As many times as I've worn Sally Hansen strips, I'd never tried the French Mani ones until earlier this month, when I put on the Pink Macaroon design.
The directions on the side of the box are a bit different for these than the regular designs. For the regular, the steps are peel, apply, shape; for these, they're apply tip, apply strip, shape. The contents differ, too; like the regular designs, these have an instruction sheet, file, pusher stick, and two packets of full nail strips, but they also have a packet of tip strips.
In the tip strips packet, there are eight strips, which would initially seem like not enough for ten fingers, but each of them has two sections, so there's really enough for sixteen fingers in eight sizes.
I put on a coat of Orly Nail Defense before I started with the strips. That's not exactly the clean, dry nails the instructions recommend, but I want the extra protection because my nails tend to be weak, and it doesn't seem to affect the wear I get from the strips. I then applied the tip strips, which work just like the full length ones as far as peeling off the clear plastic from the top and the strip from the paper backing before putting the adhesive backed strip on the nail. The only difference is these are just for the tips. The curve cut into them matched my natural smile line pretty well.
I realized too late that rather than matching the tip strips to my actual tips, I should have cheated the placement a bit and brought the strips a touch higher on all but my ring finger, since my ring finger has a longer free edge relative to the other fingers when they're all the same distance beyond the tip of my finger. Ah well, I'm probably more aware of that than anyone else looking at my fingers.
Just like doing a French mani with polish, after the tips comes topcoat, except in this case, the topcoat comes in strip form. The full length strips in the package were perfectly clear and applied right over the tip strips. I got a couple wrinkles in them, but that was obvious only in macro shots. I also noticed a few air bubbles, but was able to get rid of those by tucking each finger under my t-shirt and smooothing the strip down with my opposite thumb rubbing the fabric in circles over the nail.
I noticed that the glitter as portrayed on the box was not an exact match for the glitter on the tips. The glitter printed on the box was larger-grained and more holo than that in the actual strips. Not a huge deal unless you had you heart set on tips that looked just like the box.
With the extra layer of strip at the tip, this mani wore even better than I'm used to with the Salon Effects. Here's what my nails looked like after seven and a half days, five and a half of which I spent pounding a keyboard at work—there's barely any tipwear at all:
My only complaint about these is that if the tip strips weren't packaged all together, I could have gotten two manis from the box, as I only needed to use one packet of the clear strips (cutting them in half as per usual so I could cover two nails with one strip, though my nails are just about long enough that that barely works now). No matter how I wrap up unused strips, I've never had any luck using them later if more than a few days passes.
Oh, I do have one more complaint, and that has nothing to to with the strips themselves—they just seemed a bit boring to me since I'm not used to my nails looking so plain. Pink glitter tips? Yawn. I've come quite a long way from the woman who would only wear sheer peach polish to work way back in the day.