Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Tips for Jamberry

Easy or not?

Hello, again!  So, if you are even a tiny bit interested in nail wraps, here are some of my thoughts.  They are cute.  Will they ever be my go-to for nail dressings?  Probably not, because I *really* like polish.  But, I do like them!  I'm not the best nail artist out there, nor do I want to devote the time to doing anything really intricate, so I appreciate all the designs that are available.  I have found that if I am careful when applying, they will last a long time, and don't chip the way polish does.  What do I mean "careful"?  I don't mean the process takes a long time.  I mean if you pay attention to the process, like making sure they are laid flat on your nail and not touching any skin/cuticle.  That actually isn't very difficult to do for most people.. the wraps are pretty flexible and just a little pressure from a rubber cuticle pusher works for me.  For those with super curvy nails, though, application may be more challenging.  You may have to use a few methods to get them to lay flat (baggie, baseball).  But, if you get it down they should last at least a week, which I think is great if you don't have a whole lot of time to change your manicure several times a week.  I will probably always prefer nail polish, but I do think the nail wraps are so cute, and can be so convenient.. did I mention they don't chip?!  It's a buzz kill for sure when I've just finished painting and then notice a smudge on a nail.  aaauuugh!  I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.  :)

So, the nail wraps  come in several different finishes.  The very first one I tried was glossy and my first experience applying them was a little stressful!  I didn't have the mini-heater, so I just used my hair dryer.  Let me tell you.. the mini-heater is SO worth getting.  It has definitely made my Jamberry experience more positive!

Other finishes are: glossy, metallic, satin, sparkle, luster, and matte (see some on my previous post!).  There are also wraps with a clear portion, so you could layer those over another wrap, over polish, or just on your bare nail.  The finishes that seem to work the best for me are metallic and matte, but I do really like sparkle and luster finishes.  No matter what I do, though, the sparkle wraps hardly ever stay on my nails longer than 2 or 3 days.  Not cool!  I have tried the baggie method, more heat, more pressure.. nothing.  Sparkle and me are not friends.

I guess it COULD be that I am pretty obsessive about applying nail oil.  I have a feeling that is the biggest issue.. that the oil seeps underneath the wraps near my cuticle line, causing the adhesive bond not to stay sticky.  This is a problem because then they'll get caught in things, including my hair.. and ouch!

But, recently I tried applying my wraps (any finish) over a layer of base coat.  Right now I'm using Zoya Naked Base.  This seems to be the thing that will help me conquer the sparkles!  I will try out a mani soon using mostly or all sparkle finish wraps and report back.  But for now, here is a mani I wore for a whole week!  These are both metallic finish wraps.  Isn't Minnie cute?!  I really like the turquoise and silver combination.. to me it looks like something you could create using striping tape (but I don't have the patience or the skill to get such clean lines!).
Day 1
I forgot to photograph my Cinderella hand on Day 1, but here are both hands on Day 7.  What do you think?

Day 7

From a distance you can't really see much of the growth at the cuticle line, but it sure does drive me nuts!  That's why even though my wraps may look fine, I'll still change them out no later than day 6 or day 7.. the growth gap!  I'm really happy with the results using the base coat and hope it works as well on the sparkle finish wraps.  Heck.. even if I can get 5 days out of sparkle wraps to get me through the work week I'll take it as a win!

Jamberry has videos on their website for application and removal, so please watch those, and maybe also some from YouTube.

OK, fine, Vanessa, I may try these, but how do you get them OFF?!
When you're ready to remove the wraps, that's easy, too!  For the love all that is good, do NOT just yank them off because that's a surefire way to damage your nail.  What I do is lift a tiny bit of the edge of the wrap.  Then I take either a clean up brush or Q-tip dipped in nail polish remover and gently slide underneath.  Get more remover as needed and soon your wrap will slide right off.  Works like a charm.. and no nail damage!  There are other removal methods using oil, so check those out, too.

New mani time?
I hardly EVER slap on new wraps or polish after removing anything from my nail.  Instead, I will take a half day or day to treat my nails to some oil.  My nails (thankfully) aren't damaged, and I'd like to keep them healthy.  So, I spend this in-between time oiling (I have a post about it!).  After about a day of this treatment then it's time for either new wraps or polish.

Well.. what do you think?  If you ever want to try any, I can put you in touch with a consultant since I don't sell these.. I just happen to have lots of them (come on.. they are really cute!).  Let me know in the comments what you think or if you have any questions!  Keep reading to the end for more tips.. otherwise, see you next time (probably with polish!).


Vanessa's super easy directions for nail wraps:
1. Select your wraps.  They come on a clear backing, so it's easy to find the one that will fit your nails.  You might have to trim them a little on the sides so they fit properly and that is OK.  That's where your nail scissors come in.  It's better to err on the side of too small than too big because the nail wraps will NOT work very well if they are touching your skin or cuticle.  I'm able to use one wrap for 2 nails since my nails are pretty short.  You probably can, too, unless your nails are very long.
2.  Set up your work station:  wraps, heat source (I like the Jamberry mini nail heater, but a hair dryer will work, too), scissors, clippers, orange stick or other cuticle pusher, nail files.  Cut the wraps you plan to use in half.
3.  Push back cuticles gently (remove excess if needed before you apply wraps!).  Make sure your nail is clean and dry.  Use a basecoat if your nailbed is a little oily or if you like to apply nail oil frequently or underneath the free edge.
4. Take half of your desired wrap by the edge that will eventually be filed off (do not touch the part that will be on your nail) and center it on your nail lightly (no heat yet!!).  Make sure it's where you want it to be.  Apply indirect heat (trust me.. the mini heater is so nice for this) to the center of your wrap, and then apply firm pressure using your finger or a rubber cuticle pusher.  Apply indirect heat to one side of the wrap, pressure, then the other side, pressure.  That's the 1-2-3 method and you can probably find a YouTube video that shows it better than I can explain!  ha ha!
5.  Continue working in that manner for all fingers (no filing yet!).  Once you've finished the last finger on that hand, then go back to the first finger.  It should be cool now and now it's OK to file off the excess.  I file down at a slight angle instead of 90 degrees because I use my hands for everything.  Filing at an angle helps since it won't be right at the edge of your nail, for all of my friends who use their hands like I do.. tools!
6.  Do your other hand.
7.  To remove, lift a little bit of the side edge of the wrap.  Then, slip a brush or q-trip soaked in remover underneath and gently work the wrap off.  Use more remover if needed (but you shouldn't need much).
8.  Remove any left over residue with polish remover and wash your hands.  Apply lotion and/or nail oil to undo some of the drying from the remover.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Jamberry nail wraps

.. another way to dress up your nails ..

Hi, all!

Today's post is about nail wraps.  Have you tried any?  I've only ever tried the ones by Jamberry.  They are available directly on the Jamberry website or through a Jamberry consultant.  All the ones I own I've purchased through "parties" or have earned through hostess rewards.  Ok, y'all.. you know how much I love my nail polish, right?  Well, that love hasn't dwindled at all since I've used Jamberry, but now and then, I do like to use the wraps because I think the designs are so cute!  Plus, if I do a good job applying them, they will last me for days!  The longest I wore any set of wraps was 10 days.  Now I only ever let them stay on 5 or 6 days because I have so many designs I'd like to try.

Why the Jamberry chapter right now?

If you've read other posts, you might know that another of my hobbies is running.  I really love it!  I'm not particularly fast, but I do enjoy it.  Well, I haven't been running since the first of the year because I had a very WEIRD muscle spasm in my low back and that really knocked me out.  It was SO painful.. I think I actually shed a few tears in the first 24 hours after it happened.  Thankfully, it responded really well to some massage oils and heat.  I'm on the mend, but not quite back up to my usual mileage.

So, the reason for the Jamberry right now is that I can apply these sitting up, which isn't too painful for my back.  For polishing I normally lay flat on my stomach on the floor and polish that way.  Is that weird?  How do you polish?  Do you have a desk?  I don't.. that's why I just flounce on the floor!  ha ha!  But, it works well for me.  While my back was still pretty sore I couldn't really flounce, so I abandoned the polish for a little while.

So, Jamberry.  What are these?  They are basically stickers that you trim to fit your nails and they stay on from the adhesive and the heat you use to apply them.  Super easy!  You just need a really good nail file, a heat source, and nail scissors or nail clippers.  I've seen some people get these on in less than 10 minutes, but I've never been that fast!  I take my sweet time when doing nails, whether wraps or polish!  Let's take a look at  few of the designs I've worn recently.

And check out Cinderella hand (be nice.. she's a little shy):

You can also layer wraps that have a clear portion over polish or another wrap.  Here is one that I really like called "Geo Diamond".  It's got holographic bits to it and looks really awesome in person!  Scroll back up to see how I used it over another wrap (it's on my index finger).

You can see from the photos that the wraps come in different finishes.  The standard/regular is glossy and most of their designs come in this finish.  There is also sparkle, luster (mixture of sparkle and matte), metallic, satin (mixture of metallic and matte), matte, and clear (at least a portion of the wrap is clear so nail or polish underneath can show through).  My favorite finishes are metallic, luster, and matte.

There are videos on YouTube that would do a much better job at explaining how to apply and remove the wraps, so please check those out if you ever decide to try Jamberry nail wraps.  I will, however, share tips that have helped me improve.

First:  I use a base coat (Zoya naked base) underneath my wraps.  This has really helped with the staying power on my sparkle finish wraps!
Second:  I use the 1-2-3 method to apply my wraps (should be easy to find on YouTube).
Third:  I file off the excess wrap using a slight angle instead of the 90 degree angle.  Since I think my fingers are tools, this helps me avoid any unintentional snags!
Fourth:  I avoid any lotion or oil for about an hour.  For the first day or so, I will only use lotion or cuticle cream, not oil, to moisturize my hands.

My next post will be about my most recent Jamberry mani using the above tips so you can see (and judge) for yourself!

Until then.. XO,

Saturday, January 7, 2017



Another post today to help make up for my silence at the end of December.  Boy... when I have some vacation time, I sure do make the most of it.  What I mean is, I do NOTHING.. I make it my mission to rest as much as possible. 

Today I have a post about some skin care (not face) and nail care items I really like/love!  All shop links will be listed after all my chattering.. so if you manage to read all this, congratulations!  Or, you can always just scroll to the bottom!  :)


Love & Lotus Naturals
I'm not sure how I stumbled upon this company, but I REALLY love it.  The owner (Melissa) is a fantastic lady all around and I love the attention she puts into each product.  My favorite item from Love and Lotus Naturals is hands down the Whipped Body Butter.  I find the texture so smooth, and the scents are usually not too strong.  I also really like her Whipped Sugar Butter.

Whipped Body Butter: moisturizer after my shower.  I also keep a jar at work to use after hand washings.  I just love it!  My favorite scent so far is Raw Sugar Mandarin & Avocado.  Honorable mentions include: Tahitian Vanilla, Sandalwood Vanilla, Gardenia  I usually have 2-4 scents I alternate between.. these are some at varying levels of extinction.

Whipped Sugar Butter:  I like to use this both in the shower (it lathers really well.. just 1-2 tsp in my pouf does the trick) and after having filed my nails down.  It's got some oils in it so when I rinse off my nails don't look dried out at all.  It's great for getting the last little bits of filings and any rough areas near my cuticles.  My favorite scent is one called Drabarni, which was part of a limited edition Boho box.  So nice!  The scents I like on this are similar to the whipped body butters, plus a few others like Toasted Almond Snowcakes and Lavender & Manuka Honey.

Love and Lotus also offers other skin care items (face.. I have to sit down and decide which ones I want to try since she has some new items) and body care items (bath salts).  I've only used the bath salts once, and that was so nice.  I wish I had a bigger bathtub to enjoy it more often!

Perfect Paired Hand & Cuticle Cream (PPHCC) by Polish My Life
This product is new to me, so not quite close to being empty, but I LOVE IT.  It comes in a 2oz jar and is scented perfectly (I picked Coconuts).  Just a little bit will do the trick.  On me, it absorbs fairly quickly, within 2-3 minutes.  I will definitely replace this item when I run out.  It's a good size container to keep tucked in your purse, or on your nightstand.  I use this at bedtime and for a few days when I've applied nail wraps.  I've noticed that cuticle oils tend to seep underneath the wraps more often, which causes them to lift sooner than I want them to.  But, the cream is thick enough to stay where I want it and I can apply it carefully around my cuticles and then just rub into the rest of my hands.  The maker (Shaneka) also makes gorgeous polishes. I own several and highly recommend them.  Her creme formula is fantastic and most, if not all, are great for water marbling.


SweetBaby by Donna (cuticle/nail/skin care)
My favorite cuticle oil is SweetBaby.  The particular mix of oils in that one seems to work best for me as an every day/maintenance oil.  I found SweetBaby through a friend who knows the maker (Donna) personally.  I am so thankful for her recommendation!  My favorite scents are Warm Honey and Orange Creamsicle.  I also keep a bottle of her Heal-Thy Self oil and apply that in my scalp/hair as well as using on my naked nails.  Donna also makes a nourishing balm and I really love that, too.  That has been something I've used much more in the colder months.  I typically keep a roller bottle, but Donna also offers the oils in a brush pen (which you can easily refill!).  The shop is on vacation mode right now, but Donna announces restock events on her Instagram page.

Simply Pure by Bliss Kiss
This is another company I found as I was starting my nail journey.  Simply Pure oil is available in brush pens and dropper bottles.  It works OK for me on skin, but not as well as SweetBaby or the other oils in my post.  Even though it's not my favorite, I keep a supply because it's the best for the actual nails and it seems to work great in hair, too!  I apply the oil directly on my nails in between manicures for a quick hydrating therapy.  I also use this oil on both my hair and my son's hair (1-2 drops for him, 4-6 for me) after hair washing to help replace some skin/hair friendly oils.

Blissfully Nourished cuticle oil by Bliss Polish
This oil is the best one I've found for softening my cuticles.  Anytime I notice they seem to be a bit "thick" I use this oil and find that within a day they are much softer and pliable and look better.  It is wonderful for softening the rougher cuticles in my toes!  My favorite scent here is Coconut.  The maker (Yvette) usually switches up the scents on a monthly basis. Another one I've tried and really like is her Black Raspberry Vanilla scent.  The oil comes in a tube with a doe foot applicator, which I really like!  Oh, and Yvette also makes some pretty amazing nail polish!  While you are in the shop, take a look.  I have quite a few of her polishes and really like all of them.  Her new creme line is really nice and most colors are opaque in 2 easy coats (some in 1 coat!).

Nourishing Cuticle Oil by Polish 'M
If you've read some of my other posts, you know that Polish 'M is my favorite indie polish maker.  Newer to her shop is this fantastic oil.  I got a sample in one of the Polish for Pit Bulls duos and really liked that (that tube is long gone!) so I picked up a few more scents.  This a heavier oil combination, like SweetBaby, but contains some different oils.  After SweetBaby, this oil is my favorite for cuticle maintenance.  I really like the doe foot applicator so I can easily control how much or how little I want to apply.  The maker (Michelle) offers different scents with the changing seasons.  The one I'm loving right now is Brown Sugar & Chestnut, which was part of her fall scents.

Whoa!  That was a long one, huh?  I know what you must be thinking.. geez, girl.. that's A LOT of products!  Yes, it is, but I do like every one of them!  They each have a purpose in my routine.  The only one I use daily is the Love & Lotus whipped body butter.  The oil I use depends on the scent for which I'm in the mood, or if I need to soften, or if I'm wanting to do a super hydration for my nails.  When you consider that.. it's not so bad, right?  :)

What do you think?  What are some of your favorite nail care/skin care items? 

Thanks for stopping by!

Love and Lotus Naturals  IG@loveandlotusnaturals 
Polish My Life (PPHCC)  IG @polishmylife
SweetBaby by Donna  IG @workinggirlnails
Bliss Kiss (Simply Pure oil)  IG @myblisskiss
Bliss Polish  IG @blisspolish
Polish 'M  IG @creativenailchick

Friday, January 6, 2017

Polish for Pit Bulls Christmas 2016 edition

Hi, everyone!

I'll have a few posts coming up since I've had a little more time to write.  Whee!!  The first one I have for you is the nail polish collaboration between Polish 'M and Cameo Colours Lacquers.  These ladies, Michelle and Cameo, have been known to get together to release a limited edition duo.  Let's see what we have...

Cameo Colours Lacquers: Paw Prints in the Snow
This is a beautiful and sparkly silver in a clear base.  Mostly it is straight up silver holo microflakes, but there is just a hint of green micro flakes that I find so interesting with this polish.  Application was so easy and built up to my liking in 3 thin coats.  It dried down fairly smooth, so I skipped the top coat.  I wish I'd gotten a sun shot of this so you could really see how this polish just shines and sparkles.  Gorgeous! 

Polish 'M: Happy Howlidays
I don't have many green polishes in my collection because they tend to clash (or so I believe) with my olive-based tone.  But there is something about Polish 'M greens that I love!  I love the tiny bits of contrasting micro flakes in this.  You might think it's difficult to remove this polish (and the other), but I didn't have any trouble using the Deborah Lipmann method.  Application was effortless, as I've come to expect from Polish 'M.  It dried just a teensy bit textured, but a layer of glossy top coat was all it took to get it smooth.  Shown is 2 coats plus top coat.

Aren't the names so cute?!  I love how they somehow get a dog reference in the names.  I don't know for sure, but there may be another duo coming up in late January in time for Valentine's Day.  If you think you might be interested, I strongly encourage you to follow Polish 'M and Cameo Colours on IG, or join their groups on Facebook.  :)  I love that they donate such a large amount of the cost directly to two separate pit bull rescue facilities.  For this holiday duo, the cost was $20, and $12 was donated.. so generous of the ladies!


Cameo Colours Lacquers (shop) IG @cameocolourslacquers
Polish 'M (shop) IG @creativenailchick