Saturday, June 7, 2014

Recent NOTD: Sally Hansen Salon Effects Done to Scale

Ever since I tried my first package of Sally Hansen Salon Effects strips over three years ago (the Girl Flower design), I was hooked. I still think they're a little pricey, but being able to get two manicures out of one package helps, as do regular sales at drugstores (and sometimes old designs show up even cheaper at Five Below). I have quite an inventory of designs at the ready for weeks when I want something that is quick to do and will last all week.

This spring when the limited edition Salon Effects designs showed up, they were in new packaging, with fewer strips and a lower price. Of course I bought some to review, and I finally got the change to try them recently. I chose the Done to Scale design, which has a turquoise and silver design that brings to mind a mermaid's tail. You'll see that these are packaged flat, not in a little box like the core designs.

Please pardon the intrusive watermark up there; I'm hoping to discourage any eBay sellers who want to take my photos and use them in their listings. There's one lady know who is using my image to sell Color Foil polishes (after obscuring my watermark) and when I asked her to stop, said she didn't know what the big fat deal was and told me to stop bothering her. Some people.

Here's the back of the package, which says that open, unused strips should be discarded, which I take to mean like the exisiting designs, they will dry out when exposed to air (just like liquid nail polish).

Inside the package, there's a sealed packet with the strips. That's it. No mini file or pusher stick like the previous packaging has (even the Salon Effects Pedicure Strips, which were in a packet like ths, had the file and stick). There are twelve strips in all, in two sets of six, which is less than the 16 strips in the previous packaging. It appears that they left out the largest and smallest sizes from the previous lineup. At Meijer, where I bought these, they were priced at $5.29, compared to $8.58 for the core designs in the boxes), so that's something, but considering these can only be used for one mani where I can get two out of the boxes, they're actually more expensive on a per mani basis. They are much easier to store and mail in swaps, though, I'll give them that.

The strips themselves seemed comparable to the ones in the old packaging, and applied just the same. I'd been meaning to try usng the topcoat and lamp from the Salon Effects Insta Gel kit on regular strips, so I did that with these and it worked just fine. I did get a few wrinkles in some of the strips; guess I'm out of practice. I wanted to see if I could conserve enough of the strips to

I wanted to see if I could conserve enough of the strips to also do a pedicure (since I couldn't save half the strips for a second manicure down the road), so I did my usual practice of cutting strips in half before applying; my nails are short enough to make this work, though some of the strips taper more at one end than the other, so fit on some of my nails was less than ideal. As it turned out, I did manage to do a pedi, too. The smaller toes were no problem, other than having to cut strip leftovers down to size for some of them, but my big toes did not get great coverage because they're wider than the widest strip in this package (since the biggest size from the previous package was left out). I'm counting on no one getting close enough to my feet to notice. In deference to those of you with delicate sensibilities that can't take looking at feet pictures, I've put my toes behind this link.

A couple days later, the strips were still looking good (and happened to coordinate nicely with the carpet in my office).

Eight days after I put them on, I had only minor tipwear; having the gel topcoat on probably helped with that, though I have worn Salon Effects strips on their own in the past with similar results. And of course I had developed quite a gap at the base as my nails grew.

To subtly change the look before I took these off, I added one coat of Wet Paint Voice of Raisin (one of the jellies I got for review and posted about the other day).

I'm happy that the strips don't seem to have changed with the change in packaging, but I don't like that I won't be able to get two manis out of one package. The blister packs set Sally Hansen strips apart from all other brands I've tried, and now they've lost that distinction.

Edit 09-Jun: Over the weekend, I remembered that Perl Fashion Nail Strips also have two packets in a box.


  1. like the design, i recently got my very first sh decals, can't wait to try them :D

  2. I know! I'm disappointed in the packaging change too. I haven't heard too much about it so I'm hoping that this is just for their limited edition strips and not for the permanent designs. I'm probably just going to end up keeping the strips even if they're dried out. You can cut them with hole punches or scissors and just use them as decals with slower drying top coat.

  3. Oooooh, I really like this design; and you can barely tell that the strips didn't want to fit your big toes. Looks great! I think I'd be more likely to buy these with the new (cheap) packaging. Couldn't you use, like, ziploc snack baggies to keep them fresh?

  4. I really appreciate this in-depth review. I was excited about the new designs, having seen them on the Sally Hansen website. But when I saw them in the store, I was surprised by the new packaging and decided to forgo them until I could find out more. I do like a lot of these new, LE designs, and it's great that you were able to get a full mani plus pedi out of one set, so I might actually go ahead and buy some now!

  5. I've never tried these but this one looks nice! I like the addition of the jelly - it's very subtle but you can just make it out :-)

  6. I'm loving the print of these!

  7. cute pattern! I haven't tried the Sally Hansen ones but I've had issues with the strips I've tried in the past wrinkling also but it could have also been my application. I like how they look with a tint of color over them also


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