Monday, January 7, 2013

Recent NOTD: Sally Hansen Salon Insta Gel Strips Take the Stage

As I mentioned when I got back from my recent holiday, I used my time away to do another wear test of the Sally Hansen gel strips. Today I'm finally ready to do a review. I'd been very happy with the gel strips when I tried them the first time, in a very light pink called Shell We Dance. This time, since I was pretty confident they wouldn't chip, I chose a dark color, a charcoal glitter called Take the Stage. (These look quite a lot like the regular strips of the same name that came out with the limited edition Avril Lavigne collection early last year.)

With my nails still being short, I was easily able to get a full mani out of only one of the two packs of strips in the box. Rather than open up the bottle of get top coat that came with them, I used the one from the starter kit and there was plenty left to do this mani. I had no issues with the strips; they apply just like the regular ones, and I've used those so many times by now that I don't even think about it. I do wish I'd taken more care to get them really, really close to my cuticle; usually I change my nails so often that the gap isn't a big deal but I really should have thought ahead this time about how long I'd have these on. (We'll get to that a few paragraphs from now.)

I continue to find the mini LED lamp just adorable.

A full seven days later, the strips were still looking pretty good, with minimal tipwear.

I did manage to chip a few nails; below is my left thumb. I don't blame the strips for this, though, since I was a bad Karen and used my ungloved hands to scrape slush out of the track of our sliding glass doors at the ski condo. I am ashamed to admit I did this more than once. I touched the chips up with a polish that was close in color (Milani 2.0). I had to touch up my touch ups later because the polish was wearing off, but the strips held firm.

Here they are a few days later, so ten days in (you can see my skis blurred out in the background; this was at the end of our last day of skiing for the trip). There is some tipwear and the gap at my base is getting a bit wide; overall, things are looking really good for this many days, including more dishwashing and snow shoveling than usual.

A full two weeks after I'd applied them, the strips looked like this:

Normally, I'd file to get rid of the tipwear, but the directions for these say don't file, and I actually followed directions this time. Next time, maybe I won't and see what happens.

Because that gap at the base was really sort of horrible at this point, I experimented with turning this into a Ruffian with the help of a Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in Hot Pink. I filled the gap with the pen, then topped the whole thing off with some clear Nails Inc. polish I had stuffed in my topcoat box. The beauty of using the Nail Art Pen for this is I could clean up stray pink that got on the strips with water, which didn't affect the strips in the least.

Since I was just messing around before taking the strips off, I didn't try to lay down a base coat in the gap under the Nail Art Pen. If I were planning to wear the look for a while, I would have, as the pen is really pigmented and I could see it staining (also the strips have a thickness and filling the gap with base would help even that out under the Ruffian accent color).

Next time I have a chunk of time when I think I won't want to change my nails, I want to try the gel topcoat and lamp with regular Salon Effects strips and see how that works. I do usually get more than decent wear from the strips on their own, but if the gel topcoat works with them that'd be even better.


  1. Wow the wear is amazing! When you removed them, were your nails super dry and peely underneath?

    1. GothamPolish, the surface of my nails was fine--no dryness or roughness at all. As for peeling, my nails usually have some no matter what I do, and it wasn't particularly worse when I took off this mani; the nails that usually peel were starting to peel, the ones that usually don't were fine. Next time I wear these, I am going to be curious to see if filing once I see tipwear will help with that.

  2. You tempt me to try this everytime lol I love that little lamp too. I love the way you turned the growth into part of the mani. That was brilliant! Your nails grow so fast too.

  3. Wow! Awesome. I am continually amazed by Sally Hansen!

  4. Thank you for this! I'll have to try them. The ruffian - great idea!

  5. Ok I love how you turned this into a ruffian! Such a good idea!

  6. I'm really tempted to get these! I love how you recycled the mani into a ruffian!

  7. The ruffian idea was brilliant - and I'm pretty amazed how well they wore...!

  8. those looks amazing, great idea with saving it with ruffian ;)
    love that mini lamp :D

  9. aw the ruffian is really pretty, i like the color combo :) beautiful!

  10. The lasting power of these is incredible! And haha what a genius idea with the ruffian, soo pretty =]

  11. great wear on those strips...and amazing to see how much your nails grew out in two weeks! that ruffian was very creative too!

  12. Great idea with the ruffian! It's quite impressive the strips last so long and still look good, it just makes me worried about girls that leave them on that long and DON'T do anything with the gap.... *facepalm* That's a huge pet peeve for me because girls around here are addicted to acrylics and most leave them on waaaaaaaay too long. Like they can't see how bad it looks. :p OH!! If you haven't heard: Pure Ice is adding 20 of their LE colors to the regulare line-up!! :D I don't know when yet, but hopefully at least some of those will be the velours!! :D :D :D

  13. WOW!!! These strips are amazing, two full weeks!! I'm really impressed.

  14. I've never used these strips, but after your post I think I should try them! Two weeks are soooo long... :-) Ruffian manicure - great idea! :-)


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