sally hansen

My next product pick are the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips. These are a fairly new addition to the arsenal of nail products available, but I only recently had a real try with them.

I had purchased a set of these when they first came out, and when I finally went to use them, they appeared to have dried out. I do see a warning on the Sally Hansen product page warning of strips drying out after they are opened, but I don’t remember now if they had been previously opened. Either way, the actual strips are in a sealed package inside the box, so keep them in there until you are ready to apply!  Because of the dry factor, I only managed to do an accent nail last time. However, in celebration of the start of the 2013 Formula One season, I picked these up. They are called Check Please. Here are the results:

How great are these?!? They looked amazing, and they had no chips until 4 days after application – and it was a small chip on the tip of my index finger which will always chip first. My application was not at all perfect, but it wasn’t nearly as hard as I anticipated, and again, the staying power is ridiculously good. You remove the strips with normal nail polish remover, and that took some work in my previously discussed Target Dip-It polish remover tub. They are seriously sticky once applied.  I got tons of compliments on the nails in person, including being slightly accosted by a diner waitress who had some impressive claws of her own.

I think I will reach for these again when I’m going into a situation where I will not want to do my nails – I’m thinking long weekends, vacations, or any time when I want to have one of the lovely designs on my hands. Check out a big selection to shop from here on Amazon. I bought this recent set at CVS for something around $13 (I went for them as I got $5 in CVS bucks in return) The prices are much lower on Amazon, but I’m sure shipping charges may come into play as well.

Have you tried the Sally Hansen Salon Effects?

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Polish Project #48

by Jamie Sanford on December 8, 2012

Click here to see all of the previous Polish Project posts.


OK, first, let’s see where this all began:

For some reason, it never occurred to me to take a picture of the before shelf with a real camera instead of my phone. Either way, you get the idea. My homemade shelf was STUFFED with polishes, you can sort of see some of the bulging in a few spots. It was clearly out of control. I had no more room to shop, and no REASON to shop.

The Project

So I started this little project, where I figured I should test all of the polishes before I bought any more. I started testing polishes one by one, painting my nails and commenting on a spreadsheet derived from Sara‘s about application and staying power. I took pictures with my phone and blogged about them.

Soon enough, I realized that this was going to take a long damn time, and started grouping polishes by color. I wore a series of 5 pastels at one time – the Easter egg manicure, and did color gradients with purples, reds, blues. The grouping certainly helped things move along much faster. And meant less time exposing my nails to the acetone – and I still use acetone because of this amazing Target plastic bristle jar of polish remover.

I don’t remember how long it took me to break and buy polishes. I do believe I broke down when Walgreens was having a clearance event, and the Sally Hansen HD polishes were something like $1.25 each. I just checked and I was only on post 7, but it was a tough road to go from just collecting polishes to nothing. I bought a few, fell absolutely in love with the first one, and then hunted down the rest, all on clearance. I didn’t feel as bad about it.

So, from there, I bought a few here and there, sometimes on sale, sometimes just stuff I could not resist. I bought Fergie’s Hollywood Walk of Fame because I wanted those stars, and I bought random Orlys because they looked gorgeous. (The Orly polishes did not disappoint.) I definitely picked up some Hunger Games polishes when they were on clearance at Sally’s too, although 2 were for my Mom, who has benefited the most from this experience.

Perhaps the greatest success of this project was Mom telling me that she can’t even look at her old polishes anymore since she has so many fabulous new ones – and let me tell you, Mom had a penchant for some unfortunate brick-hued polishes before. I’m pretty sure her favorite out of what I’ve sent was either a Nicole by OPI shimmery orange (which I can’t find so I think I gave it to her pre-project), or King Arthur by A England. I am going to try to get her started on layering polishes when I see her for the holidays.

So, here at the end, my polish shelf doesn’t look all that different, at least if you only glance at it.

It looks full, right? Also the picture is 1500x better. Either way, you can see that the polishes are not all cramped and shoved in together like they were for the first image. The top 2 shelves are all OPIs, including minis. Then we have China Glaze, Orly, Essie, Sally Hansen, NYC, A England, Sinful Colors, Milani, Revlon, LA Colors, Zoya. The bottom row has Wet ‘n Wild on the far right, with Sephora by OPI next to them, and the rest of the row is single polishes from brands I have not frequented.

Lessons Learned

  • I very much prefer dark polishes to light ones, although the light ones have their moments.
  • I do NOT need every polish in a collection because they are a collection. I know now to check out blogger swatches and decide which polish is something I really want to wear.
  • A England polishes are superior to anything else I currently have in the collection. I bought 3 more of them last week because they had a sale – I have no regret or shame about it. If I was forced to, I would give up the rest of the collection and just use A England forever.
  • I need to get more into layering polishes. My favorite manicure of this entire project was a 3-layer creation.
  • I suck at stamping, and I’m not sure I care.
  • The dotting tool is totally fun. Not as fun as asking your husband to draw dots on your nails with a nail art pen though.

I am going to attempt to keep track of the polishes I use most frequently in 2013. I figure that this is definitely the next best way to cull the herd. I definitely still have a lot of blue and purple polish, probably more than necessary, but things being necessary was never the point of this, was it?

New project for next year, one much more in line with my career intentions. I will keep sharing polish experiences though. Thanks to everyone who read my posts and talked to me about the finer points of nail polish – it was an experience I did not expect.

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Polish Project #43

by Jamie Sanford on November 16, 2012

Click here to see all of the previous Polish Project posts.

151. Revlon Emerald
38. Sally Hansen Spectrum (retesting)
152. Wet ‘n Wild Hollywood Walk of Fame

Revlon Emerald, Sally Hansen Spectrum, Wet ‘n Wild Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Thoughts: Somehow I missed Emerald when I was testing the green polishes. It is similar to Don’t Mess with OPI but I love green so much that I don’t care. I threw the Spectrum over another test of Emerald because Spectrum is always good times. Hollywood Walk of Fame is a pain. Obviously I bought it because it has stars in it. Well, they do not apply so well.
Verdict: Everyone gets to stay. I don’t have an exact dupe for Emerald and I love green so it stays. I already loved Spectrum. The HWoF stars are annoying, but I can manually apply them when I really need stars.

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Polish Project #29

by Jamie Sanford on September 13, 2012

Click here to see all of the previous Polish Project posts.

112. Sally Hansen LCD
113. Sally Hansen Wavelength
114. Sally Hansen Hue

Hello, my little pretties. These are all Sally Hansen Hi-Definition nail colors, and were all obtained during the CVS Clearance Sale. They were something crazy like $1.60 each. I totally bought them during my nail-bargo, but I didn’t care because THE SAVINGS!

You’ll notice I’m using a nail wheel here. This is because these polishes are made of clear nail polish and magic and tend to change based on the polish you use underneath. For this reason, I knew I was always going to keep them all, because it’s going to provide lots of fun testing time. But you can see that painted straight on, they are pretty similar to how they look in the bottle. LCD is less pigmented than Wavelength and Hue.

Blurry, but you can see the blurple flecky shimmer happening in this picture of LCD.

Here’s Wavelength by itself. There are flecks here too, but they look more textured in this image than they are in real life.

Looks like Hue had the same problem.

Thoughts: These all stay. I plan to continue with manicure posts when I’m done with the official project (which is totally soon!) and these will definitely be fun to keep experimenting with. It’s too bad they are discontinued!
Verdict: As stated, they get to stay on the shelf!

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Polish Project #25

by Jamie Sanford on September 5, 2012

Click here to see all of the previous Polish Project posts.

98. Cover Girl Gold Rush
99. Sally Hansen Aisle Be There (32 cents on Amazon!)
100. Maybelline Rock Out (Apparently an old Limited Edition, this is an eBay link.)
101. Sinful Colors Pearl Harbor
102. Orly Love Each Other
103. OPI Servin’ Up Sparkle

As listed above, random topcoats!

I decided not to wear these for the test, since they don’t really have wear to report on. So I painted a bunch of nails on the wheel with some black polish and went to town.

98-100 Cover Girl Gold Rush, Sally Hansen Aisle Be There, Maybelline Rock Out.

100 Maybelline Rock Out.

100-102 Maybelline Rock Out, Sinful Colors Pearl Harbor, Orly Love Each Other.

101-102 From Top- Sinful Colors Pearl Harbor, Orly Love Each Other.

103 OPI Servin’ Up Sparkle.

Thoughts: These are all serviceable. I don’t think I appreciated the slight flakiness that the Sally Hansen Aisle Be There gives off so I’ll be working with that one again. You can see in the bottle picture that I use Servin’ Up Sparkle quite a bit, it’s great for space nails when I need the glitter variety. The only one I might dump is Sinful Colors because it’s so basic, but maybe that’s good every now and then.
Verdict: They all get to stay for now. I am looking forward to the showdown posts for all of the “maybe” nail polishes I have identified during this process.

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