Oh Nerdship, I must confess something… terrible. I am an absolute noob when it comes to doing my nails. And just for clarification, I’m not talking about Noob Saibot from Mortal Kombat. Seriously, if we’re talking WoW terms, I’m the little bunny hopping around the forest when you first create a human character. You know the bunny I’m talking about. The one that is slow and very easy to kill. That would be my nail skills, AKA THEY ARE NON-EXISTENT. I am that bad at nails. I own several types of nail polish – but they never see my nails. Instead they’re used in craft or art projects. Call me weird, that’s perfectly okay. I used those potential nail ‘stat points’ towards other things – like special effects makeup and coming up with really awkward puns.
You’d think that the magical art of nails would be something that I would be gifted with at birth, since I’m a lady and all… but no. Up until the last year or so I was completely fine with it too. I work too much and too often with my hands that pretty decorative nails would be trashed in about two minutes. In fact, I can count on two hands the number of times I’ve either had my nails done professionally or did them my self – all of which were for special occasions: prom, my brothers’ weddings, and lastly my wedding (OH and that one time I went to the beach).
Why am I telling you all this?
A little over two weeks ago, Nerds and Nomsense was contacted by a wonderful, nerd-positive company called Espionage Cosmetics and they asked if we would like to review their nail wraps and help boost the signal for their second Kickstarter. I’ve been aware of their awesomeness since their first Kickstarter in 2013 after they popped into my radar after a few celebrities that I follow posted about them. Since then they’ve expanded and become even awesome-r. Obviously I jumped at the opportunity to work with them… because… well… reasons.
Anywho, I received a lovely little surprise on Saturday and since then I’ve been chomping at the bit to try them on and give you guys a first impressions / review / tutorial on their nerdy nail wraps as well as throw in some info on their current Kickstarter quest and a little background on their company.
You better believe that I squealed like a little school girl upon opening the shiny bubble-mailer up to find these delightful goodies. Included in their little care package was their Nebulae nail wraps, their Cunning Hat nail wraps (inspired by the ever-cuddly Jayne Cobb), a nail file, two really awesome business cards that are incredibly reflective and last but not least a set of prototype wraps from their current Kickstarter called Treasure Maps.
This Treasure Map design edges on the side of being Tolkien-inspired and they are completely beautiful. So naturally, I had to try them on first – though the Nebulae nails came in a very close second. (And we will be saving the Cunning Hat nail wraps for a Nerdship giveaway in the before the end of the year, so be sure to subscribe so you can be the first to know/enter.)
Let me tell you a little bit about Espionage Cosmetics before we dive into how to apply the nail wraps:
- Their motto is “For Nerds, By Nerds, Where Nerds Are.” and it couldn’t be more true. As far as nerd-niche cosmetic companies go, they’re pretty much on top of it all. It’s awesome. We are big fans of them here at Nerds and Nomsense.
- Founded in 2011, E.C. is a small, woman-owned business based out of Tacoma, Washington. They started as a living-room operation and now have a 2,700-sf warehouse as their HQ.
- They produce other brilliant products that span past their customer-favorite, NAILED IT premium nail art. They include: Kiss of Death Lip Serums, 2 collections of cosmetic glitter (for all you Unicorns out there), and they’re flagship line, Everything Shadow, which are highly pigmented mineral-shadows that range from bright colors to metallics to neutrals. They even have a quad dedicated to Firefly. BE STILL MY HEART!
- Currently, and most IMPORTANTLY, they are in the middle of their second Kickstarter Campaign, NAILED IT but wait there’s MOAR!
- Their backers successfully funded the initial campaign on September 17th – leaving over two weeks left for additional funding , which is completely awesome. Now they are on a mission to complete some awesome STRETCH GOALS which include some additional nerdy wrap designs and even an amazing monthly nail wrap box subscription (similar to LootCrate).
Here are the original designs from the Kickstarter project. Aren’t they awesome!?
If you have the chance, we HIGHLY recommend helping fund this Kickstarter and get some awesome nerd-art for your nails.
NAILED IT - NAIL WRAPSTips, First Impressions, and Mini Tutorial
Like I said in the beginning of this post, I’m a nail noob, so when Christal from E.C. contacted us about a possible review I was excited to participate. If a nail noob could pull off these awesome wraps, ANYONE CAN! As a proud, card-carrying Lupus member, my nails are sad. They’re thin and dimply and I generally keep them short since they tend to break easily (… well that and I hate the sensation of gunk getting under my nails. It drives me bonkers). So once they asked if we could review their nerdy nail wraps I began to grow out my nails in the hopes to do this tutorial justice. Well, let’s just say it worked and I am now the proud owner of nerdy nails.
How to install these babies:
- Gather your supplies. You will need a set of nail wraps, some nail polish remover / rubbing alcohol, cotton balls, a nail file, little scissors (optional, but encouraged), nail clippers, and some quality clear top coat (for nail dexterity).
- Clean yo nails! Take off any excess gunk or old nail polish BEFORE you try to apply your wraps – they will not stick as long if you don’t properly clean your nails prior to application. You can also take this time to trim up your nails if they are misshapen, pointy, or in other words wonky.
- Before you start to free your nail wraps from the package, hold each of your nails up to your individual fingers (or toes) and size them accordingly. Each pack comes with 7 different sizes.
- Unsheathe your nail wraps from their silver prison. I like to cut up the pack so I can properly line up which nail goes were that way I don’t accidentally go for the wrong one and end up wasting a perfectly good nail.
- Proceed to remove both protective covers of the wraps (a thicker cardstock one from the bottom and a clear plastic sheet from the top) for each nail as you go along – that way they don’t dry out if you take your time placing each nail wrap on.
- Once you center the ROUNDED EDGE at the cuticle end of your nail so that it fits perfectly, check to see if you need to trim any of the sides. If so, do it now. If everything is all hunky dory go ahead and start to smooth the nail wrap onto your nail starting at the bottom and moving up towards the ends of your finger nail. Got excess wrap at the end? Just bend it under your nail and use a nail file to ‘cut’ it off.
- Trim any edges that need to be trimmed and just generally tidy things up.
- Apply a coat or two of your favorite clear top coat nail polish. I suggest not skimping on this stuff. The better top-coat you have the longer your wraps will last on your nails.
- Let the top-coat dry COMPLETELY! Do not try to budge it or mess with it as it may soften the nail wrap and then you can accidentally fudge up your pretty nails. Once your polish is dry, you can clean up any extra spots where you may have over painted with nail polish remover and a pointed cu-tip.
- BEHOLD – YOU ARE THE OWNER OF AWESOME, NERDY NAILS!
If you would like to see a professional ‘install’ these nails, watch the video below:
First Impressions and Tips:
Okay – I’ve had these wraps on for over 24 hours now. So here’s my thoughts. I will be sure to update you guys in a week, too.
These wraps are awesome. I’ve tried nail wraps before, specifically from Sephora’s clearance bin – they were blue and had weird bumpy texture on them and they drove me crazy (they didn’t last more than 12 hours on my nails before I peeled them off). These nerdy nail wraps are epic and awesome and I can barely notice that they are on my nails. If you’re an individual who wears nail bling frequently, you probably won’t even notice they are on at all.
Don’t be afraid to take your time. I was honestly a bit concerned with applying these, since well… nails aren’t my forte’. If you don’t peel off the protective coating from all the nails prior to your application you can take as long as you want (and can be as picky and precise as you’d like). I went nail by nail and it was quite pleasant.
If you have thinner nails, I suggest you be somewhat gentle with your hands/nails during the first 24 hours so that your top coat has time to completely cure and harden. My nails are thin and they will bend like nobody’s business. I woke up this morning to find little ripples in the wraps. Which means I’m probably fighting off vampires or demons in my sleep, right? They are still completely wearable, I was just a little sad because they warped a bit. You can always use a nail strengthener prior to application to try to beef up your nails. I will be doing this before my next wrap wearage.
Don’t skimp on the top coat. I know I mentioned this during the mini-tutorial, but I’m serious, get a good top coat / clear coat. Espionage Cosmetics’ wraps are capable of lasting for weeks if you TAKE CARE OF YOUR NAILS – which includes putting on a few layers of clear coat. If you wanted to, you could probably get away with putting a glitter coat on your nails or some other kind of translucent varnish on them as well just to personalize them even further. As far as good top/clear coats go – I recommend going with O.P.I, Butter London, or Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails. If you had access to a gel manicure set you can even go one step further and put a clear gel top coat on and it will last even longer. The clear top coat will also help all of the colors in the design POP a little bit more.
ANYONE CAN APPLY AND WEAR THESE WRAPS! Lady. Dude. Elf. Unicorn – if you have nails and opposable thumbs, you can definitely wear these. Heck even Wil Wheaton dawned a pair of their Critical Hit wraps during one of the more recent Cons – and he’s like in the High Court of Nerddom. E.C. has over 40 designs currently available in their online store – and that’s not even counting their new designs via their Kickstarter. Go check them out. Don’t argue, just do the thing.
These will be a perfect complement to daily life or even a cosplay/Halloween outfit. I’m planning on coming up with a makeup/Halloween tutorial for you guys this weekend that echos the designs in these wraps. I’m thinking awesome pirate with map-tattoo face. (Let me know what you think in the comments.)
If you have less-than-cooperative nails, you can always apply these wraps to fake nails and then apply those to your actual nails. Also, if you have shorter nails, you won’t be able to show off as much of the pretty artwork that is designed on each nail. I loved how these nails looked in the packaging but once I put them on I was a little sad to see that the details and everything were a little less recognizable. They are still awesome and I wear them with pride… I just have sad little nails.
I will have more updates over the next few days that way I can give you, dearest Nerdship, a better review. Be sure to check back in a week for more info and pictures.
Update: Day 4
The wraps looked brilliant for the first two days. By day three they are starting to pull away from the tips of my fingers a teeny bit. Today I was cleaning out my office and one of them peeled back so I peeled it all the way off, slapped down some of the clear coat, put the wrap back on and then added another layer of top coat. Seems to do the trick. Woo Hoo!
I would like to give a big shout out and thank you to Espionage Cosmetics (and their lovely P.R. / Social Media Mistress, Christal) for reaching out to us and giving us this opportunity to BOOST their signal. You guys are awesome and I can’t wait to see what awesome, nerd-friendly pretties you come up with in the future!
Oh and if you are attending the Wizard World Con this weekend in Nashville, you should definintely stop by the Espionage Cosmetics booth (#711) and pick up some awesome wraps.
Now, I would like to know what your thoughts are, Nerdship. Have you checked out Espionage Cosmetics before? What designs are your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
Until next time, LONG LIVE THE NERDSHIP!
Obvious Disclaimer: Espionage Cosmetics DID send us these wraps to review, but the opinions are 100% OUR OWN.