I’m a huge fan of nail polish strips- they’re a quick and easy way to get cute patterns on your nails (especially when you have shaky hands… and a very, very uncoordinated left hand).When I got these cute polish strips in my Beauty Box 5 box, I was really excited! I have been feeling a little overwhelmed and burnt out in general lately (it must be the random cold snap we had- luckily it’s warming up again), and with all the foundation I’ve been trying, I’ve definitely been neglecting my nails. I figured now would be the perfect time to try out these strips!First Impressions: These are super cute! The only issue- I couldn’t find anywhere on the package what they called the pattern. I thought, “Oh, it must be Charmingly Cute,” but as I went to find the product to link, I discovered that is just a one of a few categories of patterns. I liked that they gave you 16 strips (2 sets of 8), so there are more size variations available, and the patterns are “reflected” to give symmetry between the hands- not just the same pattern. That looks really nice. When I opened up the packing, it came with a small emery board and cuticle pusher- also good to have in a set like this. However, it smelled more like vinyl than anything else. I always expect a nail-polish/varnish smell, but this smelled different.
Application: Not only do these smell like vinyl but that have that kind of stretch to them. I thought this would be nice to stretch-to-fit nails… While the application technique is unique- you have to pull a protective film off of the individual strip, then pull off the strip at the silver base, and then apply- I found it a bit complicated, and very difficult to apply correctly. I found it difficult to choose the right size (and chose the wrong size), and I actually had to trim down some material at the base. I also found that these “shrunk” a bit once on my nail, as evidenced by the exposed tip of my nail on every single nail. As suggested by the package, I added a top coat: my favorite, actually, the Freedom Polymer top coat from Julep, in order to get the most wear out of these. Because of the top coat, I can’t get a good reading on the glossiness of the strips or the smoothness. There appeared to be some bubbling and rough edges, but I associate that with my hasty top coat more.
Longevity: As I just mentioned, I put a top coat on this to improve longevity. I tend to do dishes and clean (chemicals) while I’m at home. To get a good reading on how this performs: Without a top coat, typical nail polish chips in 1 day, starts to peel off in about 3, and while bits and pieces may last, it is not presentable after day 5. My Julep polishes and some “long wear” polishes may get an extra 2-3 days wear. With a good top coat, typically polishes will go 2-3 days before the first chip and about 10-14 days of total wear. I applied these on a Tuesday morning. Wednesday, I took a shower and washed my hair, and I noticed my hair was “getting stuck” underneath the sides of the polish strip (they were starting to peel). However, with the top coat, they’re pretty thick, so I was able to ignore it. By Thursday, a section began to peel (again, in my hair) and actually tore off on my thumb. By Saturday, a section started to peel off on my right middle finger.
The next few days, the polish strips continued to peel off. I did my best to leave them on, but by Wednesday, they were almost half off and kept getting stuck in my hair- so I decided to just peel them fully off of my nails. They lasted on my nails for a little over a week. I can see them lasting the 10 days if you are very careful.
Overview: 6/10. They seemed like pretty typical polish strips, but they shrunk on my nails, pulled up quite a lot, got caught in my hair, and the pattern was too large for most people’s nails (so you lose a lot of the pattern). Plus, the vinyl smell was super strong. For $13, and just a week’s wear, I can’t justify buying these, but if you have the money in your budget as is, they might be nice. I still vastly prefer drug-store polish strips- they work just as well for a much lower price.