Hello from Georgia (instead of my native Florida)!
I finally took off the Revlon Colorstay blue nailpolish, and I put on some nail polish strips. I think of them as nail polish stickers, but they're made of actual nail polish. That gave me an idea yesterday as I was looking at them. You could use scrapbook punches and make your own cute little accents without any paint mess, and they'd be made out of real nail polish, and then you peel the backing off and apply the accents to your nails or to your manicure.
Here are some pictures (please forgive the poor quality--they're just iPhone pictures) of the product (more review info. after the pictures):
|Front of the little box.|
|Instruction sheet inside the little box.|
I thought it would be easier to use these strips while on vacation rather than bringing along base coat, nail polish, and more tools. I also thought it would be the same product as the blue Sally Hansen nail strips that I love, the Teal with It, just in a different color. It's not. The Teal with It strips were opaque and had a white sticky layer underneath the blue polish layer. The I Dare You red strips are just a very thin and translucent strip of red polish. The Teal with It strips had a different finish, too; they were metallic-looking as opposed to the creme finish of the red I Dare You strips. I don't know if the different of opaque vs. thin has to do with the different finishes or if the newer strips are just thinner than the old ones. The Teal with It strips are older, and I bought them on clearance, but the I Dare You strips I bought earlier this year as soon as they were in stores for Valentine's Day. Anyway, with the strips being so thin, they tear very easily, they were more difficult for me to apply, and I had very noticeable visible nail line.
|You can see how see-through the strips are in this picture. You can see the edge of my nail underneath the strip.|
It took me longer to do my nails with these strips than it would have taken to just paint my nails with a bottle of polish. It took me over an hour, maybe about an hour and a half or longer. I do have to admit that I made a mistake, though. I tried to cut off some excess edge off the strips before applying them so that I would have less hanging over to file off, but in doing that, I separated the strips from the little tabs on the ends, and the tab is the only easy way to remove the clear protective plastic on top of the strips. So, I wasted quite a while with each nail trying to nudge up the edge of the plastic with the pointy end of the orange stick.
You want to do your nails with your fingers as warm as possible, because you will be using your fingers to smooth out the strip on your nail. I would adhere the strip as close to the cuticle as possible, stretch it just a bit over the edge of the nail, and then smooth it out as much as possible. I did get a couple of wrinkles and many bare spots. For many of the bare edges, I took a little piece from another strip, cut to size, and would place it as a patch over the bare spot. You could barely see the overlap, because these strips were so thin. Still, I did use Orly Smudge Fixer to smooth out the wrinkles. I use Orly Smudge Fixer very often. If I get a ding in my polish, the Smudge Fixer will smooth out the area and make the dent disappear. It seems to remove some of the polish or dilute it a little to make it more liquid again. It leaves the nail with a beautiful shine and dries very quickly. I keep a bottle of similar stuff from Nail Aid in my desk drawer at work. I like the Orly better, but I can only get the Orly online, and I can get the Nail Aid stuff at local stores. The Smudge Fixer also smoothed out the overlapping pieces where I patched up bare areas.
Another tip about the Smudge Fixer: I actually bought it after reading a blog post (I don't remember where) about using the Smudge Fixer to bring back dried up nail polish strips to life. You see, once you break open one of the two little packets of strips inside the little box, they start to dry out, and they are basically not usable at that point. Sally Hansen wants you to throw them out and buy new ones. And, they give you enough in one little packet that you don't need to open the second packet in the box if you have very short nails and can cut the strips in half and still be able to cover your nail with half a strip. But, if your nails have grown, like mine did since I used the Teal with It blue strips, then one strip will only be usable for one nail and for patching up other nails with the leftover pieces. Heck, even if you only open the one packet, you will still have a couple of strips left over, and again, they dry out and become unusable. But, based on what I read in a post, if you just put the Smudge Fixer over the strip (over your nail), it smooths out, and it's supposed to be as good as new. I don't know, though, because I haven't tried it, but based on being able to smooth out wrinkles in the strips with the Smudge Fixer, I think it would revive some dried up strips, too.
I don't use base coat with the strips because the strips have to adhere to your nail. But, I do use top coat. I used my Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat. But, I got a lot of bubbling from the top coat on a few of my fingers. That's a price worth paying, though, because the top coat helps to seal off the edges of the strips that otherwise start to curl off the nail after about a day or so. Also, I think the polish strips probably last longer with top coat. The strips themselves had plenty of shine, though, so they don't need top coat to look shiny.
I use the mini orange stick, the slanted end, to take off the edges of polish strip that hang off the end of my nails. If that doesn't work well enough, I will go ahead and upgrade to using the little mini file that comes with the kit, but that mini file can sometimes scratch off the polish and give you instant tip wear. I do often have to use that little mini file around the corners of the edge of my nail. I also use the orange stick to push the strip into the edge of my nail bed all around, and then I use a little more pressure to separate the excess strip polish around the sides of my nail bed from the strip that I adhered to my nail.
I will say that this was easier to do on vacation than actual liquid nail polish in the sense that I didn't have to bring more bottles with me that could break, the little box of strips is portable and doesn't break, you don't have to worry about cuticle drag or bald spots, you can skip the base coat step, and there is no clean up to do.
|Taken in the sun from our hotel window. You can see the bubbling on my middle and pointer fingers very clearly here. The bubbling was from my top coat.|
|Picture taken in the sun from our hotel window this morning. You can see bubbling from the top coat on the middle finger. There is also some bubbling on the pointer finger. You can see a little VNL in this photo. IRL it's a LOT of VNL.|
|Picture taken in the sun from our hotel window this morning. You can see bubbling from the top coat on the middle finger. There is also some bubbling on the pointer finger. You can see some VNL, especially on the middle finger and pointer fingers.|
|Another picture in the morning sunlight from our hotel window. You can see the bubbling on my middle finger. The color of the polish strips is more accurate in the photos above than in this picture, though.|
|This is a blurry picture, but the manicure looks so much better when you can't see the flaws! ;-)|
|The tops of the polish bottles in the gift shop at our hotel. See? They were four different shades of red.|
Thank you for reading my blog!