Not Martha

party nails

I cannot keep a regular manicure nice. No matter how careful I am it’ll be smudged before I even attempt to touch anything. So when I need my nails to look nice (not very often) I get a shellac manicure because they are Megan-proof. I even found a salon here in Seattle that plays episodes of Modern Family so I don’t get bored. (Julep, ladies, good place.) I realize that getting a manicure is supposed to be relaxing but the first two times I got a shellac manicure I nearly fell asleep because of the soothing music and nothing at all to look at, which just made me cranky.

When I don’t require heavy duty pretty nails (again, not very often) I have come to love nail polish strips, aka nail stickers. They are a little fussy to apply but when done well they will last a week on me and, most importantly, I cannot smudge them. I have mostly used the Sally Hansen ones that can be found in drug stores. They come in patterns (some questionable) and only a few solid colors. (Last I looked it seemed the solid colors are going away? Which, eh, they were never that great anyhow. Except for the neon ones.)

I usually go for the muted gold (Raise A Glass) but for parties, like the holiday parties I’m headed to this weekend, I get to pull out the glitter! Every time I have used this particular gold glitter version I get compliments from people. At least they seem like compliments, I hope it’s not actually comments because glitter nails seem so out of place on me. Which they so totally are. I find it’s easier to remove these than two layers of glitter polish. I also value the ability for these to be applied just before you need to leave, because honestly I’m terrible at planning ahead.

· comments [26] · 12-20-2012 · categories:beauty ·

26 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ms. Amy // Dec 20, 2012 at 4:53 am

    Love these! I mostly use them on my toes, so I go a little more wild (zebra print, fishnet, houndstooth), but they are inexpensive & last at least 3 weeks. I will have to check out the gold glitter.

  • 2 Joanna // Dec 20, 2012 at 7:07 am

    I love these – they are indeed a little fussy to apply, but the fact that they don’t smudge or chip makes up for it. I wish there were more solid colors available though, I’m not a pattern kind of person (on my nails, anyway).

  • 3 Bryn // Dec 20, 2012 at 8:38 am

    I love these as well! I’ve been able to buy them on amazon for a STEAL! $2-$3 per pack instead of the drugstore price – same Sally Hansen brand and they last at least 2 weeks typically! Love the blog.

  • 4 Sara // Dec 20, 2012 at 8:49 am

    what is the secret to getting them on? I tried once and failed miserably and haven’t bothered to try again. Any tips you ladies can share?

  • 5 Jenn // Dec 20, 2012 at 9:12 am

    I ended up getting myself a UV light and shellac polish- for about the price of 2 shellac manicures I can do it myself. Not so fun since I am stuck with just a couple colors, but great for holding broken nails in place (when they break so far down you need to let them grown out before cutting off).

  • 6 k // Dec 20, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Yes! I put some on my toes in the summer and it looked good for a month. Love that! I just wish you could keep the leftovers until the next time you needed them (I tried to use them but they had dried up or something–maybe if I sealed them up really well?).

  • 7 Jen // Dec 20, 2012 at 11:15 am

    I tried glitter polish for the first time recently, and yeah, I know what you mean about it being a pain to remove. Which was a real let down after I’d been gleefully telling everyone how much I liked the fact that I could be fairly sloppy and fast about the application because streaks don’t show with glitter in a clear base. I keep thinking about the polish strips, but I haven’t taken the plunge yet.

  • 8 Corrine // Dec 20, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I found a good quality top coat makes a world of difference. I found that once I started using Nails, Inc’s Kensington Caviar Top Coat ( I hardly ever have smudges, the polish lasts longer, and my nails feel great. I highly recommend it.

  • 9 Mary // Dec 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    How do the strips come off? Do they wear off or do you peel them?

  • 10 Heidi C. // Dec 20, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I love these and use them all the time. I have also found that a couple coats of a quick-dry, (like Sally Hansen) clear top coat will help keep them looking nice even longer.

  • 11 Francie // Dec 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    I love these things too. I have found that I can do both hands with one packet since my fingernails aren’t too long. I put half of one on one index finger then half on the other. I proceed like that for each finger. It works pretty well for non-directional prints. And if I mess something up there are a few back ups. I imagine that you could do both hands and feet with one packet if you planned well…

  • 12 megan // Dec 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Jenn – I know what you mean, I get split nails like that often and it’s a pain to grow them out as they snag on everything. I found that either the shellac nails or the process of removing them was awfully drying to my nails, do you have the same trouble?

  • 13 megan // Dec 20, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Heidi – Thanks for the tip! I’ll see if I can manage to not smudge the top coat :)

  • 14 megan // Dec 20, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Sara and Mary – I use acetone nail polish remover. It takes a little longer to remove but it’s no different a process than regular polish.

  • 15 Lucinda // Dec 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Sally Hansen Nail Strips are awesome! You’re right, it takes a little practice to get the hang of applying them, but I get a solid week out of them before they chip.

    As for the solids going away, I’m not too sad about that, the colors looked weird when I applied them.

  • 16 Amy in StL // Dec 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    I love the Nail Polish strips. But beware of those that look like nail polish strips but are actually stickers. I bought some of these by mistake and it felt weird having stickers on my nails. I love the Sephora ones!

  • 17 grace // Dec 22, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    I do find that removing the nail strips is harder than regular nail polish (I always get a weird residue left behind after the color’s gone), but they stay on for so long!

  • 18 Nancy // Dec 25, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I LOVE Sally Hanson Nail strips. They are easy to apply and no smudges and no dry time! I love the fun patterns it makes it look like you got a fancy manicure! I get lots of compliments and double takes when I wear the fun patterns!

  • 19 MEP // Dec 27, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I tried these over the weekend on your recommendation. I love that they don’t smudge, wear off, or chip, and there is no dry time, but mine started peeling from both the end of the nail and at the cuticle after a couple of days. They are very easy to apply though, and look great once they’re on! Perfect for special occasions, I’ll be doing glitter ones for NYE!

  • 20 Kathleen // Dec 31, 2012 at 12:16 am

    Go look NOW they have solids for the holidays but maybe longer!! Love them!

  • 21 Kathleen // Dec 31, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Forgot ladies wipe your nails with the acetone remover before you begin, they last longer, also follow the directions push back cuticles and file your nails! I have been using since they came out and love them. Francie does the same as I do, smart lady! Nails short? Use one on two or if longer, have your toenails ready to go and dazzle them all!! Now back to the bacon cups!! love this site!

  • 22 Haylee // Jan 2, 2013 at 8:27 am

    These are actually the most genius idea ever! I can never keep a manicure looking nice either. It’s quite frustrating when it takes so freaking long to put the dang polish on in the first place and then one brush against something or a short dishwashing session can completely ruin all your hard work. Ugh, sorry ranting here but the point is that this is GENIUS. And I love you for it because I had no idea you could get these in gold.

  • 23 MEP // Jan 7, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Wanted to make sure and come back that my second experience with these, using the black glittery ones, was TERRIBLE. The glitter chunks prevented the strip from adhering around the tips of my nails, and caused the strips to rip when I tried to smooth them down with the wooden sticks. I wanted to wear them on NYE and they never adhered — I had to peel them off. :( I still like the Raise A Glass ones though!

  • 24 Kathleen T. // Jan 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    The only time I tried the nail strips was last summer and while I didn’t mind them too much (personally the floral design that I tried was a little too busy even for me and it was definitely too uniform for my liking), they destroyed my nails as they came off. I don’t know what exactly is so different about them but they left my nails super dry and peeling in places. Plus the corners almost immediately came off after application (which took about two hours). I have steady enough hands that if I want something artsy on my nails, I definitely find a way to do it myself so these definitely aren’t worth it. I just live with the smudges of my normal polishes.

  • 25 megan // Jan 27, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    MEP – Oh no! I didn’t have trouble with my glittery ones, I have only used the gold glitter ones though.

    Kathleen – I wonder if the printed designs are a different consistency. I have not had trouble with the gold ones and it really shouldn’t take that long to apply them. Did you wipe your nails with acetone before starting to get them as clean as possible? My nails are dry and destroyed after having a shellac manicure removed but not with these.

  • 26 Michelle // Jan 12, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    So I LOVE Shellac! I have noticed though that certain salons here don’t distinguish between that and regular gel – two totally different application processes. Anyways, the removal process was brutal one nails, and that’s when I found Jamberry. They are vinyl wraps like the Sally stickers some of you have mentioned but they are vinyl, so they last for 2 weeks without chipping and are non-toxic, gluten free, vegan, so good for you and come in over 300 styles. If you want a free sample or more info email me @ They have all the shine and last of shellac without the damage and you can use olive oil to remove them!

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