July 31, 2013

Jamberry Nail Wraps [Review] & [Giveaway]!

Today I have something very special: a review of some Jamberry Nails nail shields / wraps, and a small giveaway of a really cool, complete set of Jamberry shields*!

Stay tuned for the giveaway information at the end!

Here are the wraps I'll be testing out:

They're called "Blue Chevron!"


You can see that the wraps really come in a good variety of sizes.


Jamberry nail shields, of course; a nail buffer, cuticle remover, and alcohol wipe to prep the nail beds; a glass file to buff down edges, a plastic cuticle pusher to adhere the wraps near the cuticle.

Also, nail scissors and a pink stick:

Most importantly, a heat source.  I used a hair dryer:

There are conveniently located instructions right on the back, but you can also visit Jamberry Nail Wraps- Application & Removal Instructions   for more detailed instruction.

Let's get to it:

Showing the transparency of the backing

The first step is to select the appropriate size wrap for each nail.  This part is made easy by the transparent plastic backing, since you can just hold the strips above your nails.

Lift with a stick:

One complete nail wrap can be used twice (unless your talons are extra, extra long), so Jamberry recommends that you cut each strip in half:

You then heat it up for 3-5 seconds, until they become more flexible:

I felt like I was roasting marshmallows!  With hair dryers, you may need to hold the strip further away than the picture shows, so the blast of air doesn't bend the strip too much.  Jamberry sells special heaters for this purpose, which might be convenient if you're going to be applying these all the time.

Then, you just carefully apply to your nail, starting from the center and smoothing outward:

My nails are very curved, so the hardest part was dealing with the tips.  The wraps really wanted to wrinkle there.

The next step is trimming the excess of with nail scissors:

You can see there that the base of the nail shield is quite rounded compared to the shape of my cuticle.

Then, you just file the edge in a downward motion to bond the edge of the strip:

You can see above on my middle nail how the wrap looks before filing.  I honestly had a bit of trouble with this part.  Jamberry says you don't need to aggressively file, but I did in order to remove the little pieces hanging off.

During the application process, it also helps to keep re-heating the wrap on your nail, so that it bonds more fully, and this should also be the last step, as well.

Here's my "helper:"

Amazingly, here's what I was left with on the sheet:

I will obviously get a lot more use out of those!  (I might try them on my toes next.)

The results!

Pretty snazzy, I think.

The up-close photos really show the application flaws.  I had a wrinkle on the index nail I was unable to smooth out, and you can see on most nails that the top left edge was not completely sealed down, probably a result of being slightly too big for the nail bed.  I could not see that in real life!

I think with these, you really need good attention-to-detail at least for the first application.  I wasn't aware of how imperfect a job I'd done until I saw the photos!

Really cute though!  This particular blue and green chevron pattern is so Summery.

Really fun, and an easy way to do nail art if you happen to be a semi-nail art-challenged individual such as myself!

Some bullet thoughts:

  • They're thicker and more elastic than many other nail appliques I've tried. 

  • Clear film backing does make it easy to select the appropriate size. Next time, I know to err on the side of too-small (I think that was my main application mistake.)

  • Nice variety of sizes, which should fit many nail bed types. The smallest was just small enough for my pinkie, but I think I have abnormally small pinkie nails.  If you have short to medium nails, you can definitely use each wrap twice, by cutting in half like the instructions recommend.  

  • The process reminds me of shrink wrapping Easter eggs.  

  • There seems to be a little learning curve, but they're fairly easy to work with and more forgiving than other nail appliques.

  • I couldn't quite get the ends filed properly.  They look pretty good in person, but photos show wrapping flaws, and I'm pretty OCD about the edges of my nails being smooth to the touch.
  • The more curved your nail bed, the harder they'll be to apply probably; you'll have to be careful not to get creases and wrinkles at the edges and tips of the nails. 
  • Wear time: Unfortunately, these only wore for about 12 hours for me, BUT I believe that's due to my poor ability sizing them- the result was that the edges weren't adhered completely.  Next time I know to size down a bit, and I think I'll get a more bonded application!
  • Applying these isn't necessarily any faster than applying regular nail polish, between the heating/ snipping/ and filing- but no topcoat is needed, and there's no drying time, which is the obvious, big advantage.  However, it is much faster than doing such complicated nail art!
  • They come is so many styles and patterns it's incredible!
  • Jamberry nail shields retail for $15.00, which is on the pricey end for nail wraps.

 Useful Links:


And now for the Giveaway!


The prize is a complete set of Jamberry shields in "Retro Blocks:"

Those are going to look so cool on someone's nails!

 Guidelines for Entry:
  • The giveaway will run for two weeks: From today, (Wednesday the 31st), until Wednesday, August 14th
  • I will announce the winner the next day, Thursday, August 15th!
  • Mandatory
  • 1)  You must be a Google Friend Connect Polish Hound follower to enter. 
  • 2)  You must also 'like' Jamberry Nails on Facebook!
  • Winner will be chosen by random number generator.
  • Entrants must provide a means of contact, and winner must respond within 48 hours of notification.
  • Chances of winning depends on number of entries; additional entries (up to 14) can be completed via Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

RulesEntries are open from July 31, 2013 at 2:00 PM, CST and close on August 14, 2013 at 2:00 PM, CST. You must be 18 years or older and/or adhere to the rules of your state regarding giveaways to enter. All prizes are brand new and unused. They were provided by Jamberry Nails for me to give to you. Items in this giveaway include 1 set of Jamberry Nails nail shields in the pattern "Retro Blocks."  The approximate value of these items is $15 USD, but the prize is not redeemable for cash. The item will be shipped directly to the winner by Cait/Polish Hound. Polish Hound is not responsible for lost shipment or damage that occurs during shipping. This giveaway is open internationally. You must follow Polish Hound via Google Friend Connect (GFC) to enter. Extra entries are outlined on Rafflecopter. One winner will be chosen at random on January 8, 2013, and notified the same day. Winner must provide a means of contact in order to be notified. If winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen at random.  By entering or accepting the prize in this contest/giveaway, the winner agrees to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms & Conditions and to confirm to all federal, state and local laws and regulations.

Good luck!

(as always, thank you so much for reading and sharing in the polish & nail obsession!)

 * Disclosure: these nail wraps were provided to me for honest review by Jamberry Nails, but all opinions are my own.

July 27, 2013

[Press Release] Color Club- Girl About Town Fall 2013

I don't know of any ladies (and gents?) are into Color Club at all, but they announced their Fall 2013 collection a few days ago, called Girl About Town.  There are six new polishes in the collection with varying finishes- and, hold on to your hats, there seems to be a flakie among them!

They seem to be inspired by prominent cities across the country, with names like The Uptown, Wicker Park, Pearl District, ect. There don't seem to be any other promotional images, but I did grab this one of the four-pack from Color Club's Facebook page:

Kinda pretty! What do you think?

July 24, 2013

Mail-time: Rescue Beauty Lounge Blogger 2.0 Pre-Order

A couple of days ago, Dogface discovered a small box!

He just wants his compensation...

...but he has to earn it.

"Leave It."

Dog torture!  (Don't worry- he got plenty of tasty baby carrots for his troubles.)

Let's Open'er up!

A Rescue Beauty Lounge brick!


Rescue Beauty Lounge- Scrangie 2.0, and Rescue Beauty Lounge- NailsandNoms

These were the two that spoke to me most strongly from the new Blogger2.0 collection.  I think they are both really unique!

Together, they look super Fall-appropriate.

Swatches to come, stay tuned!

July 21, 2013

Indigo Bananas- Maui & Shadow [Swatch] & [Review]

Today, I'm stoked to share two polishes* from indie brand Indigo Bananas! They are both duo/multichromes in the blue-purple family, which is a weakness of mine!

First, since I didn't do a proper mail-time, here's an abridged version:


bonus tasty things!
Indigo Bananas- Shadow & Maui:


Hambone was also excited by the prospect, so he became a banana:

Good banana.

Now, a little about Indigo Bananas from indigobananas.com:

"Indigo Bananas is a Los Angeles based handmade indie nail polish brand, founded, run and manufactured by Andrea, a trained biologist with a background in molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry and chemistry – which means she has a love for the nerdery* behind nail polish making...
...The name Indigo Bananas can be interpreted in multiple ways: ripe bananas glow indigo under UV light, so they are the most royal of all the fruits. The name sounds like ‘indie go bananas’ – so feel free to go bananas for indie nail polish, since you are not alone and there are a bunch of us who also find indie nail polish appeeling."

 Let's get to the nail polish!

First, is Indigo Bananas- Maui:

Maui is an aqua-to-violet duochrome with a really cool foil-like finish provided by scattered holographic glitter particles. 

Artificial light, two coats:

The color shift is readily apparent in most light, but when it's less-so, the polish appears as the most gorgeous sort of intense teal-ish/ aqua:

Window-filtered daylight:

Straight-on, Maui appears mostly teal/aqua with glowing purple at the edges of the nail, but if you tilt the nails at more of an oblique angle, the color shift is really strong, and most of the nail appears violet-plum-purple.  Endlessly entertaining!

Out of focus, but it shows the intensity and complexity pretty well:

(Also a stray dog hair, sorry- hello, Ham!)

Maui is a  long time lemming of mine! I took about triple the amount of photos as I normally would.  I always photograph duochromes to death, but this was so gorgeous I could. not. stop. shooting.

Outside, shade:

Partial sun:

Full sun:

There are those scattered holo particles!

Up close!

Really pretty and Summery, no?

Formula: It's got a medium viscosity; the first coat is slightly sheer but not streaky, and it glides onto the nail easily without any cuticle dragging issues.  I was surprised how resistant this polish is to over-working; you can go over an area many, many times and experience no pulling or bare patches- amazing! Opaque in two easy coats!

Next, here's Indigo Bananas-Shadow:

Shadow is a deep blue-to-purple duo/ multichrome in a blackened base with a glassfleck finish.  It seems to have some pink particles in there as well, sometimes looks slightly gold at the edges!

Artificial light, two coats:

Shadow was not a lemming of mine, but holy shit, it's incredible- it should have been!

It's really changeable, as you can see.  Super cool! I couldn't stop wiggling my fingers around like an idiot.

Window-filtered daylight:

Ho-lee crap!

The color shift is really dramatic, and this polish is right up my alley.  Shadow is insanely gorgeous, and is basically all I've ever wanted in a duochrome/ multichrome all in one amazing bottle! Hnnnnnnngh!

Outside, shade:


I think this one speaks for itself!

Formula: It has a thin-to-medium viscosity, best applied in two or three thinner coats.  For swatches, I used one thin coat with a thicker second coat on top, and that was perfectly opaque for me. It might cuticle drag if you bumble around too much, but goes in the nail fairly easily if I do say so, and I didn't personally have any problems. Impressed!

I wore this for two days, and I did end up with chips on the corners on the nails- something to mention, however, it doesn't really matter to me since it's so easy to apply in the first place! (And eye-catching enough to warrant a such a small inconvenience!)


Overall, I love love love both of these polishes, and they have a welcome home in my stash!  Andrea has concocted some amazing, unique colors, and if you haven't checked out Indigo Bananas, definitely get on that!

Currently, Indigo Bananas polishes can be purchased on Etsy, or Internationally through  Edgy Polish.

*Disclosure: these polishes were provided to me for honest review, and all opinions are my own.