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Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

Review: Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips



Here's a fantastic feeling:

You grab a frosty Diet Coke, lift it to your lips all casual-like and wait while your friend gasps. "Your nails!" she says. "Who did them?" You chuckle as if you forgot you were a global fashion icon, and then reply modestly, "Why, I did them."


Seriously! The week my nails were leopard print, they had more attention than ever in their short, broken, stubby lives. The dirty truth is I have jack in the way of nail art skills. I'm firmly right handed in every way, which means the left hand always looks decent while the other looks like it got caught in a hurricane simulator filled with OPI and vodka.

So, no, I did not sit in my house and painstakingly paint rosettes with a toothpick. I used Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips. Nail polish strips are the hot new beauty trend, perhaps because we are a nation of ineptitude (see above). Market researchers recently found that nail polish sales have gone up more than 60 percent this year, possibly as a way for people to obtain a small indulgence during hard times. The stores are pretty full of flashy polish strips lately, including options from TanaNail, Incoco and OPI for Sephora. The strips have a childlike quality in the vein of those fakey makeup kits for little girls with polish that peels off in a single glorious strip.

I picked up a box for about $10 in CVS. Styles included chrome, glitter, flowers, lace, camouflage, zebra and denim. Since I'm predictable, I went for my first and everlasting love, leopard print.

The box had 16 strips, different sizes to suit different fingers. It also included a file and buffer tool, plus a cuticle stick.


The instructions were fairly straightforward. Wash your hands, file and buff, push back your cuticles with the stick. The sheet advised giving your nails a swipe of polish remover to remove any bits of dirt or moisture, but I skipped this step. The acetone was all the way upstairs, and, you know, who has time for walking these days?

At that point, I basically just peeled the strip off the backing, stretched it over the nail and pressed down. There was a ton of excess.


The instructions advised filing the excess off, but I just gently tore it. The file felt meddlesome, unnecessary, desperate for attention. And, hello, I already have leopard nails to be like that.

The whole process created a lot of waste, so I'm not sure this is going to win a lot of environmental awards. And it was sad to throw away almost half of the strip. Next time, given how short my nails are, I might be a little more careful (miserly) and see if I can save the excess for a second use.


Ten dollars for one manicure is more cost-effective than going to a salon, but less cost-effective than buying a whole bottle of polish you can reuse. Sally Hansen could charge less by providing a box that omits the file and cuticle stick, the same way false eyelashes come with or without the glue inside. You really don't need new tools every time.

But, man, I really liked how this looked. It felt cool and modern and funky without screaming, "These pink and white acrylics cost $50 and sent me further into debt!" And it held up very well. Almost immediately after applying the strips, I did dishes and laundry without injury. A week later the strips started to chip, so I decided to end it.  You can use nail polish remover, since this is actually nail polish, but I just peeled at it in the shower.  Satisfying, just like being 8 again.


Deal Diva Stephanie

[Last modified: Friday, October 7, 2011 5:56pm]


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