Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sally Hansen Salon Effects - Review

The kind folks at Sally Hansen sent me some of their Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips to review for you. This particular design is called *Check, Please!, and my eye gravitated towards it immediately as my hubby, a born and bred California boy, is a lifelong fan of Vans checked sneakers. (In fact, he even wore a pair to our wedding. But I digress.) The strips come 16 to a pack and are packaged with a wooden cuticle stick and a mini combination nail file/buffer and, of course, detailed instructions. They suggest you begin with prep, which consists of the the basics, make sure your nails are completely free of polish, clean and dry, filed, buffed, etc.

I followed these instructions to the letter and here are my nails as they appeared prior to application (please forgive me, they're awfully yellow. In fact, you're lucky I'm even showing you this. I'm pretty embarrassed, lol.)
Okay, now that that ugliness is over, on to the actual application. The strips come in a variety of sizes, ideally designed to provide the optimal fit for every nail, but more about that later. They come with clear plastic coverings, which you remove, then you peel the actual strip from the backing paper to apply. I found it really challenging to find the "perfect" size for each nail which, I'd imagine, is to be expected. There is NO way they could make the perfect out of the box size for everyone. I suppose I could have trimmed some before peeling off the protective covering but honestly, when I eyeballed them, I thought the sizes I matched up to each nail would be just right. Alas, I was wrong. I found a few ended up being a bit too narrow for my nails so you can see a bit of bare nail on the side. That is my fault completely but it is frustrating. I also had a difficult time lining up the strips exactly in the center of my nails. I found them a bit challenging to work with (particularly when using my non-dominant left hand to apply to my right) and a few of my strips ended up with small creases. I tried SO hard to be meticulous with my application and it took me about an hour to get all ten nails prepped and stripped, for lack of a better word, but I had a tough time with them. Here is a shot of all my completed left hand nails:
You can probably see on my index finger where the strip creased a little and on my middle finger where the strip tore a bit. Here's another shot where you can see that the pinky finger strip was a bit too narrow for my nail (again, my fault, but it LOOKED like it would fit. It's hard to judge when you can't completely wrap the strip around the nail before applying.)
Now, don't get me wrong, I am not panning these strips. I'm just relaying my own personal experience with them. They, like everything else, have their pros and cons and I would imagine, with practice, application would become easier. Overall, here are my thoughts:
PROS: great designs, a nice alternative for folks who (like me) have a difficult time with nail art, long-lasting. I used these as directed, without topcoat, and they lasted a full week with only minor cracking and one small chip. (The packaging indicates that they are designed to last up to 10 days and very well might.)
CONS: challenging to center, crease easily
I'm certainly willing to give these another try in the future. Again, as is the case with most things, one's abilities improve with practice and I'm sure that will be the case for me, too. Plus, once you do get them on, they look REALLY cool!  If you have tried this product, do let me know what you think.

UPDATE:  As of today, July 27, the strips are holding up quite well.  I have fine thin "cracks" in two nails but honestly, I showed my nails to my husband and he couldn't even see them.  :)

UPDATE:  Aside from some more hairline cracks and a small chip in one nail, these strips are STILL looking good as of today, July 30.  I will be removing them (as directed, with regular nail polish remover) either today or tomorrow, not because they don't still look great, not because I'm sick of them, simply because I have SO many other polishes I'm eager to show you.  I am definitely more impressed with this product than I initially thought and honestly, I think that any "negative" thoughts would be remedied by my improved abilities with application.  Here's a shot of them today:

*Disclosure: Where indicated by an asterisk, the product(s) in this post were provided to me by the company for review. Please click HERE for further information.


Geo58 said...

I have used these strips before, I found they apply best and stretch when rubbed with your thumb and between your pointer finger. Of course your nails are longer an more gorgoeus looking so the strips might not work for you as they did for me. To remove crease I use the side of the emery board as suggested.

I love the design you choose, it looks cool, you did a great job and they come with extra strips so if one doesn't work, you might want to try another.

As you say nothing is perfect, I bought these on sale 2-1 and love them.


George :)

Definitely Addicted said...

EEEEEP, I love it!

Kari said...

Thanks, guys! I am definitely not ready to give up on these, not by any means. Sometimes, I like a challenge. ;)

imfeelingnail-venturous said...

I tried them and liked them! This print is pretty neat looking!

Fab-La-Icious said...

Ive just been sent some of these in a swap so i was pleased to find this review on them, i guess its a matter of trial and error, the more you do the better you might become, as im in the UK and cant buy these (bo ho) im going to be extra careful when i try them, cuz i cant go out and get more if i mess up which i will lol.....

Kari said...

Yeah, the more I look at them on my nails, the less badly-applied they look. They are pretty cool and the little mistakes I made probably aren't too noticeable to anyone except me. I hope you will enjoy them!

rebecca said...

kari. you don't know how bad i need these.
i am like your husband. but i am only a california girl at heart. haha.
i wore checkered vans to my grad... hehe

i wish sally hansen would send me them
im too cheap to buy them

ugh i need them.

Kari said...

Awww, I wish I had another set for you, Rebecca. :( They are definitely pricey. That's so cool that you wore them to your grad, love it!