Monday, July 23, 2012

Agree to Disagree: Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Strips


Nail strips are a great invention. I've always admired nail art, but I've never been able to justify the high cost of something so fleeting. And, I've never been able to develop the talent or the steady hand to do my own. When Sally Hansen came out with the Salon Effects Nail Strips, I was excited. I could finally have bitchin' cool nails!

I immediately snapped up a box of houndstooth pattern strips at my local CVS...and put them in the drawer. Truth be told, I was a little intimidated by them. Yes, I read the instructions but I didn't want to waste my $7 by screwing them up. So they sat. And sat. And I read Pinky's review. And they sat some more, until last month when my mom and I happened to be in Sephora during their nail event. When asked by a Sephora employee if you want your nails done for free, you say YES! So, I asked her to put a sample of their nail strips on to show me how to use my Sally Hansen ones at home. 

Skipping ahead to me back at home in my bathroom a few days later, I broke out my Sally Hansen nail strips, took a deep breath, and matched the first one up to my nail. Now, here is the trick - the instructions are incomplete. They say to put the nail strips directly on your bare nail after cleaning and filing it. NO. Don't do that. Apply a coat of basecoat and let it dry like you would with regular nail polish. 

Got that base coat? Okay, good. Applying the nail strips to your nails is easy, follow the instructions to apply, but don't actually stretch the strip. The motion you want to make is more like a firm press and then rub toward the edges of your nail. They are a little fragile and you will rip them if you stretch them too much. 

To trim off the the excess strip you have a few options: use the nail file, the flat edge of the cuticle stick, or the thumbnail of your opposite hand. The easiest method that resulted in the longest-lasting application was to use the bare thumbnail of the hand I hadn't done yet and then to use the nail file. Using the flat end of the cuticle stick was effective, but left little snags. Lastly, apply a topcoat. The box says you don't have to, but you do. AND, word to the wise, the strips don't have any dry time, but they will be soft for several minutes. So, be careful. 
Second set of strips, four days after application.
 When the box says the strips last up to ten days, they're not lying. With my preferred method of trimming the excess and an application of top coat every few days, my first set lasted 10 days. I used the cuticle stick to apply the second set, they only lasted for 7 days. But still! Seven days! For a manicure done at home, done by moi with no professional experience, that's pretty damn good. 

The price has gone up just a tad since I bought my first box ages ago, but these strips are still well worth the price. For around $9 you can have bitchin' cool nails without having to go to the salon and fork over your first-born's monthly clothing budget. The Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Strips are widely available at Target, Walmart,, and your local pharmacy. These nail strips earn a 7/8 tentacles from me, docking only one for the fragility of the strip. 

Rating: 7/8 tentacles

Would you like some more nail reviews? Shellac Manicure, Nails Inc. Magnetic Nail Polish, CVS Biodegradable Formula Nail Polish Remover, and Broadway Nails Fast French 10 Minute Maicure.

1 comment:

  1. I bought some of these a month ago but I was intimidated by them, too. They're still in a drawer....