Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips

I received some Sally Hansen Salon Effects “Frock Star” nail strips in my Influenster Spring Beauty VoxBox. These suggested retail price is $9.99, available at chain drug stores, food stores and mass merchandisers nationally.


It comes with everything you need, from the cuticle stick to the nail file. The first nail I worked on I did very carefully, following the instructions to a tee, or so I thought. After I finished my thumb (the thumb strips are on top, so it seemed logical) I noticed one of the asterisks says to do the thumbs last. Hmm. After finishing my nails, I see why they would say that. It would be easy to get a nail strip stuck to your thumb during application. No big.. I know better now.

Each nail got progressively easier, but it wasn’t a flawless application. On one finger a small bit tore off, leaving a tiny piece of nail exposed. Because of the glitter pattern, it was very easy to patch that with some nail strip scraps, but that would not work with most other patterns.

On one end of the nail strip is a tab that is torn off. One side of the strip is more oval while the other side is a rounded square shape, so you can pick which shape best fits your cuticle. It may just be the glitter pattern, but the tab did not cleanly tear off of all the strips, making the tabbed end unusable.

If you have to make the choice between a strip that is slightly too wide for your nail and a strip that is slightly too narrow, choose the narrow one. The strips stretch the tiniest bit, and it’s easier to do that that deal with excess strip on the skin. The instructions say that the strips will stretch a little, but be very, very gentle.

Wear & Tear

I cannot express how impressed I am with the wear time and durability of these nail strips. The package says they will last up to 10 days, but I didn’t believe it. Mine survived two days straight spent in the pool during Memorial Day weekend which was impressive enough. I thought the constant moisture and sunscreen contact would surely make them peel right off. Even playing pool volleyball they didn’t chip.

They also survived my move to Denver! That means packing boxes, loading my things into the truck, unloading, unpacking, setting up and arranging… how in the WORLD? After all of that, there were only a few minor chips to show for it (left hand: corner tip of pinky and thumb, right hand: corner tip of middle finger).

The cuticle end of the nails held up extremely well with absolutely no signs of wear/tear until day 9. You can see in the photos my nails began to grow, and only then did the cuticle end suffer any damage. The nail tips did wear off slightly, maybe a few millimeters. When you apply the nail strips you file off the excess strip, so it makes sense that daily activity would wear at the tips.


I love/hate glitter polish because it’s bright and fun, but it can be very difficult to remove. When I received these I thought, these strips are the answer to my glitter-prayers. (Yes, I dream in glitter.) Unfortunately, the removal process was this product’s biggest flaw. The instructions say to remove with nail polish remover, but doesn’t offer any advice or tips. Unfortunately, like with regular glitter nail lacquer, the cotton swab got caught in the glitter. I tried soaking the nail before removing, but it didn’t help significantly. I even tried the aluminum foil trick and I still ended up scraping off the glittery remains.


  • Mess-free application. Some people can paint one hand perfectly, but the other one turns out to be a lacquered mess. These are for you.
  • Intricate patterns available. Even for the nail experts (I consider myself advanced in the nail department), these could be great for a very intricate pattern that’s not easily accomplished through traditional nail art. Sally Hansen offers several fine-detail patterns that I could never achieve on my own (Misbehaved, Laced Up, Mod About You, just to name a few).
  • Durability. I still cannot get over how GOOD these nails looked after 10+ days.


  • Removal. I can’t speak for every pattern, but Frock Star was no fun to remove. 
  • Application time (depending on pattern). Even with two coats, a top coat, and time spent letting each coat dry, I really think it would take me less time to apply glitter polish. Now, could I say the same for a pattern? Probably not. I really don’t think a solid color nail strip would be worth the time for someone that can decently paint their own nails.
  • Cost. $10 for one set of nails? Depending on your location, manicures will range from $10-$15. If you’re going for a basic color, you might as well fork over an extra couple of bucks to pay for a real manicure.


For me, the application was easy and the quality was high enough, that price is the only factor that would hinder my decision to purchase. The $10 would be most worth it to me for one of the more intricate designs. The removal of “frock star” was no walk in the park, so I would avoid this pattern in the future for that reason alone. I think the solid colors may be worth it for someone who just can’t keep their hand steady enough to apply on the “wrong hand,” and the simple patterns may be worth it to someone that has yet to venture into the work of nail art.

FTC disclaimer: I received this product complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster.

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  • Reply Amanda

    A fantastic, in depth review, Kelsey! I’m pretty shocked myself at how long these lasted! I’ve really been wanting to try out nail strips, but the price tag always stops me >_< <3 Amanda,

    June 6, 2012 at 9:22 pm
    • Reply Kelsey

      I remember a long time ago Ariel B. was wearing them, and they looked so nice. She had the lace pattern. The fact that I still remember this a year later is impressive. I’m glad I got to sample them, I’ll be purchasing in the future.

      June 9, 2012 at 10:08 pm

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