In my latest display post I shared the Maybelline Color Show Nail Falsies I'd seen at Meijer. What I didn't share was that I bought two of the designs, which is surprising enough since I haven't worn fake nails since I don't know when—it's been decades, for sure. What's more surprising is that instead of tossing them in one of my "try later" boxes, I put them on within a week of buying them. The "ultra thin" and "flex" words on the packaging grabbed my interest since the fake nails I'm familiar with were neither especially thin nor flexible. The fact that they were embracing the fake by calling them "falsies" appealed to me, too. Also, covering up my natural nails entirely sounded pretty good to me after tearing up a lot of them working at my mom's house, which was discouraging since the peelies had been growing out nicely. Thus it was that last week found me with dark green to black gradient squovals gracing my tips.
This design is called Emerald Ombre (should be Emerald Gradient if you ask me, which Maybelline did not), and has a very deep green transitioning to black at the tips. The package contains twenty four nails (two each of twelve sizes), double sided glue stickers, and a small plastic cuticle stick. There are directions on the back of the box.
As I was picking up the various sizes to see which would fit best on my fingers, I noticed many of the nails had small protusions at the tips, I imagine from where they were snapped off a spine (like some fake nail sets are sold on). I was able to just file those bits off without damaging the nail at all, so I did.
When I'd decided which sizes I'd put on which of my nails (it's easy to keep track because they're numbered on the underside, though I did briefly confuse 6 and 9), I grabbed the sheet of glue stickers and got started applying them. It was then that I realized I could have used slightly more detailed instructions. The box didn't make any mention of what to do with the little plastic stick; I assumed it was to help pry the nails off when it was time to remove them, so I set it aside. I found the glue sticker size that matched the nail I was putting on, peeled off the see through rose pink plastic covering it (the glue sticker itself is clear), and picked it up off the backing sheet. It was so sticky that I had trouble getting it off my fingers to put on my nail; I ended up stretching it all out as I tried to put it where it needed to go (it did mostly return to the right shape when I finally got it unstuck from my fingertips). It took me another few nail's worth of struggles to figure out that the best approach was to leave the pink cover on the glue sticker, pick it up off the backing with the plastic stick and place it on the nail, press down on it to make sure it's stuck to the nail (easy when the pink cover is still on), flick off the pink covering with the plastic stick, then set the nail down and press it in place for 10 seconds like it says on the box. (The box also says to avoid water for the first hour, which I did.) By the last few nails, it was easy peasy to do.
Seeing my hands with squoval tips was a bit strange to me at first since I have always thought more of an oval shape suits me better (well, always since I gave any thought to nail shape) so I've never gone full squoval when filing my nails. It felt odd at first, too, having those corners there to catch on things. Also, these weren't the hard plastic fakes I remember from decades past; they're not dentable or anything, but they are softer and a bit flexible (just like the package says), so they didn't slide and glide like a slicker harder plastic would. They just felt different when doing stuff like grabbing a towel than my natural nails do.
The biggest problem I had early on was catching the edge near the base on my hair when I'd run my hands through it while braiding it or the like. The fakes are tapered at the base; it's not an abrupt edge, which I'm sure helped some, but I still would get strands between the fake and my real nail (the glue stickers don't extend the whole length of the nail so there is a tiny space there).
I soon got used to them, though; I think it helped that they were short. Almost too short, actually. I had to leave more of a gap at the base than I really wanted to in order to be sure they'd cover my own tips, which weren't that long really since I'd had to file off the damage I'd gotten. On my ring finger, the fake just barely extended past my own tip.
Based on my experience with old school fakes, I expected one or more of these to pop off in the first day or two. But no, they held up to my normal life just fine. I typed and reached into my purse and went to the gym and the nails hung in.
I put them on Sunday night; after a full week at work, I hadn't lost one and they still looked fairly shiny. There were some small dents in the surface of a few nails; if you bite down on them hard or knick them with a knife or something like that they will show damage (yes, I know I shouldn't be putting my fingers in my mouth and should be more careful with knives).
It wasn't until Saturday night that I had the first nail pop off. The glue pad was still stuck to the fake, but had separated cleanly from my real nail, taking the treatment coat I'd put on first with it. Yes, I expect these are meant to be worn over a clean, unpainted surface but I just didn't want my poor weak abused nails to go without treatment so I took a chance. Maybe my right hand rejected the fake just so it could get its photo in my blog for a change.
I wore the remaining ones overnight to see if any more would pop off; they did not. I was ready for a change, so I removed them by dripping acetone along the side of the nail, then gently lifting off the fake with the rounded end of a metal cuticle pusher. Most of the glue came off with the fake; what was left was easy to get off with polish remover. My nails looked none the worse for wear. All in all, I was so pleasantly surprised by my experience with these that I decided to try the other set I'd bought, and they are on my nails as I type this.
This design is called Plum Sunset and has arcs in three shades of purple. When I bought these, I was focusing on the colors, so didn't notice that they were a different shape and length than the Emerald Ombre. These are oval, not squoval, and much longer. I thought the size I'd used for my pinky with the Emerald Ombre was a bit big, so I used the next number this time and that seemed better.
Another difference is that the base plastic is not colored, so the spot where the little nubbin on the tip was stands out (though not as much as leaving the nubbin since it was whiteish at the end, too). I had the bright idea I'd just color that in with a Sharpie, and that worked for about two seconds until I touched something and the Sharpie in rubbed off—apparently this plastic rejects permanent Sharpies. I suppose I could have tried nail polish to cover—I'm sure I have a purple that would match—but I decided to to just ignore it.
I do wish I'd been more careful when filing off the nubbin but that'll just be a lesson for next time. My own nails haven't been this long in quite some time, so that took some getting used to (though when my nails are long, they look very much like this shape, so I had that going for me as far as adapting).
In contrast to my experience the week before, I had my first nail of this set pop off the first night (same nail, right middle, as with the other set). I blame the length and the fact I used a different treatment basecoat. I pulled the glue sticker off the nail (well, rolled it off, using the little plastic stick to get it started), then put the fake back on with one of the extra glue stickers and it's been there ever since. (I didn't put the treatment back on my whole nail, just on the tip and around the edges so I'd still get some protection but the glue sticker wouldn't be affected.) I did also have an incident where I got a ponytail elastic caught between my nail and the fake at the base of my thumb; I bent the edge of the fake but it stayed on. Here's what these looked like this morning (Day 4); there's some tipwear (just like a regular mani would show by now) but otherwise they're holding strong.
Now that I've worn these two designs, I'm really curious about the other six in the display. What shapes are they? I will have to go back to Meijer and study them (by "study" I mean "probably buy a couple more sets"). I did a bit of Googling and found some other designs of Nail Falsies that were apparently released in Europe; wonder if those will come here, too. I'm certainly going to be paying attention. I'm not planning to wear falsies all the time but they're a nice option for those weeks when my natural nails are not anywhere near their best. If I was willing to put up with slightly wonky sizing, I bet I could get two manis out of a box.