Review: Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips

Welcome everyone to 2012, I hope you all had fantastic holidays!

Now, I’m a sucker for nail polish. Pink nail polish. Oh, and glitter. My only issue is that nail polish NEVER lasts on me. Almost every nail polish I have used (bar a select few) peel within 24-48 hours. Base coats, top coats and everything in between don’t seem to make it last. And even weirder, it peels off in sheets, sometimes the entire nail’s paint! And between working as a masseur and in a hardware store, my hands take a fair beating, so this makes everything worse. I could paint my nails in the morning and one afternoon shift will have me in chips-ville.


In walks in the nail polish strip phenomenon. Now considering my luck with nail polish peeling anyway, I scoffed at these things having any chance of lasting on my nails. But new years eve rolled around and I was wandering through Priceline for some nail inspiration. And I noticed the Sally Hansen Nail Strips display fully stocked…this almost never happens, and to my joy, full of pink, sparkly goodness sat the pack of ‘Bling it on.’ And I thought to myself, well it is new years, so I only really need it for the night, just give it a go.

And boy oh boy I am so glad that I did!

These babies lasted me 5 days! The claim on the packaging said up to 10 days, but anything lasting more than the night was going to be a win for me. They would have lasted longer if my pedantic habits hadn’t kicked in and I started picking at them (oops!). I have photos, but only from the 5th day, because in all honesty I did not think I would find these blog-worthy, but it does show their staying power. You can see there is a little tip wear, but you would expect some wear and tear.


The little pack comes with 16 strips, so you have enough to make sure you have one for all your nail sizes, plus a couple of extras in case you make a mistake, but they are so easy to work with that you would be unlikely to find any issues. Each strip has slightly different shaped edges to suit different nail bed sizes. There is a cuticle stick to push back your cuticles and help smooth the strip onto your nail. And finally a nail file to shape your nails and remove the excess strip cleanly.

My tips for making these last:

  • As the directions say, use nail polish remover both at the very beginning and after you’ve shaped each nail to remove any particles that may decrease the stickiness.
  • Another pearl of wisdom from the directions that I didn’t read until after I had done my first nail, don’t do your thumbs first! I found that with all the peeling off of protecting layers you have to do, it is easier knowing you’re not peeling off the one you’ve already placed on your thumb.
  • Press firmly with the widest part of your finger, but don’t push the strip. In one instance I created a sort of hole, where it thinned out considerably.
  • Make sure you push the edges down firmly. These are the first places to lift, I found that coming into the 4th and 5th day that the edges at my cuticles were lifting, and getting caught in my hair, as well as the corners of the tips were lifting.
  • Use a top coat. while this isn’t entirely necessary because there is plenty of shine and stickiness to hold it down. I felt much safer using one (In my case OPI’s Rapid-Dry Top Coat), particularly to cover the tips of my nails.
I would highly recommend these. They last well past what I had expected, the are quick and easy to apply (took me about 20 mins) and there is no drying time (without a topcoat). There are so may pretty designs I’m now deciding which will be my next!
They retail for $14.95 and can be found at Priceline and various other Sally Hansen stockists.
Has anyone else tried these, or other brands of nail polish strips?