Saturday, April 9, 2011

Review: Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Polish Strips

 Ok lovelies!

The moment most of you have asked for--- FULL review of Sally Hansen’s new Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips, available now at drugstores and Ulta, $9.99, (and have been spotted as BOGO-Half Off).

They’re basically Sally Hansen’s reply to the Minx-ing trend, as made popular by Beyonce and Katy Perry, but are significantly less expensive and can be done with ease in the comfort of your own home.

Available colors:
Photo: Sally Hansen

Cut It Out, Blue Ice, Misbehaved, Check It Out, Bling It On, Collide-O-Scope
Girl Flower, It Girl, Kitty Kitty, Electric Shock, Laced Up
Groove, Wild Child, Teal With It, Frock Star, Fly Away With Me, Cry Baby

Not Shown: Skinny Jeans (denim),Booty Camp (pink camo), Glitz Blitz (gold glitter), Raise A Glass (champagne glitter), Wicked Bamboo (tan and cream striped), Violet Night (purple), Red-y For Trouble (red), and Squeezed (orange).

25 choices in all!

I picked up “320 Kitty Kitty,” a gorgeous leopard print which has been very difficult to find!
*Special shout-out to the Ulta saleswoman who, out of the kindness of her heart, dug it out of the new shipment. I am so grateful!*

As stated on the package, this product claims:
- No dry time
- Peel and apply
- Lasts up to 10 days
- Fits all nail shapes
- 16 Nail Polish Strips

Included in the box:

Box, 2 packages of the strips (8 in each), cuticle stick, instructions, and mini file and buffer.
The packaging briefly outlines the procedure:

And here are the detailed instructions enclosed in the box, in their entirety:
PREP - Start with clean, dry nails.
- Push back cuticles with wooden stick. Shape free edge of nail with hot pink side of file. Gently smooth surface of nails with gray side of file.
- Give nails one last swipe of nail color remover to remove any excess dirt and oil. (This step is extremely important as it helps your manicure last longer.) Ensure there is no creamy or oily residue left behind - Use warm hands for maximum flexibility and stretch
1. SELECT - Select best-fitting strip for each nail. 
2. PEEL - Remove clear protective plastic cover, then peel nail polish strip from backing paper. 
3. BREAK - Choose the side of the strip that best fits the shape of your cuticles. Break silver tab from strip. 
4. APPLY - Place strip against cuticle line. Hold strip at the center for maximum control.
- Press strip to nail. Gently stretch strip for a perfect fit. (*If possible, for a uniform look, avoid over-stretching patterns.) Firmly smooth over entire nail. -Run flat side of cuticle stick along edge of strip to firmly bond strip to nail.
5. SHAPE - Smooth excess over nail edge, forming a crease around the edge of the nail. Gently file away excess from nail edge using light pink side of file. (**For metallic designs, this step is particularly important.)

Another thing to keep in mind—I would do these AFTER showering, because I have read on a few blogs of people who showered soon after application, and they had a few that peeled back. Oops! So, even though the instructions don’t mention anything about after application care… Grr, Sally Hansen… I would be gentle with these for a few hours afterward to be on the safe side.

PHEW. Well, if you weren’t super excited nervous about applying these before, you probably will be after reading those instructions! Though, I will give them credit for being thorough.
Here are all of the sizes from one of the packets—essentially, the choices for one hand.

I found it to be a nice variety of sizes!

A tip I have for you--- See how the little tab says “PEEL OFF”? Yeah.. be sure to peel that off. Duh, I know—but I started out merely ripping that top tab off, but as you can see, there is an actual clear protective plastic on the entire strip.. and leaving the strip on makes it not so fun to file the excess off. Just keep that in mind. ;)

Otherwise application is a cinch!

Other than my silly blunder, I found the strips incredibly easy to put on! Simply position on the nail, smooth it over, and then create a crease on the edge, (shown above), and file off the excess with the included mini-file. No heavy lifting involved!

As far as size of the strips—I found that a couple of the ones I selected at first seemed almost too big for the corresponding nail, but they ending up working and covering the entire nail, which looks really nice!

Below is a completed picture (thumb), a strip that ended up being a little too small (pinky), and one that fit juuuust right (index). However, even if the strip isn’t quite wide enough, it still looks great.

Close-up--- Rawr!  So shiny and sparkly!!

Keep in mind: The strips are pretty long, (see up above), so if you roughly cut them to fit each nail, you can have enough to also do your toesies! The biggest size was too big for my thumb, but worked for my big toe, haha. 

*Though the pieces were too big for my tiny toenails, I will reiterate that the excess is extremely easy to get off—I used the cuticle stick to sort of trace and scrape around my nail, and it worked perfectly AND painlessly. Whoo!

**On that note, if you are having trouble picking a size for your nail, I would err on the larger side and scrape off the excess; though, as said before, if they are a smidge too small it really isn’t very noticeable.

*** And on THAT note, for the love of Tabs don’t try to stretch these. Supposedly if you warm them or, as the instructions say, “use warm hands,” then you can stretch them to fit your nail better. I have read too many complaints about these ripping easily. Don’t do it, unless you have one to spare. I didn’t dare try to stretch them. Like I said, the excess comes off so easily that I would choose that route over stretching.

I put a top coat (Seche Vite) on my toes, for good measure, but on my hands I only put a top coat on my right hand to see which one wears longer—and since my right hand tends to chip the most, I thought I would give it the upper hand. (Get it? Upper hand? Hah. Hah. Hah.)

Quick notes on this product:
- Ease of use: A+  I didn’t even have a “mess-up/practice” nail, and they all look fantastic!
- Variety: A-  Though there are 25 choices, I wish there was a nice neutral, natural color. It would open up a larger range of clientele, too, because my mother desperately wants to try these.
- Price: Ehh B-  I wish they weren’t nearly $10, but if they last 10 days, I’ll definitely repurchase! I already truly recommend trying them out. They’re so fun!

In a flash~
What do you think? Have you tried these? Think you will? Any Minx-ers out there?
I’ll keep you posted on how well they stay on!!
**Another side note—I had 2 strips left AFTER doing my fingers and toes!! I played with the extras on my mother, and we did 4 nails, (no thumb), with the 2 leftover strips. All-in-all, I did 24 nails with these 16 strips. Score!!

Leave me some thoughts. =)
Until next time--
~Beauty Maven


Leopard Nails, part 2!

Let me say, first off, that these nail strips have been the MOST FUN thing I have had on my nails EVER! Cashiers have asked about them in just about any check-out line I have been in, (most fun being Walgreen’s and Sephora, haha, since we got to chat). I’ve also had random people ask me about them, and half of those think that I painstakingly painted Every. Single. Nail. Can you imagine? That my dear, is dedication! My most favorite story is when I was watching a speaker, and immediately after the presentation was done, the girl 2 seats over from me jumped up and said “OMG are those the Sally Hansen thingies??” Hahaha!! LOVE IT!

Ok, so the main question people have had is 1. Ease of application, (which I discussed but recap: They’re easy!) And 2. How long they last. I kept notes for every day they were on to remember the progression of wear and I also took pictures whenever I noticed something new. 

**Also! I applied a topcoat on my right hand, and the left is the strips on their own, to see how each held up.

Here we go!

1. I applied them late afternoon, and they were fantastic! Perfect manicure.
2. Still great—no change.
3. Still looked the same—no peeling or chipping.
4. First little chips appear, but not noticeable unless you are about 4 inches from my nails, and only on the non-top coat side.
5. Some fading on tips (both hands) but again, not noticeable unless you are really staring at your nails. See picture*
6. There were a couple of new chips, and also the non-top coat side had some little mini-cracks where maybe the nail had been bent and slightly cracked the strip? Try as I might, I could not capture a picture of this… sorry.. And my pinkie is slightly peeling up. See picture*
7. No change today except for the regrowth is becoming noticeable. See pictures*
8. The strips have started peeling up on only 3 nails, but it’s enough for me to want to pick at them-- Something which is also not noticeable to anyone who is not staring at your nails.
9. I had my first royal SMACK against a door- oops- and a nail cracks. I file it down, and it looks fine! I thought the strip might peel up, but it looks great.  Also, the nail growth at the cuticle is very noticeable.
10. By now I’m ready to change my polish color, haha, and there is also enough regrowth for me to want to take it off. I’m also dying to pick at where it’s peeling up! See pictures*
Day 5

Day 7

Some of my nails looked fine all the way through day 10, especially if I was extra careful to place the strips riiiight at the cuticle. 

Day 10

*Side note: when I applied them, I had a nail that was a little broken =( but the strip was just thick enough that it kept the nail from ripping off! How cool.

 REMOVAL: Ok so, not the easiest thing.. Be sure you allot some time to take these off. You just use a normal nail polish remover, but it takes a little bit of scrubbing—though not as horrible as a glitter polish, haha! If you’re a “nail picker,” they’re also not too hard to scrape most of them off… Do doo…

Oh, and my toesies still look awesome. If you’re toe polish tends to chip I would definitely use these for a nice, lasting pedicure~

I think having this print really helped camouflage any flaws as the days progressed. I am curious to see how well a single color in these strips would wear. Even though they can last for 10 days, I would probably not expect more than a week. If anything, the regrowth is very noticeable. *Note- I actually had my toes on for about 3 weeks! Hehe. And using a topcoat helps, on fingers and toes!!

Oh, and also! After you open the little package the strips are in, be sure to use them fairly quickly. I kept the extras thinking I could use them, and they dried-out. =(

I hope I covered everything, but if you have any other questions/want to clarify anything, please ask in the comments!! All-in-all, I will definitely use these again, and highly recommend them!

Until next time--
~Beauty Maven