Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Gave Espionage Cosmetics' Nail Wraps a Shot (seewhatIdidthere?)

Espionage Cosmetics has an amazing line of nail art wraps called Nailed It! that have been seen on geeks of all shapes, sizes, and genders (Wil Wheaton, I adore you). For those who aren't familiar, nail wraps are essentially stickers you use on your nails in lieu of nail polish that can be emblazoned with all manner of awesome and intricate designs. Now, of course there's some kick ass science-y stuff going on, but the easiest way to describe them is as a sticker. These things come in all manner of geektastic designs. Want nebulas on your fingertips? They got that. Looking to wear your dice bag on your nails? They got you covered. Legos? Chainmail? Circuit boards? Star Trek uniforms? Cat faces? They've got all that and more. Being the obsessive Batman fan that I am, I chose the "Harlequinn" set to test. So, join us as my friend, The General, and I attempt to pretty up my digits:

I ordered my nail wraps on a Tuesday evening, and by Saturday afternoon this slick-ass package was in my grubby hands:

Popping it open revealed an equally adorable spy pack containing my nail wraps, a shiny business card, some EC stickers, and a card with more nail art options on it:

Quick tip: These guys do not use any more packaging than they have to, so try to contain your excitement when ripping into your nail wraps (my suggestion is to carefully use manicure scissors):

Now that you've got them open, take a moment to marvel at these beauties!

Oh my gods, those are so freakin' CUTE!!
Here, unfortunately, is where things got tricky. I have freakishly small fingernails. Seriously, they look normal right up until you're trying to do anything artistic to them, and then you find that they are both very tiny and very curved.

I might also be in dire need of a manicure. Sue me.
None of the wraps fit my nails without some pretty serious trimming. Sadly, because of the placement of some of the art, I couldn't use all of the wraps without cutting right through the pretty designs (I was particularly sad that I couldn't use Harley's iconic diamonds). Luckily, each of the wraps is long enough that we were able to perform some ingenious nail wrap surgery on them to create a set that would work:

After a ridiculous amount of additional trimming, these would adorn my left hand.

The set we created for my right hand, plus the untouched left overs we can later use as a whole second set.
IMPORTANT!! We learned a very hard lesson that I would like to save you from: Remove the upper plastic film before you attempt any trimming, cutting, or application. Trust me. That no blood was spilled in the hour it took The General and I to remove the plastic film from the already cut wraps is just short of a miracle.

With the plastic film mishap, and the obscene amount of trimming and resizing we had to do to get them to fit my tiny nails, the process took an exhausting and frustrating 3 hours from start to finish. To be fair, this was the first time either of us had attempted to use nail wraps, and pretty much everything that could go wrong, did. I honestly believe that if the wraps themselves fit my nails better, we would not have encountered so many issues. I contacted Espionage Cosmetics to ask if they were considering offering the wraps in smaller/children's sizes. They replied with the following within a day:
"Your timing is impeccable. We actually just finished our second Kickstarter last night, and one of our successful stretch goals was introducing smaller nail sizes.  After development, testing, and production, it will probably be around Fall of 2015 that we are able to have these completely ready to go, but they are definitely in our future!"
Yay! I cannot wait to play with these again when they have smaller sizes! Until then, I'll likely stick to designs that are repeated over the whole wrap (like the circuit board, Sherlock, or literary designs). Despite all the hassle of the application, once they were on I couldn't stop staring at them. Seriously, they're just darling:

Left hand. I want a whole set of that thumb design!!
Right hand.
Additional tips:
  • Take the time to make sure the wraps are fitted to your nails. Err on the side of small. If they are even a tiny bit too big, you'll never get a proper seal. 
  • The directions say that applying a clear top coat over the wraps is optional. Don't skip it. In fact, take your time and be thorough. It helps seal the edges of the wraps and protect them from moisture which will loosen the adhesive and cause them to come off prematurely.
  • If the sides are too wide and you do have to trim them, use manicure scissors. Their tiny blades are the best size for the job.
  • Grab a friend and do your nails together. It'll be easier, and rage filled property damage is less likely to occur with a witness there.


  1. I'm told that practice makes dealing with nail wraps WAY easier, and I'm glad they're working on smaller sizes too.

    1. I believe so as well, and I've got quite a lot of hope considering how wonderfully responsive the company has been to the difficulties we encountered. All in all, I can happily recommend these adorable nail wraps!

  2. I love their nail wraps! I ordered during their first kickstarter and they are amazing. I haven't worn my Harley ones yet but I did rock their ECCC ones. I like their product better then some of the drug store ones. I have some Sally Hansen Halloween ones and they only lasted about two days!

  3. I've been trying these out to decide if I want to carry them in the shop. I posted on my FB pictures - I've worn the "Literary," "Smashing" (for Mardi Gras!), and Doctor Who ones thus far. I discovered Espionage at Comic Con in February of this year. As a side note, they do offer designs at Comic Con that you can't get online (for example, the Doctor Who). I have a manicurist who has been doing these for me (which I'm sure is MUCH easier than doing them yourself :-) We had similar issues the first time we tried it. We didn't remove the upper plastic film first (BIG mistake), and we also had to cut them around the edges to fit my nails. The first time we did this, it took about an hour and a half (and this was a professional manicurist!). We've done a couple since then, and it's gotten WAY easier once you know how to do it. Now, she gets them done in my regular manicure time (45 minutes), but that includes all the other wonderful things a manicurist does, like cleaning your nails, filing, massaging your hands, etc. Just applying the wraps now takes 20 minutes or less.

    One thing that you didn't mention here was how long the wraps last (you may not know yet). For me, if I apply a top coat of clear polish and apply once per week, the simpler designs (like "Smashing") last about 2.5-3 weeks. The fancier/prettier designs (both the Doctor Who and Literary) last a shorter period, but still about 2 weeks.

    Overall, I've been happy with the wraps that I've gotten, and I'm going to contact Espionage to see if I can carry them in the book shop! I think they would be a wonderful stocking stuffer Christmas gift for nerdy folk everywhere! :-)

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