Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips

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! :D

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? :)


melissaFebruary 15th, 2011 at 6:43 pm

i tried “laced up” i love the print. i read ur explaination on how u applied the set, but i was wondering if u had the same problem as i did. as i was trying to see which ones fit what nail, i ended up just cutting them to the shape of my nails as i felt they just didnt fit well. that was no big deal, then i ran into another situation. once i cut them to size and i peeled off the strip from the backing and started to apply it seemed like some stuck to my nails and others didnt stick as well. i ended up putting a little glue in some spots. you didnt mention anything like that happening to you, maybe i touched the back in some parts and i got some oils from my fingers. just a quick mention also about how the directions say its possible to streach the strips to fit your nail, im guessing i didnt warm the strips or i was too rough, but i pulled enough to split 1 and was extra careful after that, thats why i decided to cut to fit my nails insted of streaching them slightly. this is why i read your input on these nails. i feel like im the only 1 who couldnt apply them as easily as everyone else. i have also gotten so many compliments on them. everyone who looks at them thinks i got them done at the salon and want to know what they did to get that effect of the print. when i tell them what they really are they’re amazed. one hater though she in front of other female coworkers joked that i had on cheap press ons. shes mad that no one complimented her on her $90 pink and whites lmao.thanx

WyceeFebruary 16th, 2011 at 11:58 am

Hi Melissa,

I didn’t have to cut the nail strips, since I found that they fit the curve of my cuticles pretty well. I pick the strip that is big enough to cover the nail for the most part. If I have to stretch it, it’s very little — gently tug on each side once you have the strip centered on your nail. I’m not sure what you experienced with some strips not sticking — did you follow the instructions on how to prep your nails beforehand (including the extra swipe of nail polish remover once more over your nails to remove any excess dirt and oil)? I didn’t have to warm the actual strips per se, but I did make sure to wash my hands with warm water right after the extra swipe of nail polish remover, right before I began putting on the nail strips. It does get easier though once you get the hang of putting these on — I’m on my third box now, and it takes less and less time to put them on. Hope the next time you try applying them will be easier for you!

Wearing these nail strips sure do get a lot of attention! :)

Argh. « tidbitzandpiecezFebruary 18th, 2011 at 7:03 am

[…] you seen any commercials for Sally Hansen Nail Polish Strips? I tried them out yesterday, and have GOT to say that I’m going to be hooked. They take a […]

LizFebruary 20th, 2011 at 10:03 am

I have had exactly the same…. i applied the effects last week with absolutely no problem and LOADS of compliments.

After 6 days i decided one of them needed changing, removed that one and went to stick a new one on and there didnt appear to be any stick whatsoever?! Nor would it stretch, and i snapped it trying. I had NO problem last week its baffled me! I tried another strip and it was exactly the same. I have just come out of the bath, and yes i swiped over the nail with remover before i did it.

The only thing i can think of is that i used moisteriser earlier… So that must be it. I’ll have to wait for it to fully absorb before i try again :(

Very cool though.

WyceeFebruary 21st, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Hi Liz,

When you decided to do one of your nails again, did you use a spare strip from the same box you used 6 days earlier? The strips are initially sealed in two airtight containers, so if you used a spare strip that’s been left out maybe it dried out by then. I’m not exactly sure of this, but the airtight packaging must have had a purpose in keeping the nail strips fresh. I haven’t tried using any of the spare strips (though I have saved them just in case), but I’ve already tried 3 boxes of these Sally Hansen Salon Effects and they all worked very well.

[…] Photo via Nerdy Girl Makeup […]

JessicaFebruary 23rd, 2011 at 6:21 am

The same thing happened to me!! I have been using these strips for probably six weeks now…I have done the leopard, fishnet, lace, fishnet again, now leopard again. I had absolutely NO trouble putting them on, they lasted forever, look amazing, get a ton of compliments, etc. Anyway last night when I was doing my leopard nails they were way less sticky, bendy, and were far more difficult to put on. I had opened the second package and broken the airtight seal and used them again from my first manicure, so it is definitely the airtight seal!! I’m so glad I found this so I’ll know to only open one package per mani. It’s so nice getting two out of each box!!

WyceeFebruary 24th, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Hi Jessica,

I actually just wrote another post about this coming up next week where I mentioned that the nail strips may lose their stickiness if you don’t use them the same time you remove them from the airtight packaging. Thanks for your comment — it makes me that much more confident that’s the case. :) I didn’t think of using strips from different packs (which is probably why mine always stuck on my nails just fine), but I agree that it would be cute to mix them up. Maybe have a nail party with your girlfriends so you can use all the strips at once? :)

SaraFebruary 27th, 2011 at 7:05 pm

I have been looking these up for a while and have a few questions:

1) What is the cheapest price to buy these at?

2) What are the situations you can run into with these?

3) What’s the longest they can last?

4) IS IT WORTH IT??? :)

Thanks! c:

[…] the end of my review of Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips, I mentioned that I got two more boxes but this time in “380 Collide-O-Scope” and […]

WyceeMarch 2nd, 2011 at 1:15 am

Hi Sara,
1. I bought some when there was a buy one get one 50% off promotion at Rite Aid, and they run about $8-9 per box. I’m not sure what the cheapest price has ever been… just wait for them to go on sale at your nearby drugstore!
2. Depending on the width of your nails, some strips might not fit your entire nail (but I still think it looks nice even if it’s not completely perfect :)). Also, see what I wrote about here regarding the strips and the airtight packaging they come in:
3. I’ve worn them for about 2 weeks each. The one I have on now is about 3 weeks old — even though my nails have grown out, the strips still look nice if you don’t look too closely. :)
4. I say yes! Especially if you get a pedicure out of it too, like I mentioned above. :D

KittyJuly 1st, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Hey, check it out here. There are many nail polish strips with awesome designs at lower price!

WyceeJuly 3rd, 2011 at 2:15 am

Thanks for the info, Kitty! Have you tried any of those nail strips before? If so, let us know how you like it! So far I’m still really liking these Sally Hansen ones… I lost track of how many boxes I’ve gone through already haha :)

KittyJuly 3rd, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Hi Wycee, I haven’t tried Sally Hansen before but I am using the one I introduced. They are easy to use and have 10 different sizes with two strips each. They got many choices and colors!

[…] any nail polish I’ve tried, and they always get lots of compliments (read more about them in my detailed review)! Although I’ve gone through 7 boxes of these Sally Hansen nail strips (and counting!), this […]

JenniferJanuary 28th, 2012 at 3:13 am

If you swipe a little bit of nail polish remover on the back of the dried strips it should make them stick better. It worked for mine :)

WyceeJanuary 31st, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Hi Jennifer,

Thanks for sharing your tip! If I ever come across one that doesn’t seem as sticky, I’ll give it a try. :)

BrendaFebruary 9th, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I tried the Sally Hansen for the first time today and I love them so far. Easy to use. I work retail so after I work tomorrow I will see how they do. I wish they made these in a french tip. Has anyone seen them in a french tip? I work at Bed Bath & Beyond and in their Harmon department they have these for around $8.00 but you can use a 20% coupon and they also take manufactures coupons together. So that is my tidbit of information for those of you looking to get these great little inventions at a low price. They will match price if you have an add for less also.

WyceeFebruary 13th, 2012 at 11:36 am

Hi Brenda! Thanks for your info — I didn’t know these are available at Bed Bath & Beyond! I have lots of 20% coupons saved up (which I started saving once I found out the expiration dates don’t matter :)). I haven’t seen any with French tip, but I certainly have been on the lookout whenever I see new styles come out. Here’s a YouTube video of someone using these nail strips to create French tips though. :)

[…] out my previous review on these nail strips for a step-by-step guide on how to apply them. Hopefully the polka dot ones will turn out better! I’ll post pictures when I put them […]

JacquiAugust 9th, 2012 at 8:23 pm

I just bought 5 twin packs from amazon for $17.20!!! Some dealers will shop them together so that cuts down on the price too.

WyceeAugust 9th, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Hi Jacqui! What a deal!!! I’m actually wearing polka dot Sally Hansen nail strips at the moment. They are awesome! :)

Sparkly New Year NailsJanuary 2nd, 2013 at 10:39 pm

[…] out! The black base makes the different sized silver and gold glitter so eye-catching. I followed my technique that I wrote about here to get both a manicure and pedicure out of one box of […]

Pink Polka Dot NailsFebruary 14th, 2013 at 1:56 am

[…] top coat just helps the nail strips last longer. I also applied these on my toes — check out my technique for getting the most of these nail polish strips if you haven’t already! Happy Valentine’s Day! Tags: […]

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