Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Product Review - imPRESS Press-On Manicure

NB: This product was provided to me free of charge to review. I am giving my honest opinion in this post.

As a member of Influenster, I recently received this product to test and review. I received 2 styles in my package. One is "Evil Queen" (#KL0615) -- which I am reviewing today, the other style is "D050 Hottie" (#KK1020). The "Evil Queen" style is from the Disney Villains collection.

(small warning, this post is extra picture-heavy, wanted to give you the best view of them I could)

As a child of the 80's I grew up in the age of Lee Press-On Nails (this blogger sums them up beautifully). In those days the nails were plain and you first applied the glue sticker thingy then put the nail on and then painted. It was a pain in the butt, yet we did it anyway. I used to wear them to dances. You were lucky if they made it through one night of wear.

Over the years I dabbled in acrylics and gel nails. I never liked them and rarely wore them beyond a month (usually 2 weeks before I soaked/melted them off in acetone). They just felt weird to me. I'm also a person who is REALLY sensitive to textures. Artificial nails just feel… weird. I don't know how else to describe it. I'm just always hyper-aware of them. Plus, if I can feel a ridge along the edges, I will pickpickpick it to death. I actually cracked my gel nails once doing this. Not good for me.

I read other reviews on these particular press-on nails. A lot of people really loved them! I was sooo excited to try them! Wanna see?? OK, here we go! I warned you, whole lotta pictures. But I hope you get why I included all of them!

First up, this is what my nails looked like before I put these press-on nails on. Long! Yes, these are my natural nails. I had to cut them waaayyy back to put these new ones on. I was planning on trimming them anyway so no biggie. Oh, and this is my manicure from yesterday -- Girly Bits "Sailor's Delight" (click to check out my review & more pics!). My skin today is SUPER dry/irritated. Please forgive that.

Front of package. The colour is a really cool grey-purple duochrome. I really like them! Again, the style is "Evil Queen". The style name/number is on the top of the package but I couldn't get a decent photo of it.

Side of the package. "Evil Queen" is the top pic.

Back of the package, these are the instructions.

When you take everything out, the nails are in the nail polish bottle thingy, the "Prep Pad" (which is just an alcohol swab) is stuck on a card with a nail file thingy (which doesn't come off). I'm assuming you're supposed to use the nail file to shape the press-on nails?? It's super rough though. I tried using it on one nail and it kinda shredded it, it didn't look good. Skip it unless you're desperate. Or maybe you'll have better luck than me?

The top screws off the polish bottle then the bottle part has a flip-top (see next pic). Inside are all the little press-on nails. All of this is plastic so when I say "bottle" I don't mean glass.

The plastic display thingy comes off and inside are 24 press-on nails in 12 sizes. I know a lot of people were concerned that the sizes were way too small but after digging around in them there are MUCH bigger ones than are displayed in the little tray.

Before I started I did my usual manicure prep -- I removed the old polish, pushed back my cuticles, etc. I also trimmed & filed them to the press-on nail length (which was a little too short for my liking, I wish these were longer). Before starting, I selected the 10 "best" fitting press-on nails. Some were way huge, others tiny. I have small nail beds so I went with the smallest ones. But unless all your nail beds are huge, I'm sure you can manage. When selecting which size fits your nail, the clear plastic tab is supposed to sit against your cuticle. I lined them up as per instructions and wiped my nails with the Prep Pad. I kept the extras nearby in case I needed to resize again.

You start with the pinky, pull off the tab, press to your nail and keep pressing firmly. How long? One reviewer said at least 30 seconds. There is no indication how long to press on the package instructions. I held each nail for 30 seconds to be sure. You do your thumbs last.

This is what the finished press-on manicure looks like. Honestly, I have to say it's not a look I prefer. It felt like I had thick cheap plastic nails stuck on my fingers. But as I mentioned before, I'm really fussy and sensitive when it comes to textures. I can't even tolerate more than 3 layers of nail polish because it feels too thick to me. I also prefer a more almond-shaped nail (I think it's more flattering on my fingers) -- these are pretty square and almost flare out at the end. I tried using that super thick small nail file they include but that just shredded the nail (I didn't take a pic of it) and I would've been filing all night to get the shape I wanted. Not worth it.

Some reviewers say they prefer this to painting their nails. I would have to disagree. I enjoy painting my nails and I do it frequently (sometimes daily). There is also the claim (on the package and by reviewers) that these are as good as gel polish. Umm, no. Sorry. Again, I disagree.

The underside. These were the absolute closest match to my own nails as possible with the sizes they give in this kit. I think my natural nails also have a stronger curve than these press-on nails do. All I can see when looking closely is all the spots that water and microorganisms can get in and grow. I'm a critical care nurse and I'm paranoid about germs/bacteria/fungus/etc. These are prime for infectious organisms to grow under. They don't seal flat, there is no way they could. And to keep them on for a week or so?? That's asking for trouble. Especially as the glue loosens over the week. Ew. Just telling it like it is.

You can also see how thick these are in these pictures.

See how wide they are at the tips? I am desperate to file that into an almond shape, but like I said, it would take forever.

See how thick they are?? I personally don't like my nails to be thick like that.

As with my other manis, a few shots in different lighting. All the above pics were taken under my LED desk lamp.
This one is in natural (cloudy) daylight, by the windows.

These final pics are outside in bright daylight (not direct sun):

Since I just put them on I can't comment on their longevity. I don't know how long I will tolerate wearing them. I really don't like them and I would never purchase them. They just aren't for me. I prefer actually painting my nails. I could see them being ideal for people who hate doing their nails, aren't good at it, have very weak/brittle nails, a special event, or just like trying new things. :) I don't think it's a bad product at all, they feel superior to the 80's version of "press-on nails". They were easy to apply. There may be some challenge with size selection, but that can't be helped. No matter what sizes they put in, someone will have trouble. Are these average sizes?? I have no idea. The patterns/colours are unique and fun. I can see the appeal to people who like nail art but lack skill. But for me personally, I'm not sure I can handle the thickness and the "feel" of them or the shape/length. I'm kind of sad I cut my nails back to this length, to be honest. But that was a choice I made to review this product for you.

Where to buy them? The card that came with my complementary samples says colours retail for $8.99 and patterns for $10.99, they can be purchased at Walmart, Target, London Drugs, Jean Coutu, Katz, Loblaws, and more. You can also visit the imPress Manicure website for demos, pics, designs, tips, etc. There are a TON of designs/colours, so if this is your thing, it's like a kid in a candy store!

I will update later with how they worked out. So far I just used a different file (not the one included) to kinda shave off a few picky parts (where there was some kind of plastic tab or something?? You can see it in the centre of the nail tip in the close-up underneath photos above.

Update: I was able to tolerate these for about 10 hours before peeling them off. Like I mentioned, I'm crazy weird about textures and they finally got to me. They were easy to peel off and the best news -- they didn't damage my nails underneath! I'm still kinda sad my nails are short now but they grow fast so soon things will be back to normal. And I still don't think these are a bad product -- I think they would work well for a LOT of people, they're just not for me and that's ok. :)

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