When it comes to nail appliques, few brands can touch Sally Hansen and their Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips in terms of ease of application and wear. Being one of a handful of brands to use actual nail polish, the strips are thin and flexible, which means they conform to the nail and leave no ragged edges.
For Fall 2013, the Sally Hansen Salon Effects collection has a strong Asian influence. Everything from delicate florals to koi fish to metallic animal prints make an appearance in this collection, including a peacock-inspired pattern that I need to buy backups of, stat!
Formula & Application: Sally Hansen Salon Effects are made with real nail polish and are 5-Free (Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP, Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor) however because they have a different formula than the regular Sally Hansen nail polish I suggest you read the ingredients in full before purchasing to avoid allergic reactions. Each Salon Effects package includes 16 strips in varying sizes, a cuticle stick and mini file/buffer.
Application instructions are included with each package and are very easy to understand. You select the correct size strip for each nail, peel off the protective film, detach the polish strip from the backing, press on to the nail and file off the excess. What’s great about these strips is that each end has a different shape, one rounded the other squared, so you can find a good fit for your cuticle line.
- Warm the strips with your hands to make them more pliable.
- Bend the strip over your free edge and use the file to remove the excess rather than tearing it off. Tearing can result in an uneven edge.
- Between sizes? Size up and use the enclosed cuticle stick to push down around the cuticle, breaking off the excess.
- Don’t submerge in water right after applying. I took a shower shortly after applying and the pinkie strip popped right off and my ring finger pulled up some. I pushed the ring finger back down and it lasted fine but I suggest waiting a couple hours before bathing.
- Store any excess strips in an airtight baggie. Air exposure will dry out the strips, causing them to harden.
- Remove with nail polish remover. The glitters are actually easier to remove than traditional glitter nail polish.
Note: I find that the glitter and metallic based designs are more flexible and easier to apply so they’re great for beginners. Patterns with a white background tend to be stiffer. My theory is that it takes more white polish to get the background opaque, resulting in a thicker strip.
This past weekend, I was in a rush and didn’t have time for my usual manicure routine so I turned to Salon Effects to get me through. I love that as soon as they’re applied, I can function like a normal human being.
I’ve been wearing Sally Hansen Full Plume since Saturday morning and it still looks as perfect and shiny as the day I applied it. Is it perfect? No, but no one is getting all up in my nail business like a macro lens. From a normal viewing distance, they look flawless.
What sets nail polish strips apart from other appliques is that the stickers are made of a plastic or polymer so they don’t lie flat on nails with an irregular curve. And when you file off the edge, it’s hard to get a smooth finish or avoid lifting. With Salon Effects, those issues are, well, a non-issue.
The only downside to Salon Effects is that you can’t take them off over and over, like you can with stickers, to ensure perfect placement. That’s why I line up the strip with my cuticle first and don’t press down on the nail until I can tell if it will line up. Lifting just a portion at the base of the nail can happen without damaging the strip. Just don’t do it too many times.
Below are up-close photos of the actual Sally Hansen Salon Effects designs in this collection. Ama-zen and On The Prowl are examples of patterns I feel will be easier to apply for newbies to nail appliques.
Bottom Line: If you love nail art but lack the skills, time or patience to create detailed designs, Sally Hansen Salon Effects are the way to go. They wear well, typically a week or more, come in a slew of hot patterns, and are a heck of lot cheaper than hiring a professional. I would stock up on Full Plume and Ama-zen and I see On The Prowl being a great Girls Night Out look.
Sally Hansen Salon Effects for Fall 2013 are limited edition and available now at drugstores and mass retailers nationwide. Sally Hansen Salon Effects retail for $9.99/ea. Though keep an eye on sales flyers from your local stores. Sally Hansen tends to be on sale a lot.
Are you a regular nail applique wearer? Or do you just rely on them for special occasions and last minute manicures? Which pattern from the Fall 2013 Salon Effects line is your favorite?