binary girl: the secret blog



my opinion on Jamberry nails

January 10th, 2015 at 17:39

I’m not a nail blogger. I’m not even a nail art aficionado — I am just a nail polish enthusiast, with a collection of over 375 polishes (approximating from the spreadsheet I have). So, it’s natural that a lot of my friends who are not “into” nail polish have asked me my opinion on Jamberry nails.

Jamberry is essentially a MLM company where people/representatives sell sheets of nail wraps that use heat for application and can stay on upwards of a week or more. They cost around $15 a sheet (not including deals or special orders).

I have a number of sheets that either were given to me, or which I purchased myself. After repeated experiences, here are some reasons why I dislike Jamberry and would not purchase from them in the future (outside of a charity fundraiser or the like):

Most nail wraps that I’ve tried are either polish (OPI, Sally Hansen, Inoco) or stickers (Kiss). OPI no longer sells theirs, but in general, most of these sets run under $10 — around the same price as a high-end polish (I consider Chanel to be luxury, if that is helpful in understanding what I consider high-end). If Jamberry were somehow much easier to apply than normal nail strips, I wouldn’t find the $15 outlandish. (To be clear: you can typically get 2-3 applications out of any wraps, including Jamberry. A bottle of nail polish would net you at least 10 applications.)

To apply Jamberry, you do essentially what you would do with any other nail wrap: find the right size, cut it down slightly to fit your nail, stick it on, and smooth it out. Jamberry throws in one additional step: using a hairdryer to increase the pliability of the vinyl and “help” it adhere to your nail. (Protip: really, the second application of heat allows the wrap to relax again so you can try to get a better fit.) However, these are not EASY to apply by any means right out of the gate, and paired with the cost, this makes them a no-go for me. I’ve worn many sets of wraps and still, the second application of Jamberry for me was as terrible as if I’d never tried any wrap before: they are hard to line up with the cuticle when they are warm (because they’re soft and floppy), and filing them at the top for a clean edge also isn’t the easiest (read: I have yet to be able to do it, and the fact that I see YouTube videos out there for hacks to get them to apply better means I’m not the only one). Knowing that this application cost about $4-5 hurts, mentally.

However, to be fair: they do look good at a distance.

Now, in terms of wearability, I have never had an entire application last me a week. I’ve had certain nails last that long, for sure, but I’ve lost a complete nail within 1-2 days and I’ve also had them start to peel up around the edges in days, getting caught on hair and the like.

And can we get over the “no time to polish” bit? Seche Vite and other quick-dry topcoats mean that you can get your nails dry in 30s flat. I’ve been able to polish my nails with my kids bugging me well before the invent of no-dry applications.

Nail Damage
The other big selling point for these wraps is that they do not cause nail damage. I am here to tell you: my nails peel. And when I remove Jamberry, using heat (the way that you’re supposed to), they’ve caused peeling damage in the middle of my nail plate each and every time I’ve used them. Since I polish regularly, I fill this with a ridge-filler or another protein coat to protect as well as I can until it grows out, but it’s something to note.

Recently, I participated in a Jamberry party where the hostess told people that the “proper” way to remove them is with coconut oil, and that using the heat/peel method would damage your nails. Considering the fact that the Jamberry website and the back of the packages tout the heat or acetone methods, this is terrible and hacky.

I love that the internet is allowing my SAHM friends to find a source of income for themselves while allowing them to raise their children the way that they believe best. I think that is actually a reason TO like Jamberry — they’ve found another niche in this market (Scentsy and Partylite, anyone?), the women who sell with them strongly believe in the company, and they see real benefit from representing Jamberry. However, I dislike MLM in general, and the way that people tend to behave so much like… salespeople when repping. I dislike it even more when this behavior comes from people who I consider myself friendly with, because it becomes a relationship strain, in my opinion, when my friends start to look to me to help them supplement their income.

So, now when you ask me about Jamberry, I can just point you here, to explain my views on them. If you like them and they work for you, however, I’m thrilled — buy what you like!

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