Instant Manicures


They go by a variety of names: nail wraps, instant manicures, etc. Every company seems to have them now. I’ve gotten them from Sally Hansen, Sephora, Essie, ModCloth, and Jamberry. With slight variations, they all work just about the same way. You get a series of strips with a design on them. You prep your nail by making sure the cuticles are pushed back and cleaning the nail with an alcohol swab to make sure there are no oils on them. Match up the size to the nail, take it off the backing, line it up carefully, and smooth it down to make sure there are no air bubbles. Then trim and file off the extra. Some kinds require a warming element, ¬†either by hand or with an external device, such as a hair dryer, before application. These adhesive manicures usually last anywhere from a couple days to a week, depending on the brand, the application, and the amount of abuse you inflict on them.

You can style them different ways. The most obvious would be wearing them on all your nails.


These star patterned nails were from Sephora. They were the shortest lasting, but they also had to live through my heavy crafting. Which is probably doom for any manicure.


This was from the Jamberry Junior’s collection. I loved the little foxes and the plaid. I’m able to wear the junior’s because I have tiny little baby carny nails.

You can wear them with an accent nail, like this:


These little Spring lemon wraps are from Jamberry. They do seem to last a while, but I’m still learning how to get a good even finish on them with the file. But Jamberry does have some of the most fun patterns. A look at their catalog and you’ll want everything. They are a little more on the pricey side, but you can cut the strips in half to get more out of them, depending on the length of your nail.

Or you can do more than one painted nail. This one was themed with “fabric textures”. The matte black is Zoya’s “velvet” and the matte red is a “leather texture” polish. The strips come from Sally Hansen, which honestly are the ones I’ve had the most success with thus far and the fairest priced. They are a lace pattern to round out the theme.


Then you can go totally nuts, like this:


The applique is on the ring finger, like an accent nail. It’s a silver snake print from Essie. The pinkie nail is magnetic polish from Nails Inc. There’s a plain silver on the middle finger and thumb. The index finger has bar glitter from the Ciate kit. It was a fun manicure. The glitter was the first to go, the ring finger was the last.

I still have some from ModCloth to try out, but I thought I’d show you what I’ve been up to so far. Have fun, play around with them, and you can have a bunch of really versatile looks. Enjoy!