Most helpful critical review
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Not as expected
on August 27, 2012
I just used this kit one week ago. My doula applied the balm and the strips while I sat in a chair. Here is my take on the experience:
- The whole process took much longer than anticipated (about 40 minutes), and I was extremely uncomfortable by the end. I would recommend sitting in your most comfortable chair - I used a dining room chair with a pillow and the plastic sheet over the whole thing, but my back and butt were killing me by the end.
- It can be very difficult to apply the casting material over hands. I used my right hand/arm to cover my breasts and my other arm to hold the bottom of my belly (so it wouldn't look weird having just one hand/arm). My fingers were spread wide as recommended so that my doula could get between them, but the gauze kept sticking to her gloves, so whenever she pressed the gauze in between my fingers, it would just stick to her finger and pop right out. It took a ton of patience and water, and the finished result isn't the greatest. There are areas between my fingers that do not look quite right, but I am afraid to sand them because the cast is quite thin, especially in that area. There is even an area by my hand that cracked while it was drying! I am really bummed about that, and I am not sure how to fix it.
- Count on it being messy. The plaster drips, crumbles, and gets EVERYWHERE. It comes off with water, but it will take a good amount of scrubbing to remove from floors, the table, and your pants. If you feel comfortable, I would recommend wearing just panties. I wore sweat pants because I was afraid that I would get cold. I was never once cold, and I had to wash my sweat pants 3 times to get all of the plaster off of them. Also, the edges of the cast will crumble a little when you remove it from your body, leaving dust and chunks of plaster on the ground. It sweeps up pretty well. I've seen videos online where it looks like a very clean process (using other brands) - I'm not sure how that is possible. My doula has done this at least one dozen times, and it was messy. Maybe the other brands have kits that are less messy or something.
- The cast looks cool, but it is super flimsy. We used all 4 of the rolls of belly casting material (cut into strips, of course), and casted from a couple inches below my shoulders to the the bottom of my baby bump. I have heard that it is a good idea to reinforce the cast by applying leftover strips to the inside of the cast, but we have none left over, and we have already spent a small fortune at the craft store and hardware store buying sanding screens, gesso, brushes, etc. It has dried for a week, and I am scared to sand it because it is so flimsy that I fear it will be easily ruined. If I had known this, I would have bought the deluxe kit so because it comes with an extra roll of the casting gauze, and some supplies to finish the cast with.
- You must at least seal the cast. My cast is totally dry now, but the edges kind of crumble at the slightest touch. It is recommended that once the cast dries (24-48 hrs)you smooth it with a sanding screen, then seal the whole thing (inside and out) with gesso, otherwise it will continue to crumble and make a mess. After that, you can decorate the whole thing however you want, or leave it as is. This is time consuming, and for $10 more, I wish that I would have bought the deluxe kit since it has the sanding screen, brush, and gesso included. (I spent $30 buying these items separately, so I wish that I would have known I'd need these items in advance of purchasing the kit). I thought that the basic kit had all of the necessary items, but if you don't want the cast to fall apart, sealing the cast is very necessary.
- Overall, if I had to do it again, I would get the deluxe kit or try another brand. This kit makes a flimsy cast, so unless you have the materials already, you will have to invest additional money into buying things to sand and seal everything - why not just pay $10 more and get the deluxe kit? I am due in 4 weeks, so my husband and I are debating whether we should attempt to sand, seal, and decorate the one that we have, or just start all over again. I have seen other brands online that have very thick strips, which might allow the process to go more quickly. I will post an update if we try it. I will also update regarding finishing this cast if we decide to do that instead.