In a nail-polish Facebook group I belong to (yes, that’s a thing — there are tons of them out there), someone recently mentioned being a Jamberry representative and offered to send samples to people. Thinking it was something food-related, à la Tastefully Simple, I didn’t pay much attention. But then I received an invitation to an unrelated friend’s online Jamberry party and figured since I didn’t have to leave the house to attend (why can’t more social gatherings take place virtually?), I’d check it out. And I’m glad I did!
For a few years now, so-called nail strips have been available (Sally Hansen designs are all over the place, but other polish brands, including Essie and OPI, have also put out a few options). They’re billed as being made from actual nail polish yet offering a no-mess way to achieve more elaborate looks than the average gal may be able to accomplish with assorted lacquers. Jamberry wraps offer the same function, but with a few key differences:
- They are made from vinyl rather than nail polish. Therefore, they don’t chip with wear. The website and catalog claim that manicures with these wraps last 2 weeks and that pedicures last up to 6 weeks.
- Because they are essentially fancy stickers, chemicals aren’t required for their application or removal. People who are sensitive to smells or ingredients associated with polish and removers may appreciate this difference; it also makes them pretty kid-friendly (and, in fact, the company offers several cute designs made specifically for a child’s smaller nails).
In the days leading up to my friend’s online party, the rep leading the event sent samples to everyone on the guest list so that we could ask questions and/or offer feedback after trying them firsthand (so to speak). I followed the simple application directions and sported this look for a little more than a week:
Ultimately, as the rep had promised, the nail polish I also wore chipped within a few days, but the Jamberry wraps never budged or became worn. And I didn’t baby my hands during the test period, doing all the usual stuff I would around the house (laundry, dishes) in addition to working a shift in a strawberry shortcake booth at a local festival (so lotsa hand-washing there). Removal was equally easy — I just peeled them off and swiped my nails with polish remover to ensure that no adhesive remained. Impressed with the performance and because, hey, #treatyoself, I placed an order at my friend’s party.
Jamberry offers more than 300 designs, ranging from solid colors and French tips to much more elaborate graphics. Because I am une dork suprême, I pounced on this design as soon as I saw it — my high school reunion was fast approaching, and this way of sporting the school colors was a lot easier than other options I had considered:
A sheet of wraps retails for $15, but the company suggests that the average wearer can get at least two full manicures and pedicures from that single sheet. Because I (1) hate waste, (2) have small hands, and (3) don’t have long talons, I managed to stretch my sheet even further:
Given that I would typically not wear such a busy pattern on all fingers at once, these should last me a long time, and, unlike nail polish that can get gloppy over time if it’s not used, these won’t go bad or take up a ton of space in my Melmer.
Application was simple, although I need a little more practice to ensure that I don’t have any small creases or bubbles (which you can kind of see on my index finger in the picture). It was also very easy to trim them to size with some cuticle scissors so that I could maximize each strip’s usage. If you look closely, you can glimpse the Dowager Sophie just beyond my hand — that’s ’cause I was lying on the couch and watching Investigation Discovery while applying the wraps. Achieving a cute look while only being semi-upright AND brushing up on my murder shows? Sign me up!
So, to buy or not to buy? Well…
- Pros: Lots of designs, colors, logos (even for colleges and sports teams, if you’re into that — which I am NOT); no smells, chemicals, or spillage risks; simple customization for your nail size (unless you have giant mutant nails or something); protection against splitting or breaking for thin nails; no special equipment required other than a heat source (such as a hair dryer) and a cuticle stick
- Cons: A little practice to really get the hang of applying them perfectly; some tedium in filing the wrap sufficiently to avoid “feeling” the edge of it; availability only through sellers (in other words, you can’t decide on a whim to run to Target and pick up a sheet)
The verdict: BUY
Interested? I’m hosting my OWN Facebook party on July 1 so you can check ’em out for yourself! I have a ton of samples ready to drop in the mail, so watch for your invitation to come soon! AAAAAAND attendees will be the first to find out about a new Jamberry surprise, which is super-cool (I already know what it is, so nyah-nyah).
(For the record, even if I weren’t having a party, I would label these as a “buy.” I don’t pull my punches, as you’ll see in my upcoming entry on Be a Bombshell mascara….)