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Sally Hansen Real Nail Polish Strips- Reviewed & Recommended

April 12, 2011 Reviewed by admin 7 Comments
One of my multiple bad habits is biting my nails, which is not only an unfortunate tendency because of its obvious disgustingness, but also because of how aesthetically unpleasing my hands have become. While a manicure inhibits my nibbling, it only does so until that first nail chips (which is often only 2 or 3 days after I’ve gotten my nails done), at which point I begin to peel off the rest of the polish. Even without the chipping, getting my nails done as often as I need to in order to curb my nail biting is expensive. I thought about getting a gel manicure, but after a friend told me that the substance weakened her nails, I decided against it.

As I perused the racks at CVS one day, I came across a large shelf dedicated to Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips. Each little box was advertised as having “no dry time” and the ability to last “up to 10 days.” A nearby sign indicated that over 20 different styles are offered: everything from a floral pattern that Katy Perry would covet to leopard print and other intricate patterns that would be impossible to physically paint onto a nail are all normally available. But at my local CVS there were only two packages left. The cashier explained that the patterned nail strips were huge sellers and that they had to order more every single day. I picked up one of the two boxes, both labeled “Cry Baby.” Though this shade of pink is obviously the reject shade, at least in my neighborhood, I had high hopes for the strips themselves. Each package costs as much as my typical manicure does: $13 (including tax). Despite the price tag, I was willing to give these a try primarily because of my hope that they really would last for 10 days.

Inside the box, I found 16 nail polish strips, a small nail file with three differently textured surfaces, a cuticle stick and a set of directions. Each nail strip varies in size, and even opposite ends of the same strip are different; one is rounder and one is more square, making it easier to find the perfect shape for your nails. I applied the first strip to my pinky, and worked in towards my thumb. The process goes something like this: select the best strip for each nail, peel the strip off of the backing paper, place the strip on the cuticle line, smooth the strip down over the nail and finally, crease the excess strip over the nail and file it away.

I won’t say the process was easy; I definitely messed up a few nails by placing the strips too far down over the cuticle or by filing off excess strip and accidentally taking too much off. Plus, it was time consuming – it took me about 35 – 40 minutes to finish doing my nails (though I was very slow and meticulous about it). But I have to say, my nails looked great. And the second hand was much easier to do than the first hand was. I’m positive that the application process just takes a little practice. Other than the benefit of no dry time and the fact that these strips did, indeed, last 10 days (with only very minor chipping the last day), I learned that if your nails are small or normal sized and you are economic about the way you file excess strip, you can easily get two manicures out of one package. $6.50 for a manicure that lasts 10 days? Not bad.

Another plus is the product’s ingredients. I know of no nail polish that is truly “green,” or “natural” or void of all nasty ingredients. But Sally Hansen Nail Strips don’t have formaldehyde resin, formaldehyde, toluene or dibutyl phthalate, all common nail polish ingredients that are known to be toxic. While the formula isn’t perfect – it contains benzophenone-3 (also known as oxybenzone) and ferric ammonium ferrocyanide, a respiratory toxin – the amounts of these ingredients seem to be quite limited, as they are listed towards the bottom of the label.

Overall, I highly recommend Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish strips for their unique and varying patterns and colors, their ability to last as long as the package says it does (a rarity), and for their price to quality ratio.

Nitrocellulose, Polyethylene Teraphthalate, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol/Trimelitic Anhydride Copolymer, Bis Propane/ Bisaminomethylnorbornane Copolymer (Glycidoxyphenyl), Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Triphenyl Phosphate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Butyl Acetate, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Polyvinyl Butyral, Acrylates Copolymer, Stearalkonium Bentonite, Shellac Cera/ Shellac Wax, Dihydroxyethyl Cocamine Oxide, Benzophenone 3, Silica, Tin Oxide

May Contain: (+/-):, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI77499), D&C Red 6 Barium Lake (CI 15850), D&C Red 7 Calcium Lake (CI 15850), FD&C Blue 1 Aluminum Lake (CI 42090), FD&C Yellow 5 Aluminum Lake (CI 19140), D&C Yellow 10 aluminum lake (CI 47005), D&C Orange 5 (CI 45370), D&C Yellow 11 (CI 47000), D&C Red 22 (CI 45380), D&C Red 28 (CI 45410), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Aluminum Powder (CI 77000)
  • March 27, 2012

    by darlene

    Thanks for the review. I wanted to try these, but had to make sure they didn't have toxic ingredients.

  • May 2, 2011

    by Preksha

    I tend to ruin my manicure in about a day and a half so I HAD to try these (in the snazzy cheetah print of course!) It took about 15 minutes to apply, though I wasn't very particular or patient in the process, yet they still came out very nice, however,they lasted only four days before one peeled off. I managed to double up as well, but unfortunately, I'll have to use them sooner than I expected.

  • April 14, 2011

    by Mia

    I love these I actually used them on my toes - the zebra print ones :) So far I've had them on a week and no issues at all. I doubled up to so I have another pack to do it one more time.

  • April 14, 2011

    by Mare Horak

    I would love to know where you get your information regarding nail polish ingredients! Professional nail polish manufacturers haven't used those harmful ingredients in close to a decade! Unless you're talking about polishes you can get over the counter in any retail store!

  • April 13, 2011

    by Christine

    I just tried them as well! I went for the fancy lace pattern because I figured - if I'm going to do this, I might as well get the crazy pattern that I could NEVER achieve otherwise. I had a similar experience regarding application and I share your conviction of "practice makes perfect". I am sure that my next manicure will take half the time and look twice as good. And YES, there will be a next time. This product is crazy good for those of us who don't have time for professional manicures. It literally took me 15 minutes, and I now have black lace fingernails! I doubled up on the application, meaning I got two nails out of each strip - so I have plenty left for another go. Given that - this is also much less expensive than a "real" manicure. All around an excellent purchase and a new staple in my beauty arsenal.

  • April 13, 2011

    by kyle

    I also loved these nails. The variety of colors and patterns is so much fun. I found them pretty easy to apply and they did last quite a long time. BUT when I did remove them, my nails were very dry and fragile.
    I would probably do them again, but not on a regular basis.

  • April 13, 2011

    by Jeni

    I want to try these because they come in so many cute patterns (I don't know which one to choose because I like so many of them). But the price throws me off - I'm really cheap and sometimes balk at a $5 bottle of nail polish that lasts years. So I would probably only try these if I had a special occasion to attend:(

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