Sally Hansen Salon Effects real nail polish strips

salon effects package

My curious nature strikes again. I have seen these Sally Hansen Salon Effects nail polish strips around for a while now, and always wondered how well they would actually perform. I saw my cousin wearing them and she said that they were great, and then the following day I saw them on special – so of course I couldn’t resist. They’re normally $20 for a pack of 16, which is kind of expensive, but with 20% off I had to get them. Unlike some other brands that are stickers, these are actual nail polish. I have no idea how they make nail polish into these little strips, but I’m going by what the packaging says. I got number 43 – Laced Up, because I wanted ones that looked like nail art that I couldn’t do, not just plain old polish.

The package comes with 16 nail polish strips, a small nail file, a small orange stick, and of course, instructions on how to use them.

Sally Hanson salon effects equipment 

There are a range of sizes of the strips, and you choose the ones that best fit your nail. I found that most of them could be cut in half because they were so long – I don’t think I’ll quite get another set out of this kit, but I will have plenty to use as accent nails in the future.

I found applying these strips to be quite difficult, and time consuming. It took about 45 minutes, so it wasn’t a quick process at all. You start by shaping your nails which I already had done, and wiping them down with nail polish remover so that there are no oils on the surface of the nail. Then you choose the right size strip, which is straight forward. One of the most difficult parts of the process for me was peeling the clear plastic off the top without ruining the polish underneath. It didn’t come off easily, and resulted in a fair few swear words being uttered. The strip underneath the polish came off easily, but the plastic on top was a nightmare. Once the top and bottom coats are off then you stick it to your nail, and smooth it down with the orange stick. The instructions say to file the rest of the strip off, but I had at least half a strip left on all of them, so I cut it off and then filed the last bit off. The filing tore the strip a couple of times, and left me with slightly chipped looking nails, so I got into the habit of just cutting it to the right length and foregoing the file.

An example of a filing fail that I had
An example of a filing fail that I had

Eventually I got them all done, and this is how it looked


The big question: how long did they last? I’ve been wearing them for four days, and they’re starting to chip now, so I’ll probably remove them tomorrow. I don’t think that’s too bad, considering I’m fairly hard on my nails, but if you wanted it to last longer you could always try applying a base coat.

I’m glad that I bought these, because it was an interesting experiment, but I don’t think I’ll buy them again. They cost $20 here in NZ, and for that I could buy a couple of Peacock Pie polishes, and you get so much more for your money. It was cool having the nail art, even my male personal trainer noticed my nails, so maybe I’ll buy them on the odd occasion but I certainly won’t be making a habit of it.

Have you ever used nail stickers – did you find it as difficult as me? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to know what you think!

Lena x




  • I brought some of these in Hawaii for $4 and they’re so time consuming but they look awesome.

    • For $4 I think I’d be a bit more into them, but they weren’t cheap so I had high expectations!

  • dazyndara

    Wow, what a mish! Did you file straight across? I got a pile for cheap at Sephora (some stickers, some real polish) and file the ends vertically down like I’m using the filing motion to press the ends harder into my nails, and that’s always worked out alright!

    • Yeah, I did file straight across! Filing down like that sounds like it would work MUCH better, I’ll try that next time!