Because I am perpetually behind on posting my nails of the day, it's only now that I'm getting to what I wore to my niece's wedding in the middle of June. I mentioned when I got back from that trip that my nails didn't look so great. Since I was not the bride, the state of my manicure was not important, but I was bothered nonetheless.
My naked nails were in pretty decent shape when I started my wedding weekend manicure; that wasn't the problem. I had hints of peeling on some nails, but nothing that a file and buffer couldn't take care of. There was also still some staining remaining on my ring finger, which would be hidden completely since I wasn't planning on wearing anything sheer.
The photo above was taken in natural light coming in the window rather than in my trusty lightbox, which offers a clue about the root cause of one of my problems with this manicure. I hadn't setup my lightbox because I didn't have time. I didn't have time because I'd put off doing my nails until just before I had to get in the car and drive to Chicagoland. Because I'd soon be loading luggage into the trunk and fiddling with car keys and sunglasses and such, chances were high that I'd dent fresh polish, even with a quick dry topcoat, so I turned to the Sally Hansen strips that I've been happy with both the first time and second time I tried them. Quick to do, and no drying time: perfect for this situation. I chose the plain gold ones, called Raise a Glass, as they would complement the busily-patterned flowered dress I was wearing to the wedding and wouldn't be so flashy as to draw criticism from the distant and cranky ex-relatives who'd be there.
The design/color was a good call, but these particular strips didn't apply nearly as nicely as the others I'd used. They felt thinner, which made them more prone to rip and harder to work with in general. I can only imagine that the process which prints the designs, like the flowers or the fishnet, adds a layer of thickness that helps make them more manageable. I did my best, but I still ended up with major bubbles on some of my nails and all my ridges showing.
I think these strips actually highlighted my ridges; here's my right thumb, which looked especially mountainous:
Maybe if I hadn't been rushing it would have gone better, but that wouldn't have made the strips any thicker. Since I'd left it 'til late, I didn't have time to re-do my nails and just had to live with the obvious flaws. No one said anything or even seemed to notice all weekend, but I wasn't pleased with it and kept trying to smooth the bubbles out with no luck.
When I got back home, I was busy catching up from being gone so didn't want to take the time to do a new mani. Instead, I turned to my good friend, glitter, which fixed things right up and put a smile on my face. Two coats of Petites Color Fever Pink Diamond over the disappointing strips made it all better.
I'll keep using the patterned Sally Hansen strips, but I'm not buying these plain ones again. Sure, I could use base coat underneath to deal with the ridges issue, and I bet if I worked very slowly and carefully I could avoid the ripping and bubbles, but if I have the time to do that, I might as well use regular polish and save some money.