By now we are all familiar with nail polish strips. Numerous brands have them though the most commonly known is probably the Sally Hanson Salon Effects line.
Honestly, I don't care for nail polish strips. They're made of nail polish, so, they WEAR like nail polish. You apply them, seal them with a top coat, and within a couple days they're ready to be changed.
Jamberry Nails is different. Jamberry nail shields are not made of nail polish, they are made of VINYL. This is important for a couple reasons. Application is a little different than the method you use to apply nail polish strips. You do NOT need to seal them with a top coat - and yes they have a great glossy finish on their own! And most importantly... they actually DO last longer than regular polish!
(I will apologize right now for these pictures. At the time I took these my glasses had broken and I was waiting on a new pair from the eye doctor, and my contacts ripped so couldn't wear those either. I am blind as a bat without either so... messy manicures ahoy! I did my best under the circumstances... Also, my camera seems to have grown legs and run away. So I had to use my cell cam which sucks for the second picture. Good times. Good times.)
Application of Jamberry nail shields is really simple, and it doesn't take long at all. As with all manicures you want to start with clean, dry nails. Lightly buff your nails to help the shields adhere better. After selecting the size needed from the sheet of shields, peel it from the sheet and heat it up (your hair dryer will do the trick here) for about 15 seconds till it's soft and pliable. Press it firmly onto your nails and use a cuticle stick (plastic) to help seal the edges and smooth out the nail shield. Trim any excess that is extending beyond your free edge with manicure scissors and then file in a downward motion with an emery board to smooth the edge. Apply heat and pressure one more time to get a good seal on your nail.
That's it. Done. Jamberry recommends that "active users" apply a thin line of nail glue around the edges to help seal the nail shields on. I didn't do this and my days are filled with all kinds of hands-on craziness with cleaning and puppies and cooking, oh and more cleaning. Even so, the shields stayed on for 10-12 days and they were still perfectly in tact. I actually took them off before there were any signs of lifting or anything, just because I wanted to change my manicure!
Removing the shields is just as easy as applying them. You can heat them with your hair dryer and gently peel them off your nails (from side to side) OR, soak them in nail polish remover for 20-30 seconds and then rub with a cotton ball/pad to remove them. I only used the heat method to remove them, and they came easily off. There was some slight sticky residue left but that came right off with a swipe of nail polish remover.
Jamberry Nails are a bit expensive, though. It's $15 for one sheet. Depending on how you use them you can get a lot of manicures out of one sheet. Obviously if you just use them for an accent here and there you'll get a lot more manicures from a sheet than if you do a full manicure. They can be used for pedicures too! It's still a bit out of my budget right now either way; but I would definitely invest in some of these & would recommend them for a special occasion or a vacation when you want something REALLY fast and easy that will last. They are available in loads of different colors and designs, including soft and elegant neutrals so there's really something for everyone.
You can learn more about Jamberry Nails and purchase some nail shields by visiting http://www.andriar.jamberrynails.net/home/default.aspx
* I received free samples for this review. All opinions are my own.