Jamberry Review

I’ve been wearing Jamberry nail wraps for over a year, so it is time I wrote an actual review of them! I was first introduced to the company through a trifecta of events that happened around the same time. 1st, a friend had an online Facebook party and invited me. 2nd, I got a free sample of a wrap from a gal at church, and 3rd, another friend became a consultant. Oh, and I had thin, weak, brittle nails that would snag and catch on things unless I kept them super short. And plain. (sad face)

So after I had broken my nail again when it hadn’t even grown out from the last time I had broken it, I decided it was time to put on my wrap sample. I busted out my hair dryer and stuck it on in about 5 seconds. Woah. It was cute. It was protecting my broken nail. It was simply amazing!

THE PRODUCT
Nail Wraps. Who knew, right? The Jamberry nail wraps are a unique product on the market. They are a tried and true formula for long-lasting durable manicures which don’t damage your natural nail. First off, they are vinyl so they are water resistant, odor free, and won’t chip or rip. The adhesive is non-toxic and long-lasting as well. Out of the package, they have a faint plastic-y smell to them. I suspect this is from the purple sleeve they come in, or the plastic backing they are stuck on as the wraps themselves have no odor.

Each sheet has 18 nail wraps in 10 sizes to fit your pinkie nail to your big toe. They are long enough to cover 2 nails with one wrap, and are easy to cut to size with scissors.

Application instructions are on the back of every purple sleeve, as well as being on their website. They also have an official application video, a tips & tricks video, and removal videos as well for all you visual learners.

My photos of my earliest Jamicures! My photos have improved with time, as have my application skills.
My photos of my earliest Jamicures! My photos have improved with time, as have my application skills.

APPLICATION
As with all nail covering type products, prep is key. When you go to the nail salon, how much time is spent on the prep versus the actual manicure itself? A lot! Nails should be clean and oil-free. Cuticles should be pushed back and no invisible cuticle should be present. These are all no brainers when putting anything on your nails if you want them to last. And finally, a nail wrap should never touch your skin, so make sure you choose the proper size and don’t put it up over your cuticle. Anywhere a nail wrap touches skin will create a place where oils and debris can sneak underneath and ruin your adhesive bond.

Size the wrap to your finger, peel off with tweezers or an orange stick, cut in half (or to the proper length) with scissors. Then heat it up and place it on. Smooth it on with a rubber cuticle pusher or your finger. I pull and stretch mine gently down over the tips to get a tight bond to my nail curve. Then heat the wrap while it is on your finger and smooth again. Trim the excess with nail scissors. When it is cool, file it smooth in a downward motion only.

While there are tons of alternative application methods out there, when you are new to the product, stick to the official application instructions. They are the simplest, the tried-and-true steps, and you will get a great long-lasting manicure by using them.

How to apply - official

SIDENOTE
About alternative applications: I think these exist as troubleshooting guides. Women who have different shaped nails, or who are applying over gel enamel or acrylic nails, yes these women probably need a different instruction set. But other than that, I think these alternative methods in general are trying to simplify things. Like, do you have to heat it up before you apply? (Not necessarily, especially if you have flat nails). Do you have to heat it up twice? (Again, not necessarily). Do you have to file your nails at all or can you just clip? All these questions have led to many many women simplifying the process of application to a way that suits them. If it saves them time and gives them a great long-lasting manicure, than I say go for it! But when you are brand new to the process, stick to the instructions as printed on the package.

My 2nd full set, after 2 weeks! My nails were so short back then.
My 2nd full set after 2 weeks! My nails were so short back then. Kiss Me ombre is still one of my favorite designs (retired)

DURABILITY
Honesty time! My first full set was Orchid Tips. I was so excited about getting my order (shipping took a lot longer back then) I watched all the videos I could and thought that I could pick any application method that sounded most convenient to me. So I got out my rice bag and applied that way. It was a disaster. They looked good right after I applied them, but in the morning they were all half peeled off. Nightmare!

Instead of cursing the product and throwing my order in the trash, I took a step back. I reread the official instructions and thought back to my original sample nail. My second full set went on via the official method and guess what? Kiss Me Ombre stayed on my nails for a full 2 weeks! Hello, Jam-Addict!

My first jamicure after becoming a consultant: Sweet Whimsy and Black & White Skinny Stripe. Top pic is Day 1; bottom pic is Day 20!!!! Talk about long-lasting!
My husband challenged me to go 3 weeks with this Sweet Whimsy and Black & White Skinny Stripe manicure. Top pic is Day 1; bottom pic is Day 20!!!! Talk about long-lasting!

REMOVAL
Okay, I admit it. When I first started wearing wraps, I just peeled them off. I was excited to wear another new design and didn’t want to use nail polish remover due to the chemicals in it. I just wanted to move on. So I peeled. Since my nails were healthy and well-hydrated, I didn’t cause any damage to my nails. I was lucky. Women with dry nails could cause serious damage by peeling. After I had peeled off a few sets, I found out about removing with oil. This made sense to me, as Goo Gone is an oil and it removes sticky stickers! Of course!

Now I slather on the cuticle oil and gently work the wraps off with my rubber cuticle pusher. I take my time, go slowly, apply more oil as needed, and have strong, healthy nails with no damage. Plus the oil hydrates my nail beds, and the act itself is rather meditating. I can do it while I watch t.v. or during my kids’ bathtime. Easy-peasy.

yes
Jamberry offers lots of variety in nail wraps, both in design and in finishes: Clear designs, Tinted designs, Glossy designs, and Metallics & Sparkles

VARIETY
Jamberry has over 300 different nail wrap designs. They have conservative, they have solids, they have french tips. They have florals, patterns, charity wraps (where a portion of each sale goes to that charity), they have liscensed wraps (like Collegiate and Sorority plus others). They have glossy, and matte, clear and tinted. They have metallic and sparkle. And now they have 2 new finishes: matte metallic called Satin, and matte sparkle called Luster. They have something for everybody!

And if nail wraps still aren’t your thing, they have professional-quality 5-free nail lacquers that are fully pigmented, cover in less coats, and are fast-drying. They also have hand and skin care products to round out your pampering and a daily multi-vitamin to help you grow stronger nails. This is a company that is more than just easy nail art!

COMPETING PRODUCTS
When Jamberry nail wraps come up in conversation, it is natural that competing products will as well. Jamberry was originally developed to be an inexpensive alternative to a salon-only nail wrap product that is extremely expensive and can only be bought and applied by nail salons. Compared with this competing product, Jamberry costs at least 4 times less and can be applied and removed easily at home.

But Jamberry also stands up well against drug store products. The first one most people think of is Sally Hansen nail polish strips. These were the first ones I reviewed here on my blog! These products are made of actual nail polish so they are full of chemicals and they smell. The are costly as well, in my area each package gives at most 2 manicures and costs $11 and up. They are thick, bulky, and awkward to shape to your nail. Removal is a big hassle, involving a chemical soak that can last up to 20 minutes. No thank you! They also have less variety than Jamberry, at most 20 different styles versus Jamberry’s 300.

The next drug store product to mention is the newer “gel” polish strips that claim easy, peel-off removal. These are also chock-full of chemicals. They might apply more easily than the regular nail polish strips, but they never harden up and therefore they rip and peel off. I was lucky that peeling them off didn’t damage my nails. They have even less variety than the regular nail polish strips available, and per use they cost the same as Jamberry.

These Kiss gel strips couldn't stand up to Jamberry's Midnight Celebration (on ring finger)
These Kiss gel strips couldn’t stand up to Jamberry’s Midnight Celebration (on ring finger)

Gel Enamels: I haven’t had a gel enamel manicure as I can’t afford to go to a real nail salon, and buying a starter gel kit is also out of the budget for now. But other women swear by gels and love their gels! There are lots of pros to a gel nail: they are hard enamel so they are chip-resistant and long-lasting but look more natural than an artificial nail. But removal is a pain. Soaking, chipping, soaking again and lots of chemicals. I am not totally against chemicals, mind you, but I prefer more natural products if I have a choice.

Jamberry nail wraps can be worn over your gel nails to change up the look, provide variety, and add in some fun! OR you can wear gel enamel over a nail wrap to give added shine and durability to an already great product. Once you encase a wrap in gel, it will never wrinkle or bubble at the sides, and will give you more staying power especially at the tips of your nails. (*EDITED TO ADD: Jamberry has come out with a new Gel Enamel System called TruShine! For all you Gel Addicts, you can now get the product quality that comes with the Jamberry name plus all the Gel Enamels are competitively priced and 5-free! And removal is pretty much the easiest thing I’ve ever seen with the revolutionary Removal Pockets!)

CONCLUSION
I never thought I’d be a nail person. I always thought nail polish and nail art looked odd on other people. I never painted my nails because I hated the drying time and the chemical removal. But when I actually tried a nail wrap, I was a new person! I realized that doing my nails at home, with a chemical-free product was an amazing outlet for me that left me feeling pampered and pretty. And I could look at my pretty nails every day and smile, even while I stayed at home and played with my kids.

Branching out, becoming a consultant has broadened me even more as a person. I started this blog so I can write about all the exciting new designs and products and not bore my husband; I joined a great team that has an active support group on Facebook; I can have parties for people and interact with lots of women online; I can call myself a collector now, and participate in trade groups and chat it up with women all over the country who simply love nail wraps! It is about so much more than having pretty nails–it’s about my confidence, my relationships, and my accomplishments. Oh, and my nails look fabulous!

PEDICURES
Jamberry’s sizes of wraps per sheet means you get two full pedicures in addition to two (or three!) manicures. When I first started buying Jamberry nail wraps, I didn’t realize how big a deal this was. The competing products do not come in sizes this large. None of the ones I’ve bought (including custom, online kinds) have 2 wraps that fit big toes, let alone 4! This is a big plus. As soon as I did my first pedicure, I was hooked. After you get over the fear of cutting the wraps to fit the little toes (seriously, not a big deal, if  you are that scared, ask your consultant for some samples to practice with), application is easier than on fingers and lasts up to 6 weeks! Even on my itty bitty tiny baby toes, I can get the wraps to stay put for a solid 4 weeks. That means fun toes to look at every day and no chipping or peeling. Love!

Just a few of my classy Jamberry pedicures: Candy Chevron, Kiss Me ombre, Classic White Tips, Sunset Beach, and Orchid Tips (all retired except White Tips)
Just a few of my classy Jamberry pedicures: Candy Chevron, Kiss Me ombre, Classic White Tips, Sunset Beach, and Orchid Tips (all retired except White Tips)

CUSTOM NAIL WRAPS
I was lucky to join Jamberry around the time they were updating and revamping their Nail Art Studio program so I got to be one of the first to play around with designing nail wraps. It is easy to use on a computer or tablet, and is fun as well as addicting! You can upload images or use the tons of pre-loaded designs. Designing and buying just one custom nail wrap costs a bit more, but the price per sheet goes down the more you order. You can also save on buying customs through a consultant (not me anymore, alas), who is able to put in a bulk order. Despite the price, custom Jamberry wraps are super high quality, amazing colors, great print detail, and the long-lasting manicures and pedicures you expect from Jamberry. Plus, hello FUN!

Some of my custom designs: colorful argyle, nativity, dandelions, classy feathers, and juicy watermelons! So fun!
Some of my custom designs: colorful argyle, nativity, dandelions, classy feathers, and juicy watermelons! So fun!
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