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Disclosure: I am not a Jamberry nails consultant, they are just a product I love! I have a friend who is, so I did set up a party in case anyone wanted to buy some – but she did not ask me to do this.
I talk to people a lot about Jamberry nails – probably because I am wearing them pretty often. Most of the time this is what I hear: “Oh, I tried them once and it was too hard.”
(In the case you don’t know what Jamberry nails are: the nails are “wraps” AKA stickers that adhere to your nails. Tons of fun patterns, and they last a long time if you do them right.)
My first time applying them didn’t go awesome, either. It took me a loooong time, and I had some issues with the nails peeling off once I had them on, too. I had to replace a few during the 9 days I wore my first “Jamicure.”
That’s a picture of the first Jams I ever tried. My nails were SHORT. My cuticles were icky. But I adored this pattern. Sadly it was a monthly special and they don’t make it now.
Even my friends who are consultants or Jamberry lovers seem to have issues. My friend Dawn (the consultant here) says it’s hard to get them on her toes. My friend Carrie loves them on her toes but not her fingernails.
My favorite thing about my Jams is that they keep me from biting my nails and chewing on my cuticles. I love that my nails are longer now and look nicer.
So after a solid six months of wearing Jamberry nails pretty often, here are my best tips and tricks for you. I wear them mostly on my fingers, although I have done a couple pedicures, too.
- Follow the instructions. I realize this seems like common sense, but sometimes I’m not great at rule-following. Basically, make sure you actually wipe down your nails with an alcohol wipe or vinegar, push back your cuticles, and heat the Jam properly, then heat your nail afterward. If you need help, there are plenty of YouTube videos showing how to apply.
- Wash your hands with blue Dawn before starting. The same stuff that gets grease spots out of your shirt and can strip your cloth diapers will also remove the oils from your nails, helping the Jams to adhere well.
- Wipe your nails with white vinegar. Even with the dish soap, I found I was having trouble getting the metallic or shiny nails to stay on. (Like Gala, one of my favorites!) The white vinegar really helps prep your nails. I just put some on a paper towel and wipe it right onto my nails before application.
- Use a flat iron for heat. This is my own crazy invention, but it totally works. As long as you’re careful not to burn yourself. You are supposed to heat the nails before they go on your finger and then again to smooth them out after they are on. Most people use a hair dryer for this, but I don’t use a blowdryer on my hair, so I would have to dig one up. Plus I am not sure I am coordinated enough to hold the hair dryer and the nail at the same time. And I have heard some people having trouble with the nail folding over, etc., when it is blown. So I use a flat iron as my heat source. It is stable, very hot, and works great for me. (One of my Facebook friends says she uses a rice sock for that second heat. That will give you pretty direct heat. Good idea!)
- Clip, don’t file. The Jamberry instructions will tell you to file the nail down once you have the Jam on it. I find that can bend back the Jam and it just doesn’t work well for me. I cut off the rest of the Jamberry with nail scissors, then clip off the end, usually including a tiny bit of nail. This gives it a clean edge that won’t catch on things or push back.
- Speaking of … use good nail scissors. My mom gave me this Jamberry nail care kit, and the nail scissors that come in it are heavy duty. The ones I got from the dollar store are really flimsy and do not work well at all in comparison. So make sure you have good scissors and an orange stick/cuticle pusher thingy.
- It’s better to go too small than too big. When the Jamberry hits skin, it will peel back eventually, causing the whole Jam to come off. That is a pain. It’s better to pick Jams that are slightly small for your nail bed and have them not touch any skin. Trust me: no one will be able to tell that there is a sliver of nail on each side of your Jam.
- I won’t tell anyone if you use your fingers to put them on. Touching the sticky adhesive will get oils from your fingers on it, and that’s not good. But I cut mine too long on purpose, and then if I need to touch the upper part (that won’t go on my nail) to adjust it, I can. Usually applying to my left hand, I just cut, heat, and apply the Jam using nail scissors so I don’t touch them. But sometimes on my right (applying with my non-dominant hand), I just need a little more help adjusting the position. So as long as you’re not touching the part that goes on your actual nail, it’s OK.
So now that you have all my tricks, I would encourage you to try Jamberry nails (again, if you have before)! Honestly, it takes a couple tries before you get the hang of it. I think it was probably my fourth time that I felt like I was doing an OK job. But the nails are so much cheaper than going to get a manicure, they last a long time (usually 7-10 days for me on my fingers), and they are just plain fun.
If you have any questions, send them my way! If I can’t answer them, my friend Dawn the consultant can.