Sunday, March 8, 2015

What I Wish I Had Known About Jamberry Nail Wraps Before I Bought Them

When I first started learning about Jamberry nail wraps, I tried to find a straight answer about how well the wraps work and how long they last, but all I could find were glowing testimonials and photos of people wearing freshly applied wraps. 

Yes, they looked nice, and yes, the designs were so fun, but what I wanted to see was photos of the wraps at the end of their lifespan!

In the end, my curiosity got the better of me, so I ordered some wraps so I could test them myself. Here is what I learned.

1. Yes, Jamberry nail wraps last 14 days...for some people (not me)

The Jamberry website says that wraps are supposed to last on fingernails for up to two weeks. What?! I love painting my nails but since polish only lasts for a few days on my hands, I've had bare nails pretty much since having kids. I just can't justify taking time to paint them when it will almost immediately start chipping and look horrible anyway (see the photo of my current three-day-old polish manicure).

Nail polish after 3 days
However, for me the wraps last about seven days. By that point the tips are pretty worn and tugging on my hair and generally annoying me, and my nails have grown out so much that I need a new set of wraps anyway. 

Does this mean Jamberry is lying? 

No--some people can get two or even three weeks out of their Jamberry manicures. It depends on what kind of nails you have. Some people have thin nails, some thick, some are more dry while others are more oily, some are very curved while others are more flat, etc. Those variables, as well as the type of wrap used (metallic, matte, etc.), the application method, and what the manicure is put through, all affect the longevity of a Jamberry manicure.

Jamberry wraps after 7 days
Apparently I am really hard on my nails. Here's a photo of my Valentine's Day manicure right before I removed it. If you aren't the mother of a toddler who still likes to throw food on the floor (requiring lots of time on hands and knees scraping hardened mandarin oranges from tile with your nails) hopefully your manicures will look better than this after a week. ;-)

But at seven days, wraps still last way longer than polish. I can justify taking time to apply them on a weekly basis.

Oh, and wraps last forever on toes--I've waited as long as six weeks before removing them, and they were still going strong!

2. Yes, Jamberry nail wraps are easy and fast to apply...after you get the hang of it

My first Jamberry mani took at least an hour to put on. Mostly because I was so terrified of messing it up. Below is a photo of the result. Not too bad, if I do say so myself! By my fourth Jam I had the process down pretty well and had gotten much faster. Now it takes me about 20 minutes (that does not include prep time--removing old wraps, pushing back cuticles, and cutting/filing nails--I usually do all that at a different time). This my weekly "Mommy time" -- after the boys are in bed, I put on an audiobook and get girly putting my on Jams! :-)

My first attempt at a Jamberry manicure
So, yes, there is a bit of a learning curve, but to be fair, nail polish isn't exactly easy to apply either. At least you don't have to wait for wraps to dry. There are several different application (and removal) methods; just open YouTube and search for "Jamberry application" and you'll find 11,000 videos! Try a few different techniques and you'll find the combo that works best for you.

3. Yes, the Jamberry mini-heater really does make a difference

I am a cheapskate. So there was no way I was going to spend an extra $20 on an official Jamberry heater when blogs said I could use a blow dryer or embossing gun and achieve the same results. That's what I used for my first three months of Jamberry manicures, before I caved and bought the mini-heater.

I'm glad I did; it makes a big difference. First, it is easier to use because you don't have to hold it, so you have both hands free during the whole application process. It saves time because you can leave it on while applying multiple wraps instead of turning it on and off. But most importantly, it perfectly heats the wraps in a few seconds, removing the guesswork so you avoid under- or over-heating wraps, and manicures last longer. Wraps go on easier and last longer when you use a Jamberry mini-heater.

4. Other things I've learned
  • Patterns with light colors hide wear much better than solid or dark colored designs.
  • Metallic wraps are more finicky to apply, the edges lift more quickly so manicures don't last as long, and they are a pain in the neck to remove because the metallic part sticks to the nail. 
  • If you have very curved nails (like I do) use a tweezer to hold wraps while applying them so you can gently stretch them and avoid buckles.
  • If you use oil to remove your wraps, wait at least an hour before applying a new set of wraps.
  • Avoid immersing new manicures in water for an hour.
  • Give your nails a break every month or so by going a few days without wraps on them.
So while Jamberry nail wraps didn't quite live up to the hype (they don't last as long as I'd hoped, and the learning curve was a little steep), I love them way more than I thought I would and have been using them almost continually for four months now. They are available in so many different designs that would be difficult or impossible to achieve with polish. Catching a glimpse of a fun, colorful design on my nails just makes me smile, and sometimes that is all I need to get me through a long day.

(And just to clarify, I don't sell Jamberry and am not being reimbursed in any way for this post. I wish! ;-)


  1. Great article! You should really consider selling Jamberry! It is inexpensive to get started and lets you get some great discounts on wraps! Let me know if you are interested.

  2. Great article! You should really consider selling Jamberry! It is inexpensive to get started and lets you get some great discounts on wraps! Let me know if you are interested.

  3. Don't sell jamberry - it isn't worth it! You might sell $1000 worth of product for the year and will only get $300 out of that. Just make sure it's your decision and nobody pressured you into because there is a startup fee and website cost. My sister and my cousin sell it. From, just a consumer.