Personally, I’ve never, ever been happier with my at-home manicure.
There’s a very specific time of year that I didn’t realize would cause me varying levels of impatience — and that time is now, the pocket of time in between the season finale of Euphoria and the first weekend of Coachella. Not only do both offer exciting reprieves from the monotony of day-to-day life, but they each offer next-level beauty inspo you won’t find anywhere else. Thankfully, the nail artist behind the HBO series has a solution to this particular dilemma: ManiMe’s Euphoria- and Coachella-inspired nail collection.
Celebrity nail artist Natalie Minerva, the brains behind Euphoria’s best nail art, created and launched this collection in collaboration with ManiMe, the brand known for its custom-fit, stick-on gel manicures, in early March, and reviewers can’t get enough. “Easily one of my favorites from ManiMe!” reviewer Liana R. wrote about one of the Coachella-inspired designs. “Alert, bought a second set,” wrote Suzanna, another satisfied customer, of one of the Euphoria-inspired sets.
Considering I can never find the time to get to a nail salon and just so happened to have a Euphoria-inspired trip to San Juan planned, I, too, wanted to review ManiMe’s Euphoria-inspired nail collection. And let me tell you, the ones I tried lived up to all of the 5-star reviews. (See me below holding a Cassie Howard from Euphoria-inspired cocktail with my Cassie-inspired ManiMe nails.)
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Compared to my friends’ nails, mine are skinnier in width, have a very rounded c-curve (the arch of the nail, looking from the tip toward the cuticle), and are usually on the longer end because they grow so quickly. They also tend to form a natural squoval (square + oval) shape.
On March 8, more than a week after the Euphoria Season 2 finale, the HBO drama’s leading nail artist, Minerva, announced her new ManiMe collection, which was inspired by both Euphoria and Coachella (though it’s only referred to as “Euphoria-inspired” on ManiMe’s website).
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Gel Manicure set inspired by Season 2 of 'Euphoria'
Gel Manicure set inspired by Season 2 of 'Euphoria'
Gel manicure set inspired by melting sherbet ice cream. A rainbow of pastel drips downs a neutral base.
A disco-ball inspired manicure gel set with a pink holographic finish.
I reviewed two of the four designs: the “Never Ever Been Happier,” Cassie-themed press-ons and the “Ice Cream Dreams,” Coachella-themed press-ons. The former is a solid, soft pink with silver rhinestones; the latter is multicolored pastels in more abstract designs. My first impression of both was how, even though they’re so different from each other, they’re both stunning in the packaging, so they’ll probably look amazing on my nails.
As the instructions suggest, I cleaned my nails with the given prep pad, applied each of them to the proper nails (except in one instance where I applied a pinky press-on to my index fingernail because I wasn’t paying attention — but that’s where the extras help), then filed them downward (warning: do not try to skip this step; more on that in The Results section below), and used the wooden cuticle stick to push down the edges. I kept each set on my nails for a minimum of 10 days.
The first set (“Never Ever Been Happier”) didn’t fair too well by the end of the week-and-a-half-long trial I think primarily due to user error, 1. because I didn’t read the instructions thoroughly and started filing them sideways instead of downwards, and 2. when I got too lazy to file them at all, I started cutting them with a nail clipper. This ruined the integrity of the ends, so they started fraying by the next day. But despite those questionable decisions, I still got a ton of compliments from anyone who saw them, both in person and via social media, throughout the duration of wearing them.
The second set (“Ice Cream Dreams”) is actually still going strong after two full weeks. Apart from growing out by the cuticle, they still look almost as good as they did when I first applied them (properly).
PaintLab sells press-on gel nail sets ($14, Urban Outfitters), but with a few caveats.
Dashing Diva’s After Glow GLOSS Ultra Shine Gel Palette ($8, Ulta) are also not customizable — each pack contains 32 gel nail strips in 12 sizes, so you’ll hopefully find 10 that fit your individual nails — but they’re a bit more similar to ManiMe’s gel press-ons in that you don’t need glue or a UV lamp to apply them.
In terms of affordability, ManiMe’s competitors are less expensive. However, the higher price point is worth the cost, in my opinion, because they’re more likely to fit your nails, plus they have the additional wow factor of the design inspos. Besides Euphoria and Coachella, the brand also offers themed nail designs such as Coca-Cola ($25, ManiMe) and the zodiac ($36, ManiMe).
TLDR: ManiMe’s Euphoria-inspired nail collection by Natalie Minerva is worth the $25 price tag. My nails looked great, they felt great (when applied properly), and lasted as long as — if not longer than — most traditional manicures. I highly recommend it.
As the Deputy Editor of Experiences & Style at Elite Daily, I do find myself experimenting a lot more with my look than I did at previous positions, where I primarily specialized in entertainment news, and that’s what makes it so fun.
But as I did after my review of Machine Gun Kelly’s UN/DN LAQR, I reached out to my fellow Elite Daily editors for their thoughts on the same product(s), to give you an even better sense of what you can expect, should you choose to try out the nail line for yourself. Below, you’ll find four other Elite Daily editors’ reviews of ManiMe’s Euphoria-inspired nail collection.
I love how luxe the ManiMe gels look. There's this lovely neutral color in the center of the "Ice Cream Dreams" design that creates a gorgeous negative space effect. The packaging is minimal, which I appreciate, but the best part is that each set of nails comes with five whole extra decals in case you make some mistakes. (I always mess up at least once when I do my nails at home.) Each set comes with a file, a wooden cuticle stick, and a single sheet that holds your whole set of gels, plus your extras. Once you get the hang of the application process, you can get a fully professional-looking manicure done at home in around 15 minutes.
One thing that makes the ManiMe press-ons different is that they are little sheets of gel nail polish, which makes them different from other press-ons I've tried. When I've done non-acrylic press-ons in the past, they've almost always felt like stickers. The ManiMe press-ons are literally gel nail polish that adheres to the entire nail with the same powerful stickiness. My gels kept their high shine look for the whole week and a half that I wore them. I also like how they were custom-fitted to my nails. I have pretty average-sized hands but small nail beds, so when I've done at-home press-ons in the past, they tended to stick up over my cuticles and look very obviously like stickers. The ManiMe press-ons definitely fit me better than other ones I've tried.
I'm a nail biter and I did find that it was more difficult to apply the gels to my shorter, chewed-on nails. It wasn't impossible by any means, but getting the gels to sit right on my nails that are a bit bitten down took an extra few minutes of filing and adjusting. If you've got nails on the shorter side, I would definitely recommend setting aside 15-20 minutes for the application and shaping process. These press-ons are definitely a dream compared to trying to paint short nails at home, so I'd still recommend them to my shorter-nailed beauty lovers.
I honestly didn't know gels like these existed, so I'm really glad I tried them out. I will say that the next time I do a set of ManiMe gels, it'll probably be a week when I'm not banging my hands around as much as I did while testing these out. Between rock climbing and aerials classes, I did notice a few scratches and nicks on my gels during the latter half of the week and a half that I wore them. That said, you're going to scuff up any manicure you've got on if you're as rough with your hands as I am, so the nicks at the end of my 10 days shouldn't be a deterrent.
I'm definitely adding ManiMe to my at-home manicure rotation. I especially appreciate that they regularly release new sets of nail art, so there's always something to add to my online shopping cart. And compared to the $50 to $80 you'd spend on a gel manicure in a salon, not to mention all the upkeep, this is a really affordable but equally impressive manicure alternative.
For better or worse, Cassie and I have a lot in common. Like, I would throw a temper tantrum in front of my friends and argue, "I have never, ever been happier!” through a stream of tears. (The similarities don't end there, but I'll spare you.) But there's one skill I know she must one-up me at: trying on press-ons. I'm sorry to report I, a goober, applied my ManiMe beauties upside down. It took me about an hour to realize this, so let's just say my review isn't exactly coming from a professional nail technician. That said, what I liked about the packaging is how streamlined it is: the instructions are clearly outlined, and the tools are neatly set. For all of you that know how to follow directions, trying these will be a no-brainer.
I'm a newbie! While I've had manicures before, this was my first time experimenting with press-ons. My take? They're fun for an event or holiday, especially if you're too booked up to stop by the salon and paint your nails yourself.
I had fun with them. Given my final look didn't come out as designed due to user error, I definitely want to give ManiMe another go.
The packaging’s neutral, minimalist design is really pretty. I also like that everything is very clearly labeled (which step is first, which press-ons are for which hand, etc.). You know exactly what you need to do before you even scan the QR code on the back, which leads to even more detailed instructions. The press-on design is very impressive — and very Maddy. It looks like detailed nail art, like someone meticulously put each little gem design in its place.
I’ve only ever used at-home manis that require nail glue, so I was happy to see ManiMe uses adhesive that you simply peel and stick. I also do not have a steady hand, so anything that doesn’t require me to paint my own nails is good in my book.
The gels weren’t a perfect fit for every nail (I think my shorter nails might have hindered some of the initial measuring process you do online). There are five extra press-ons, so I was able to resize a couple, and my design was forgiving with a bit of plain nail showing around the sides.
The process seemed simple — you wrap the excess press-on over your nail and file it away — but I was a little overwhelmed with the amount of excess decal. On my first hand, I actually used nail scissors to trim away the excess because I couldn’t quite get the hang of it. On my second hand, I finally figured out how to really tightly pull the gels over my nail and file just underneath the nail. Once I got one nail down, I was able to do the whole hand that way.
I used a clear topcoat on top of all my nails (as suggested in the full directions), and I would fully recommend doing this. It made the gels feel so much more secure, and it really gave them a nice shine. They lasted five days before I felt the tips of the gels start to come up, and then I peeled them off pretty easily.
Yes! They have so many fun designs. Now that I have the process down, I think it’ll be a great way to switch up my nails without too much work.
This was my first time using press-ons and I loved how simple the process was. I also really appreciated that the packaging included details for which press-ons to put on which hand. ManiMe also included several minis to make application easier (like a filer, a wooden cuticle tool remover, and a cleaner) and a QR code with step-by-step directions for applying. They also threw in several extra press-ons just in case, which for a newbie like me was very much appreciated.
I haven't tried other press-ons, but as a first timer this process could not have been simpler or more straightforward. They were incredibly easy to apply and after I applied the press-ons, I (unintentionally) put them through a series of tests: I did laundry, washed my hair, and cleaned my apartment. I was extremely surprised that the press-ons stayed put and that the color didn't fade or get ruined.
These nails are so fun! At first I was a little nervous that the glittery purple felt too loud for me, but I was very pleasantly surprised when the press-ons arrived. I thought they looked like a patterned manicure I would get on my own and the purple wasn’t as dark as it appeared in photos.
Absolutely, I think these would be really fun to try again before a vacation or event where I want to have flashy nails but don't have time to sit through a full manicure appointment at the salon. For the price, they’re a cost-effective alternative to an expensive gel manicure (not including the upkeep).
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