Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strip Review

Happy Civic Holiday Weekend!  Summer is officially half way over and we are a little more than half way through the Olympics!  Time seems to be whizzing by.  I finally had the chance this weekend to try my Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips that I bought earlier last month on sale.  Each set of strips comes with a wooden stick, a mini file, and 2 packs of nail strips with 8 assorted sizes in each.

Basically, you choose the best fitting size for your nail, apply it to your finger and sand it down/cut it to your nail shape with the file.  It’s essentially a sticker with nail polish pre-applied.


Although it sounds easy to apply (you just peel and stick right?), I personally found it quite difficult to line it to my nail.  Some of my problems included:

  • One chance: There is more or less one shot at putting it on – the glue became much less sticky when I tried to pull the nail strip off and reapply.  As such, I actually had to use one of my extra pieces to redo two fingers.
  • Size: As the strips are small and thin, it’s hard to see where you’re sticking the strip.  One of them ended up being crooked and going onto my skin.  I ended up chipping off the side as I tried to remove the excess.
  • Air Bubbles: I also had another one where as I was trying to smooth out the strip on my nail, the excess ended together, so I have a bit of a crease straight through the middle.
  • Ragged finish: As I sand off the excess polish, it sometimes leaving ragged edges of the polish strip off the ends of my nails.

As such, the entire nail polish application process took much longer than expected.  However, there are some pros:

  • No dry time required.  I don’t have to worry about ruining my manicure!
  • Minimal effort for an overall good finish.
  • Good variety of colours/patterns – 40 different ones to choose from (though most are not that appealing in my opinion).  The patterns at Sephora appeal to me more (found here, here and here)
  • No more chemical smells! You can do them anywhere and not have to worry about others complaining of a lack of ventilation!

Staying Power

I did them on Friday night and they’re looking pretty good so far for a Monday.  I have some chips on the tips (some larger others if you look closely), but they are generally not noticeable.  I admit that I typically chip faster than most people, so I would say it’s holding up pretty good so far. My friend had hers on last time for close to 2 weeks and they still looked great, so if you’re careful, I would trust Sally Hansen’s claims that they can last for up to 10 days.

At around $10 on average, it’s cheaper than a salon manicure but a bit expensive for a one use product.  For the same price, you can get a bottle of OPI/Essie polish easily and it could be used more than once.  However, if you’re into making patterns, it can save a ton of time and potentially looks more polished than if you were to do it on your own.

The packaging states that unused strips should be thrown away.  As the strips are all packed in sealed foil packaging, I wonder if exposure to oxygen does anything to them.  All but 4 of my strips were at the end, and I’m debating whether the excess should be applied on my toes to make them stretch that extra mile.  During the application phase, I considered using the excess pieces on my toes after I’d sanded them off from my fingers, but I found that they had lose its stickiness by that time so it wouldn’t work.  If one plans properly though, I think it’s highly possible to use the strips to apply polish on both the fingers and toes.

Final Verdict
While I wouldn’t necessarily buy them at full price, I believe they are more worth it once they go on sale.   I would recommend them for those who:

  • Wouldn’t mind paying a bit more for a patterned manicure.
  • Doesn’t like the smell of nail polish.
  • A relatively quick manicure.
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