Friday, March 25, 2011

Recent NOTD: Sally Hansen Girl Flower

Yesterday, I finally removed the Sally Hansen strips I've been wear testing, so today I have my review of them. As I mentioned when I posted a picture of the display, I was intrigued by the idea but resistant to spending nearly $10 on color for one manicure, so I didn't immediately grab any of these. They did go on sale at CVS just before I left on vacation, and I decided to satisfy my curiousity. I got several of the more elaborate designs—ones I couldn't see recreating myself with liquid polish. Because my trip overlapped with the first day of spring, I packed the very spring-like Girl Flower design with me to try when I got some downtime (the ski slopes are only open so many hours a day, after all).

These are packaged in a small box which contains the strips (16 of them in various sizes in a blister pack), a mini orange stick, a mini file/buffer, and instructions.



The instructions were good, and definitely necessary as without them I'm not sure I would have realized that there's a clear protective top sheet that needs to be peeled off in addition to the backing on the strips. I was able to find pretty close fits for most of my nails; not all were a perfect match for the curve and width but neither is my application of liquid polish a lot of the time. I got a few wrinkles in the tips of some of the nails, got a couple strips on crooked, and in one case pressed too hard with the orange stick when smoothing around the edges and gouged some of the strip off, but all in all it was pretty easy to do and didn't take very long, especially since this was the first time I'd used them. One of the best parts was I was able to apply them in the same room as Mr. Karen; he hates the smell of polish, so I never get to hang out with him when I'm doing my nails, but these didn't bother him. They do have a very slight odor, probably nothing I would have noticed if I hadn't been hyper sensitive about the issue.





The strips are plenty long. With my fairly short nails, I felt like I was wasting a lot of product, filing almost half of the strip off the end. I'm tempted to try cutting them closer to size the next time and seeing if I can get more than one mani out of a box (or maybe a mani and matching pedi—can't remember the last time I sported that look). I'm not sure how I'd seal them back up to keep air off the strips for later use, though; I'll have to ponder that.



I definitely felt fancy by the time I was done with all ten nails, and I wasn't the only one who found the design eye catching—I got more comments and compliments on this mani than anything I've worn recently, including ones from the kind of people that don't generally say anything about my nails, like food service cashiers, flight attendants, and even a guy at work. One thing I hadn't planned but which delighted me was how well the flowers coordinated with my very girly powder skis—sure I was wearing gloves most of the time when I had the skis on but I still knew.



Ski trips tend to be hard on my hands, so I wasn't surprised to see some signs of wear by Day 6. I was pleased to see how well the strips were holding up, actually. I lost some bits on the tips where I'd gotten the wrinkles when I'd applied (I'll remember to be more careful next time), and a few more at the base of my nails, which I evidently hadn't smoothed down as firmly as the sides and tips (another note to myself for next time). The flower design is busy enough that the missing bits weren't very noticeable, so I was happy. (Day 6 photo below.)



By Day 10, the last day I wore them, there was a noticeable gap at the base of my nails even on the ones that weren't missing bits (I'll put them closer to the base to start with next time), some very minor tipwear, and a chunk out of both the strip and my nail on my ring finger thanks to jamming it on my suitcase handle on the trip home. I was impressed. My conventional manis don't last this well on trips, even with touch ups, which of course I couldn't do with these since I don't have flower polish. (Day 10 photo below.)



Before I took them off, I felt compelled to answer one of the burning questions in the nail polish community these days, namely "what would that look like with crack on top?" Here's the answer:






OPI Black Shatter worked just fine on top of the strips and camouflaged the imperfections that had shown up with wear. I'd been a tiny bit worried that the adhesive in the strips would damage my nails, especially since I didn't use my normal treatment and protective basecoats, but when I removed them (they came off with regular remover same as conventional polish) if anything my nails looked better than they have been lately, probably because they'd gotten a ten-day vacation from acetone. I have to say I'm sold on these strips. I still think they're expensive, but they do last a long time. I liked seeing them on my tips and so did other people. I'll definitely use them again for special occasions or when I have a long stretch when I can see I won't have time to change polish. Good job, Sally; could you not discontinue these for a while, please?

23 comments:

  1. Su cute!!
    I love this design!!
    With the shatter it's awesome!!

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  2. Looks interesting and they really stay on nail, Essence sticker stated lifting immediately. :) I love the pattern, it's really perfect for spring and with black shatter it looks fun too! :)

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  3. Hi Karen! I just purchased a set of these for myself. Not the same pattern, but I'm going to try them out tonight I think. I just wish my nails were about your length (which is the length I try to achieve). Curious to see how they hold up on me. I'm not holding my breath. :)

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  4. They seem to really hold up well. I have been on the fence with these but they look pretty and pretty easy. I just can't get over spending that much on them. They do look really nice on you :)

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  5. It looks like a foil i had before but i stoped using foil because on me doesn't last. It starts to chip the very next day so this could be a good alternative:)

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  6. This design is soooo cute ! I love it :)

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  7. Oh, you are making me want to go get some of these to try with this post of yours! :) I wish they were a little cheaper! But, the pictures look awesome! Very pretty! :)

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  8. I love it with the Shatter over top! These are cute, but I just can't bring myself to get them. Maybe when I go on vacation in June...maybe.

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  9. Very pretty! I agree that they are a little expensive because that is the only reason I haven't picked some up but they seem very cute and convenient =]

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  10. The design is really cute plain but with the shatter over it, it looks so cool! I love all the bright colors peaking through! Fantastic Idea!!

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  11. these looks great on you! I've been wanting to try some but I'm not sure how they'd go on my little stumpy nails... hahaha

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  12. i also got a few wrinkles when i first tried them. i think i was so excited to put them on i rushed.

    your mani looks like artwork with the shatter on top!

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  13. Great review, thanks! And it does look REALLY cool with the shatter on top.

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  14. so cute, lovely design, and love the way black shatter looks on it :-)

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  15. Hey Karen, which K2's are those? I have the Phat Love's from the same year. Now that I am living on the East Coast I have to get a differnt pair, these suck for carving on ice!

    Back on topic! Great idea to use the shatter over the polish strips!

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  16. Wow, they look great! I have Nail Rock ones I'm trying to get up the courage to have a go with. I didn't think they would last as long as yours did, they seem pretty hard wearing! I must have a go :) x

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  17. ooh! that design is so cute! & it really actually lasts 10 days?! might have to try it :P

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  18. Thx for the review! I think they'd be great when on vacation...how do you think they would hold up in some steady water (ie pool/hottub/ocean etc)?

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  19. I have been tempted to try those strips. I keep picking them up and putting them back. I just can't justify ten clams for one manicure and a few leftover strips for accent nails. Maybe if they go on sale and I have a coupon...

    Anyway, I love that design and they looked smashing on you. I am impressed by how well they wore and how nice they looked, even after they and been through a ten day ski vacation.

    The shatter on top reminded me of those pictures we used to make as kids. We would paint a bright picture, then go over it with black, then scratch a design in the black to expose the colours beneath.

    I think I just seriously dated myself... :D

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  20. What a...showstopping pattern! I don't think I would ever have the courage to wear that pattern! But it looks great with the black shatter layer.

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  21. Wow! That is amazing! I think I'm gonna give these strips a try.

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  22. Thanks, everyone!

    styrch, looking forward to seeing how they work for you. As for length, I think I'm going to have to take mine down some soon (darn peeelies).

    jbrobeck, I answered on your blog, but anyone else who's wondering, the skis are Phat Luvs from several years back.

    Katrina, yep, 10 days with only a few chips and really minimal tipwear. I was pleasantly surprised.

    mrsrexy, not sure about a beach vacation, but I did do a lot more dishwashing on this trip than I would at home.

    Ice Queen, hee--I know exactly what you're talking about--I made pictures like those!

    Joan, I bet you could!

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  23. I also bought these (different pattern though) but messed up the application on the first nail and was too stressed to continue with the rest. But I have one set left, maybe I should try it again.

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