Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Review & How-To: Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips

Last week my friend Katie told me about these nail polish strips by Sally Hansen and asked me if I would review them. I'm not one to say no to a friend (or a fun new product), so I stopped by Walgreens over the weekend and picked up a package for $10. This is definitely a bit pricey for a one time nail application, but hopefully the price will drop as the supply increases (I had to stop at 3 different places before I found the leopard print strips in stock).

Included in the kit are 16 nail strips of varying sizes, a mini-file and buffer, a cuticle pusher, and "detailed" instructions. Since I found these instructions to be a bit less detailed than expected, I thought I would put together a how-to so you all know how to apply these babies should you purchase some of your own. Here's how I did it:

Step 1: Choose nail polish strips that best fit each of your nails. Do the best you can here, as it will save you from headaches when you get to the application. 
These are the strips I selected for my right hand:
Step 2: Push back cuticles.
Step 3: Buff nails until smooth.
Step 4: Use nail polish remover to remove any dirt or oil from your nails.
Step 5: Remove protective film from the top of the first strip.
Step 6: Remove protective paper from the back of the strip. The sticky side will now be exposed, but it doesn't really stick to your skin- just don't touch it to your nail until you are ready.
Step 7: Pull tab off strip and determine which end best fits the shape of your cuticle.
Step 8: Gently place the strip on your nail flush with your cuticle and smooth. Here the instructions say you can stretch the strip to fit, but they don't really seem to stretch much and have a tendency to tear if you try too hard, so be gentle and just try to pick strips that fit the best from the beginning.
Step 9: Use the flat side of the cuticle pusher to help adhere the strip. This is especially important to do around the edges and along the ends of your nails to hold the strips in place.
Step 10: Bend the excess strip under your nail and use the file to remove. The instructions say to use the light pink (fine) side of the file, but this side didn't really seem to do the trick, so I used the rougher side of the file (dark pink).
Step 11: Now that the first nail is finished, continue doing steps 5-10 for the remainder of your nails. Save your thumbs for the end. Although when painting nails, these are usually the easiest, I found my thumb nails to be the hardest because they are much larger and thus it is more difficult to get the strip set properly.
 All done!

Now the packaging says these nail polish strips will last about 10 days, which I hope is the case considering the price. While I like the leopard print pattern and some of the others as well, I don't see why anyone would buy these strips in the plain colors (since a nice bottle of nail polish costs less than these do). Besides the fun print, I also like that you don't have to wait for these to dry like you do with nail polish. Thus, it ended up taking less time to reach the finished product even though it took a while to get the hang of applying these.

Overall, I think this is a fun product that people will use for a while considering the current trend toward more adventurous, funky nail designs (a la shatter polishes). The application wasn't too horrible, but it wasn't easy, either. I think the price is a little high considering you only get enough strips to do your nails once, but I suppose it is cheaper than having a nail tech create the same pattern using polish or airbrushing.

Haute Lunch Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Trays
After I see how long these last before they start to chip, I will let you know and update my rating if necessary. So what do you ladies think? Do you like the funky patterns you've been seeing lately? Would you give these shot? I'd love to hear from you!!!
Update: I removed the nail strips today because the tips had started chipping a bit too much. Although they didn't look horrible, I'm going to say that these last around 6-7 days at most. Also, removing them was a bit of a pain. I had to use a ton of nail polish remover, and they left a residue that was hard to get off. Still, I got tons of compliments on these, so I think I will keep my 3.5 Tray rating!


  1. I bought the leopard print and the lace print, just too lazy to do them! Ughhh I hate being lazy. But they look super cute!!! I like the no drying time idea. I agree on the price point. I bought them on sale for $9 with a $2 off coupon, and they were BOGO 50% off. Anywho.... I like the tips you've given and I def will be using your review as my cheat sheet when I do them!

  2. I liked the lace one, too, but they were out of it everywhere! Glad you liked the tips!

  3. I don't think I am smart enough (or patient enough) to do this. They are so cute, though.

    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  4. Tara you did such a fab job here. Thanks so much for the detailed how-to, as I've had these at home (i think the Jeans or the Lace print) and have yet to try it. But now I feel more confident after seeing your pics, reading your tips.

    You did a great job by the way. It's definitely too expensive but I love that you don't have to wait for your nails to dry--let me know if it actually lasts 10 days.

  5. No way do I have the skills to apply these myself! haha

  6. Thanks for the compliment, Cheryl! I'm glad I could help! And, Kristin, if I can do this, you totally can!

  7. This is super fun! I'm going to feature it in my worthy reads roundup!

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  8. Ha, I actually just bought the lace ones and was also about to do a post on them too! I contemplated getting the leopard print ones and really wish I did. They look amazing on you


  9. I've been wondering about these,and this is the second good review i read!
    I think they are too pricey for me except on a special occasion but i gotta have the black lace ones at least once!

  10. Okay, I have been wondering about these too!! I have wanted to try them, but I haven't found the leopard print at my local drugstore either! One cute way to extend the life of these is to pu the pattern on only one nail and paint the rest a complimentary color.

  11. Great suggestions, Kinsey! In fact, this is exactly what I did on my toes! I used the left over large strips on my big toes, then painted the rest a shimmery brown! Great minds think alike! :)

  12. Wow thank you for this incredible post - your nails look gorgeous!! You make it all look so easy :)


  13. loves it, and great minds think alike! Bought the lace ones (never saw these!) last week and have been procrastinating doing the tutorial because 1. I'm lazy and 2. don't think i have the skills! But, I guess we'll see so I can share with all the other girls out there, too.

  14. You know it, girl! Looking forward to seeing how they look on you, Alyson!

  15. I have never done these types of nails, they look great =)

  16. wow nice..!!!
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  17. I love the design! So chic & cute! Thanks for the detailed instructions. I have a few packs of similar ones from another brand from a giveaway that I won that I havent used yet so your post definitely gave me a lot of help for when I apply mine :0)

    I love these on your pretty nails!

  18. You did an amazing job on the application... they look great.

  19. Hey Tara!! This post is really helpful! I have these exact strips and haven't decided when I will put them on yet, but I will certainly refer back to this post!