See Sister’s Shortcut to Nail Art

Over the last 5 or 6 years, I have become a nail polish fanatic. I loooooove a bold, glossy nail. And I really enjoy taking the time to give myself a thorough manicure with a base coat, at least two layers of color, and two layers of top coat. In a future post, I’ll go into detail about my techniques and nail polish of choice.

What I have not become fanatical about is nail art. Mostly because I am a nail perfectionist. It’s at least a one hour undertaking to paint my nails a single color. If I start attempting patterns and design, it’s a massively time consuming endeavor. And I am inevitably frustrated when I fail to execute the design perfectly. Fortunately, this Christmas I was introduced to a product that combines my love of a bold nail, the current trend for arty nails, and speedily obtained perfect pattern.

Sally Hansen’s Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips


This Christmas, our sister Sarah came to Maryland bearing more than just POTYs and gifts for the kiddies. She came with several sets of these beauties. She recently discovered them and has been wearing them on a regular basis (you can see why she’s the sister who came up with the POTY idea). When CVS marked them down by 75%, Sarah swooped in and bought as many as she could find. They’re normally $10 a set, so at $2.50 each, they were a total steal.

Each set comes with 16 separate strips in eight different sizes (i.e. two sets of 8 for each hand); a mini emery board/buffer; a cuticle stick; and detailed instructions to walk you through application.

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Of course, with expert Salon Effects-er Sarah on standby, we hardly looked at the instructions. Instead, we just bellowed for her whenever we needed assistance, which was actually quite often, since we all felt unnecessarily stressed by the sticker application.

Bethany chose to be lame and did not participate in this sisterly-bonding experience, but Rachel and I were happy to give them a go. Nikki (Sarah’s childhood friend) and Hannah (my BFFFB (best friend forever from birth)), both of whom had stopped by that night to hang out, also got in on the fun.

First, you select the appropriate sizes for your nails. There are 8 sizes per hand so that you can be sure to get the right fit for your nails. Then you prep your nails by filing and buffing, tidying up your cuticles and giving everything a good and thorough swipe with acetone so they are free of dust and oil.

All this prep provides a good time for socializing, which Rachel, Hannah and I were happy to do. Nikki took her nails to the kitchen in order to play Shanghai Rummy (a longtime family-favorite card game). Sorry Nikki, that means no pic of you, but you can be comforted by the fact that you totally dominated at Shanghai while simultaneously doing your nails.

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Then you just stick them on and file off the excess. Sarah advised smoothly things down with the cuticle stick to make sure everything is totally stuck.


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Rachel chose sparkles (top left). Going clockwise from Rachel: Sarah had snakeskin (which she had applied already); Nikki chose an Art-Deco-inspired black-and-white; I took herringbone; and Hannah opted for the bright geometric pattern.

I really loved the herringbone pattern I chose, but it didn’t seem to stick as well as the others, and when it started to chip, it was much more noticeable. That was also probably due to my inexperienced application. By the time I got to my last few fingers, I felt like I really had it down. So the next time I attempt them, I should achieve better results.

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And I definitely will try them again, since Sally Hansen products are sold in the UK (small victory!), and because they so perfectly achieve the bold, patterned look with relatively little effort.

More importantly though, Sarah assured Hannah and I that these nails get her tons of male attention – mostly in supermarket check-out lines. Basically, she told us these nails are our tickets out of singledom…we just need to stick ’em on and head to the grocery store.

What about you? Have you embraced the nail art trend? Have you tried nail stickers or are you sticking with solid colors?


3 thoughts on “See Sister’s Shortcut to Nail Art

  1. fixfabulous says:

    I highly recommend the glitter ones. When they started to chip, it wasn’t as noticeable. I can’t wait to meet your future husband and hear which supermarket is the location of your love-at-first-nail-sighting.

  2. Katie says:

    Have you heard of Jamberry yet?

  3. Nikki Q says:

    So much fun! 🙂 I don’t know if I would call it fast. However, that may be because I was multi-tasking. My pattern was also very noticeable when it began to chip. 😦 BTW – when I paint my nails, Mary Kay colors stay on really well.

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