When I first saw the promo pics for the Sally Hansen Salon Effects for Halloween I was pretty stoked and I was determined to buy them all as soon as they came out. Yea, in a perfect world I would have bought them all at once but the prices of 9.79 at CVS to 8.50 at Wal Mart for one use is a little steep. In fact, I have never before tried them because of the price. You could pretty much buy a bottle of polish that you will get multiple uses out of rather than just one manicure. However, these were special enough, in my opinion, that I decided they were worth the money. The first two I bought were Spun for You and Ghoulie Girl and since have bought Hotwired and Numbskull, but I am still missing Wish Nets.
I apologize beforehand as this will be a lengthy post, since this is also my review on the nail polish strips. I really had no idea on how to begin to apply, so I did read the instructions. The instructions state to start with clean, dry nails and they include a nail file and orange stick to give yourself a quick manicure. They don't say to apply base coat or top coat. They do, however, stress to be sure your nails have no excess dirt or oils to have your manicure last longer. I have to agree. I applied these after a swatch-a-thon and I was continually moisturizing my cuticles with Qtica cuticle balm, which moisturizes all too well. I swiped my hands with some pure acetone and then applied OPI Chip Skip to dry out my nail beds, BUT I didn't pay much attention to the side walls where the nail meets cuticle and that was a big mistake. The strips didn't want to adhere too well to those areas because of the excessive moisture.
Peeling the strips from the backing and plastic in which they are encased, was relatively easy and I had no issues there. The issue I had was that on some of the strips I had to flip around to get the better part of the design. That might just be me though. I initially thought that all strips would be the same spider web design, and I was surprised when I saw that every single strip had a different design. To me the design looks best where the spider web is just beginning and I wanted to have that on my nails, not the part of the spider web that was towards the ends.
This is the picture after I finished placing all the strips.
Little tip here. Don't pull too hard on the strips when adjusting them. In fact, this design hardly needed any stretching to conform to my nail. You can see here on my index finger how I had a tear because I was too rough with them. It wasn't noticeable in real life but we all know how macro tends to exaggerate!
Sorry for the lighting here, but I noticed this lifting when I was watching tv and I had my camera with me. The strips don't say to apply top coat, but the sides of the strips didn't want to adhere properly so I added a coat of Seche Vite. That fixed the problem with the sides of my nails, but I had no idea there would be lifting at the cuticle with top coat.
Here's another pic showing how the main ones lifting at the cuticle were my index and ring finger. Now, I had already applied topcoat and didn't want to add another because I had no idea if that would fix it or not. The strips at the end of the cuticles were pretty hardened with the Seche Vite and didn't think another coat of top coat would work, so I improvised.
I used acetone. I used my elf concealer clean up brush and loaded it with a bit of acetone and just let it flow along my cuticle without touching the actual strips. Once, the acetone had mostly evaporated, I used the brush to lightly pat down the strip around the cuticles. That worked great for me and didn't remove any of the polish strips.Yup, macro here is over exaggerating again. The gap is not that huge in real life.
See, the gap at the cuticle is barely noticeable.
Can't even tell I have a gap in this one either!!
I have only tried two of the design so far, including this one, and I'm not too convinced. Don't get me wrong I LOVED these strips and thought the design was well worth the price, but Ghoulie Girl was a little disappointing for me. Also, the package comes with 16 strips to ensure you get the best possible fit for your nails, but mine only came with 14. Not such a big deal, but I wanted to save them to use as accent nails later. Well, I replied to Sally Hansen on Twitter and they gave me a number to call their customer service. I didn't exactly know what to expect when I called and thought maybe they would just give me a coupon for a few bucks off the price, but they actually offered to send me a new box! This was just this week and I still haven't received them, but if I do get them I will post in in my Hauls and Nail Mail page. Overall, I would advise you to buy the Spun for You design if you are interested in trying them, but I'm not convinced yet on the whole Salon Effects thing. Even if I don't receive the one Sally Hansen is supposed to be sending me, I will be buying this design again. ^_^