Jamberry Nail Wraps VS Sally Hansen’s Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips, an In-Depth Comparison

comparison chart

I think I am like most women in that I like being pampered and feeling beautiful. But I also feel like I gave up a lot of what I did for myself when I became a mom. I felt like I no longer had time to do my hair or makeup, and just dressed myself as quickly as possible, skipping the typical enhancements like earrings, necklaces, or even my wedding rings. I had just given up myself and became Mommy. Then one day I realized I was losing myself. There was nothing left that was just for me! Everything was suddenly for another person. I decided I needed to do something that was just for me, even if it was something small and simple. Like polishing my nails.

I decided that having a manicure or doing one myself was going to be my something that could help me feel better about myself. It was something that I could do once and look down at my hands and feel pretty without any additional work for days afterward. But soon after I started polishing my nails again, I discovered a lot of negatives. First of all, nail polish takes a long time to dry. Even after it is dry to the touch, it is still soft and malleable enough to where it can smudge or crease. Or take the impression of your fingerprint. Having a toddler and a baby, I did not have time to sit around and wait for nail polish to dry. So. . . how could I have a manicure without the nail polish? When I asked the question, the solution presented itself. I could do nail polish strips or nail stickers. Let’s do this!

Sally Hansen’s Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips come in a packet of 16 for about $11, though you can get them cheaper on sale, with a coupon, or online. I strongly advise against buying online because a lot of reviewers have reported receiving old product. At first, I thought, “Holy cow! ELEVEN dollars? For nail polish?” Well, yes. It is $11. But you aren’t really buying nail polish. You are buying a manicure and pedicure set for half the price of going to a salon. And that’s half the price of just the manicure. So I thought to give it a shot.

The strips are a little complicated to use, especially when comparing to just nail polish. They reeked of chemicals when opened, and even though I followed the directions to the letter, they still went on crooked, wrinkled, and I ripped two of them. I also found that the sizes of the strips were such that a pedicure was impossible. And since they dried up upon opening the package, I would only be able to get one manicure out of it instead of two. The strips themselves were cute, and they looked pretty decent until they started chipping and peeling, just like regular nail polish. I also didn’t like how they felt heavy, like 5 or 6 coats of polish instead of just 2 or 3.

Then came the removal process. Let’s just say: 10 cotton balls, almost half a bottle of polish remover, and an hour. There were many tears and frustrations. Okay, not really, but still—I wasn’t going to do that again. I had a toddler and a baby—I wanted to get away from using chemicals. Especially as I was breastfeeding. Like, seriously.

Around this time, a friend had an online Jamberry party and I was invited. I had no idea what Jamberry was. I had never heard the name, or seen it in stores, and I wasn’t even sure I liked the idea of the product. Putting something on your nail that wasn’t nail polish was just weird to me. So I forgot about it for a few days.

It came back to me gradually, like a little voice inside me saying I should just check out the site and see what it’s all about. So I went to Jamberry’s website. I was overwhelmed! I was seeing all these designs and they did not look like nail polish! How could someone put those weird patterns on their nails and think it was cute? Did they have ANYTHING that was conservative? Or that even looked like nail polish? I think I may have left the site in a huff.

But like a song that gets stuck in your head, the whole Jamberry wrap thing kept creeping into my thoughts. I had to know what all the hub bub was about. I went out on a limb and bought 3 to get 1 free. I figured that would bring the cost down a lot and if I really could get 2 manicures and 2 pedicures out of each sheet, that would totally make it worth it to me. They’d actually be cheaper than the Sally’s strips that were so flawed, and they were returnable which the Sally’s aren’t (can’t return “personal care” items). So what the hey. [Oh, I should interject that around the time all this was happening in my life, I was given a sample of a Jamberry wrap and was able to use it very shortly before I ordered my first buy 3 get 1 free order.]

Jamberry nail wraps are a unique vinyl strip that is big enough to cover 2 nails (and then some in many cases). The sizes of the wraps are perfectly sized for real fingernails. Unlike the Sally’s which were like only 4 different sizes in the packet, the Jamberry wrap sheet has 10 different sized nail wraps on one sheet (one of the 2 biggest wraps is slightly wider than the other, so while there are 9 wraps per side, there are actually 10 sizes of wraps. Way cool.] Since these are vinyl wraps, they won’t dry out even after opening. And after you use two sides of one wrap, you can keep the middle section that’s left over and easily re-cut it to fit those small toenails.

Applying the Jamberry nail wraps: Okay, I am going to be totally honest here. I applied my sample wrap following the instructions and it went on perfectly. It was the best thing ever. It was amazing and I had to BUY ALL THE NAIL WRAPS!!! Then I got my first order and stayed up late into the night applying them to all my fingers. They went on horribly. All of them went on wrinkled, bubbled, and lifted away from the nail. I was devastated. I was horrified. I thought maybe my sheet of wraps was defective. So after I removed them all, I went back and used the second half of my sample. It was perfect! It was amazing! Okay, so what was I doing wrong?

This is where Jamberry is amazing and why it is sold through a consultant: I messaged my consultant (and friend) and wrote a huge long diatribe about how my sheet must be defective and everything went wrong, etc. And she was patient with me about troubleshooting and in the end we discovered something incredibly simple: I was heating the wrong side of the wrap. I was heating the glossy side instead of the adhesive side and it wasn’t getting hot enough to actually activate the glue. It also didn’t help that I was using a hair dryer and instead of just heating for 3-5 seconds, I needed to be heating for 10-15 seconds to let my hair dryer actually heat up instead of just blowing air. Okay, phew!

I tried again. And while I didn’t get a perfect application, I got a really cute manicure that didn’t chip or smudge, had no drying time, and lasted for 2 weeks. I got better each time I applied, and now can get a perfect manicure each time in about 30 minutes while I watch t.v. And it lasts for 2 weeks! Pedicures last twice that long!

In the end, I was totally sold. Yes, Jamberry wraps have a learning curve when applying. But they are not like Sally Hansen’s Salon Effects strips. They come in every size you could need. They are easily cut to fit any nail. They really do give 2 manicures and 2 pedicures (and even have left overs for accent nails), and they have no shelf life. They can be applied in 30 minutes every other week and give a really cute manicure that won’t chip, smudge, or rip. They are durable, water-resistant, and make me smile every time I look down at them. And yes, I now “get” all the crazy, funky patterns and have even started buying them for myself! Why? Because they aren’t nail polish! So they don’t have to look like nail polish! They can look like anything you want, and completely express your own individual personality.

I’d like to explore some more comparison articles in the future, comparing Jamberry nail wraps to Essie Nail Appliques, Kiss Nail Dress, and Incoco brands as well as L’Oreal and Avon, so be on the look out for those and thanks for reading!!

P.S. Check out these ingredients:

Sally Hansen’s Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips Ingredients
Nitrocellulose, Polyethylene Teraphthalate, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol/Trimelitic Anhydride Copolymer, Bis Propane/ Bisaminomethylnorbornane Copolymer (Glycidoxyphenyl), Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Triphenyl Phosphate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Butyl Acetate, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Polyvinyl Butyral, Acrylates Crosspolymer, Stearalkonium Bentonite, Shellac Cera/ Shellac Wax, Dihydroxyethyl Cocamine Oxide, Benzophenone 3, Silica, Tin Oxide, May Contain (+/-):, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron

Jamberry Nail Wraps Ingredients

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