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 loved the idea of these strips, but not the price. mom of 2, working from home. i meet people a lot for home shows, and i need to keep a good hand clean appearance. i tried the dollar tree’s knock off version, only 10 strips. I have false nails, and i hate to pay someone to paint them when i’m not due for a fill. i base coated white, and used a floral pattern with white background. i did whole sticker on ring finger and cut down a half moon shape to do tips only on the others. because of the advice here i will be using a top coat for protection as well. didn’t have any issue cutting strips with my cuticle scissors, and used my finger tip to flatten after sticking. rolled end over tip of nail and the sticker cut cleanly off. Used emery board to get rough spot on sides, but very lightly so as not to tear. thanks for all the useful advice!

  2. I personally love the strips. With a top coat I am able to keep them on forever! & I do use my nails a lot with three kids ages 2 & under. I do however focus on sticking the tips of the strip down on my nail after being filed off. Too me thats the biggest task. I apply around two coats of top coat nail polish and as its drying on each coat I press down at the tip with my cuitcle pusher on any lifting part. I just put on this cala bling brand of nail strips and I have to say I dont like them as well as SH strips. They seem to wrinkle a tad with the top coat and are harder to keep down at the tip. Also their thicker, even though i love the design ill have to stick with SH. 🙂

  3. I’m not sure if you’re born in the mid 50’s…but that style is definitely out…unless you were at least in your teen years when that style was in…as in…during the 70s…which is old fashioned and just not my type of taste to me…

  4. I always eye these at the store but couldn’t ever bring myself to paying the $12 price for one application. I waited and some of the patterns went on clearance at Target. So I got a box for $3. Application went just fine, no problems at all. The excess and extra fingers I used on my daughter so we match! It’s only been 1 day so I can’t comment on how long they will last. If I find them on clearance again I will definitely buy them because they are really fun. I still can’t pay the full price though.

  5. Thanks for the tip. I just bought and used these for the first time last night. So far, I like them a lot. It was very easy to put on. I will def add a top coat to make them last longer, I thought about it but was worried I would damage the strips. Glad to know its ok to do.

  6. Is there a way to protect your nails? I found after removing the stickers my nails were damaged as it took off a layer of my nails. I don’t want to use them because of that but I love no chipping fir 7 days and the cool patterns. Have you experienced this or now someone that has and if there is a way to prevent that from happening?

  7. I use a clear coat of sally quick dry nail polish and it lasts muuuuuch longer. I love these and am so glad they got new colors 😀

  8. Thanks for posting this. I have been wanting to try these for a long time and I just saw they came out with special halloween and holiday designs which I am definitely going to try!

  9. Omg, I put these on my 9 year old daughter for her first day of school. A month later they look almost perfect. Her nails grew faster than the polish strips came off or chipped. I’m going to have to take them off myself so we can try another pattern. They are really expensive but lasted a really long time for us.

  10. $9 is a GREAT price when compared to at least $15 plus tip for a basic salon mani. If you’re cutting the strips in half, that’s only $5 … if you’re only doing your ring fingers, that’s only $1 … doesn’t seem too expensive to me at all. I would go for one of the patterns and use at least a top coat…not too difficult, and it seems like the result is great!

  11. I wish there were more colors and patterns. I bet once a competetor starts making them they’ll have more options and hopefully bring down the price.

  12. i tried these and they are adorable and so fun! however, mine lasted seriously 5 days before they started peeling around the edges and when i would do my hair & stuff hair strands would get caught underneath. maybe i didnt apply them neat enough but it looked like i did! and they are not worth 10..maybe $5!!

  13. I have used these and I love them. I’ve had mine on for TWO WEEKS! they look great. My normal manicure lasts only a week so these are amazing. They look awesome except for the fact that my nails have grown so around the base of my nail looks bad (but only if you’re looking really closely) I HIGHLY suggest trying these out.

  14. These are actually fabulous for me! I’m a swimming instructor/coach and I’m at the pool IN the water at least 5 hours a day and, with a top coat, these have lasted on my nails for just over 2 weeks! I love the different patterns and colors they come in as well!


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