my new jam(berry)

I have to preface this post with the disclaimer that I am not a manicure gal. I want to be, but my life kind of gets in the way. I have 3 kids, wash dishes, fold laundry, work in my yard…all things that fundamentally work against the life of a manicure. So when I heard about Jamberry Nail wraps, I was rightfully reluctant.  But they’re patterned. And you know I have trouble staying anyway from anything meeting that description…so I tried.

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Jamberry started in 2010 when three sisters from Utah set out to create a line of salon quality, but do-it-yourself-priced nail wraps. Their sales channel looks much like a Stella and Dot or Rodan and Fields, direct to consumer through one of many Jamberry representatives. You can hold a party, attend a party, or once you know what you like, just buy thru your representative or their website. Jamberry wraps come in strips of 20 and can be used for up to 4 manicures (or 2 manis/2 pedi’s), depending on how conservative you are in your cutting.  They come in a variety of patterns and colors that even the most adept nail artist could not recreate and there are literally 100’s to choose from (even pint-sized strips to fit your kids’ nails).

The strips are applied in a few easy steps:

  • Prep you nails by wiping clean with alcohol and pushing back cuticles.
  • Fit the strip to your nail and then cut it in half – making sure to “mind to gap” (i.e. leave a little nail showing on either side – one of the biggest mistakes people make is getting the strip on their skin, making the strip come off earlier than need be).

Jam 2

  • Apply the 1/2 strip to your nail and gently press down making sure it s straight. Once you’ve got it in the right place, heat for a few seconds with a hair dryer.

Jam 3

Jam 4

  • Apply pressure over the entire strip using a cuticle stick.

Jem 5

  • Finally, use a nail file to trim the strip to fit your nail, by pulling the file down over your nail, just a few times until the excess strip falls off (This was always the part that baffled me about these nail wraps, how do you get the ends to fit your nail shape? But the Jamberry technique is easy and foolproof…a perfect fit every time, even for my right hand which usually looks like a child painted it).

Jam again

If you want, you can then apply Jamberry’s gel system over your nails for extra long lasting results, but it’s not necessary. Even without a gel topcoat, the manicure will last 7-14 days depending on how rough you are with your hands. I opted for the gel topcoat and my mani is going strong into week 2 (as an aside, Jamberry also makes and sells their own patented gel system that comes with easy remover pads, so no need to go to the salon to have your nail polish taken off). If you don’t use gel on top, taking off your Jamberry strips is as easy as heating quickly under your hair dryer, wetting with a cotton ball soaked in acetone remover and then sliding them off side to side.

The verdict? No guarantee these will be adorning my tips the next time you see me, but I will wear them again. I especially like the idea of getting them as a gift… kids birthday, party favor or housewarming gift (going to a Christmas party? take a pack of red and green or Santa Jamberries!). Most are $15 and if you buy 3, you get 1 free, so the price is right, too.

Here are some of my favorites:

Gatsby // Boutique // See You Later // Kids Shine Bright

Shop the whole line via the Jamberry consultant who assisted me. Her name is Amy Butz and her website is here.

My only advice: when picking a pattern, think about what it will look like smaller. I have short nails, so my large floral turned into a distressed marble when adapted to my tiny nails. Also, I’d imagine that less geometric patterns are more forgiving with the application and maybe a good place to start if you are a 1st timer…

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