Sunday, 10 June 2012

Elegant Touch - Nail wraps Review

I've tried nail wraps before at a salon and have to say I was distinctly underwhelmed. The brand was Minx, and the therapist who did them had only ever seen them applied at a trade show, so I was something of a guinea-pig. She had to do a lot of trimming of the sides to get them to fit my small nails, they absolutely did NOT allow you to 'file away the excess at the ends' as suggested, the heat she applied to my nails from a lamp to help adhesion was really uncomfortable, and whilst the end result looked ok from a distance, I didn't like how ragged they felt on my nails. [She was a great manicurist generally, and didn't charge me for the experiment, so it was worth giving it a go].

Anyway, despite being aware of the new 'do it yourself' products available at Boots etc, the above experience had rather put me off, so I probably wouldn't have bothered buying any to try out myself at home. However, I'd been religiously entering Glamour's daily 'month of beauty' giveaways in May, so when a packet of Elegant Touch nail wraps arrived for free, I had nothing to lose.

I won a design called  'scrunched almuminium' which is supposed to give a crumpled foil effect, and there are 24 wraps in the pack, so sufficient for two manicures - or a mani/pedi - with a few over for disasters.

You need to apply a base coat first (not included) and are then ready to get to grips with the wraps. I was able to find the right size for each of my nails fairly easily (although I have now been left with the wider sizes which would need the edges cutting if I did it again) but as they're relatively short at the moment I was left with quite a lot of excess at the ends. Rather than attempting to file all this away with the enclosed emery board, I used small sharp embroidery scissors to trim it to shape - and this worked pretty well. Unless you're ambidextrous it's obviously a little harder to do one hand than the other, but it's no more difficult than it is to paint your nails with your 'wrong' hand. You rub each wrap firmly once it's in place, and the instructions suggest using a hair-dryer on low heat for a few seconds to help them stick if necessary. I found they adhered well though and there was no need for any extra heat. Applying topcoat seals the design and helps prevent damage.

The result

Here are my thoughts on the product as a whole:

  • I did use the file a little to finish off and whilst it seemed to work for a very small amount of smoothing I would definitely not rely on it to remove all the excess. However they worked a lot better than the minx ones I'd tried previously!
  • I don't think I did too bad a job of applying them, but I could feel a few wrinkles and bumps, which I think the pattern helped to disguise. I'm not sure a plainer colour or design would have been quite as forgiving.
  • The 'foil' effect is not as good as I'd have liked. You can see in the promo photo that they look like they have a metallic finish. They don't, it's more like a photograph of a metallic finish. On my nails it looked more like a graphic black and white pattern. They may look better on a slightly longer nail.
  • The tips did begin to wear a little and the sides started to lift after a couple of days. They survived showers/washing up etc but I don't honestly think they'd still be looking good after the 5 days the pack suggests they'll last. I must admit I got bored of them and peeled them off early though. 
  • They're easy to remove, but do leave a sticky residue which you need a good scrub with nail varnish remover to get rid of.
  • More expensive per manicure than even the most expensive polish, but far cheaper than going and getting a nail art design applied, so they'd be worth it for a one-off event, and you don't have to worry about chips.

To be honest, I think my problem with nail wraps is that they've been sold as something that they're not. Basically, they're stickers. You're putting stickers on your nails - like the ones you enjoyed when you were a kid - just with a particularly hardcore glue. Do you remember when hair mascara was the latest big thing? Do we all still buy it now? Er, no. Coloured gloop in your hair didn't feel luxurious, and nail wraps don't either - not compared to a really good polish manicure. They feel a little bit cheap. That said, I'd give these 7/10, for being better than I'd expected. I'm still a polish fan though.

Have you tried nail wraps? What did you think?

Lakota x 


  1. Hmmm.. i have seen these popping up in shops and have wondered what they would be like. Seems like a bit of a faff to me. Still - I may be tempted :)

  2. I'm another one who thinks the faffing probably won't be worth the end result but I do think they look good.

    Hair mascara! I had forgotten that existed!


    1. To be fair, it doesn't take as long as a proper basecoat, 2 coats colour, topcoat manicure does. And there's not really any drying time.

  3. Hi, no i have never tried anything like this seems to much work for me. I appreciate them on other people but im a plain nail Jane on my fingers i do like a bit of clear gloss on them from time to time. But toe nails thats a different story i have to paint those the brighter the better ;-)) dee x

  4. Well Lakota, as a gardener and thrift re-seller I have to say nail wraps, polishes and mani's are not my thing (although they probably should be) I have decided that you will be the one to keep me informed of all things new in the nail department. Thus i will not be a useless old mammy to my rapidly heading towards teenager (5) daughter and i will have my finger on the pulse of nail fashion.
    Thanks, until this morning I thought wraps were proper semi perm false nails.

    1. Oh I'm always trashing my nail varnish making stuff, I just re-do it in front of the telly in the evening.

      I don't do false nails - still have flashbacks from teenage experiments with those stick on ones. And I really dislike the salon kind.

  5. They look lovely Lakota, I've never tried them as my nails are the size of pixies and false nails, wraps etc never seem to fit very well :)
    Victoria xx

  6. I have two freebie packets but have never had the urge to use them. For one thing they just look way too big for my little nails and I don't think I can be bothered with any faffing around. I'll just stick to wearing good ol'nail varnish and add my own special effects.

    Barrina x

  7. I've never tried these because like you say, they're stickers. I would worry about them peeling off and/or feeling odd. They look good on you though!

  8. I haven't ried nail wraps, but I do love a good manicure and polish. I have a fondness for deep reds or coral pinks. As well as the obligatory dark burgundy/chocolate. I'll give wraps a go thought based on this review if I come across some I like the pattern of. Thanks Lakota for a bobby dazzler of a review. Big hugs, Em x

  9. I am not a fan of nail wraps I feel like they also peel off a layer of my nail and that sticky glue drives me nuts. I do think they have some cool designs and in a bind they are quick and easy.

  10. My nails are a really odd shape so these don't work for me AT ALL!

  11. I've never had a proper manicure! So nail wraps are obviously uncharted territory for me. I'll probably never try them, because I'm low maintenance (or lazy, if you prefer) and just keep on doing my own nails with whatever comes to hand. Quite literally. xxx

  12. I never tried nail wraps, I prefer to do my own nails but if I came acroos some Morrissey stickers, I will use the as nails.
    Thanks for all your lovely comments!

  13. Ah, I TOTALLY remember hair mascara! I had electric blue- we used to put it on at school! So much fun even though your hair felt minging! And I remember the same friend who introduced me to them did this thing to our hair where she coated a strand in mousse then wrapped it around a pencil so you had a spiral curl!! Hee hee, nostalgia!
    I can't be bothered with nail stuff, am total klutz at the left-handed thing, but as a teen, I wore it religiously!

  14. Hair mascara! Ahhh I loved the stuff. For approximately two uses and then realised that the blue (supposedly super temporary!) tint had stained my blonde hair. I can't say I minded for the first week or two but it took a full month of daily washes to get rid of it all - bad times!

    I've been tempted to try nail wraps for a little while after seeing some super cute polkadot numbers, loved the scrunched foil design of yours! Confirmed my inklings re: staying power/faff factor though. I'm not sure I'd have the patience!

    Jem xXx

  15. Hi everyone!! I also use nail wraps and it is easy to do. Nail wraps are so popular nowadays. Frankly saying, nail wraps are very good and so elegant. I like the new advancement of putting arts on nails.

  16. I'm quite the nail novice so have never attempted any kind of nail art, but it sounds like quite a fun gimmick atm. Those hair mascara days are all too memorable! xxx

  17. Oooh I love a good nail wrap. I am an artist/educator so my hands are always covered in paint and manicures constantly chip, and I need them to look good most of the time for teaching etc. But and I have to say it is a big BUT, the British versions are nowhere near as good as the Sally Hansen ones I get whilst in America. They are the dogs, fabulous patterns, easy to put on and remove, fabulous staying power AND I can get away with wearing them for up to 10 days.!!! They are also longer so you can usually get 2 nails done from one wrap. Worth every penny by jove...xx

  18. This is genius! thanks for this awesome DIY!


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