You may recall that when I did my mani for the meetup, I sealed up the unused Incoco strips with the silver sticker thing in the package. I was very curious if this would keep them usable, so eleven days after I'd put them away, I took them back out to try. Since I'd only used four strips for the first mani, I had plenty left, so used them on all my nails save one accent nail. I also added some accents with dotting and glitter so the strips wouldn't look exactly like they had when I'd used them the first time. Here's the whole lineup of products I used:
I used the Sally Hansen Age Correct Growth as a basecoat; my supply of bottles that I hoarded just before they discontinued this is still adequate. On my accent nails (both index fingers), I used two coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Royal Shyness topped with two of Liquid Sky Lacquer Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins. All the rest of my nails got the Incoco Santa's Forest strips. I dotted the trees with Maybelline Salon Finish Outright Red, China Glaze Capacity to See Beyond, and individual glitters fished out of Rimmel Glitter Bomb Bling Thing. Each tree got topped with a big dot of Butter London Pimms, except for the two that got a glitter star fished out of Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins. Because I'd like Wet Paint Stardust over the strips so much the first time, I did that again, then put Hong Kong Girl topcoat over everything.
I'd noticed when working with the strips that they were not as flexible as the first time; they'd definitely gotten at least a bit dried out. They still stuck to my nails, mostly, but you can see them lifting and rippling at the sides. After I took these photos, I addressed that problem by splooging some topcoat along the sides of my nails, then squishing the strips down with the flat end of an orangewood stick before cleaning up the excess topcoat. I had to be forceful enough with the stick to smooth the strip but gentle enough that I didn't rip it or scrape part of it off.
If I were doing trees freehand, I would have rooted them at the tips of my nails, not the base, but with these strips they have to start at the base (I don't see how they could be printed the other way, since Incoco you have to apply them from the base and everyone's nails are a different length). I guess this way they’re right side up for me when I hold my hand out flat, and I look at my nails way more than anyone else does. Here are the trees on my right hand, flipped right side up:
And here's the mani just before I took it off four days later; you can see the sides are much smoother after the topcoat squishing treatment. There is some tipwear and some jagged bits at the base of some nails—I was bad and picked at them there.
When I took this off, I noticed some slight staining on my accent nails, I suspect from the Sally Hansen Royal Shyness. I'll have to be sure to use more than just a thin treatment as a basecoat next time I wear that. The silver sticker did preserve these strips well enough that I was able to use the leftovers successfully, but I'm not sure I would have been so lucky if I'd left them in storage much longer, and it's rare that I'd want to wear the same design twice that close together. I did seal up the remainders again and plan to pull them out at some point to see how stiff they've gotten.
Merry Christmas to those of you celebrating tomorrow! I'm going to take the day off from blogging; in fact, I might take the whole rest of the year off. I have swatches to share, though, so I'll for sure be back before too long.
The Wet Paint polish shown in this entry were provided free for review purposes. The others were purchased by me or swapped for.