Over the past year or so, I've probably mentioned Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips dozens of times on this blog. I've been obsessed with their designs (especially the limited edition holiday designs) and I honestly don't know why it's taken me this long to actually try them. The only thing I can think of is that I'm more of a nail polish person, but thankfully I was sent two designs from the core collection for review recently, so I finally got a chance to put these to the test and see exactly why so many of you love this product.
Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips in Laced Up (left) and Kitty Kitty (right)
(retail: $9.99 each)
Unlike other brands of nail stickers that use a vinyl-like material, these are actually made of REAL nail polish. I'm pretty good at applying the vinyl nail stickers, but I have never used strips that are made of real polish before, so I was super excited to see what they were like.
The contents of the box:
You get two air-tight pouches that contain eight strips each for a total of 16 strips per box. Since these are made of real polish, once you open a pouch you can't really save them--they will dry out. So it's recommened on the box that you dispose of the remaining strips after you open the pouch.
Inside the plastic bag:
A nail file with three specific textures (each has its own purpose), a wooden stick and directions.
Here's a closer look at the directions:
Honestly, these instructions are so thorough that I can't really think of anything else to add here. If you read through the directions carefully and follow them to a "T", I don't think you'll have any issues whatsoever during application. Just be sure to select the best-fitting strip for each nail before you start.
A note about the sizes: I think that unless you have extremely small nail beds or extremely large nail beds, you won't have any problems finding strips that fit your nails perfectly. I would say that my nail beds fall on the larger end of the scale, and I didn't have a problem finding strips that fit my nails beautifully. Every strip I selected fit almost like a glove, with no overhang on the sides.
For the purposes of this review, I used the Kitty Kitty design on my left hand and the Laced Up design on my right hand. Here are some photos taken moments after application and then five days into my manicure.
NOTE: After applying these strips, I applied one coat of Sally Hansen Mega Shine Top Coat as "insurance" to all of my nails.
MOMENTS AFTER APPLICATION:
FIVE DAYS AFTER APPLICATION:
Oops! I realized after I took the above picture that you couldn't see the edge of my nail on my ring finger. So here's a (blurry) pic to you show you my ring finger:
MOMENTS AFTER APPLICATION:
FIVE DAYS AFTER APPLICATION:
Pretty incredible, right? And I didn't even follow the instructions about smoothing the excess strip over the nail edge (see step #5). I found that hard to do since my nails are so short, so I ended up just filing the nail edge, which I HOPED wouldn't cause the strips to peel prematurely. The great news is that it didn't--at all.
I was so impressed with the staying power of these strips--in particular my middle finger in the image above. If you look closely, you'll see that that strip in particular isn't perfectly centered, and you can see that there's some nail showing on the right side of my finger. I was concerned that the strip would start to lift and peel in that area, but it didn't at all!
In the five days I wore these strips, I was not gentle with my hands. I did dishes, I cleaned the bathroom, I cleaned out my car, did grocery shopping; all the things we normally do with our hands. I actually was probably a bit rougher with my hands than usual just because, after three days in, these didn't budge. I almost became obsessed with making them peel. But they never did.
In fact, the only reason I didn't test these for longer than five days was because I get bored with ANY nail color after five days. I seriously just wanted to wear something else, and that's the only reason I removed them.
Speaking of removal, it was a snap. My polish remover is 100% acetone, and these removed just as easily as a standard manicure would, using my polish remover. I would say that it felt like I was removing a manicure of base coat, two layers of standard polish and one layer of clear top coat. Hopefully that gives you an idea how it felt to remove these strips.
FINAL VERDICT: I now completely understand the hype surrounding Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips, and I can confirm that the hype is 100% justifiable. I honestly can't think of a thing I dislike about these, other than the price tag. I do think $9.99 per box is a bit steep for a drugstore nail product, but when you consider that you're getting designs that you probably couldn't execute on your own using regular nail polish, and then factor in the staying-power of these strips, I'd say it's worth the cost if you want something extra-special to wear on your nails. And of course it doesn't hurt that these often go on sale at the drugstores, so if you can't afford the regular retail price, just wait for a good sale and stock up.
Have you tried Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips? If so, what do you think of them? Do you have any favorite designs?
A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on NouveauCheap.blogspot.com are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.