Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips
My life is a little hectic right now. I'm moving to a new place, and currently I'm kind of living in two places while I get everything sorted. But these two places are a three hour drive apart, so it's not like I can just hop over from one place to another. PLUS, these two halfway homes are in California, and all my furniture and plates and whatever are in Illinois. So yeah, I've got a lot on my mind. I've started carrying a notebook with me everywhere, since I'm constantly thinking of another thing that needs to be done, and I don't trust my phone (meaning me, in a moment of idiocy) to not delete any important info. What I'm saying is, I'm in Move Mode, and there's not really room for anything else (It's also why posts have been/will be a bit sporadic for awhile). Not even, say, an adorable manicure. I don't even have the time/patience/will to do my own at home mani, not to mention going to the nail salon for a professional intervention. But if you know me, you know I NEVER have bare nails. WHAT TO DO? But I didn't need to worry - my homegurl Sally Hansen had my back with her amazing nail polish strips.
You've probably seen these, or read about them, or seen someone rocking some awesome nail art and, after asking them where they got those fresh to death nails, found out they were just fancy stickers. The basic premise of nail polish strips is that they're real nail polish (base, color, and top coat) all condensed and magically turned into a sticker of sorts. You put the strips on your nails, they're instantly dry and ready to go, and they'll last for up to 10 days. Sounds too good to be true, right? WRONG. It's TOTALLY REAL and TOTALLY AMAZING.
I was a little apprehensive about my own nail polish appliqueing skills, but I decided to give these strips a try. Hey, if they didn't work I'd only be out $10, which is way less than if I got some fancy nail art at a salon. I picked up a box in Kitty, Kitty (leopard print to you and me) at Target. Before I even opened the box I looked for some how-to videos on YouTube. If there was some trick to getting the strips to look just right I wanted to know. But they all basically said the same things as the directions that came in the box.
In your box of nail strips you get 16 strips, a file, and a cuticle pusher (that's the scientific term). You're instructed to wipe off any old nail polish or dirt with nail polish remover, then file your nails and push back your cuticles. I prepped my nails beforehand like I do for any manicure: Cleaned up my cuticles, cut/filed my nails, etc. Even if your nails are bare, you should still go over them with nail polish remover - it helps the strips stick better. I'm not going to go into a step-by-step tutorial, since there are a million out there, and the instructions are pretty straightforward. I will though, share some tips I found helpful:
- Choose all your strips before you start applying. At least choose all the strips for one hand, if not both. This way you know exactly what you're doing and don't have to stop mid-manicure and dig through strips looking for the best fit.
- When choosing strips, err on the large side. A few of mine went over the nail and onto my skin, and it was easy to scrape off the excess. Remember, the strips are real nail polish, and they act just like nail polish. Does anyone else have to scrape dried nail polish off the sides of their fingers after an at-home manicure? Maybe I just have poorly developed motor skills. Anyway, it's easy to take off if you go outside the lines.
- Be careful when you file the excess strip off. I over-filed one and was left with a little bald spot on the end of my nail. File carefully!
- The strips are dry, and theoretically are ready to go once applied, but I was still cautious for a few hours after applying. This could just be me being paranoid, or because I put a coat of Seche Vite on top of my strips to seal them, but I didn't feel like my nails were fully cured until the next day.
- Feel free to put on a top coat, even though the strips technically have a top coat built in. I, of course, used Seche Vite.
It's been 10 days since I applied the nail polish strips, and they're still going strong. I think you could potentially get two weeks worth of wear out of the strips instead of the 10 days the box promises. The only thing that's bugging me is that I have some grow-out, so my nails are a little bare on their bottoms. BUT! I'm getting very little wear on the tips of my nails, which is an area I always struggle with. I've also noticed that my nails are stronger with the strips on than they've ever been with just polish. I was having issues with my nails peeling, and I was thinking of getting a gel manicure to help them strengthen up, but now I think I'll save a few bucks and just wear these strips for a month or so. Plus there are so many designs to choose from! I picked up another box a few days after I put on the leopard (I fell in love that fast). It's a Rock of Ages (Ugh. I know.) limited edition leopard print. Even though I bought it a week ago at Walgreen's, for some reason I can't find a good link online. The best I could do was this one on eBay. Speaking of, I've been watching eBay for some deals on lots of strips, and there are some good deals to be found. If I can get boxes for less than $10 or so each, I may end up rocking these nail polish strips forever.