Thursday, October 8, 2015

on 3 comments

Pink and purple gradient with gold damask

I'm still recovering from the 31 Day Challenge and have only painted my nails twice this week, and I haven't edited either of them, so today I'm pulling something from the vault to post.  

I can't quite remember when I did this mani, but I used two China Glaze polishes for the gradient, That's Shore Bright and Bottoms Up. The gold polish on my ring finger is Sally Hansen Liquid Gold from their Color Foil collection.  The stamping polish in Mundo de Unas gold, which is a perfect match for the Sally Hansen shade.

The damask design is from Moyou London Fashionista 07 plate that I got here in Aus from Picture Polish.

Monday, October 5, 2015

on 4 comments

Jamberry nail wraps - review, swatches and wear test

Alrighty, I have a lot in today's post, so apologies that its a long one.

Today I have some swatches, a wear test and my review of Jamberry nail wraps.  First I'm going to talk about the product themselves, how they applied and wore, then I'll get into some of the other Jamberry business!

Jamberry just launched here in Australia on 1 October, and as such, I have been inundated by emails from consultants offering to send me some samples to review, and seeing if I was interested in becoming a Jamberry consultant.  The simple fact is that no, I'm not interested in becoming a consultant and never will be. I have an excellent, high paying, secure job that I really love so I have no need to earn a little extra on the side, nor do I need to rely on nail wraps to have pretty awesome nails every day.  But that doesn't mean I don't see the market for nail wraps.  There absolutely is, and I can see why it would work really well as a party plan product.

Anyway, I replied to one of the consultants who emailed me, and she really was lovely. She sent me a small pack to try out.  There were 12 different sample wraps, a full pedicure set (not shown in photo below), an alcohol prep pad and instructions.

The first wrap I applied was the Burberry pattern (shown during the 31 Day Challenge), which I was able to cut in half and apply one half to each nail.  My nails are at the longest I like to wear them, and there was plenty of wrap left at the tip of each finger, so unless you have really, really long nails, then you would easily get two nails out of each wrap. 

The problem I had was that the sample wraps area really narrow, like REALLY narrow.  The first few designs (eg pink quatrefoil, black and white flowers, blue snake skin and beige gradient) were even too narrow for my pinky finger.  The floral design is very narrow, but I tried it below on my ring finger.  The burberry design and the two bottom designs were the only ones that would fit a middle finger, and as you can see below, they left a massive gap on each side of my nail.

Argh - look at that massive gap on the sides of my nails.

I emailed the consultant who sent me these and she said that these are just samples, and the full manicure sets do come with a much larger range of sizes.  But you'll just have to take her word for it, as I haven't tried a full set.

Now for application.  Jamberry wraps require heat to activate the glue that adheres them to your nail, very much like the minx nails I tried during the 31 day challenge.  Consultants have little heater fans that they use and sell for applying Jamberry wraps, but I didn't have one of those, so I made do with something every house has, a toaster!  I held my wrap with tweezers about 10 cm above the top of the toaster whilst it was pushed down.  The wrap was quite stiff to start with, but then I could see it wilt before my eyes and I could tell it was softened and ready to apply. 

Once it was soft and pliable, I applied it to my nail.  They are nice and strong so you can re-position it if you put it in the wrong place, but if you take too long the wrap will start to harden again.  If that happens just hold your fingers over the toaster to warm them up again.  If your wrap is nice an warm then application is a breeze.  You can pull them smooth and easily get them on without any wrinkles.  I have a very strong 'c' curve to my nails, so I was glad to see them applied so smoothly.  If you're not able to apply the wraps smoothly, then it's highly likely they didn't warm up enough to soften and stretch, or they cooled and hardened as you applied them, at least that was my experience.

Here is the second mani I created using the flower design.  Again, this wrap was way too narrow for my nails, and I don't consider myself to have wide nails at all.

I kept the Burberry design on my right hand for a whole week to fully test out the wear.  I was very happy with the wear.  I'm a full time working, busy mum of two children, so my hands get a good workout. I even did gardening the week I wore these (with gloves on of course!).  Below is my running comparison of how the Jamberry nail wraps compared to other nail wraps that I have tried.

As you can see, wear was good, but by day 7, they were just starting to lift at the corners on the tip.  They are certainly comparable to other well known brands like Sally Hansen, Incoco and OPI.

Removal was very easy too.  I just held my nails over the toaster again until my fingers felt warm, and then I used tweezers to grab the edge of the wrap and easily peel it off. No residue was left of my nail, but just I gave it a clean with polish remover anyway.

Now for my price comparison. Rather than price per wrap, I'm comparing them on price per full 10 finger manicure.
  • Jamberry AUD$22 for 18 strips $1.22 per strip, but you get two full manis per box (+two full pedicures), so $11 per mani and less if you consider the pedi's.
  • Sally Hansen AUD $14.95 for 16 strips (Australian price at Target), can be found cheaper online - $1.07 per strip but only one full mani per box, so $14.95 per mani.
  • OMG Nail Strips USD$7.99 for 14 strips (online price & cheaper if bundled) 57c per strip, but only one full mani per box, so $7.99 per mani.
  • Incoco USD$8.99 for 16 strips (online price) 56c per strip, but only one full mani per box, so $8.99 per mani.
Pls note: the inconsistency in currencies.  You should take into account your exchange rate to determine the best value.

Another plus for me is that these don't dry out once they are open, unlike Sally Hansen, Incoco and OPI. The OMG strips and ones from the Born Pretty store didn't dry out either, and to me this is so important if you want to be able to wear them lots of times as feature nails etc.

I also really like the range of Jamberry nail wraps, there are some gorgeous designs I'd love to wear, but instead I'll just drawn inspiration from them and create them with polish, stamping, vinyls or free hand.

Ok, so now that I've talked about the product, let's talk about the business.

From what I understand, a Jamberry consultant is similar to being a consultant for any other multi level marketing (MLM) business. Consultants are signed up 'under' other consultants.  Some MLM companies work really well and have built really good names for themselves, like Avon and Tupperware.  But sadly, I came to know of Jamberry because of numerous negative reports through the nail world.  Let me tell you about the ones I know of.

The most recent has been the reproduction of PiggieLuv's autumn leaves design by a Jamberry consultant who said they came up with the design herself. Here is the Jamberry version. It's not so much that the design was copied without credit (although it is credited now), but the fact that Narami's copyrighted photographs of her manicure were used to advertise the Jamberry wrap.

That was the the most recent issue, previous to this I have seen Jamberry consultants running online competitions inviting participants to upload the worst nail art they can find on the internet and the person who finds the worst picture wins.

I've also seen comments from Jamberry consultants against Instagram photos suggesting that the nail artist try Jamberry wraps instead. Oh sure, they don't actually say that the nail art is no good in the comment, but they may as well have said, your nail art is shit, you should try these cause they'll be so much better.

The common thing I've noticed here is that it's all the consultants doing this.  What this tells me is that Jamberry mustn't be training their consultants in general online etiquette, and if they do, then they are teaching them some very odd practices!

So with Jamberry launching here in Australia this week, I can guarantee that there will be lots of new online party requests and comments about Jamberry in various Facebook groups, I've already seen about 5 this week.  You just need to check out the Jamberry Australia Facebook page to see the number of consultants already signed up that have received their starter package.

I'm now talking to all those new Australian consultants, please don't be dicks!  Don't insult people. Be personally creative when designing nail wraps. Don't push your product so hard that you piss off all your friends and family.  From what I've sampled, the product is good and there are lots of designs available.  Let the product sell itself.

But, if anyone is interested, you can contact the lady who sent me these wraps (I get no kick back here other than the samples seen above) who can help you with wraps or becoming a consultant if you so wish.

Wow, that was a long one!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

on 9 comments

40 Great Nail Art Ideas - Hobbies

One nail art challenge ends and another begins.  I've joined up with Crumpet's new nail tarts to bring you 40 great nail art ideas every week for a year.  Yep, this one is a mammoth commitment of a mani a week for 52 weeks!  What are we thinking?

Today we start with our first prompt, hobbies!

The immediate idea of nail polish and nail art came to my head. I had some great stamping images with nail polish bottles on them and it would be super quick and easy to do, but then again, you all know that my hobby is nail art, nail polish and generally hoarding bottles of polish. So I decided to choose something else that I enjoy.  Colouring!

Yep, I enjoy colouring in those adult colouring books. Specifically I'm working in Joanna Basford's Secret Garden at the moment.  It's gonna take me ages to finish that book.  I'll probably never want to see a green leaf or flower to colour in again after I finish it!

For my nail art I did a rainbow selection of colouring pencils.  Painted freehand these are pretty easy and quick to do.

Friday, October 2, 2015

on 4 comments

31DC2015 Recap

Congratulations to everyone who made it through the entire 31 Day challenge. Like I said yesterday, I plan to spend some time over the next week (during which I'm off work) to go through a check out everyone's manis from the last 31 days.

Each year following the 31 Day Challenge I've done a bit of a summary of my posts and a quick look at some stats around which were my most popular posts.

On Instagram, I'm calling it a tie for my most liked photo from the 31 Day challenge.  I had three photos that were within 5 likes of each other as the most popular.  The metallic stripes, the dotticure and my optical illusion art work.  My most commented post on instagram was my delicate print nails inspired by our wedding china.

On my blog, my most visited blog post for the challenge was my Blue nails of the Blue Mountains, which was also the most commented on design.

My least visited mani on my blog was the Jurassic park movie nails and the least liked mani on Instragram were my Simpsons flag nails. 

Here is a recap of my all manis. You can click through to each post by clicking on the images. I'd love to know which one you liked best and which was the most popular nail design you created on your blog or IG?

31 Day Challenge 2013

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I live in Canberra, Australia with my husband, Mr Five and Miss Three. My blog is all about nail polish, and a few other bits in between. You can contact me at