Thursday, May 15, 2014

Doing My Nails: My Experience with Nail Polish, Shellac and Jamberry

I love to have my nails polished. I always have. For many years I gave up on polishing or having a manicure because I would have chips in a matter of hours. It drove me crazy.

I am very rough on my nails. I'm bad to use them to scratch up stuff or not wear gloves when gardening or washing dishes. My nails are prone to pealing and I have a couple that are bad to split horizontally about a quarter of an inch down the side of the nail. None of these things make having pretty polished nails easy.

About four years ago a friend introduced me to shellac, also known as gel polish. It was advertised to last two weeks or more, for most people. For me it lasts 7-10 days at most. But that is so much better than the mere hours regular polish lasts. After a few months of going to have my nails done I decided to invest in the uv light and polish to be able to do my own shellac manicures. It was totally worth the money for me.

Recently a friend started selling Jamberry nail wraps. I was intrigued. There were so many styles to choose from and they were supposed to last as long as shellac polish. I decided to ask for a sample. I applied the sample to my index nails and did the rest of my in shellac polish.

At the end of 11 days, I had a bit of wear on the tips of the jamberries, seven of the shellac nails still looked great, but my thumb nail had chipped so badly I had completely removed the polish from that nail. Overall, they preformed similarly.

Here are the main differences I noticed in the original sample trial:

Jamberries do not require uv lights for application, all you need is a heat source.

When one of the jamberries started lifting at the tip of my nail, I applied a bit of heat and it was as good as new. When the same thing happened with my shellac, there was no way to fix it. I've tried to glue the shellac back down with nail or super glue. That typically only gains me a few hours to at most an extra day of wear.

Removing jamberries is much easier than removing shellac polish. Jamberries took seconds compared to ten minutes of foil wrapped nails plus a significant amount of gentle scraping for the shellac.

I ordered jamberries for myself and all three girls. When they arrived, I gave everyone a manicure.



Eliza Claire


Here is what I learned from our manicures:

Preparation is key. On the girls I used vinegar to clean the nails before applying. I had varying degrees of success. I was supposed to use rubbing alcohol but I was too lazy to go find it. I have since started using 100% acetone with great results. I had to reapply six of Ruby's. Once I did they lasted well over a week. I had to reapply a couple of Charlotte's. About a week later she started loosing hers in the bath each night. Eliza Claire's did the best. The all lasted at least 10 days. She has now lost 3. They other seven are still firmly attached. I wholeheartedly believe that if I had used acetone to prep their nails and the heat application method (heating the wrap a bit before applying) they would all still be on.

If a single nail messes up it is easy and quick to apply a new one. In less than three minutes it is applied and ready to go. Shellac is not a quick fix it would require at least 15 minutes.

I could stop at any time during applying my jamberries to deal with anything that comes up with out worrying about messing up a partially completed manicure. This is huge as it never fails that someone needs something as soon as I start doing my nails.

My nails that split aren't a problem with jamberries. I have an index finger that is split under the Jamberry, it was like that when I applied them. The Jamberry has protected it and has stayed on beautifully. With shellac, when this happens the nail breaks and usually ends up with an ugly chip.

Start up costs are cheaper with Jamberry. My initial investment in the shellac system was roughly $100. With Jamberry, I could get started for $15.

Jamberry has many fun designs that I can't achieve with regular polish.

I won't do shellac on the girls due to the need of the uv light. Jamberries held up well for them and they are even harder on their nails than I am on mine.

Here are my nails today, eleven days later. A little wear but still in good enough shape I can't talk myself into redoing them yet.


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