing off of them so I used GemTac to attach them to the bra. For pearls and shells I used e6000. The easiest way to attach the rhinestones is to put the glue into syringes and make dots of glue then either pick up the gems with a tweezers or a wax tip jewel setter.

Quality/Durability:

I wore this top for a day-long photoshoot in the Flordia Springs. The shells are securely attached to the top but after swimming in the water for several hours the Gemtac on the rhinestones loosened and when I was taking off my top I noticed a lot of the rhinestones were loose and could be peeled off. They did not come off in the water and the ones I didn’t pull off dried securely on again. The jewels that were attached with e6000 stayed on and didn’t budge.

Afterwards, I gathered up the rhinestones that had come off and reassessed the top. I used e6000 to put more shells around the top and put some of the rhinestones back on.

Now this top is used ONLY for dry events. The rhinestones still sometimes fall off just due to the age of the top.

Fit/Comfort:

I choose a full coverage bra that I knew fit me. This top is very comfortable and fits very well. The shells are a bit heavy so that’s something to concider when choosing a bra base.

The Lions Paw shells do come a bit below the bottom edge of the bra and dig into my skin. I’ve been meaning to take my dremmel and sand down the edges so it is more comfortable.

Upkeep:

The rhinestones do periodically fall off and require upkeep. I keep a sandwich size ziplock bag with me and put the fallen soldiers in it when I can and use e6000 to reattach as needed

Pros:

  • Satisfaction of making your own top
  • Customized to exactly what you want
  • Cost efficient

Cons:

  • Time consuming to make
  • Real lion Paw shells are very heavy
  • Rhinestones fall off easily when applied with GemTac

Lessons learned:

  • E6000 works great to attach large shells to a bra.
  • E6000 needs to be used in a well ventilated area. Be careful not to breath in the fumes
  • Gemtac is only good for tops not worn in water. They start to become unglued after a few hours of being submerged in water.
  • E6000 can distort the foil backing on cheap rhinestones.

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Mermaid Top Review 7: Merbella Silicone Ariel Top

Top #7 Merbella Silicone Ariel Top

Custom made.

Price:

$295.00 + $12.21 shipping = Total $307.21

Production Time:

  • Purchased 12/6/17
  • Email received with finished photo 2/17/18
  • Shipped 2/23/18
  • Delivered in Tampa, FL USA 2/27/18

Customer Service:

I responded to an announcement on Merbella’s Facebook page that she was accepting a few top commissions. I asked if she could make an embellished Ariel shell silicone top to match my Mertailor Spellbound tail. I received an email back saying she could with quote with the price.

I paid the invoice and gave some suggestions about what I wanted and a photo of the tail. Then waited. It took less than 3 months for Merbella to make and ship my new top.

I received and email with a final finished photo. Then received an address confirmation email. Merbella’s studio is located about 30 minutes I offered to come pick it up but they sent a tracking number right away. However, it took a few days for USPS to pick it up & scan it. It took a full week for the top to be delivered. I wish I could have just picked it up instead of waiting & stalking my post man every day for a week until it arrived. * I’ve learned that Merbella rarely (if ever) allows pick up but meeting locally for delivery is possible.

Quality/Durability:

The Ariel Shells are constructed with a very thick silicone. They are attached to a nude bra that is very soft and comfortable. It has black fishnet halter straps that have been cut to look tattered. The fishnet is a high quality and thick netting.

The paint is well done. I sort of would have liked to see a little more detailing around the contouring of the silver parts of the shells. I’m also a bit afraid of how the paint will hold up with wear. It looks like it could easily peal or be scratched. (NOTE: After 8 months of owning it and a few photoshoots later, the paint has held up beautifully! And now I love the paint job. It’s like the longer I have it the more I realize how perfect it is for me.)

It has several gorgeous embellishments. In the center is a silver star and there is a large pink tear drop crystal and several pearls and rhinestones. All well sewn onto the bra base. It also has plastic seaweed sewn along the bottom of front of the top.

One of my favorite parts are the silver scales that go along the sides of the top. These small details bring the top together as a true piece of art.

I have wore this only a handful of times for photoshoots both on land and in the water. These photoshoots lasted several hours and the top has held up very well.

Fit/Comfort:

The bra base is very soft and comfortable. The top has Seaweed embellishments on the bottom of the cup that initially were very painful and dug into my skin. I had to twist and move them around so they would lay outwards instead of inwards. Now it fits much better. I’ve also since lost some weight and the top fits A LOT better.

It fits just like a normal push-up bra. I am a 36B and this give fair/medium coverage with some cleavage.

Pros:

  • Gorgeous paint job. Looks like mermaid armor.
  • A lot of beautiful details in the workmanship
  • Unique one of a kind top

Cons:

  • I feel it’s a bit overpriced and it has a lot less detail then some of her other tops.
  • I’m worried about possible ruining it or it loosing some of the rhinestones. (This has not happened at all.)
  • Initially, it doesn’t fit me as well as I’d like but after I lost some weight it fits perfectly.

Lessons learned:

  • I wish I would have specifically asked for more silicone embellishments and no seaweed.
  • I LOVE Merbella tops!
  • I have very sensitive skin especially to plastic seaweed that comes into contact with my skin.

Unboxing

Photo from Merbella

Photo from Merbella

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