Jamberry Nail Wraps Application + Removal (featuring Bubbler)

jamberry-application-kitIt’s been a while. We have lots of catching up to do, friends.

I first tried Jamberry a few years ago when an awesome reader, Brittany, was kind enough to send me a sample to try. The application was difficult and I absolutely damaged my nails upon removal. Since then, I’ve been fairly vocal about my “yawn Jamberry, please go away” attitude. I’ve had conversations with Alli about how OMG NO ONE CARES ABOUT JAMBERRY. We’re were totally #TeamSallyHansen (and still are). Their real nail polish strips are top notch.

I hadn’t really given Jamberry until I noticed my work pal, Kate, was a consultant. FYI: She’s also my rival in a made up best dressed competition and she’s hilarious. So, I’m pretty sure I said something along the lines of… if you give me some Jamberry wraps to try for free, I’ll try them again AND review them. So, here we are. So, full disclosure, I received half sheets of Bubbler and the December hostess exclusive wraps to try in exchange for an honest review. Kate let me borrow her mini heater and I did purchase the Jamberry Application Kit so I could go all in.

I put it off for a few days because… I figured it’d be like my Blue Apron experience and take 6 hours – I’m slow. Love me anyway. I decided Saturday night would be THE night. See, Kate was having a little Halloween party over on her Facebook Page and I saw a few Halloween designs I totally loved but I didn’t want to buy any if I was just going to end up hating them again. You got me? Yeahhhh.

So… I decided to get to work. I got out the mini heater and the nail prep kit. Included in the nail prep kit: two orange sticks, one cuticle pusher, a nail file, a buffer block, clippers, small scissors, and two nail prep pads (all pictured above). The kit retails for $12.50 and it’s not a bad deal really – clippers and files and buffers individually can add up quickly plus you get a nice little bag – which is my favorite part because I hoard small cosmetic sized bags. However, since you’re here, you’re probably a nail addict and you probably already have all of this already. The nail prep pads are very simply alcohol wipes in a condom cute like package. I didn’t use these because I figured this would be the one thing you guys didn’t have at home.

So… how’d it go? Check under the jump to find out my thoughts on the entire process.

It’s good to be back.

katie signature 2015

If your eyes are already tired and you JUST can’t read another word – pop on over to Kate’s Jamberry Facebook Page – she does giveaways from time to time. You can also check out her Jamberry Consultant Site and see some of the awesome designs.

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Super Bowl 50 Nail Art

Super Bowl 50 Nail Art Guide

Super Bowl 50 Nail ArtI don’t know if y’all have heard but the Super Bowl is coming.

The Carolina Panthers and I happen to share a hometown. Charlotte is buzzing with Super Bowl hype. Right down to my local grocery store meat counter.

While I’m not a big NFL fan I do hope the Panthers win. It’d be great for Charlotte. And, of course, the Panthers are led by fellow Auburn alum Cam Newton.

Over the years I have done my fair share of football related nail art. Below are some ideas for Sunday including a manicure for both the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos! There are some additional ideas and links to past Super Bowl posts at the end of the post as well.

Keep Pounding and War Eagle.


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Carolina Panthers Manicure

Nail Art: Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers ManicureThe city of Charlotte has lost its collective mind.

Charlotte isn’t exactly what I would call a good sports town. But the Carolina Panthers are in the NFC Championship and the buzz around town is amazing. The bars are packed every Sunday and there are Panthers flags on houses and cars. Even though I’d hardly call myself a Panthers fan it has been fun. And Cam Newton and I did graduate from the same college so it’s nice to see Auburn getting some love.

The boy and I are going to our usual bar to catch today’s game so I figured I’d best have an appropriate manicure.

This was a super simple manicure to do. I started with a black base (I used Sally Hansen Blacky-O) and topped it with OrlyFX Spazmatic. Then I added some whiskers to just the ring finger with OPI Centennial Celebration.

I like the glitter in this manicure. It’s something a little different.

Under the jump you will find another swatch. And I’ve done several other Panthers manicures in the past. I will link to those under the jump as well.


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New Year's Manicure

New Year’s Eve Manicure 2015

New Year's ManicureHappy New Year’s Eve!

This year I’m having a rather low key New Year’s. Tonight (or rather, this afternoon…) the boy and I are heading to our normal bar to watch the first of the College Football Playoff games. We plan to come back home for the second game and ring in the New Year with a nice bottle of champagne and a meat and cheese plate.

Anyhow. I’ve been rocking this manicure for a few days this week. Because I can (plus, it matches my headband).

So, first things first. I am totally obsessed with essie Starry Starry Night (from the essie Retro Revival collection). I will do a full review after the New Year (I have the mini set) but it’s one of the few polishes that lives up to the hype. And the hype is insane.

I’ve essentially been living in Starry Starry Night so I used that as my base. Then with essie Private Weekend and the smallest dotting tool I own I wrote out 20-16.

Simple mani but straight to the point. And really quite easy!

There’s another swatch under the jump.

Where ever and however you are ringing in the new year I hope you have a fantastic time!


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Neutral Color Blocking Nail Art

Nail Art: Neutral Color Blocking

Neutral Color Blocking Nail ArtThis manicure is one of my favorites. I just love it!

While I’m all about the red and glittery nails this time of year I wanted to come up with something that was neutral yet still a tad bit flashy.

To achieve this I went with neutral colors (nude and silver) but an eye catching finish.

For this manicure I started out with a base of essie Topless & Barefoot. Then, using essie Apres Chic, I covered the top 75% off my nail leaving a straight, blunt line as a transition. I free handed this but you could of course also use tape if you wanted an even more exact straight line.

By keeping the colors neutral, the metallic finish of Apres Chic added just the right amount of glam to this look. Plus, this was a super easy manicure to do!

Make sure to check out the swatches under the jump.


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Mix & Match Polka Dot Nail Art

Nail Art: Mix & Match Polka Dot Manicure

Mix & Match Polka Dot Nail ArtA few nights ago I was flipping through an Avon catalog and ran across a little nailspiration. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a polka dot manicure and who doesn’t love mixing navy and white? And I mean…I love polka dots!

Of course, I wanted to put my own twist on things. I decided to use a shimmery dark blue for my base color instead of a plain navy. I used 2 coats of essie Bell-Bottom Blues. Then I let that dry slightly before adding white polka dots with essie Private Weekend.

I used the smallest dotting tool from my dotting tool set and made the polka dot pattern a bit different on each nail. This added variety plus it takes away the pressure of making every nail look the same. And for me, that’s by far the hardest part of nail art.

Polka dots just make me happy and this manicure is no exception. I’m definitely going to be rocking this manicure until it chips. And probably taking photos of my nails in my car. Because that’s normal.

There are a couple additional swatches under the jump!


PS: If you don’t have dotting tools you can easily make one. Check out my DIY Dotting Tool post. However, dotting tools are inexpensive. The ones I use can be found here on Amazon. They are $1.50 and ship free!

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Spooky Eyes Nail Art

Trick or Treat: Spooky Eyes Nail Art

Spooky Eyes Nail ArtI spent way too much time thinking about what to call this manicure. Every time I looked at my nails all I could think was “what are you looking at?“. I was just going to go with that but Katie suggested Spooky Eyes Nail Art which is clearly better.

Anyhow. This is really easy to do and perfect for Halloween. Eyeballs in the shadows and all.

I started with a base of NYC New York Color Black Lace Creme. It’s a basic, opaque black creme. Using opaque polishes for this manicure is key.

Now generally I would have gone with a white polish for the whites of the eyes. But I wanted it to look slightly off white since the idea is eyeballs int he dark. I used Cover Girl Silver Lining. This polish was perfect because it was opaque AND it has a little bit of sheen.

Using a large dotting took I put two dots on each nail fairly close to each other. Then, using a smaller dotting tool and NYC New York Color Black Lace Creme, I added the black part of the eyes.

They key to this manicure is making sure the eyes are looking all different ways. I also made some cross-eyed.

This is a fun and easy manicure for Halloween. I definitely recommend giving it a go!

There are some additional swatches under the jump.


PS: For a review of the dotting tools I used for this manicure click here!

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deborah lippmann Polka Dot Nail Art The Daily Varnish

Nail Art: deborah lippmann Polka Dot Manicure

deborah lippmann Polka Dot Nail Art The Daily VarnishI’ve been in bit of a nail polish rut. All I seem to want to wear is essie Color Binge and OPI Over & Over A-Gwen. And while both of those polishes are GORGEOUS it makes life a little bit boring.

My inspiration for this manicure actually started on Pinterest. Someone pinned my swatch of deborah lippmann Lullaby of Broadway and I was reminded what an absolutely gorgeous polish it is! I didn’t want to go full blown metallic so I used deborah lippmann Psuedo Silk Kimono as a base for some purposefully placed metallic polka dots.

I love the combination of the metallic polka dots and the semi matte finish of the base.

Lullaby of Broadway is pretty easy to dupe/find a substitute but Pseudo Silk Kimono is unique. I did find it still for sale online on Amazon though it’s a bit on the expensive side. SinfulColors Whiteboard would give a similar look at a much lower price point!

Make sure to check out the swatches under the jump!


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Ombre Nail Art The Daily Varnish

Nail Art: Mint and Nude Ombre

Ombre Nail Art The Daily VarnishI’m bringing ombre back with this manicure.

For awhile ombre nails were all the rage. Well, really, ombre EVERYTHING was all the rage. But, as trends do, ombre fell out of fashion.

But…..I was contemplating what to do with my nails the other day and I thought Nails Inc Bamboo White and OPI Gelato On My Mind would look lovely together. I decided to bring out my nail art designated makeup sponge and sponge Gelato On My Mind over Bamboo White and I gotta say….I love this manicure.

I like how the ombre is subtle yet 2 completely different colors instead of the traditional fade of a single color. It keeps this manicure from being dated.

Certainly I won’t be single handily bringing back the ombre trend but I will definitely try to add an ombre manicure to my normal nail art rotation.

There are swatches under the jump!


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Pride Manicure 2015

#CLTPride Manicure 2015

Pride Manicure 2015Last weekend was Charlotte Pride and it was fabulous. This was the first Pride weekend in Charlotte since gay marriage became legal in North Carolina (Y’all Means All!) and people were ready to celebrate! Estelle performed, as did The Prancing Elites (those girls can move!).

Obviously I couldn’t go to Pride without some kind of rainbow nails but I didn’t have a lot of time to do a really complicated manicure. So, I started with a white base that had a bit of shimmer (China Glaze Dandy Lyin’ Around) and I picked out my rainbow colored polishes. Then all I did was rotate through ROYGBIV using 3 polishes per nail. I didn’t use any special tools and did make sure to make the middle color a bit longer just because I thought that looked better.

I really liked the way this manicure turned out and it was perfect for Pride. I’ve been attending Charlotte Pride for years now and this year I could really see a shift in the festivities. There were less protesters and with over 130,000 people attending it was a huge celebration of just being yourself. It was great to see Pride celebrated everywhere…even if it was just for the weekend.

There are additional swatches under the jump. I included a list of polishes I used as well.


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