Geeky Nail wraps! Yay or Nay?

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Espionage makeup 2015Espionage Cosmetics has a gloriously geeky line of nail wraps with art pulling from comics, TV shows, and video games. Nail wraps are basically elaborately painted stickers for your nails that last through washing, eating, and playing. The Espionage wraps don’t require a heat gun to apply like some brands; simply peel off the plastic coating from the front and back, press it onto your nail, and file off the excess before applying a top coat. The wraps are supposed to last for two weeks. I was given some dice-themed Espionage Cosmetics nail wraps, so I took them for a spin at a recent gaming con. Here’s what I found out.

Before - Espionage nail wraps Sarah Richardson June 2015Application was really easy. Each pack comes with a cute comic-style guide, and I was surprised at how easy it was. I usually paint my nails every two weeks or so, so I felt pretty comfortable with this. You push back your cuticles and shape your nail like normal. You can use a base coat, but this time I applied them over bare nails. I did give them a swipe of nail polisher remover and a good scrubbing to make sure all residue was off first though. Normally, my  nail decorating routine consists of putting on an episode of a guilty pleasure show (hi there, Lost Girl), making sure I’ve used the bathroom, and getting a drink. This time my me time was super short: I was done, including drying time, long before Bo figured out this week’s fae shenanigans. I use the least toxic stuff on my nails as I can find, as my asthma keeps me far away from nail salons on any sort of regular basis; the only smell this time was my top coat drying, so bonus points there! However, I was also super distracted by the tiny dice print on the wraps! I kept staring at my nails, but finally got back to work.

I put the wraps on the day before leaving for North Texas RPG Con in Dallas. The gamers who saw them squealed and told me how happy they made them. A lot of people assumed I had painted the dice onto my nails with a tiny brush and were amazed when I explained what they were.

The wraps stood up well to 4 days of non-stop dice rolling, and I didn’t see a nick or scratch on the finish until a week had gone by. It’s now 13 days in, and the edges are really starting to go which means: time to peel the wraps off and repaint my nails a nice, glossy black. The parts where the wraps are no longer covering my nails are circled in red in the photo below:

After - Espionage nail wraps Sarah Richardson June 2015
See where the edges are coming off?

I really love the designs (have you seen the Sex Criminals ones? or the Bitch Planet NC version?), but at $10 – $12 for a little over a week’s wear, I’ll probably only use them for special occasions like conventions. I appreciated that I didn’t need any special equipment to put them on, that there were both video and written instructions, and that there’s no smell aside from putting on a top coat. I got mine from their booth at C2E2, and not only were the people working there amazing, but Espionage Cosmetics appears to be a women-owned company. They have my favorite fandoms, so I’ll probably be sporting some new ones come Gen Con.

UPDATE: I just took off the nail wraps, and they took off a bit of some of my nails. Most of my nails have residue, but a few lost the thinnest top layer. I’d definitely recommend using a base layer so that comes off instead of your nails!

Sarah Richardson

Sarah Richardson

Sarah Richardson is a graphic artist living in Chicago. In addition to illustrating and laying out tabletop RPGs and zines, she burns through comics and books as fast as her eyes can move. Sarah swears a lot on twitter as @scorcha79.