Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips: Something of a Striptease

Pinky McLadybits

I did it! I bought some Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips! They were on sale for $7 and they had a cute argyle design called Prep's Cool so I went for it. I LOVE ARGYLE. They also had an adorable Peppermint Twist, the cute Check It Out, and several more to choose from. 

For some reason, I had sweaty hands all day and had to wait until later at night to apply these. That was good, as sweaty hands would have royally screwed these strips up.

You get 16 polish strips, a nail file/buffer, and a cuticle stick in the package. The directions tell you that you need to have clean, dry nails without chunks of gross stuck on them (paraphrasing) to get the best result. Then you use the dark pink rough edge of the file to get your nails shaped and without snags. File the top of your nails with the buffer and then check again for gross. Now you are ready to apply the polish strips.

I dumped them all out, matched a "close enough" sized strip to each nail, and lined them up. I started with my left thumb. You remove the plastic covering from the strip, pull off a silver tab on top, and then peel the polish from the backing. Fit the polish strip close to your cuticle and then smooth it on. Don't worry if you put it on crooked at first. You can remove and replace it several times before smoothing it. If you smooth it in the wrong place, you are probably shit out of luck. It is suggested that you stretch the polish to fit the nail, though I found stretching really just led to ripping. The ripping was where I needed it gone, but still. Something could go wrong, so be careful stretching.

The directions say to use the cuticle stick to really press the polish onto your cuticle area and then use the light pink section of the file to remove excess polish. I found that just using the cuticle stick to push the strip into the crevices on the sides of my nail and then to push the polish over the end of my nail worked much better. You get a bit more adhesion to the nail and the cuticle stick cuts away the excess.  Some of the nails had little spots where the strips didn't adhere or where they were pulled too tight and ripped away. But, you have this:

They are really cute! I had checked out the website for these nail strips and there were several comments suggesting people use a topcoat after application. So I used a healthy slathering of topcoat on each nail. I got tons of compliments on these nails and was really excited! Until the next day, around 4pm. My right thumbnail was the first casualty of everyday chores. I put laundry in the dryer and it pulled the edge of the polish off. Hmph. That's bullshit for the cost and the level of annoyance for replacing that strip of polish on that nail. Manicure lasts up to 10 days? Damn things didn't last one day and I am pissed.

For twice the cost of normal polish and only one use, these are priced outrageously. However, I'd be willing to pay it just to avoid drying times. If it worked like it says. I removed the polish from my thumb with e.l.f. Nail Polish Remover Pads, rebuffed the nail, then applied another strip and topcoat. I am annoyed. Should I apply these and then do nothing for days to make it last for up to 10? No. That's ridiculous. If there is something else I should have done, and I feel I followed the directions, someone tell me. I'd love to give these another chance. Instead?

Rating: 3/8 tentacles


  1. I wear these on occasion, when I am going to be too busy to deal with my nails for a while. I have been very impressed with the length of wear that I have gotten from them. Regular nail polish lasts 3 days, tops, on me. The SH Nail Strips last 8-10 days. This is what I would suggest to maybe make yours last longer:
    1)clean your nails with acetone or alcohol before putting them on, to get rid of any oils that would prevent adhesion
    2)I use a q-tip to smooth them down onto my nails really snugly without ripping them
    3)use a THIN layer of topcoat (a thick layer can cause shrinkage, where the topcoat draws back from the free edge of the nail as it dries), and be sure to wrap your free edges (that is, be sure to paint the topcoat over the free edge of your nail, creating a seal)
    4)Wear gloves when doing dishes (one should always do this on general principle :) )
    5)reapply a thin layer of topcoat every few days

    I hope this helps! I recently wore some SH strips (the tattoo ones) over the Black Friday weekend (I work retail, in a home improvement store) and they lasted nine days, during which time they were pretty abused and ignored.

  2. Wow! Thanks for the tips. I think I'll give these another try and use the information you've given me. They are super cute and I got tons of compliments.

  3. You might also want to try them on your toes (you can stretch the shape) and they will last much longer.