Nail decals and appliques make it possible for every women to wear gorgeous nail designs without an expensive trip to the salon. And for every time I have heard a client say 'I am so bad at painting my own nails...', I now have a great alternative to suggest to them. The biggest bonus in my eyes is that the decals apply quickly with no dry time, but they also withstand the harsh conditions that my hands endure every day at the salon.
But, not all polish strips are created equally- so I put together this post with my results and recommendations. While this experiment isn't scientifically sound, I have used all of these brands more than one time and my findings are consistent. Let's dive in shall we?
Okay: Essie Sleek Sticks ($10)
I so wanted these appliques to be awesome since I am a big fan of Essie polish, but unfortunately these were pretty unbearable to me. I wanted them off my fingers almost immediately because the thick sticker like polish strips leave an exposed tacky edge that catches on just about everything. And the textured rhinestones also grab onto hair and clothing etc. These are more appropriate for a one-time use such as a dance or wedding. Trying to wear them longer than that is not advised.
Good: Sally Hansen Salon Effects ($9-12)
These polish strips were the first on the scene and their popularity pushed other major nail brands to begin producing their own versions. These strips are the thinest of all the appliques I have tried which makes them flexible and easy to stretch to fit. However they can tear easily during application and the edges succumb to wear easily within the first few days. The price point on these is very reasonable and you can find them in grocery and drug stores everywhere. A great choice for teens and drugstore beauty buyers.
Better: Incoco Nail Polish Applique ($10)
I discovered Incoco when I received a sample from BirchBox about six months ago. The design they sent me wasn't my favorite, but the strips applied so quickly (the fastest application of all), the thickness and flexibility of the strip is perfect, and they remained almost flawless through the first week. So, I ordered several more sets, including the blue design above and have been really happy with all of them. Incoco also makes french tip options that are really fun too.
Best: JamBerry Nails ($15)
Jamberry has the cutest and most fashion-forward designs of any of the brands I have seen that are appropriate for women in the workplace and beyond (even sports team logos!). The application processes is slightly different requiring you to heat the strip with a blowdryer for a few seconds before application. This extra step does take more time but it also ensures a secure bond that holds up to wear and tear the most thoroughly. They call them nail 'shields' and that seems to be a fitting word- they add protection and thickness to the nail without bulky edges. More money, but longer lasting results.
Do you have a nail decal favorite? Tell me below in the comments so I can check it out, and enter to win a FREE sheet of Jamberry Nails courtesy of my Jamberry rep Sarah, using the rafflecopter entry below. Good luck and thanks for reading. See ya over on facebook, right?
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