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Sally Hansen Salon Effects: Buy it or Skip?

Updated on November 4, 2011

Sally Hansen is a leader in makeup and beauty products. Nearly anything you can name, the company probably makes it. The company introduced its line of Salon Effects, which it bills as real nail polish strips. Other nail strips use a plastic-type material that looks shiny and fake. The Salon Effects line uses real nail polish in its strips, which gives the nails a natural look.

The company makes over 20 designs, including traditional nail polish colors and unique decorative designs. You might discover that many stores only stock a limited selection of strips, giving you less choices. Some of the nail polish strip designs include a lacey design, leopard print, pink sparkles, and a hounds tooth check pattern.

How it Works

According to Sally Hansen, you must apply the nail polish strips to clean and dry nails. Remove any existing nail polish with a nail polish remover, but wash and thoroughly dry your nails afterwards. For a more realistic look, push back your cuticles with a cuticle stick.

Peel the nail polish strip off the attached backing and smooth down across your nail, starting at the nail bed. Push upward, smoothing out the air bubbles. Trim off the excess strip, leaving behind a small sliver of color. Push this small piece under your natural nail and rub an emery board across the top, pushing off any extra polish.


The manufacturer claims that the Salon Effects nail polish strips last for up to ten days. Reviews on the official site are all five stars and the product was listed on several “Best Of” lists for 2011. As the strips come pre-made, you do not suffer through any drying time, like you do with traditional nail polishes. With a retail prices of $10 or less in most markets, the price of a set is cheaper than a weekly manicure.

Salon Effects Review

If you made it this far, then you probably wonder how well the Salon Effects nail polish strips actually work. The truth is that my experience was not a good one. As a chronic nail bitter, I stopped biting my nails long enough to develop actual nails. I wanted to try the lacey design, but since no stores in my area stocked it, I chose the pink camouflage pattern.

I follow Sally Hansen directions carefully: cleaning my nails and completely drying the nails before proceeding. I had a little trouble with one of the strips. The strip folded over before I had a chance to smooth it down, which created a small dent in the nail. On another nail, the strip tore while smoothing it down, leaving part of the nail uncovered.

After patching and repairing my nails, I finally had the strips on each one. Unfortunately, the nail polish strips did not last very long. Within 24 hours, I had one strip peeling away from the nail. By the end of day four, most of the nail polish strips had started peeling.

Despite my bad experience, I am willing to try using the Sally Hansen Salon Effects nail polish strips again. I work from home and use the computer frequently, which might explain the fast peeling. With the wide array of colors and designs, I cannot help wanting to try again and compare my experiences.


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