Sally Hansen Real Nail Polish Strips Application Process

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Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips

As a girl who will smear even the quickest-drying nail polish before it sets and chip it right after that, I’m always testing new nail polishes that promise quick-drying and long-lasting wear.

So, I was very excited to learn about the new Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips. These aren’t the like the nail stickers of childhood, i.e. stick-ons of flowers or stars. Sally Hansen strips are made with real nail polish and are supposed to look like they were painted onto your nails.

Also read: How to Make DIY Nail Stickers

The nail strips come in 24 different styles ranging from bright solids like orange and yellow to a multitude of patterns, including animal prints, glitters, camo, and denim. I chose the Collide-o-Scope pattern, a bright rainbow of colors in a funky print. Want to see what I thought of them? Read on for my experience with the Sally Hansen Real Nail Polish Strips.

Sally Hansen Real Nail Polish Strips Application Process

Step 1:  Prep

Sally Hansen Real Polish Strips - Prep

Photo Credit

The kit, as pictured above the top, includes 16 nail polish strips, a mini nail file/buffer, and a cuticle stick. It also includes basic, illustrated instructions. First, it’s necessary to prep your nails for application which includes pushing back cuticles, shaping the nails with the file, and smoothing the nail surface with the buffer. The instructions also suggest giving your nails a final swipe of polish remover to clean off any remaining polish or residue.

Step 2: Apply The Polish Strips

After prepping my nails, I was ready to begin applying the polish strips. The instructions included in the kit explain the process very well, so the application wasn’t too challenging. When I first counted the 16 strips included with the kit I was confused, but I soon learned the extra strips include a wide variety of sizes to fit everyone’s nails. I had no problem finding correctly sized strips for my nails.

To apply, all you need to do is remove the two covers from each side of the strip. The ends of each strip have different shapes, so it’s easy to match them to your natural nail shape.

Then, attach the strip below your cuticle and lightly (and I mean very lightly) stretch the polish strip over your nail. I actually tore one strip from stretching it too hard over my nail – another reason the extra polish strips are useful! You then use the cuticle stick to press each polish strip down onto the nail.

Also read: DIY Nail Art Tutorial: Loose Glitter

Step 3: Shape The Polish Strips

Sally Hansen Real Nail Polish Strips - Application process

I found it best to use my fingers to push the polish strips down around the tip of my nail, then use the nail file to tear off the excess gently.

Overall, the application was a breeze, which impressed me, considering I’m not the most dexterous person. From start to finish, the entire application process took around 30 minutes.

Although the package directions do not mention adding a topcoat, upon reading reviews on the Sally Hansen website, I did apply a clear topcoat over the strips because so many others mentioned this made the strips last much longer. This made my application take a little bit more time.

Final Advice + Review:

Sally Hansen Real Nail Polish Strips - Finished nails

The Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips kit does live up to its claims. The strips were relatively simple to apply and obviously needed no “drying” time. In addition, the patterns are beautiful and are so much more graphic than anything you could achieve using nail polish from a bottle.

However, the SH Nail Polish Strips did fall short when it came to long-lasting wear. The product claims it can last up to 10 days chip-free, but I ended up removing mine within seven days. I will say, though, that thanks to my part-time job as a server, my nails do go through more than your average wear and tear. So at around $10 per kit, these nail strips could be expensive to maintain.

I rate the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips a 3 out of 5.

Overall, the SH Nail Polish Strips are a great way to achieve gorgeous, unique nails without much effort. Even though I don’t think they are particularly cost-effective since they aren’t so long-lasting, I still adore all of the amazing prints and patterns available. They would be great for a special occasion when you want to do a little something “extra,” but probably aren’t practical for weekly wear.

Your Thoughts?

Have you ever tried the Sally Hansen Nail Polish Strips? What were your results, and do you have any application tips to share? Do you think the nail polish strips are worth $10? Are there any nail trends you are dying to try out? Be sure to leave a comment and let me know!

If you love these nail polish strips from Sally Hansen, you can check out some of the related posts below —

48 thoughts on “Sally Hansen Real Nail Polish Strips Application Process”

  1. I love these nail strips! When I use them I actually cut them in half, and cut some of them into thirds and I’m able to do hands and feet with just one of the packs of strips. My favorite pattern is the Leopard

  2. I have tried these strips and they do work. I love the patterns they come in! They are a bit pricey for everyday wear but there are other companies out there that also make nail strips that are less expensive and just as pretty and simple to apply. So those alternatives may be better for those on a budget who want to try out the trend.

  3. I love these! Although because im a nail biter they did not last very long. They are expensive but sometimes if you look around flee markets you can get them for like 3 dollars. I got me a box full of 6 for 15 because I buttered up the lady =]

  4. I have had mine on for over three weeks! The first two times I used them, at least one nail came off after my first shower. THis most recent time, iIput clear nail polish on top & they DO NOT CHIP!! I’m obsessed : )

  5. I have many different patterns of these and love them to death! Because they are a bit expensive and in order to make them last longer, I do what some of the other girls recommended and cut the strips in half since they provide your with more than enough polish in each strip. I also only use one strip for each manicure and place the strip on my ring finger to make it more of an accent nail. I then pick a complementary color to paint my other nails. I get tons of complements on them <3

  6. the plain colors and glitter ones are a waste of time. the other patterns are so cute. they last longer with a top coat. i love using these and have gotten many compliments. a nice quick fix if you don’t have time to get nails done ! i’ve purchased the lace and colorful floral so far and they are superrrrr cute

  7. I love these! 🙂
    It was much easier to do the second time around, though. It was a completely foreign concept when I first tried. I love featuring it on my ring finger and wearing a different color on all the other nails

  8. They work really nicely even though I have a few oddly shaped fingernails and it’s great since I can’t do them on my own (can only do simple nail stuff for now).

  9. I used these once without a top coat or base coat and they lasted me 4 days but I’m a bank teller so I’m very rough with my hands the second time I used them I put on a base coat to ensure my nails are smooth before applying the strips and they have lasted a lot longer I still didn’t use a top coat though… I get bored with them easily and change them weekly but I only use 1/2 the strips in the box per manicure.

    I love them!

  10. I love painting my nails, but I do also love these nail strips. To save money, and because my nails aren’t that long, I cut the strips in half and just use half the set so it’s like 2 in one for me! Definitely worth trying out and very simple. I also put a top coat on the tips so they don’t chip.

  11. Some of these designs (especially the lace!) look so cute. I have used similar Avon nail strips and loved the results. I am also one of the girls that smudges nail polish every time without fail. These seem a little expensive, but I look forward to giving them a try for a special occasion.

  12. I bought a package of these a while back just to see if they worked. Since they were so expensive, I used them just on my ring fingers and then painted the rest of my nails a solid complimentary color. The strips lasted so long that I ended up needing to repaint the rest of my nails but I was able to keep the strips intact. I loved the way they looked and I felt like doing only two nails in the pattern was a much more cost effective way to use these. I got tons of compliments on them, too!

  13. I tried these in the floral print a while ago. What I loved was the pattern and that you could cut the strips in half and use them twice if you have short nails. However for me the application process was messy and annoying! I had to cut the pieces with scissors (and then they would stick to the scissor blades…etc…) because the file wouldn’t file down the excess sticker. However once they were applied, I loved the way they looked! They chipped after a few days, so I removed it after a week, but was satisfied with the results. I don’t think I’d be purchasing again though, because the application process was tedious and it would have been much quicker to just paint my nails. Also, they were a little expensive; I paid almost 11 dollars for one package and that’s what I’d pay for about two bottles of nail polish!


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