So I was offered two sets. The first one that shouted at me was this one, Sherlock. Click on the link, seriously, they are so cute!. The first thing that stood out to me was that the designs are different on each strip. It wasn't just the same laser print printed on each strip. Which brings up another thing. These aren't laser printed. They don't look pixelated like the NCLA ones do.
These come in a package of two strips with 7 strips each (sorry I didn't take pics, I was too excited). They don't come in an air tight package like a lot of strips do, and I think it's because they have a protective layer over them. Like a nail strip sandwich. Now, one issue I have with strips, is they don't make them for my skinny nails. There was no way these sizes would fit all my nails. The smallest one was way too big for my pinky. And since my ring finger and index finger are the same size, and all these strips are different sizes, I had to do accent nails with these. Well, that, and I'm super lazy and don't have the patience to apply all of these to all my fingers! : )
So how do these apply you ask? Like butta! While they aren't easy to apply, I will say, the final outcome is WAY better than expected. As I said in my NCLA review, I have very curved nails from front to back, and side to side. This makes strips wrinkle on the sides. And that drives me nutso.
The instructions for how to apply these are as follows:
- Soak your hands in warm water for 5 minutes. Dry hands, then gently push back cuticles. Carefully remove any excess skin around the nail bed.
- Moisturize your hands with lotion, and wait 1 minute.
- Using a Q-tip, remove any leftover lotion from the nail bed, paying special attention to the sidewalls, cuticle area and tip of the fingernail.
- Select the appropriate sized nail strip for each nail to ensure the nail will be covered from sidewall to sidewall. Using a nail strip that is too large for a particular nail is not recommended; rather, trim the strip the scissors to the appropriate width.
- Peel off the clear coating, and then carefully remove the nail polish strip from the sticker backing,
- Start by placing whichever end on the nail strip that works better for your nails at the cuticle and apply it by smoother the strip towards the tip and your nail, smoothing out and bumps and ensuring the strip is tucked neatly into the sidewalls.
- File away any excess nail strip by holding your nail file parallel to the surface you are working on, as filing the nail perpendicularly will cause tearing along the tip.
- After you have applied all ten polish strips, take a cotton ball the has been dipped in polish removed with the excess remover wrung out, and swipe each nail 1-3 times, paying special attention to the sidewalls, tips and cuticle area. This step is especially important, as it melts the strip to your nails, allowing for longer lasting wear.
- Apply a finishing topcoat, and wait 5 minutes for it to dry completely.
Now....I did not follow instructions. Partly cause I'm a rebel, and partly cause I didn't like them. I did not want to soak my nails in water for 5 minutes, which would make them expand. I did not want to apply lotion right before applying these.....I can't imagine that makes these last long. And, I did not want to run a ball of acetone over the top. I could see that causing fuzz central! Not to mention removing some of the design.
Instead, I removed all my polish, scrubbed my nails with my nail brush, and applied. Actually, what I found helped a lot is to leave the protective film ON while placing on my nail, so I could get the strip where I wanted. And if it did not go where I wanted, I could litterally just lift it up, with no issues, and reapply. Had the protective film not been on it while I did that, they would be way to stretched out to work. Once I got it where I wanted, at my cuticle, I took the plastic film off, and stretched these over my nail. I was even able to "wrap my tips" with these babies! I stretched these and with my thumb nail, cut off the excess under my tip.
Once I was done, I topcoated them. These were easy to clean up since they are real polish, and not just "stickers". You will see a little oopsie on my ring finger. I hadn't realized that these were actual polish when I was cleaning up the topcoat, and accidentally removed some of the strip. You will also see some imperfections on my middle finger. I got some fuzz when I was topcoating it, and dug it out with an orange stick. So I had to go over it again with more topcoat, which in turn made lots of bubbles. Then because of all the topcoat, it shrunk at the tips, which I then just applied some black polish too. These were all user errors, not errors of the strips. My other nails look great!
In short, these were awesome to work with. My only complaint is the sizes. Why can't no one make sizes for my skinny minnie nails?!? I'm trying to figure out what to do with the rest of the strips I didn't/can't use. The middle size will fit my thumb nail...but the two larger sizes? One might fit my big toenail. But the largest size? Do people really have thumbs that big?!?
Currently OMG Nail Stips is running a promotion of 4 for $20 with cupon code "4pack" and 10 for $45 with coupon code "10pack". And they also offer free shipping to the US and international.
In short, would I buy these again? Absolutely! I'm looking at the holiday ones cause lord knows I can't do no Christmas nail art!!
**This product was sent for review.