7-day Jamberry challenge results

As part of the Jamberry party activities, our consultant encouraged us to take on the “7-day Jamberry challenge” after receiving our Jamberry nail wrap samples. The challenge involves applying a Jamberry nail wrap to an accent nail and painting the rest of your nails with polish, then checking on the results in seven days.

Here’s day seven of last week’s nails (two coats Revlon Elusive, topped with one coat Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat, on all fingers except for the ring finger, which uses a Jamberry Black & White Chevron nail wrap), with day one below it for comparison:

Truth be told, that the polished nails won out in my case is more likely a testament to the amazing Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat, and maybe also that I used a sturdy glitter polish, than anything else. If I’d tried Jamberry before discovering this top coat, the results may have been much different.

Both held up pretty well, but the Jamberry definitely started showing some significant tip wear, more so than the polish. You can’t really see it in these pictures, but by the fifth day, I was having a teensy bit of lifting all along the tip of the wrap, and by the seventh day, the slightly flappy edge was starting to annoy me. For better wrapped tips, my friend Lily, who’s hosting the Jamberry party, suggested trying the flatiron method (which she said works well for her) or using a plastic bag to seal down the wrap while heating for a tighter bond at the nail tips. Our Jamberry consultant, Katie, also suggested that filing away the worn tip could allow for a few more days of wear. I haven’t tried either of these methods myself, but if I try Jamberry wraps again, I may give them a shot.

Interestingly enough, the little bubble on the side really didn’t detract from the durability of the wrap at all, and I had no lifting issues from that edge. It was mostly just the tip that wore away, which seems like reasonable wear and tear to me, especially given that my nails typically take a pretty good beating. In fact, one thumb and one pinky (not pictured) had noticeably chipped polish, again from emphatic piano playing, so the lacquered nails didn’t remain wholly unscathed, either.

Day seven (top) versus day one again (bottom), from another angle, to better examine tip wear:

As for removal of the Jamberry wrap, I was actually able to very gently and gradually peel off the entire wrap without soaking in hot water or oil and without any nail damage whatsoever – easy! After a week, the wrap was still on reasonably securely, but I think it was on its way to being ready to come off, so that worked out nicely in my case. (The recommended method is soaking in oil (e.g., vegetable oil) and gradually peeling the wrap away with a dental flosser.)

For now, I may just stick to my beloved lacquer. The nail wraps are definitely fun in their own way, but the act of painting is so soothing to me and way more cost effective that it’s hard to talk myself into making the extra $15 investment per Jamberry sheet.

Have any of you tried Jamberry, and what do you think of them?

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Revlon Elusive and Jamberry Black & White Chevron, with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat

Two of my friends threw Jamberry parties simultaneously, so I’ve had my first taste of the Jamberry experience this past week. I previously knew of them only because I’d read a review of their monthly Stylebox subscription, but I’d never tried the product personally. I threw these nails together to test out the sample I got – one strip of Jamberry nail wrap in Black & White Chevron. I matched the wrap with Revlon Elusive, a polish I kept wanting to wear but somehow never got around to.

Here’s two coats Elusive, topped with one coat Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat, on every finger except for the ring, which uses Jamberry Black & White Chevron. Outdoors, in indirect sunlight:

Elusive is a black jelly packed with teal glitters in various sizes and shapes – well, at least some round, some hex, and some micro. I think I’ve also caught a little flash of pink or purple in the microglitter, so there could be more to it than teal, but it’s at least predominantly teal. The formula’s a little clumpy with all the glitter in it, so it requires a little care to apply, but it otherwise glides on pretty easily for a glitter. By that, I mean no special glitter placement or dabbing technique is needed, and it’s opaque in two coats. (Well, it’s opaque in two coats unless your bottle has settled, like mine did. It was watery before I shook it, so my right hand (not pictured) required three coats, but that’s my fault, not the polish’s.) The brush is pretty standard – round, flat-tipped, and of average width.

Elusive dries matte, which would have surprised me, except I’d already read Gotham Polish’s thorough write-up on this polish and knew what to expect. I don’t mind it as a matte polish, actually – it gives Elusive an interestingly offbeat stone-meets-latex look. You can check out Gotham Polish’s post for pictures, since my photo didn’t turn out nearly as well. I think I might like it better glossy, though. The glossy top coat brings out the teal glitter better.

As for the Jamberry Black & White Chevron nail wrap, it was my first experience applying a Jamberry nail wrap (or any nail wrap at all, for that matter), and it was surprisingly easy to do. I followed their official application video pretty exactly: wipe off nail with alcohol, peel off half the wrap with tweezers and cut off that half, heat, stick on nail and smooth over, trim and file off excess, heat again, and done! I did have to trim the wrap to get it to fit on my nail because it was too wide, but that was easily done with scissors. I also had a tiny bit of bubbling at the edge (you can see it on the left side of the nail) that wouldn’t go away with heating and smoothing, but it’s pretty minor, and I’d probably get better with future applications.

I have mixed thoughts about Jamberry so far. I mean, I have no issue with the product itself. In fact, I think they’re fun, and the quality of the product seems good (it’s a durable plastic film). It’s easy to apply, and on the second day, it’s so far stood up pretty well to everyday wear and tear. The design selection’s huge, too, with a Nail Art Studio option that even allows you to use your own custom artwork. Sounds pretty great, right?

My Jamberry sample before I cut it up for application (plus a plug for our lovely consultant).

The only real misgiving I have is the price, which is $15 a sheet (plus extra for shipping), which Jamberry says covers two manicures, two pedicures, and an additional eight to 16 accent nails. If you go with a custom art design, it’s $18.75 per sheet, plus a $6 setup fee per order, kind of like with custom orders at a print shop. Granted, Jamberry seems to offer a buy-three-get-one-free deal (averages to $11.25 a sheet), and our Jamberry consultant has been offering some discounted deals (the party package includes four Jamberry sheets, plus an application kit, cuticle oil, and mini heater for $84), but it’s still kind of steep.

In short, it might be much cheaper than getting your nails done at a salon all the time (after all, you’re cutting out the personal service you pay for at a salon), but way more expensive than painting and stamping your own nails. While the Jamberry wraps are probably more durable than polish, probably a strong selling point for a lot of people, I like trimming my nails short weekly and changing up my colors too often for the two-week durability to be a big pull for me, and my current regimen keeps the polish intact for about as long as I want it on. Whether the wraps are faster to apply is also a toss-up, too, since I paint my nails pretty darn quickly these days. Plus, I just really like the painting part, though I guess gluing on plastic stickers is sort of fun, too.

So, I’m still thinking about it. Jamberry seems like the kind of thing I might want to use once in a while for the fun patterns and maybe special occasions, though, so maybe I’ll pick up a few at some point.