Sticker Shock

I recently celebrated a birthday, and as such, tried to “treat” myself to something fun & exciting in the beauty realm the night before.  Instead of spending money on something new, I decided to shop my expansive beauty horde to see what ideas popped up.

I soon realized that I was desperately in need of an update to my current home manicure (Note: just so you’re all aware going into this review, about 99.9% of my manicures, pedicures & facials are home ones; I try to be frugal when possible), since my existing one was finally starting to show its age after almost 2 weeks of hardcore wear & tear.  Plus, I was tiring of the glittering gold with flower nail art stickers.

[Below is how the existing manicure looked when it first stepped onto the scene; shade is a Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure color called Goldie Frocks; if you want more info on what I did to create this manicure, leave me a comment & I’ll get that to you in a future post]

goldsallyhansen

AHA! Why not do a “distinctive manicure” for my birthday?  GREAT IDEA!! (Plus, a gal pal had left me a Facebook message stating she couldn’t wait to see what I did for my “birthday nails”, so yeah, it made sense).

Since I’m always so busy that I never even really get to do my manicures until bedtime, I decided to try to cheat by using some of the nail polish stickers from Maybelline New York that I had picked up oh, I’d say at least last fall (2012? 2013? Who keeps track of these things anymore??) and hadn’t felt inspired enough to use yet.  I mean, what else says “Birthday” other than metallic green reptile print nails on a gal?

The color is #70, and is called Divine Crocodile  in their Color Show Fashion Prints nail stickers/lacquer strips.  Here’s a shot of how they look on my naked nails (as per their application instructions) at the end of the application process:

divinecrocodile

**********REVIEW**********

Here’s my personal experience with these nail stickers.

I found these to be a bit trickier to work with than the Sally Hansen nail lacquer strips I’ve used in the past (both the prints and the plain color ones), or than the Essence brand printed nail polish strips I’ve used before as well (I got the Essence brand ones at my local Ulta for like $2.49 and they were pretty cool!)

I followed the application instructions to a T:

  1. Apply the sticker to your clean, bare nail [CHECK] with the enclosed plastic “orange” stick [CHECK],
  2. Bend the excess over the tips of your nails [CHECK],
  3. and then using the miniature 2 sided emery board file, gently file your nails so that the sticker cuts off at the tips & the excess falls off. […UMM, not check??]

I tried both sides of the enclosed emery board, and even a different emery board style of nail file (a Sephora one), and I had nothing but problems in trying to get the excess bits off of the tips of the nails.  The sticker texture is somewhat rubbery, and it doesn’t want to stay put on those “clean, bare, dry nail beds” as much as some of the other brands of nail strips I’ve used have.  The stickers kept sliding around, and no matter how much I went back again & again with the plastic stick to smooth them back into place & remove the puckers & wrinkles, once I returned to continue trying to file the tips off of the stickers, the section that was actually on my nails would slide about again, creating yet MORE puckers, wrinkles and annoyances.  This extended the simple act of trimming the stickers down to sizes that matched my natural nails (yes, I don’t do fake nails, sorry folks) from what should have been around 10 minutes to over an hour.  I was highly disgruntled at this fact, and was tempted to scrap the whole project and just go with naked nails.

Another annoyance:  The sticker design itself, which appears to be a silver-backed foil of sorts that’s bonded to the acrylate strips in stamped out sections, shredded a bit during the process, creating a less than professional look. Plus, I was left with ragged edges, which have been snagging bits of dust & fuzz since I did the “manicure”.  Annoyance rating: high  In fact, I’m still finding either entire or bits of green “scales” floating around my room here & there. Not fun.

My summation is this:

Of the 3 brands of nail polish stickers [Sally Hansen, Maybelline, and Essence], from across 2 different price points [young teen cheapies to average mass market retailer priced], that I have tried thus far, I am disappointed.

Bluntly put, this specific print from Maybelline New York, though gorgeous, is a total pain in the rear.  Mind you, I don’t have any other shades or prints from this line of nail stickers, to compare to confirm if it’s just the way this print was made that caused me so much frustration when applying, or to know for sure if it appears that ALL of the Maybelline New York nail stickers will give a person the same application difficulties.

I do have other brands of nail strips/stickers that I’ve  bought but just haven’t applied; when their turns come along for me to try them, I’ll give you reviews & photos of them as well.  Until then, I’d vote these suckers off the island for wearing them as a full nail covering.

Perhaps I can repurpose some of the remaining stickers (you get a total of 18 stickers of various sizes, for use in manicures or pedicures, plus the 2 application tools for around $8.99 from what I can vaguely recall paying at my local CVS pharmacy) into the more traditional nail art stickers that you put on over nail polish & then seal with top coat? or perhaps I’ll just do 1 accent nail (better to struggle with 2 versus 10 nail stickers) and coordinate the rest of the manicure with a complimentary or matching color?

The ideas are endless.  If you have any of your own to add to the list, feel free to comment below.