Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Product Review:
Kiss Everlasting French Pearl Nails

I have, for lack of a more elegant word, sucky nails. I occasionally go on polish buying sprees when a really cool new color or collection catches my eye, only to remember why I don't hassle with nails in the first place. I need two full weeks of coddling just to get my nails in condition to paint them. Thrice daily cuticle oil, wearing gloves if I so much as think of cleaning anything, and a clear coat on my nails at all times is the necessary order for me to get any respectable length- otherwise they snap or peel right off (and let's not even start about the sad state of my cuticles!) So when I was sent a pack of Kiss Everlasting French Pearl Nails, I figured, what do I have to lose?

The Everlasting French Pearl nail kit contains 28 French-tip nails with a sheer peach base and a pearlized white tip. The kits comes with just about everything you need for application, including Pink Gel Glue, a tiny orange stick and a double-sided mini file. You may also want to have some pure acetone on hand in case you goof (you'll need it to get the nails off anyway).

The most time consuming part about applying these nails for me was sizing myself. It's vital to get the correct size, if you go to small you'll be able to see the edges & it ruins the illusion that the nails are real. I also found that if you have to press the nail flat to fit your nail, you run the risk of creating a white stress mark in the plastic of the nail. It also seemed like the nails were more likely to pop up & create air bubbles once you've glued it down if it's being "stretched" to fit, so it's a better idea to file down the edges of a larger nail if you're struggling to find the right size. For first timers, you may want to have an extra set lying around in case you mess up- since there's only 2 sizes of each nail, there's not a ton of room for error.

Once you have your nails sized (and marked down for future reference!) the nails are pretty easy to apply. One trick I remembered the hard way is to apply your nails to your dominant hand first. I'm right handed and made the mistake of applying the nails to my left hand first. Consequently, when I went to apply nails to my right hand, I had to deal with the awkwardness of using my left hand and the added clumsiness of not being used to the new nail length.

Sizes laid out, I opened the little dropper of glue and went to work. The directions for the nails say that you should first apply glue to the Kiss nail, then apply a thin layer to your own. I found the dropper bottle very rigid, and while this did a good job of making sure the glue didn't leak or go on too heavily, it did make applying the glue more work than I think it should be. If I could have my way, I'd vote for a brush applicator (Kiss does sell a brush-on formula separately). The easy-application tabs definitely made application simple, and they snap off easily, though on some nails I had to file off the tiny nub left behind.

My only real issue with the nails seems like a catch-22. One of the things that makes the nails appear so life-like is the fact that the nail bed portion of the Kiss nail is sheer; it has about the same opacity as an actual skin-tone nail lacquer would have. This is a great concept, but the downfall is that it means any air bubbles under the nails are very apparent, and try as I might, I was simply not able to apply most of the nails without these tell-tale bubbles. I did find the orange stick that came in the kit helpful- the flat, angled side was good for smoothing out some bubbles, and it also worked well to gently pull my nail away from the skin where the glue had seeped underneath the nail.

Admittedly, I'm a novice at glue-on nails (I always favored tips as a temporary option) and I highly suspect there's a learning curve involved here. I think the prevalence of air bubbles in my Kiss mani could be caused by a few things, and I'm not ready to blame the defect on the nails themselves. As I mentioned earlier, I noticed that the curvature of the Kiss nails was more dramatic than the curve of my natural nail beds, and this could well be why I noticed some lifting in the center of the nails. Kiss does make some styles of nails for flat nail beds, so I'd be interested to see if those might be a better choice for me.

Discounting the bubbles, which I have to say ruined the illusion for me, I actually was really impressed with the way these looked. The style I tried came in the "Real Short" length, which I really liked- they were long enough to lend a graceful touch to my knobby man-hands, but short enough that I could still function (by which I mean type on my iPhone keyboard!) The tips of the nails are a non-tapered square, which I easily filed into my preferred "squoval" shape. The base color looked very natural to me, and the pearl white tips actually looked hand-painted, rather than molded into the plastic- there are small flecks of shimmer like you'd see in a nail lacquer, and the tip is even raised a little bit like it would be if it were a layer of polish.

Kiss nails are widely available at places like CVS, Target, Ulta, and Walgreens, and retail for around $6.99, so they're definitely worth a try if you're looking for an inexpensive, quick alternative to the salon.

The products featured in this post were submitted for review consideration by a representative of the company. What does this mean? I didn't pay for it. My commitment is to you- my readers- and to myself (it's called integrity, I like to have it). The opinions expressed in my product reviews are my own, based on my own research and experience; I am not paid in any way nor is the final outcome of the review influenced by the featured company.


Amanda said...


I read your post of Kiss Nails. I have the same problem as in the curve of the artificial nail is more dramatic than my real nails. But my nails are not entirely flat. So I am wondering if you have tried the Flat ones and find them a better fit?

I also read on kiss website that we suppose to use a lot of glue to act as "cushion" between the real and fake nail. So it is like a bunch of glue in there.

Hear from ya!

Unknown said...

I haven't tried the flat style yet, but I think it could make a big difference. Though my nail beds don't look flat per se, I use nail tips occasionally and have the same issue with them, so it's definitely not just the Kiss brand.

As far as using extra glue, I'm a bit wary about that- in my opinion, most of the extra glue would just seep out from beneath the nail. Luckily, the Kiss nails are only $6.50, so it may be worth a try!

Anonymous said...

Long time later than this was written… but IME, using more glue meant more recalcitrant bubbles under the nail (I use clear nails and pink glue) and instead of applying the glue to my nail I apply it to the artificial nail. I get less glue on my hands and better adhesion with fewer bubbles. The Kiss glue is thick enough that it doesn't drip off when I turn it over to apply to my natural nail. I get better edges if I trim with sharp clippers instead of file.

Great idea on the orange stick! I only saw it as a cuticle tool- silly me.

Anonymous said...

Been using Kiss Nails for over four years maybe a little longer. Tip for air bubbles: proper size (not too small), adequate amount of glue, press down very slightly to apply, and apply before bed (sleep with your hands propped up). Doing things with your hands before the glue completely dries will create bubbles. Also, don't wash your hands until the glue completely dries because this will create white spots around nail bed (if this happens, apply oil to nail. That should fix it).

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