I have been taking my time writing this particular review of my newest beauty try-it (which by now is the oldest) because I had so much fun with it. In fact, I haven’t had this much fun trying out a product in a long time!
Okay, so when Influenster’s VoxBox program sent me this imPRESS press-on manicure by Broadway, I laughed a little. Press-on nails? The last time I tried press-on nails, I was 8 years old. They were hard shiny gold pieces of plastic from the Juvenile toy store, with adhesive tabs you had to apply yourself. I was 8 and less coordinated than I am now … take a moment to think about how this went.
This imPress nails pattern, called TGIF, was decidedly wilder than any nail polish color I typically wear. I mean, if we rewound to my early 20s I’m sure I would be game. But I wasn’t a professional working woman back then. On the other hand, these aren’t THAT crazy – black nail polish is now almost as acceptable as red in the office – and the longer I stared at the design, the more I liked it. Look at it! It’s … strangely hypnotic.
Dancer/singer Nicole Scherzinger of Pussycat Dolls fame promotes the nails as a viable alternative to nail polish. Nicole Scherzinger doesn’t have to live a decidedly business professional lifestyle 5 days a week. Would these look good on ME? Would they stay on?
I had to wait for the right time to try these, when there were no board meetings scheduled, just in case I looked crazier than I imagined. In the meantime, I showed the package to the one other person that works in my section of the office, and he guffawed loudly.
The nails come in a plastic container shaped like a nail polish bottle. You pull the cap off, open the plastic, and then get all the nails out and line them up by size. Or that’s what you’re supposed to do. I just kind of fiddled around with mine and found the ones that seemed to be the closest fit to my natural nails, then put those in a pile. I am a rebel.
If you look behind the back insert in the box, you will find an alcohol prep pad. You’re supposed to use this pad to clean your nails before applying the imPress nails. I knew there was a prep pad included ahead of time, but because it wasn’t visible until I pulled out the insert, I forgot all about it and just washed and dried my hands instead. More rebellion.
Next, you peel the backing off of each nail, then carefully smooth it down onto the corresponding real nail, applying a decent amount of force for at least 15 seconds. Once you do this, the nail will be pretty firmly stuck, so don’t screw it up, fool!
I found that some of the nails were not a close fit to my real nails. In some cases, I went with ones that were slightly larger which was kind of dumb because every now and then I would feel a tiny prick of pain in the skin surrounding my nail beds from where the excess “nail” was poking it. The nail will also come off quicker that way, and it looks far more natural to wear the slightly smaller nail vs. the slightly bigger one.
Once I picked out the nails I wanted to apply, it took no time at all for me to put them on.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about them at first. They took some getting used to. I could tell that they were much larger than my natural nails and feared everyone would notice and point and laugh at me.
The very first day, my right imPRESS thumbnail popped off, probably because I removed it the first time (because I put it on upside down – be quiet), then pressed it back on. After it popped off, I replaced it with a smaller nail which looks much better.
On the third day, I was taking a shower when the imPRESS nail on my right middle finger came off. (The next day, my fiance goes, “By the way, one of your nail things is in the shower drain.”) I was halfway expecting this because that nail is kind of crooked thanks to my writer’s callus on that finger. I replaced it with a slightly smaller nail which, again, was obviously the smarter choice.
By the second day with these nails, I was feeling much better about them. People were complimenting me on them. I went out to dinner in Shirlington with a friend who said, “Ooooh, I love your nails!” She had no idea they were “fakes” until I told her. And my coworker who laughed at them? I showed them to him again, this time on my hands. “Hey, those look nice,” he said.
So I was feeling all fancy with my clever nails. But how would they hold up to 7 days of everyday life?
For the most part, they held up very well! At times I forgot I was wearing them, then suddenly thought, “Oh no, I bet my nail fell off” (definitely a thought I’m not used to having ;)) only to find it was still right there. The nails that I had applied too close to the cuticle or that were slightly oversized were a little bit uncomfortable at random moments, and they also started to loosen (not noticeably, just during one of my random inspections) after about 3.5 days – underscoring the need to apply these correctly. The material is very firm, but still malleable, so you can use a nail clipper to trim a nail if you don’t like the length once it’s on.
To remove the nails, pull from the sides, not the top or bottom. If you’ve had them on your hands for only a day or two, it’s going to be much harder to remove them, so use a little nail polish remover to help.
The verdict? I dig ’em … a lot. I am imPRESSED by imPress nails. (I had to say it)
The details: imPress Manicure retails at $5.99 for colors and $7.99 for patterns. They come in 36 varieties which includes solid colors as well as prints and crazy patterns like zebra stripes (for real), and really pretty stuff like pale pink with delicate floral patterns. You can find them at CVS, Rite Aid, Duane Reade, K-mart, Walgreens, and Walmart to name a few. The official website is here – there’s a $1 off coupon, videos, and a cool app to “try” all the varieties!
Disclosure of Material Connections: This product was provided to me at no cost by Influenster in exchange for my honest feedback. The thoughts expressed here are my own and I have not been paid for providing this review.