Jamberry Nails on Gel or Acrylic Nails aka Fake Nails

Jamberry accent nail wrap in neptune

In the past few months there’s a new MLM that a ton of friends have been selling – Jamberry Nails.  If you know me, you’d know that my nails are almost always polished and you may notice they are fake.  Sadly beautiful long nails are something I wasn’t naturally gifted with so for almost 20 years I’ve been getting a manicure every two weeks and thankfully I now have the long beautiful nails that most wish they naturally had.  My nail beds are very short so with my  natural nails my fingers look stumpy but with long nails they don’t look quite so… manly.  Anyway, a friend started selling Jamberry and I ordered some strips because I thought it’d be a fun change for the second week of my manicure and for holidays as my nail tech doesn’t do much nail art and I fail miserably at it.

The wraps arrived and I sat down to give them a whirl.. and quickly found out that they were nowhere near as easy as people make them out to be.  Maybe after a few whirls they are easy but the first time is anything but.  So if you’ve ended up here somehow because you’ve googled something along the lines of “Is Jamberry nails impossible to put on or am I just a moron” don’t fret, they are tricky.  I figured that I MUST have started with the hardest ones to put on (the glitter ones) and tried again but with just the regular “Neptune” striped pattern that is supposed to be the easiest to put on.  While they were better, I still experienced some wrinkling.  To some or maybe most this wouldn’t be an issue.  I’m a picker though and those little wrinkles grabbing on each hair, catching on my clothes and so forth?  THEY DROVE ME NUTS.  I couldn’t do it and within a day I’d taken them back off.

Jamberry Neptune nail wrap fail

I watched a million videos.  I read a dozen blogs.  I tried the baggie method.  I tried the cold method.  I tried the rice method.  NO dice.  I thought that I was just seriously inept and a total loser at life because reps that saw my whining on Instagram were telling me it was IMPOSSIBLE that I wouldn’t be able to get the wrinkles out and I just wasn’t doing something right.  I just wasn’t using enough heat.  I wasn’t using the right tools.  I wasn’t using the right application method.  I wasn’t getting rid of ALL of the oil.  I was touching something before putting them on.  My heat wasn’t strong enough.  I didn’t apply enough pressure.  It went on and on from there.  It frustrated me because it’s not like I didn’t want them to work, I really and truly did.  I think they are adorable and even though they aren’t cheap they are fun!  I was looking forward to the holiday wraps and having something a bit more festive than my usual OPI Dear Santa manicure.  I’m totally their “niche” market and I was seriously bummed that it didn’t work for my nails.  You know what it did work on?  My toes.

Jamberry nautical nail wraps on toenails

When I realized that they were PERFECT on my toes I realized there were a few things stacked against my fake nails.  One – I have rounded tips so the wrinkles at the tips were inevitable.  Cutting a notch seems to HELP but it wasn’t a cure all.  Two – my nails are not only rounded at the tip but they are rounded from root to tip AND rounded from edge to edge.  Most with fake nails will have this from the layers of gel and acrylic – it’s just how they are applied.  Some will have flatter nails but mine are far from flat.  Three – they aren’t as “grabby” as a natural nail would be.  They are slicker and don’t have ridges.  Scuffing them up a bit seemed to help but they didn’t make them perfect.  It did also seem to help to cut notches in the sides as well.

I still think they are cute – and I will use them on my toes a lot.  It’s nice to not have chipped toenail polish anymore!  No more taking along the bottle of polish along on travels and praying the polish doesn’t come undone in the luggage!  YAY!  I seem to be able to go 6-8 weeks per pedicure which is great!  I may even try a manicure again for special occasions and events and try to stop myself from picking at the wrinkles.

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Pop Sugar: September Box

Ok, I have a new obsession with the sample boxes that come monthly.  A couple years ago I joined one that was all Etsy stuff but it didn’t last too long and I quickly found that while there would sometimes be an item or two I liked, I was usually disappointed.  Then last year my friend Mary (who is the guru of all things cool, a requirement in a friend for woeful ones like me that aren’t too cool or hip) blogged about Birchbox and I decided to give it a whirl and got quickly addicted.  It’s kind of like a lottery and since I was a kid, I’ve been a wee bit obsessed with luck-of-the-draw kind of things.  It’s a good thing that I don’t go to casinos!  😉  However, lately Birchbox has been lackluster (and the things I fall in love with seem to get discontinued and I’ve been kicking around kicking the habit but I wanted to find a replacement before I kicked the habit.  So this month I signed up for Julep Maven and Pop Sugar.  I got my Julep Maven box this month and I liked it but I just received my Pop Sugar box and I MUST TELL ALL OF THE PEOPLE!!!  This box is nothing short of awesome.  Lookie!

Pop Sugar Must Have Box: September

The September box included the following products for a total value of $274.47 (!)

Brokedown Scarf in Silver plus 50% code online $84 for full priced scarf, $42 in savings with the code
The Perks of Being a Wallflower book plus 2 free tickets to see the movie $14 for book, $24 for tickets
Rifle Paper Co.’s Lined Notepad $8
Benefit Cabana Glama $36
Becky’s Blissful Bakery Caramels $10.49
Pop-Up Pantry Dinners Cookie plus code for 1 free meal $17
Yes to Cucumbers Hypoallergenic Towelettes $2.99
Kitsch Hair Ties $9.99
$25 Gift Certificate to Tracie Martyn Skin Care Line $25
Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato Chips $1
Must Have Pouch (a black coin purse)

That’s a LOT of stuff and not very much that I am blah about, which is usually 50% of my Birchbox stuff.  I actually have a few boxes of Birchbox stuff full of crap I’ll never use.  Out of this box I don’t think I’ll use the Must Have Pouch (I have plenty of others of this style that are cuter), the Pop Up Pantry coupon or the Tracie Martyn Skin Care coupon.  Other than that?  Totally using all of this!!!!  WIN!!!!  Below is some of my favorites in this box.

Brokedown Scarf in Silver

This is an awful picture but I’m in the midst of editing hell so I’m not breaking out the big guns for pics today.  iPhone 5 it is!  This scarf is so, so soft.  I didn’t have a clue that this was a fancy schwancy scarf though, just thought it was another one.  Here’s why it’s awesome.  I always LOVE scarves on other people.  I think they look so chic and adorable.  However, I just have yet to embrace this trend for myself and I don’t know why.  I’ve yet to buy a scarf and give it a whirl, I’m afraid I’ll look like I’m a mess… which I do 90% of the time.  So this scarf in the box means I don’t have to commit to purchasing one but can start to try this trend out (yes, I realize I’m only about 4 years or so behind the trend!) and give it a whirl!  Here’s hoping I don’t strangle myself.

Benefit Cabana Glama

I love makeup!  This is why I joined with Birchbox in the first place but a lot of the stuff I get with them is just… WEIRD!  Not what is up my alley and not stuff I can usually find again.  I seem to constantly get fragrance and skin stuff yet my profile says different.  Anywho, this is so my style and I did a happy dance when I realized it wasn’t NOTECARDS but was in fact an awesome box in a box!  WOO!

The last thing that rocked my socks was the hair ties.  I’d upload a picture but for some reason the darn word press thing keeps tilting the image even though it isn’t tilted sideways.  Hrumph.  Anyways, they are pretty and make ponytails less fugly.  WINNING!  Especially since I basically live with my hair tied back in some fashion or another.

I am still pretty stoked about almost ALL of this though.  The notepad came just at the perfect time, I was running out of my beloved grocery list pads and this will do nicely for that (for some reason I MUST hand write my list, cannot print one out, who knows why!).  The chips, cookie and caramels all look quite tasty and I can’t wait to try the towelettes.  YAY!  Here’s hoping this isn’t a one off of YAY and then the rest is going to super suck!

 Edit:  I just decided to try the Pop Up Pantry thing.  I found out the first meal TOTAL is free, for whatever reason I thought they just covered for one person so it’s a $34 deal and the shipping is free.  I got the pot pie dinner and it comes with a salad AND dessert for TWO people!  So… we shall see.

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April Birchbox

About 6 months or so ago a friend turned me onto the magical world of Birchbox.  For $10 a month you get a variety of samples of beauty products – usually new ones but sometimes they are old favorites.  I love trying new products (I’m a product tester for Amazon) so this was straight up my alley!  The first couple months though I have to say they were ho-hum boxes.  A few good things but mostly meh.  After that though they started getting good and since then I haven’t been disappointed.  Last month’s “Teen Vogue” box was a definite hit with a twist band hair band, full size Essie nail polish, a sample of Kate Spade’s Twirl perfume, a beauty blender (I am already asking how I lived so long without one!) and more.

This month I think is another hit!  Each month has a theme of sorts and this month is “Natural Wonders.”

Here’s what the box looks like when you open it up from the postal box.

The box is simple but pretty and very sturdy.

When you upen it up you will find the card describing the month’s theme and a letter from the Birchbox team with the flipside telling you about your products.

I was taking these pictures as I opened the box so I was good and didn’t flip because I wanted to be surprised.

April Birchbox sample beauty products

All of the pretty pretty products!!!!

From L to R what the products are and the prices.

Pangea Organics Facial Scrub.  $32

Pangea Organics Eye Cream.  $55

Benta Berry G-1 Exfoliating Facial Cleanser.  $16

Wonderstruck Taylor Swift.  $49.50 – $59.50

Pangea Organics Lip Balm.  $12

Weleda Pomegranate Firming Day Cream.  $33

I’m surprised that none of these products are crazy expensive.  Generally there is at least one product in each box that is pretty high end and makes you love to try it but then you love to hate it because you don’t want to buy it!  LOL.  I love being able to try a variety of face creams because my skin is sensitive and I have the craziest randomest allergies EVER so I never know what will make me break out in hives.  So far my running favorite moisturizer has been Fix Malibu The Works.  Amazing, amazing stuff.  I’ve been testing out some others but I may be going back to this as my go-to full size.

Since I literally just got this hours ago I haven’t tried all of the products but as a self confessed lip balm junkie I dove right into the one included and I have to give it a thumbs up!  I do like it, there isn’t much of a taste, the smell is divine and it seems to last pretty long.  No hives or blisters either which is a huge relief after my lips broke out in blisters after the Jouer Lip Enhancer which I was SO excited to try!  It felt amazing until the blisters :(.  I also have to say Wonderstruck smells amazing too.  It reminds me of another perfume though and I can’t place it!  It’s driving me mad!

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