Friday, May 23, 2014

VoxBox: imPRESS Manicure Review

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I received my first-ever Influenster VoxBox this month! HEYO.

Influenster Broadway Nails imPRESS Manicure VoxBox

What's Influenster? Well I just barely have it figured out myself, but from what I can surmise it's a community of online "influencers" who are granted access to special products and previews based on our interests and online social networks, in exchange for sharing our opinions on those products. These products are sent to select "trendsetters" (their words, not mine) each month via Influenster's VoxBox service. More on VoxBoxes, from the Influenster site:

"VoxBoxes are boxes filled with complimentary products from your favorite (or soon-to-be-favorite) brands. Not all Voxboxes are created equal: some programs feature an assortment of products while others will spotlight one awesome brand. But make no mistake: All VoxBoxes are created awesome."

This month I was sent the imPRESS Manicure VoxBox, which included two sets of Broadway Nails' imPRESS Manicure press-on nails. In case it's still not clear enough: I was sent this product for free in exchange for testing and a review. That's "a" review, not "a good" review, per my editorial policy (YEAH I HAVE ONE OF THOSE).

So back to the nails. Now, these are not your mother's press-on nails of yore. They're really, really not. I'll admit it freely: This is a product that I'd never gravitate towards in a store for a couple of reasons:

1. My hands, nails, and nail beds are TINY. Definitely smaller than most other adult women. I couldn't reasonably expect any set of adult press-on nails to fit onto my nails.

2. I enjoy painting my nails.

But nonetheless, these were sent to me to review, and dammit that's what I was going to do with them. Spoiler alert: These are actually pretty cool guys.

imPRESS Manicure by Broadway Nails

How to apply an imPRESS Manicure nail cover

The two sets I received were Joyride (fuchsia nails with a holographic sheen) and Working Girl (black and glittery silver "cracked" nails). Here's what's up:

- Each set comes with 24 nail covers in 12 sizes.
- Each set also includes a little alcohol pad to clean your nail surface before application.
- Rather than applying any glue, you just peel off a sticky backing and press the pre-glued nail firmly onto your natural nail.
- The package says it lasts up to a week, but there's a sizable asterisk next to that statement. More on that later.

imPRESS Manicure in Working Girl - black with silver crackle

I decided to try Working Girl first, so after making my way through all the packaging (a clear plastic box encases the clear plastic "nail polish bottle" which ultimately contains one more plastic piece and all 24 nail covers), I spread the nails out in front of me on my desk:

All 24 imPRESS press-on nails spread out
The amount of available nail covers that were actually small enough for my nails surprised me immediately. I played around with them till I found the 10 that made the cut:

A full mani's worth of imPRESS Working Girl press-on nails

I cleaned my nails with the provided alcohol prep pad and, starting with the pinky nail on my left hand, peeled-n-applied each press-on, finishing with my thumb (as suggested on the box, for maximum pressing capability).

Broadway Nails imPRESS Manicure in Working Girl

First reaction... I was literally laughing out loud at how ridiculous my hands looked. My tiny little hands were sporting what now looked like ENORMOUS nails. They looked a LOT smaller when they were just spread out in front of me on my desk. Once on my nails though, my goodness did I look like the man-hand woman from that one episode of Seinfeld.

Thankfully, though, the imPRESS nails were incredibly easy to trim down using a regular pair of nail clippers. Like, even easier to trim than my natural nails.

Easily clipped the nails to be more appropriate for my finger size

After that, I started to rather like the way these press-ons looked! 

imPRESS nails, black with silver crackle

imPRESS Manicure, Working Girl, black with silver crackle

They felt quite sturdy, too - not at all like they'd fall off easily. They almost felt like my natural nails - just a bit thicker. One of the ways they differ from traditional press-on nails is that they bend really easily to fit the curve of your nail. I didn't expect them to, but they did.

I've put these nails through a few tests so far, nearly all of which they have survived:

- typing - successful
- blowing my nose - successful
- cardio sweat-session at the gym - successful
- washing hands at the gym - ONE CASUALTY (see below)
- showering/shampooing hair - successful

So after 20 minutes of cardio at the gym yesterday, I'm washing my hands in the locker room... and #PopGoesTheWeasel! The left pinky nail popped right off. And once it's off, it's off - there was no re-attaching. So... that was unfortunate, because they really do feel quite sturdy otherwise! The rest of them haven't budged at all - even through a thorough hair shampooing.

Whoops! One nail popped off

So much for lasting a week I guess. By the way, I only noticed much later that the asterisk on the package (the one beside the "lasts up to a week" claim) says "*when applied properly." Passive aggressive much, Broadway Nails?!? I APPLIED THEM JUST FINE!

Anycrap. Despite the fact the one of them popped off, there are enough leftover nails in the package that I could just apply a new one to my pinky and carry on... except that now there are no other nail covers left that are small enough for my pinky. That means I either have to use a new nail that's slightly large or remove all of the other 9 nails so as to not look like a freak.

I suppose that having "spares" is the reason they give you so many nails in the package in the first place. I HOPE that's the reason anyway - otherwise you're left with a LOT of leftover plastic nails... I would seriously hate to think that most people are just chucking all that extra plastic into the garbage. That would really grind my gears actually. It's truly something that keeps nagging at me about this product - all of the garbage it creates...

Down side to the imPRESS Manicure... so much garbage and wasteful packaging
Goodness, this is a lengthy blog about press-on nails. I only just realized that. Sorry. Let's try to develop a summary of my feelings:

- these nails are sturdy and mostly do stay adhered to your nails well, though I sincerely doubt they'll last a week
- they bend/mold really well to your nail shape and come with enough small nail covers to satisfy a small-nailed girl
- they are easily trimmable with normal nail clippers
- chance of pop-off, but with the potential to replace any pop-offs with a spare nail cover
- wasteful packaging creates WAY too much garbage, and that leaves a bad impression on me, personally

Broadway Nails: Impress me with your solution to the extra nail covers issue. I recommend launching a send-back program that includes a tiny pre-addressed envelope inside each package of nails, if you're taking ideas. At least make your packaging recyclable, I beg you!!

Have you tried out these imPRESS Manicure nails or any other type of modern press-on nails?
Anyone else a member of Influenster? What box did you get this month?

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  1. these would be great for a last minute mani! I could see them working wonderfully for a wedding or a date night! I'm with you on doubting that they'd last a week--but definitely a cool product when in a pinch!

  2. You had me at "not your mother's press on nails of yore." Haha! You really have the best delivery ever. And these look pretty cool…once you cut them down a bit. I agree that you were on the wrong side of the Seinfeld line pre-cutting. Haha! One casualty isn't too bad, but it's annoying that there weren't enough to stick on. I have the opposite problem as you do, being that my nail beds are enormous, so I'm always leery of wraps or press-ons because even though it seems like there are a ton in the package, there are hardly enough for one application. Whomp, whomp. But the coolest thing is that you're such an influencer! WAY TO INFLUENCE, BAILEY! ;)

  3. WHY DIDN'T I CUT mine? Good to know I can! I find that the nails get banged quite quickly, but the effortless application is why i like it, perfect for an evening out!

    Macarons and Mischief

    1. I'm not sure if I would have known that they were trimmable if I hadn't seen another blogger mention it somewhere within the last week or so. It really made a huge difference!

  4. I tried them before and they lasted about 4 days before popping off in rapid succession. I didn't trim mine, but I filed them. Maybe you could file a small one down to pinky size? Or accent-nail-ify your pinky? I'm still trying to think of ways to reuse the packaging...

  5. That's a great idea to cut them! I'm pretty worried about trying these out as well b/c my nails are very tiny. They look pretty neat on you!

  6. I have often wondered about this latest incarnation of press-on nails, so thank you for sharing! I do really think they looked cute on & it sounded easy enough! I am a bit of a gel polish addict... just can't beat how long it lasts!

    Enter to win a personal styling session!

  7. Seems like these press on nails are everywhere now. The thought of press on nails has never interested me, but I could see how it would be convenient if you didn't have time to polish!

    1. Exactly - seems like an "in case of emergency" type of product... if there's such a thing as a nail polish emergency ;)

  8. Ah I haven't reviewed mine yet as I'm a bit behind, as usual...

    For now let me put your fears to rest regarding the extra nails. I have always spent time up front with any stick-on nails to plan for 2 sets of 10 that fit well. That way I only have two to four nails left over at the end, depending on how many come in a package. I call that a win-win :)


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