Friday, June 15, 2012

Sally Hansen Salon Effects

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips

Let's start with the details.  Here are the key benefits according to Sally Hansen:

No dry time
Lasts up to 10 days
Removes easily with nail polish remover
40 must-have styles

Available at chain drug stores, food stores and mass merchandisers nationally.
Suggested Retail Price: $9.99

Here are the directions:
"Start with clean dry nails.  Push back cuticles with wooden stick."  I'm not a fan of using utensils on my cuticles, so I just used my fingernails to complete this step.  "Shape free edge of nail with hot pink side of file.  Gently smooth surface of nails with the white side of file"  I'm not sure what this did because the white side of the file just feels like foam.  Skipable step?  Maybe.  "Give nails one last swipe of nail color remover to remove any excess dirt & oil.  (This step is extremely important as it helps your manicure last longer.)"  If this step is so important Sally Hansen then you really should include a single use polish remover wipe in the packaging.  It doesn't warn you on the packaging that you will need it.  "Ensure there is no creamy or oily residue left behind.  Use warm hands for maximum flexibility and stretch"  This really should have been the very first instruction because who wants to have to start over when they realize they need to do something to warm their hands up first because they are freezing.

"1. Select
Select best-fitting strip for each nail.

2. Peel
Remove clear protective plastic cover, then peel nail polish strip from backing paper."  This initially gave me a little more trouble than you might expect.

"3. Break
Choose the side of the strip that best fits the shape of your cuticles.  Break silver tab from strip.  The step can result in a jagged misshapen tip of you are not careful which is bad if that was the end that best fit the shape of your cuticles.

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.)
Repeat steps 2-5 for each nail, applying to thumbs last.  To remove strips use nail color remover."

Now for the pictures:

Here is what the product looks like.
I have #310 in Wild Child

What is included in the package?  Two packs of 8 nail strips and a package with a cuticle pusher, a mini file, and an instruction booklet inside.

The cuticle pusher

The mini file with the hot pink/light pink side showing, hot pink being at the top in this picture.

Here is what the white side of the file looks like.

Here are my strip choices after sizing them to my nails laid out as if my hands were in front of me facing down.  The remaining strips are there scattered at the top.

It saddens me to say that these are the casualties that were left behind and sacrificed to the garbage since you can't use these strips at a later date once they have been opened because they dry out.  *Insert memorial service here*

The final results!!!  Ta-dah!!!!!!!!!

What do I think?
First of all, are these really that easy to use?  NO!!!!  I'm not even going to lie... they are a minor pain in the a$$ to apply.  It ended up taking me closer to an hour than not to get these on.  Some of that can be attributed to my wanting to make sure I did everything correctly so I could report honestly, but still... an hour or even 30 minutes isn't much less than we would take to just paint a coat of polish and wait for it to dry anyway.  Do NOT drink a cup of coffee on an empty stomach just before applying these.  If your hands are shaky you can forget it.  That being said, as a lover of all things novelty, I can't help but want to use products like this now and then just for the fun of it.  The first thing I can tell you is that Sally Hansen prides itself in these having the look of real polish because they ARE real polish and the first thing I noticed when I opened the package is that they stink like real polish too.  From here forward I blame any misspellings or inappropriate use of punctuation on a mild high that is building from the fumes.  Part of Sally Hansen's argument for why these are awesome is that they are better than the sticker brands because they are real polish, but I have to say that the application on my nails looks more like the stickers than it does real polish.  Blame that on the completely opaque color with obvious edges where polish normally would ease towards the skin.  A strip just can't blend like that, and rather than having mistakes from an uneven hand doing the artwork, you have mistakes from the printing(?) process (however these might be manufactured) which looks exactly the same way a mistake in the printing on a sticker would.  There is also something to be said about a pattern being too perfect which makes it look more fake than it might if there were mistakes from a human hand using polish and nail tools.

My experience went a little bit like this...  First off, they are harder than you might expect to get lined up on the nail and after a while I just had to give up trying to get them right and focus more on just getting them on.  By the time I reached the 7th nail I was starting to cheat on just about every step particularly the process of removing the excess tip.  By then I was starting to stretch the extra portion tightly over the tip of my nail and letting it rip itself off all on its own and then just using the file if I had any little hangers on-ers.

My other complaints are that the 16 strips did not give me as many options on finding a true match to my actual nail size as other brands give.  With some you get well over 20 sizes to choose from.  I also noticed that the two ends were not really that different from each other on most of the strips so to say we can choose the end shape that fits our nail bed best is not as much of a help as it should be.  I'm also not a fan of the fact that once you open that package you have to use the strips or throw them away.  If you are the type of person who prefers to have an accent nail or two then I would say just skip this product completely.  The sticker style is the style for you.  

Now, I know what you are thinking...  You are thinking my final answer is that this product is no good.  WRONG!  I think this product is just fine!  It is what it is.  If you want fancy nail designs and don't want to get them by painting your nails then these have a purpose for sure.  I also like that Sally Hansen gives you the option to to get these in just plain old everyday pretty nail polish colors with no design at all which the sticker brands don't do.  Crazy nails aren't for everyone, and some folks need to go plain Jane with their nails to fit into their stuffy, conservative, boring, professional office image for work.  My final answer is to pick up a bunch of these in different colors and styles, invite your girlfriends over for a slumber party, and crack up at the difficulties you have putting them on together.  You will bond over it just like a bunch of sorority girls after a good hazing session and then all can spend the next (up to) 10 days (according to Sally Hansen) shoving them under the noses of your friends and family shouting "See what I did!  Aren't they pretty?!?" just like a drunk, recently hazed sorority girl might do.

For more information on this product go to :
I received this product complimentary for testing and review purposes from Influenster.

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