16 November, 2015

Introducing Jamberry Nail Wraps...

I believe Jamberry nail wraps have been around for a while in the Northern Hemisphere but now they've made their way down here to Australia and to me for review...

Nail wraps are a D-I-Y method of creating nail art without the need for any artistic inclination whatsoever as you select a wrap design (or several designs if you want to mix them up) to suit your individual taste, then apply the wraps to your nails. Jamberry wraps come in over 300 styles so their selection is vast and with proper application Jamberry claim their wraps can last for "...up to two weeks on fingernails and four weeks on toes."

I'm a D-I-Y manicure person and love painting my nails - of course as you can see in this blog! - but I've only used nail wraps a few times in the past so this post is going to be from pretty much a beginner's perspective and very warts and all as I learned from my mistakes.  I'll share what I learnt as I go through the step by step instructions because I've actually picked up a few tips worth sharing to make it easier for other beginners...

Step by step instructions (and my comments):
  • Clean unpolished nails with alcohol wipe and push back the cuticles. This is self-explanatory and the purpose is to remove any oily residue from the fingernails that will prevent the wraps from adhering. Jamberry do sell their own Nail Prep wipes but I used alcohol wipes I bought from the pharmacy/drugstore to clean my nails. At this point you can add a base coat if you wish and allow it to dry before applying the wraps - I tried with and without and didn't see that it made any difference to how the wraps applied.
  • Match nail (finger or toe) to the nail wrap that best fits.  Don't be afraid to trim the wraps to fit your nails! I have very narrow little fingernails and the majority of wraps were too big for me so I trimmed the nail wraps to fit with nail scissors. I made sure the nail wraps were trimmed a little more narrow than the width of my nails to allow perfect adherence to the nail without the wraps overlapping onto the skin at the sides (apparently one of the causes for wraps lifting away from the nail).
  • Peel off nail wrap and warm with a mini heater or blow-dryer for 3-5 seconds or until soft and flexible.  Be careful not to handle the wraps with your fingers because you'll reduce the effectiveness of the wrap's ability to stick to your nails. I used an orange stick to peel back and hold the wrap up to the hairdryer - Oh yeah, be careful with your hairdryer settings too as I managed to blow everything off the table in my first attempt. Lesson learnt here: high heat, low fan! The wrap will curl slightly with the heat when it is ready to be applied.
  • When warm, press the wrap onto the nail. Apply firm pressure around edges to adhere the wrap to the nail. Use rubber cuticle pusher to seal the wrap around the base of the cuticle. I found this the trickiest step and it requires patience to align the wraps onto the nails and it took a lot of  effort to smooth out the wrap over the nail - I have to admit I still had a few wrinkles so I'm hoping practice makes perfect.  Allow time for the wrap to cool completely on the nail after smoothing it out. The wrap will shrink as it cools so trimming or filing it before it's completely cooled may result in the wrap lifting away from the tips of the nails - this is what I learnt after my first attempt when my impatience resulted in my first set of wraps lifting at the nail tips within hours.
  • Trim the top with scissors and file off remaining wrap using a downward motion to remove excess.  As above don't attempt this until the wraps are completely cooled. Be gentle with the filing too to get a clean finish and avoid tearing at the edges. I found a glass nail file the best bet with this step.
  • Apply heat and pressure to the wrap again until it is bonded to the nail.  At this point I also applied the barest hint of clear polish to the free edges of my nails to really seal the edge of the wrap to the nail. I tried this on my second attempt and found that it helped the wrap tips from catching and lifting away.

And now for the results of my first two attempts:

Jersey Girl

Paper Mache

Wear and removal:

As I mentioned these take a bit of finesse and patience to get onto the nails and need to be applied carefully for lasting wear.  My first attempt looked reasonably fine at first but the wrap tips lifted very quickly.  My second attempt was much more successful in terms of wear - the wraps still didn't look perfectly smooth to my scrutinizing eye but nobody else seemed to notice and they held for the week. I'd suggest a busy design will distract from any imperfections in application until you (or I for that matter) really get the hang of it.

One unexpected bonus was that wearing the wraps was like wearing a coat of armour for my nails and they grew without the usual peeling and breaking.  I did the naughty thing once and peeled off a wrap only to discover it lifted away a layer of nail - don't do that will you! - but removal using the recommended method was actually very easy, using a cotton bud/tip soaked in nail polish remover working from the edge of the wrap to dissolve the "glue" underneath.

Jamberry nail wraps retail for $22 per set for Australian customers. Each set contains a single sheet of 20 wraps.   You can check out and shop their full range here.

(This product was provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

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