The WAY Overdue TruShine Review!

I’ve had the TruShine gel enamel system since July, when consultants were allowed to purchase at the National Conference.  I’m really glad I did – it’s given me time to trouble-shoot, try out different combinations and colors, and get the removal process perfected – all before it was released to the public.

Here’s my review from application through removal!

First, a confession.  I LOVE the Jamberry wraps.  I love the designs, which I would never be able to achieve on my own.  But the wraps with the sparkle finish just never lasted very long for me.  After about a week, they just didn’t look great.  I’ve never had issues with any of the other designs or finishes – JUST the sparkle wraps.  So that was my first real test of the gel system: layering it OVER a sparkly wrap and seeing if it actually helped them last longer.

Applying Jamberry’s TruShine Enamel over Jamberry Wraps

1.  Apply the Jamberry Nail Wraps:

So much easier than you think.  And a lot less time-consuming than you’d think, too! First, apply your Jamberry nail wraps as you normally would.  Remember – prep is essential!  Make sure you get all of the oils off of your cuticles, nail beds, and hands before applying.  Also, and this is **especially important** for layering the gel over the wraps, make sure you can see a bit of your nail all along the edge of the wrap.  Don’t let any of the wrap touch your skin, or you WILL get lifting.

2.  Lightly Buff the tops and tips of the wraps.

Seriously – just do it 🙂 The gel needs a little somethin’ to grip and adhere too.  If you’re applying the gel enamel directly to your nails, you STILL need to buff your nails.  Then, wipe your nails with an alcohol wipe or cotton pad soaked in rubbing alcohol.  This cleans any dust and oils that may have accumulated while you were prepping and buffing.

3.  Apply the TruShine BASE coat.

Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle – which includes shaking it to mix the enamel inside.  Then, taking care to only paint your nail bed and leaving room around your cuticles, apply one THIN coat of the TruShine base coat.  This is VERY important for getting a long-lasting gel manicure that will cure properly – you MUST use THIN coats.  “Cap” the tips of your nails to create a strong seal all along the tips.  Don’t skip this step- it really does cut down on the chips and increase the durability of your manicure.  Wipe off any excess around your cuticles or under your nails with an orange stick.

Cure the base coat in the Jamberry LED-light for 45 seconds/  (The light will automatically turn off.)

4.  If using a color coat, apply the color enamel.

If you’re applying the TruShine over nail wraps, you’ll skip this step.  If you’re using one of the TruShine color coats, apply one THIN coat, capping the tips as you did when applying the base coat.   Again, wipe off any excess with an orange stick and then cure.   Apply additional coats until the desired color is achieved, curing after each color coat.  

5. Apply the TruShine Top Coat.

This is the step that you will have to REALLY concentrate on getting thin coats.  The top coat is a thicker formula than both the base and color coats, so just be aware of that as you’re applying.  Cure the top coat in the light.

6.  Wipe!  Go ahead – it’s okay!

It won’t smear.  After you’ve cured the top coat, you’re ready to wipe off the “tackiness” and be left with an extremely glossy, rock-hard manicure.  I like to use the Jamberry alcohol wipes (they come in the kit!).  If you don’t have them, a lint-free cotton pad soaked in rubbing alcohol will do the trick.

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My “Cosmos” nail wraps on Day 2. The Jamberry Base and Top coats made them extra glossy – and NO lifting at all on the tips!
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Day 11 or 12 – I can’t remember which! I just remember that it was an ice cream sandwich kind of day 😉

Pro Tips for Application:

  1.  Shake the bottle!
  2. Apply thin coats – three thin coats look much better and cure more evenly than a couple of thick coats.
  3. Apply start-to-finish with your fingers, THEN go back and do your thumbs together.  This way your thumbs don’t cure at an angle in the light, as they would if you tried to do your entire hand at the same time.
  4. Use the Jamberry light.  While other lights may cure the polish to the right hardness, other lights may cause the TruShine gel to shrink or discolor.
  5. Applying the base and top coats over Jamberry wraps makes the wraps last up to two weeks longer – and makes removal EASY and gentle.

Removing Your Jams when UNDER TruShine Gel Enamel.

*** This method will ONLY work when you have Jamberry wraps on your nails, under the gel.  If you have gel directly on your nail beds, please check out my first post on the removal process! 

I’ve posted this video before, but here it is with the rest of my review.  This is what I REALLY loved, and why I’m a true believer in the TruShine product now.  As I said before, the sparkle wraps just never worked as well for me.  They lifted at the tips after a week or so and occasionally I’d snag my hair in the edges.  I NEVER had this issue with any of the other styles.

With the TruShine layered on top, I got two weeks of wear from these Cosmos sparkly wraps, which I changed ONLY because I got bored.  SOLD.

Removing Jamberry Wraps – Even When Layered with GEL!

Does the gel damage your nails? Do the wraps damage your nails?  How do you take them off?

I get these questions all the time from people who are curious about Jamberry products, but haven’t given them a try yet. Lately, I’ve been absolutely hooked on layering the Jamberry wraps with the TruShine gel enamel system.  I love the look of the wraps, the extra durability and strength from the gel, and the ease of removal.

That’s right – an EASY removal with a gel manicure.  What?

Here’s the secret!  Love a Jamberry design?  Put in on FIRST like a normal Jamicure, then apply the TruShine base and top coats as normal – layered OVER the wraps.  You get a diamond-hard glossy top coat that will protect your nails – and still be a gorgeous and fun manicure.

Then, because you’ve layered the gel on the WRAP, and not your nail bed, you can remove the whole shebang just like removing wraps.  I tested it out after hearing about this magic – check it out!

MAGIC.  Take a look at my nails after I’ve removed the wraps.  No flaking, no white spots, no cracks.  Like I said in the video, there are very few things that I really try to “upsell,” as most people call it.  Orange sticks?  Get them at a drugstore.  Rubbing alcohol wipes?  Same.  Buy ’em in bulk.  But the LACQUER REMOVER.  It’s WORTH it.  When I use Jamberry’s lacquer remover, my nails are healthy, strong, and moisturized.  The wraps come off in seconds with no resistance or pulling.  It’s acetone-free, so it’s not drying on my cuticles.  If there’s ONE product that you COULD get elsewhere on the cheap but SHOULDN’T, it’s the lacquer remover.  Trust, girls.  Trust.  You can find it here!

So there you have it! An easy damage-free way to wear gel, have the look that only Jamberry can give you, all while saving money by doing it at home!

Remember – this is JUST for when you’re wearing the gel on top of your Jams, NOT when you have the gel directly on your nails. ***If you have a straight-up gel-only TruShine manicure, you’ll need to follow the soak-off removal process that I’ve shown you before.  It takes about 10 minutes – and is WORTH it to be able to do it at home, with zero damage, and the only person you have to tip is yourself!! ***

Stay Tuned!

Want more info on the TruShine and Fall Catalog release?   More video tutorials?  Sign up HERE for the newsletter and get subscriber-exclusive promos, tips, and tricks!  

TruShine, Mommy and Me, and a Book Rec

My little girl is one of the GIRLIEST girls that I’ve ever encountered.  She’s also one of the most colorful and uh…fashion risk-taking.  And I love it.  Why wear one tutu when you can wear 4?  Why were one headband when you love all 5 with a particular outfit? Leg-warmers?  Those go on arms.  Pink Hair? Don’t care.  Nails?  Gotta do ’em.

Mommy and Me Jamicures – Because I’m *THAT* Mom

Amelia has been asking for us to be “Matcher Matchers” with our nails for a while now.  (Matcher Matchers = exactly what it sounds like.  We match.) But then she usually picks out something that even I’m a little gun-shy about wearing.  But this time, she asked to be Matcher Matchers AND picked out something pretty cute for us to try.  So we got down to business with some serious Mommy-and-Melia time.

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Amelia picked the pattern – One “Tropical Mirage,” one “Mini Teal Polka.”  Repeat.  Love it!

Whenever I do Amelia’s Jams, I always take a few extra steps to make sure they’ll stay on through the craziness of her days. Here’s my go-to tips for making sure your little one is going to get more than a week from her Jamberry Juniors:

  1. Wash their hands really well with dish soap.  The good kind.  Like the kind you use if you’ve been frying something and your house is covered in cooking oil.  Little kids seem to have super oily nail beds – and this is actually a gentle way to get them prepped!
  2. Cuticles, cuticles, cuticles.  If I haven’t done Amelia’s nails for awhile, her cuticles will cover almost half of her nail.  NO JOKE.  No matter your age, cuticles and Jams don’t mix.  You just won’t get a good seal.  So you really do need to take the time to push back the cuticles on their (and your!) nail beds.  Also – you’ve just washed their hands really well, so their nice and soft and ready to be pushed back.
  3. Heat the wrap, THEN apply it to your kiddo.  This isn’t so much for the application success, but more so that I don’t have to aim a heater at her little hands.
  4. Clip – don’t file.  Nail clippers on little fingers and toes makes a fast, smooth, and easy job of removing the excess on the tip of the nail.

So how did the Juniors last? 

We did Amelia nails on July 30th.  After a few days in a row of half-day preschool and a couple of play dates, they looked like this:

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And as of August 9th, here are Amelia’s as I was typing up this post:  Still on, but definitely a little grubby.  But that’s from “helping” in the garden, not so much the Jams themselves!

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Check out the outfit. Silver-studded leggings, striped twirly dress, sweater jacket. It’s an 80-degree August day. That’s my girl!
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Little fingers – and Jams still on!

Okay lady, you have “TruShine” in the title of the post….That’s the only reason I’m here. 

I’m like a kid in a candy store right now with the new TruShine gel system.  I’ve tried it solo and on top of a wrap or two, but I really wanted to see how long it would last layered over Jams for an entire manicure.  It’s magical.  Have trouble with lifting tips?  Solved.  Like the thickness of gel? Need a little more strength than Jams alone? SOLVED.

As of today, not one chip, not one dent, and NO lifting at the free edge or the cuticles of my Jams.  Just glossy, glossy goodness.  I  have to say – I’m impressed, ESPECIALLY for an at-home system.  And ESPECIALLY since I haven’t painted my own nails now in about a year (since I first tried Jamberry wraps).

Want to pre-order?  Holla at me!  Send me an e-mail and I’ll send you the details!  suzanna.mayhugh@gmail.com

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If you take nothing away from this post but one thing, let it be this. Go buy this book. “Bonk” by Mary Roach. If you’re at all a fan of David Sedaris, you’ll love it. Here’s the kicker – it’s non-fiction. And it’s gut-busting hilarious. “Gulp” by the same author is also worth the purchase, but the subject matter of this one is a bit more… engaging….
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Eleven days later – as perfect as when I first applied the TruShine gel enamel.

The PERFECT tools for Jamberry Nails – And one that’s a SURPRISE!

A perfect Jamberry manicure is EASY to get – and even easier if you using the right tools for the job!   Yup, Jams can be applied with stuff you have at home – a regular hair dryer, scissors, nail file, etc. And you’ll have an awesome long-lasting look. But….

mini heaterThe truth is, if you want a proper application and want to get the best wear out of your wraps, using the tools Jamberry has designed specifically to work with the wraps is the way to go! These are not luxury goods or price-gouging add-ons; these are the tools that give you a perfectly proper application every time. These are the tools that will give you that two-week wearability that Jamberry is known for from your wraps!  And they’re all less than $20! 

Why go with the Jamberry mini-heater over your hair dryer?  1. The noise level – the heater is SO quiet that I can do my nails sitting next to my hubs while we binge-watch “The Wire.”  2. The consistent heat ouput; 3. The heater puts out heat, but not a gust of air like your hair dryer; 4. It’s purple. (Pro-Tip – It’s REALLY good for heating up price stickers to remove them, and even better to get Dora the Explorer stickers off of your wood floors.  #MomLife.)

And the new application kit – so convenient!  It holds all of your stuff – including that Jamberry heater – all in one cute purple cosmetic case so you never have to hunt for a file or your nail scissors again!   This cute little kit includes:Application-Kit-Without-Nail-Oil

  • 2 alcohol wipes
  • 1 pair of nail scissors
  • 1 pair of nail clippers
  • 1 buffer block
  • 2 orange sticks
  • 1 rubber cuticle pusher
  • 1 nail file

And speaking of nail scissors, the scissors that come in this kit are top-notch.  A cut above the rest, if you will.  (See what I did there?)

Cuticle Spoon and Pusher But – there is ONE tool that you can’t find from Jamberry –and it can mean the difference between “Your nails look great” and “Your nails are AMAZING!!” Enter – the cuticle spoon. Yes, it looks like a torture device.  But this little thing is a Jam-Miracle worker.  Use it to prep your nails – push back the cuticles, get rid of that pesky “invisible cuticle,” and clean your nails.

Then – and here’s where the magic happens.  After you’ve applied your wraps, heat the cuticle spoon with your Jamberry heater.  Then, use it as an iron to flatten any bubbles or ridges: press it flat against your nails (it’s the perfect shape!) to apply uniform pressure to the wrap and the adhesive.  It’s perfect for an edge that is lifting up on you or to give a little extra oomph to those tips!  The best part?  You can usually find them for around $5.00 – Either on Amazon or at a beauty supply store – even Zulily had one on their site over the weekend!

Click here to find the right tools for your next Jam Session:

The New Jamberry Mini-Heater

The Application Kit 

The PERFECT No-Chip Manicure – Tips and Tricks for Applying Jamberry Nails

This post will give you the best tips and tricks that I’ve discovered to getting a flawless, two-week, no-chip manicure using Jamberry Nail wraps.  Follow these tips and you’ll be rocking your Jamicure for up to two weeks!

The biggest tip for a flawless no-chip manicure?  Don’t go to the salon – do it at home!  (Stay with me here….stay with me…)

*photo courtesy dribble.com
*photo courtesy dribble.com

Second: Practice makes Perfect (or so my piano teacher always said…)For Jamberry nail wraps and that *perfect* no-chip manicure, you’ll need to practice!  (Comment below if you need some samples to practice with!)  When you first started painting your nails, did you get it right the first couple of times?  Nope.  It looked like a preschooler took a Sharpie to your hands, right?  Or the first time you tried to do the “smokey eye” look?  Yeah – didn’t quite turn out, did it?  Same goes for Jamberry – so get some samples to practice with (click here if you need some!) and let’s get started!

Third:  “I just don’t know what to wear!” When you’re just starting out with Jamberry and practicing for that perfect application, it’s actually better to use one of the busier patterns or colors.  Why?  Think about the walls in your house – If you pick a solid, high-sheen color, you’re going to see every single imperfection if you haven’t had a lot of experience.  Same with Jamberry!  Any of the “Garden Party” or “Animal Instinct” designs are GREAT for practicing.  Any little application quirks that might show will just fade into the background of the Jam-awesomeness.

*Photo Courtesy of Libby O'Neal
*Photo Courtesy of Libby O’Neal

Fourth:  Prep, Prep, Prep!  For a truly long-lasting no-chip Jamberry Nail wraps manicure, preparation is the BIGGEST determining factor!  So don’t skip the prep!

  • Clean your nails, push back the cuticles (Seriously!!  Don’t skip this part!), and wipe your nails with rubbing alcohol to really be sure to get the oils and lotions off of your nail bed.  (Don’t like rubbing alcohol?  Vinegar works, too.)
  • Gather and Prep your tools – I like to use tweezers, so I wipe those with the rubbing alcohol, too.  You’ll also need the Jamberry mini-heater or a blow-dryer. (*Cough* The heater is amazing! *Cough*)  Gather up a pair of scissors, your favorite nail file, and an orange stick if you have one (tweezers work fine, though!).
  • Get excited.  It’s about to get all sorts of fancy up in here.

Fifth: Size Matters.  That sheet of wraps in front of you??  It’s clear for a reason!!  Hold that baby up to your nails – see how you can find the right size for each nail just by comparing through the clear portion of the sheet?  Okay – get ready for my FAVORITE part about applying Jams:

You will always be told to go DOWN a size.  Your Jamberry nail wraps WANT you to feel happy, pretty, and wonderful.  They *really* do.  You need to wear a SMALLER SIZE than you think.

Isn’t that fabulous?? Where else are you going to be told that you NEED a smaller size?? I love it! Basically, use the size of Jamberry wrap on each nail that will COVER the nail, but NOT your skin.  A little extra sliver of nail showing on the sides is a GOOD thing here – it ensures that you’re sealing the Jam to your NAIL, not overlapping your skin (which leads to buckling, lifting, and all around yuckiness).  If the Jam overlaps or touches the skin, you just aren’t going to get a good (lasting) seal.

Application Steps Visual

Sixth tip for the best Jamberry Nails no-chip manicure: Heat it up and press it down with all of your heart!  I warm the wrap until it’s flexible, apply it, and REALLY press it down, smoothing out any creases, bubbles, and concentrating on the edges.  Then – don’t file or clip off the excess until the wrap has cooled down.  Why?  When it’s cool, the adhesive has bonded to your nail.   Good things come to those who wait!  Then, I like to use a fine-grain file or just good ol’ nail clippers to get the cleanest edge.

I hope this lengthy post gave you a tip or two, or a reminder of some steps not to skip, and help you get the most Jam for your dollar!

Need some great tools or supplies? Click the links here for product info and pricing!

Jamberry Mini-Heater

Application Kit

Cuticle Remover Pen (Brand New!!)