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.

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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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Mermaid Top Review 5: Mertailor Silicone Scale Top

Top #5 Mertailor Silicone Scale Top

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Photo by Dan Compton

Custom made to match my Spellbound tail.

Price:

$159.00

Production Time:

  • Purchased with tail 9/7/2017
  • Almost ready/ teaser 10/28/17 (Mermaid Meet-up/tail delivery)
  • Picked up at during photoshoot with Mertailor 11/5/17

Customer Service:

I ordered a silicone scale top to match my Spellbound tail. I ordered it online at the same time my tail order was put it. Cup size and measurement under bust around rib cage was requested.

I received an email saying my tail was complete but the next day I was told that they were still working on my top. Candy was great and kept me updated on its progress. It was taking longer to cure than normal because the weather was changing.

Mertailor met me at a Florida Mermaid meet up at Ginnie Springs, FL to deliver my tail in person (which was amazingly nice of him). At that time he had my top but it was just a basic pink and hadn’t been painted yet. He offered it as is, but said if I swam in it he couldn’t paint it (Candy had emailed me this prior to the meet-up so I was already aware.) I told him I wanted it painted to match my tail. I gave him freedom of how to paint it but I wanted at least one star on it and not directly over the nipple area (😊).

Later that week, during a photoshoot with Mertailor I was able to pick up my freshly painted top.

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Photo by Mertailor

Quality/Durability:

This top is made out of thick durable silicone. The scales are well sculpted to match my rounded scales on my tail without looking like they came off a scale sheet. The silicone is attached to a Mertailor’s bikini top that has had the side bands removed. The silicone side bands are reinforced with power mesh and connected in the back with a swimsuit clasp.

The paint job matches my Spellbound tail. The color is slightly darker pink than my tail but this was done on purpose. Eric said he was worried about the top being too close to my skin tone and wanted it to stand out a bit. It has 2 gorgeous black stars (one on each side) and some stripes on the back. It is speckled and detailed exactly the same as my tail.

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I love how it matches and compliments my tail!

I’ve worn it in a pool, in the Florida Springs, on the beach and on a float at a dry event. It has gotten dirty, sandy, and sweaty. It has cleaned up fresh and new easily with a bit of soap and water.

As I was taking photos of the top I noticed that the power mesh near the clasp is pulling away from the silicone. It just needs a little silicone reinforcement. I’m finding that although silicone is a fun mermaid material, it does tear and pull away from itself with use. I’m getting more and more comfortable with small repairs like this.

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Oops.

Comfort/Fit:

The size is custom made to my measurements and it fits perfectly. This is my most comfortable silicone mermaid top. I am a bit concerned that there isn’t any way to adjust it if needed (as in: if I gain or loose weight). I haven’t had to worry about that yet and will cross that bridge later, if needed.

Since the cups are made with Mertailor’s bikini cups it does have a push-up quality that gives “The Girls” amazing cleavage. Eric did make a comment that some mermaids have been surprised at how enhancing the tops can be.

It is a strapless top but there are loops in the front that will allow for a halter strap to be added. The first time I swam with the top I didn’t have a strap and it flips down as I propel myself forward. Now I have a black, a nude, and a pearl halter strap to use with it. If I wear the halter strap, it keeps the top in place while I swim. If I’m not swimming the top fits fine strapless.

I may add permanent fishnet straps to both add a bit of extra coverage and to keep the top in place. It would be easy to do with a bit of silpoxy. But I also enjoy it being strapless so I’m still undecided.

Pros:

  • This is probably the best deal cost wise for a really well made quality Silicone Top on the market.
  • It gives me AMAZING cleavage
  • Nice paint job that matches my tail. I love the matching stars.
  • It fits me perfectly. It’s the exact measurement I gave for the top.

Cons:

  • Maybe too much push up & cleavage (maybe?)
  • It did not come with straps (there are hooks to attach a strap, though)
  • If I do not wear straps the top flips down while swimming
  • There is no way to make adjustments, if needed, around the rib cage

Lessons learned:

  • Silicone tops can sometimes be what makes the wait time for a tail seem endless. Tops are just as difficult to make and paint as silicone tails are.
  • I LOVE & highly recommend Mertailor’s silicone tops as well crafted & affordable. I want another one only with a black base.
  • I’m not sure if Mertailor is still making this smooth rounded Scale style top but he does have a new scale pattern top that looks just as nice.
  • Update: As of 5/11/2018 Mertailor discontinued this mold and no longer makes this style top. He has a new silicone version for sale on his website for $265 (with shipping & tax its around $300…I just ordered one. He must have realized he was under pricing them. I’ll do a review when I’ve had it for awhile.)

Mermaid Aerial Princess Mermaid Top Reviews

For those of you who follow my blog for the aerial equipment info…I’m taking a bit of a side track and highjacking my blog for my Mermaid fans. I’ve developed a bit of a Mermaid Top collection (it’s really an obsession, at this point). I have tops from several big Mermaid brands (& some from lesser known designers). They range quite a bit in price and quality. In my reviews I’ll give insight into some of things I wish I knew before I purchased them.

Please click the links below to read my reviews:

#1 MerNation Silicone Scale Top

#2 Merthology Creations Silicone Seaweed Top

#3 Merthology Creations Silicone Shell Top

#4 Sirenalia Silicone Starfish Top

#5 Mertailor Silicone Scale Top

#6 Marine Magic Silicone Stingray Top

#7 Merbella Studios Silicone Ariel Top

#8 DIY Lions Paw Real Shell Top

#9 Mermaid Kariel Top of Art Silicone Scale Top

#10 FinFolk Silicone Mythic Top

Mermaid Top Review 4: Sirenalia Silicone Starfish Top

Top #4 Sirenalia Silicone Starfish

Custom made to color request.

Base color: Gold.

Size: Medium.

Price:

$125.00 + $20 shipping = Total $145.00. Plus new bikini top $154.99

Production Time:

  • Purchased 4/20/17
  • Shipped 5/11/17
  • Delivered in Tampa, FL USA 5/15/17

Customer Service:

Initially I sent Sirenalia a FB message asking how to order a starfish top to match my tail & added a photo of the front part of my MerNation Silicone Tail. Then I found her Etsy Store. I placed my order on Etsy for the Silicone Starfish top on Etsy.

They advertised “any color.” I choose the base color as Gold and then wrote another note on Etsy to clarify the colors. I asked for a gold/light yellow & light pink (like ballet pink) to match my tail and let her know I sent a FB Message also. I also requested glitter.

In my note I also asked that the starfish be placed a bit closer together than her previous ones because it didn’t look like those would fit me quite right.

She messaged back a few days later on FB that she’d communicate with me on Etsy.

These are some of the Instagram posts Sirenalia made with my top:

Instagram post on May 4, 2017 of the silicone starfish with glitter

Instagram post on May 11, 2017 of just gold (I’m not sure if these are actually mine or just a similar color.)

Instagram post on June 16, 2017

Sirenalia sent me a note on Etsy the day they shipped in saying “Sorry it took so long….” and asked me to send pictures of me in the top. I guess they usually get them out a bit faster than 3-weeks. I thought it was a very easy process.

Quality/Durability:

It came with the silicone starfish attached to brown netting and a thin nude bralette. The silicone starfish have gorgeous realistic details and the paint job is beautiful. There is a light sparkle of glitter on them. The silicone is very thin around the edges and the entire starfish is soft and pliable.

The bralette is not my favorite. It is thin and seems like it stretches out of shape very easily. The straps are very narrow and dug into my shoulders.

The netting is nice. It seems sturdy and strong but I did have a some challenges keeping it tied at first.

Fit/Comfort:

The original top has a thin bralette with a brown fishnet under the silicone starfish. I ordered the Medium and even though it fit the starfish are a bit heavy for it and they pulled the fabric down in the front so I felt it made my boobs look saggy. I think I just needed a bit more support than the bralette offered.

This top would probably work better for small chested/small framed mermaids. I never really felt comfortable in it…as is. I also had a hard time keeping the fish netting tied (I even tried to safety pin it and put some extra stitches on it but nothing worked perfectly).

Finally, after having it for over 6 months and not feeling comfortable enough to wear it in public (I only wore it a few times in my pool & around my Fiancé), I realized I needed to revamp it so I could wear it. I mean…those little starfish are gorgeous and I wanted to show them off!

I had already successfully attached the Merthology Creations Silicone Shells to a bikini so I decided to do something similar with the Starfish.

Revamp:

I found another Bikini on Amazon that fit me well. (My Fiancé said the lace wasn’t very “mermaid-like” but it is covered by the netting and I really like it.)

Bikini purchased from Amazon: Xhileration $9.99

First, I cut the sutures that tied the netting down on the bralette. Then VERY carefully and gently peeled back the starfish from the bralette. The netting stayed attached to the silicone starfish. Some of it nicely and easily pulled away from the bralette but other parts I helped with a sharp scissors. Some of the starfish neat the edges are really thin so it was a slow process to make sure I didn’t damage it.

I kept the netting attached as is and used silicone adhesive to glue the starfish onto the bikini. Then I sewed down the netting to the bikini in a few places so it would hang correctly.

I recently wore it with my MerNation tail at Gilchrist Blue Springs (Central Florida). There were tons of families and kids everywhere. I received so many compliments on my top. Everyone loved it. It swam phenomenally and didn’t move. It’s definitely a top I’ll wear a lot more often now.

Pros:

  • Gorgeous paint job
  • A lot of details in the starfish
  • Nice paint job that matches my tail
  • Unique top that gets many compliments

Cons:

  • Not very supportive
  • I had to revamp it and attach it to my own bikini to make it useable
  • I feel it’s high priced for what I got out of it.

Lessons learned:

  • Not to expect a “one size fits all” to actually fit and look good on me.
  • That I can craft and use something I felt self conscious in and make it into the perfect top for me with a bit of confidence (it was scary taking the starfish off the bralette) and ingenuity.

Mermaid Top Review 3: Merthology Creations Silicone Seashell Top

Top #3 Merthology Creations Silicone Seashells

Custom made to color request. One size fits all.

Price:

$47.00 (+ $50 shipping UK to US, included with a 2nd top) /UK dollars £38 = Total plus bikini top $80.79 (plus shipping)

Production Time:

  • First message 5/20/17
  • Ordered & payment sent 6/12/17
  • Production started 7/9/17
  • Shipped from the U.K. 8/3/17
  • Arrived in Tampa, FL USA 8/7/17

Customer Service:

When I contacted Merthology Creations about commissioning a silicone top she had several options. One option was for silicone shells connected with netting embellished with seaweed and little silicone starfish. All of our communication was over Facebook Messenger. I asked her to match the color of blue on my little seahorse on my tail for the seashells with the edges in cream/gold.

She sent me this picture before shipping. She had also warned me that they were not very supportive which I understood when I purchased them.

Quality/Durability:

The silicone shells are very well made but the seaweed that was attached did not stay on very well. Upon arrival one piece had already fell off. When I tried it on she was correct in that there was ZERO support.

I decided I needed to give them support so I found a bikini on Amazon to attach them too. I removed the netting from the back of the shells. Then I tried to use E6000 to attach them to the bikini….sadly this was my first lesson in “silicone ONLY adheres to silicone.” I then purchased some silicone adhesive and used a ziplock bag filled with water to weigh the shells to the bikini while the silicone dried. Then I attached the little silicone starfish to one strap.

Bikini top purchased from Amazon: Kenneth Cole $33.79

I wore this top at one of the first mermaid meet ups I went to at Ginnie Springs, FL. It fit great but the seaweed kept rubbing on me and it was uncomfortable. A few more seaweed pieces fell off so I ended up just removing all of them. They were just attached with a little bit of clear silicone adhesive so they came off very easily. I find that I really like the simplicity of just the shells and tiny starfish.

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After I removed the seaweed and was trying out the Mertailor Fantasea Fin and Skin.

Fit/Comfort:

The shells alone are very uncomfortable with no cups to support “the girls” (which Sam told me about). The back of the shells are a nice smooth silicone that felt nice against my skin. However, the seaweed was irritating around my armpits.

Now that I have them attached to a bikini top that fits me and removed the seaweed, it is one of the most comfortable tops I own. It is great for laid back swimming and enjoying myself in my tail. I like having an option for a casual mermaid top that is still 100% mermaidy. It seems like it will hold up for a very long time. The shells haven’t lost any color or gotten any scratches. I love how it folds in half making it very easy to store and carry.

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This top works great for layering. I’m wearing the blue shells under this see-through top and it works great.

Pros:

  • Well made silicone shells
  • Nice paint job that matches my tail
  • Silicone is thick and very durable.
  • Very affordable

Cons:

  • Not supportive
  • Had to attach it to my own bikini
  • The seaweed was uncomfortable and did not stay attached

Lessons learned:

  • I took a risk and ordered a top from someone who didn’t sell through a website and it worked out really well.
  • I would defiantly order from Merthology Creations again. The price for what I received was spot on. If I bought this again I would just purchase the pieces…just the silicone shells and/or the small silicone starfish.
  • Shipping from UK To US can be expensive but for the right price of the goods it can be worthwhile.
  • That silicone only adheres to silicone so don’t use E6000 on it.
  • Even if something isn’t perfect for you at first there are many ways to make it work for you. Get creative!

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