I've been on another strip kick when doing my manicures. One recent week, it was Essie's turn, as a while back, I'd found some of the designs in a Rite Aid clearance bin, which meant I could justify buying them even though they don't wear as well for me as nail polish strips like the ones from Sally Hansen or Incoco. The design I chose to wear this particular week was Over the Moon, which has a gradation of silver dots on a plain taupe background.
I had been about a year since I last wore any Sleek Sticks, but applying them went okay; I got a few ripples in spots but none too noticeable. The overall effect was "classy bling", which Essie is very good at.
The silver dots were just a little bit raised, which added an element of texture.
Given the type of strips these are, I wasn't surprised that they didn't wear well. By the end of day two, I had very noticeable tipwear. The color layer was getting rubbed off (pretty evenly, at least, so I had that going for me), leaving the clear plastic underlayer to get raggedy. I did use a treatment coat under these (Salon Sciences Starting Over After Artificials), but I don't think that made a difference as far as wear, since it was only happening at the tips.
I thought I'd add topcoat to try and slow the wear. It had been so long since I last wore Sleek Sticks that I'd forgotten Tracey told me she'd tried topcoat on these and it hadn't worked out very well, so I was very surprised to see that adding a coat of Diamond Dry created a crazy texture as it dried. It was rather interesting, actually, and since textured nails are a thing now, I went ahead and wore this look out of the house, hoping the bumps would distract from the tipwear.
I was intrigued by the topcoat wrinkling effect, so I experimented with different topcoats on some of the leftover strips, and found that the texture varied based on which topcoat I used. Below, it's Studio M Clearly in Love (a Valentine's Day collection relabel of their regular clear polish) on the left and Sally Hansen Triple Shine on the right. The Studio M made thinner ridges with larger flat sections between them than the Sally Hansen.
I got slightly different designs with NYC In a New York Color Minute (left, below) and Seche Vite (right).
I'll have to check my stash to see if I have another set of Sleek Sticks with a mostly plain design, as I'm thinking I want to try a multi-texture mani—I know I must have at least 10 different top coats I could use, so each finger could have its own style. Maybe there is a topcoat that won't wrinkle these; that would be nice, since then they might be able to last more on me than a couple days.