Ever since I tried Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips, I’ve received tons of compliments on my nails! Sally Hansen Salon Effects comes in a variety of fun designs (leopard spots, zebra stripes, lace, flowers, denim, etc.) and all sorts of colors and finishes (matte, shimmer, neon, and glitter). I first saw these at CVS on New Year’s Eve and purchased one for $8.99, but I didn’t try it until now. The design I got is called “240 Check It Out”, and it has a black and white houndstooth pattern.
Each box comes with 16 Nail Polish Strips (you get 2 each of 8 different sizes), a mini orange wood stick, a nail file, and detailed instructions. Before applying these, start off with clean, dry nails. Gently push back your cuticles with the orange wood stick, shape the tips of your nails with the pink side of the nail file, and then smooth the surface of your nails with the gray side of the file. Then swipe nail polish remover once more over your nails to remove any excess dirt and oil. You also should warm up your hands/fingertips — this helps with smoothing out (and slightly stretching out) the nail strip to fit your nails. The picture on the right shows the 8 different sizes of the nail strips.
Select the best-fitting nail strip size for each of your nails on one hand before you begin. Then determine which end of the nail strip matches the closest to the shape of your cuticles. For designs like this, I had to make sure to be consistent with which end to use because otherwise the design would not be in the same direction throughout my nails. Next, peel off the clear protective cover on the top of the strip, and then peel the strip off of the backing paper (shown on the right). You’ll also need to carefully break off the tab at one end.
Place the strip against the cuticle line, and press the strip to your nail. Gently stretch the nail strip — however, be careful not to stretch too much if it has a design because it could get distorted! One trick I’ve come up with to get the most out of these nail strips is to cut some of the excess nail strip off in a curve that somewhat matches one of your toenails. The picture on the right shows this trick. I end up doing one fingernail and one toenail at the same time with one strip (with the exception of using the largest nail strip for the big toe and the next biggest on my thumb) — this way, I can get both a mani and a pedi with only one box of these nail strips!
Smooth the excess part of the nail strip over your nail, so that it looks folded over your finger nail (like in the picture on the left). Gently file away the excess from the edge of your nails using the light pink side of the nail file. Now repeat for all your other fingernails (and toenails)!
The picture on the left shows the finished product for one hand and one foot. Although not required, I also added a top coat of Cina Top Coat and Bonder to make these nail strips last longer. Sally Hansen claims that these last up to 10 days, and I ended up wearing it for 2 weeks. Even though they were pretty chipped by then, I kept getting compliments (someone actually said “how do you get your nails so perfect?” LOL) — probably because this particular design is so intriguing that the chipping wasn’t noticeable, I presume. The picture on the right is how my nails looked like by the end of Day 6 when a little bit of chipping began. My toenails still look as good as Day 1 (toenails grow a lot slower than fingernails after all). When you’re ready to remove these nail strips, just use some nail polish remover as you would with regular nail polish.
I am very, very impressed with Sally Hansen Salon Effects! These eliminate drying time (which I don’t have much patience for), and they can last longer than regular nail polish (with some top coat). If you compare this to regular nail polish, then a box for ~$9 can be pricey since they are only one-time use. However, if you compare it to getting both a mani and pedi (using my trick), this is quite a deal!
I already bought two more boxes now that I know these are so awesome — plus, they were buy one get one 50% off at Rite Aid! Soon I’ll be sporting the color burst “380 Collide-O-Scope” design and the “350 Misbehaved” black fishnet overlaid on a nude metallic color. Which ones would you wear?