Monday, January 27, 2014

Review: jamberry

New nail trends either excite or scare me.  When accent nails became the thing to do, I was pretty happy to jump on board.  But I can't quite bring myself to file my nails into cat-like claws a-la J-Lo and countless other celebrities and fashionistas.  (If it's your thing, rock it like you mean it.  It's just not for me.)
One trend that's been making the rounds for quite some time, and that's really found some staying power, is nail decals.  You know, stickers that are made to look like polish.  No bottles, no brushes, no drying time, no remover to use when it's time to switch colors.  Just a box of varying sizes, made for individual fingers that you slap on and wear until they either begin to peel off or you get tired of them and want a change.   Whichever comes first. 
Several brands carry similar products—some you can buy at your local store and some you have to order through a consultant, much like you would Mary Kay or Pampered Chef.  See where my mind goes?  Make-up and food.  Go figure. 
One such company, that sells exclusively through home parties, catalogs and online sales, is Jamberry.  I'd heard of it through a friend but was unable to go to her party that she held.  She was so excited about this product.  I mean, it's fun with nails.  So I get it!  Another friend and I went in together and bought a few sheets (one set for us and one set for our nieces).  I got them and they looked really great—sitting on my dresser.  And there they sat.  For a long, long time. 
I just couldn't really work up the nerve to do them.  To be honest, it looked a little intimidating.  I'd missed the demonstration and, though the instructions were pretty clear, I just didn't want to mess them up.  I mean, it's not like you get a ton of extras in there. 
Fast forward a couple of months.  My best friend, Tiffany, said she knew a consultant for Jamberry that had been reading the blog and saw my love for all things nail-related.  She offered to send me some samples so I could get my feet wet and try out the product.  And that's (finally!!) what I did.  So here's how it all went down.
Rachel came over to do the Listerine Foot Soak (read about it here) and showed me how to apply the Jamberry decals--they call them wraps.  She did go to that party a while back and learned how to do it. 
First I made sure that my nails were filed like I like them, clean and dry.  Then I pushed my cuticles back with an orange stick.  After the surface of my nails was in tip-top shape, I chose the size wrap that I thought I needed.  I peeled it from the backing, using the stick and not my finger
I then used a hair dryer, set on low, to heat the wrap up.  I don't have the heater that it is suggested you use, and I'm sure the results are always going to be better when you use the proper tools.  I then placed the wrap on my nail, starting at the cuticle, smoothing it to the tip.  I made sure to smooth the wrap down and then heated it up with the hairdryer again.  I smoothed the decal down, pushing out any imperfections. 
I cut off any excess decal the hung off the end of my nail and then, in a downward motion, using an emery board, filed the end of my nail until the excess was completely gone, leaving a smoothed end. 
I heated the Jamberry wrap up one last time and smoothed the end to be sure it was stuck down all the way.  I'm not sure if that last step is necessary, but I did it anyway.
This is the finished product.  That's my Jamberry--right there on my ring finger.  The other colors are from Essie.  Another personal favorite 
  • There are so many choices of colors and designs that it is almost overwhelming.  Really, Jamberry has thought of every possible personality type, want or need when coming up with these things!  You won't like them all, but you WILL find something you like.
  • To me, this is an accent nail thing.  Unless you're doing the solids, or French-tipped ones, the patterns are just way too busy to do on every finger.  The good thing about this is that your decals will last longer—but you will have to do more cutting to get them to fit.  I don't see many thumb accent nails.  But who knows?  Maybe you could be the one to start it.
  • Jamberry sells a line for young girls.  The patterns are adorable and age-appropriate for Elementary and Middle School-aged girls.  But I'm not sold on our girls being overly thrilled with the time it takes to get them done.  Depends on your little diva.  Accents are always an option for her as well! 
  • It seems like a lot of steps. Ok, it is a lot of steps.  But I have to say that once you get it down, it doesn't take as long as it seems.  Oh, it took a while on those first few nails.  But now that I have the hang of it, it doesn't really take too much time.  And it is faster than waiting for nails to dry. 
  • When in doubt on the size to use, go smaller rather than larger.  Overlap onto your finger looks plain dumb.  Trust me on this, ok?
  • Hairdryers, even on low, get HOT!  Be careful.  Or buy the dryer.  Really.  H-O-T. 
The important questions:
  • Would I use Jamberry again?
    • Well, I already did.  I finally dug into the wraps I bought.  And I have to say this—Love.  These are the clear Jamberry decals that can be used over polish or alone.  They seem thicker than the others and easier to apply.  And I love that you can see my polish through them.  Take a look à
  • How long did it last?
    • Jamberry says that it can last up to two weeks on your fingernails, longer on your toes.  I did the first set on a Saturday and it was starting to peel up on Wednesday—I took them off on Thursday.  Now, keep in mind my note on the dryer. Proper tools equal longer use? 
    • The clear ones with the stripes that I used have lasted much longer.  I put them on over eight days ago and they are still going strong.  In fact, if I keep them on, I will have to repaint my nails!
    • Now, I feel like I have to say this.  I don't usually want my nail color to last me a full two weeks.  Unless I've had it done professionally, I will end up stripping off the old polish and putting the new on in about a week (tops!) anyway.  So the fact that it didn't last that long, didn't really bother me. 
  • Was it worth it?
    • I don't know that I would buy the regular decals.  Due to the price (at $15 per pack of two sheets) I am just not sure they are for me.  However, I am totally falling in love with these clear ones.  They add a little something without being too much.  And they are kind of like the Energizer Bunny with the way they keep going and going and… So it's relative to what you want.  I would get this type again for sure. 
  • How do you get them?
    • Glad you asked!  The best way to get a little Jamberry in your life is to contact a consultant.  Don't know one?  Here's one:  
    • Vanessa Webster : or check out her Facebook page Wrap It Up With Jamberry 
    • Throwing a party is a fantastic way to get a lot of great stuff at discounted prices (including that dryer I was talking about)!  Vanessa can walk you through the entire process and can even help you do a catalog or Facebook party if you prefer not to something at home. 
    • And, if you mention Caffeine & Concealer to her in a private message and order the Buy 3, Get 1 Deal, she will offer free shipping through the end of the month!  So ACT FAST! 
So what do you think?  Would you like "polish" that isn't polish at all?  I can definitely see where people could get addicted to this trend.  And why it might just be here to stay. 


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