As dedicated as I am to the tried-and-true manicure, I’m always up for trying something new. This week, that “something new” is Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips. I actually tried them once before, a few months ago, and swore I would never use them again because it took forever for me to remove them. But I refuse to go into this Manicure Monday close-minded, so I won’t let that get me down!
For Manicure Monday this week, I’ve used Sally Hansen’s Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips in Spring Fever. These strips feature a white background with yellow, orange, pink, and purple flowers covering the entire nail.
Each package of Sally Hansen’s Salon Effects features sixteen nail polish strips of different sizes (so you can match them to your nail sizes), a cuticle stick, and a mini nail file/buffer. You’ll also need a cotton ball, nail polish remover, and nail cuticle scissors to get the best results. While the nail polish strips are slightly more complicated than peel-and-stick, they aren’t impossible. Here’s how to get the look!
Start with clean nails. Make sure they’re filed and buffed. You can use the enclosed file/buffer for this. File with the hot pink side, buff with the white side. Leave the light pink side for later. Once you have the kit in front of you, you’ll know exactly what I mean. If not, you can always use your own file/buffer. Since the strips are thin, solid color nail polish strips will show any imperfections in your nails. Nail strips with patterns may hide them better. Be sure to remove any excess oil or dirt from your nails by giving them one more swipe of nail polish remover. This step is crucial because the polish strips will bond better to clean nails. It’s a simple step with huge payoff.
Match the nail polish strips to fit your nails. The kit contains a pair of eight different sizes, so you will most likely find a strip that fits your nail well. If not, choose a strip one size up and worry about cutting it later. I recommend laying out which strip you’ll use for each nail before you start applying any. The last thing you want is to be stuck having your thumbs strip-less with only the smallest size left. I don’t really know how that would happen, but it definitely won’t if you fit them all first. Bonus: Keep the leftover strips for later; while there won’t be enough for a full manicure, you can use them on accent nails in the future!
Now you can begin the application! Peel the plastic cover off of one polish strip at a time. Since they’re made of real nail polish, you want to be sure you do it just before you apply it to your nail or it will dry out. Peel the polish off the white backing, and fit it to your cuticle. The enclosed directions say to use the cuticle stick to push the polish strip down, but I found it easier to just use my fingers and go back with the cuticle stick later.
Once the polish strip is smoothed over your entire nail, use the enclosed light pink nail file to file the rest of the strip off. It takes a little bit of time, but works surprisingly well. If you still have excess around the outside of your nail, use your cuticle scissors. I found that I couldn’t apply them well enough to only need the file, so don’t be upset if it doesn’t go perfectly. Repeat on each nail with its corresponding nail strip.
The enclosed instructions don’t say anything about needing a top coat, but as the strips are made of real nail polish, I’ve found that the manicure lasts longer when I use a top coat. Not to mention that it makes my manicure nice and shiny! I finished with, as usual, Seche Vite.
So do I recommend Sally Hansen’s Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips? If you’re looking for a fun nail art design, these nail polish strips are your best bet. I can’t think of an easier way than to just lay the whole design down at once. I know I would never be able to do such an intricate floral design on my own. I don’t think they’re worth the trouble, though, if you’re going to use a solid color. At $10 for a kit (that provides you with one manicure), it’s less expensive to just buy a bottle of nail polish and do it yourself.