Sunday, September 18, 2011

Brandless Nail Polish Strips

The other day I was chatting with a male colleague who had found out about Nailbytes. He commented that women like to spend money on stuff that does not last and deemed nail polish as "something that we use once before washing it away". He said it's like throwing money into the sink when we remove polish from our nails.

While I can understand buying in excess is greed but I don't agree buying things which are related to our passion, our hobby, is a waste of money. He doesn't know we can do a lot of things with nail polish too. Many ways, for example: re-using the same polish; old polish revived by thinner; franken by using existing polish; layering; playing with many colors to create gradient, marbling, konad-ing and so many more once you explore into nail art world.

Now despite my statement, I'm showing here what is considered as wasting which rings true to my male colleague's conviction. These are nail polish strips bought from Sungei Wang. They're similar to Sally Hansen's Salon Effects except they only cost RM10 per piece and come in not-so-fanciful designs. Read on to find out why they're wasteful.

But before I go on, I need to mention about the shop that sells these strips. I was looking for dusty in Sungei Wang when I saw this shop; brightly lit, cracked walls, no decorations, some unknown polish on display, nail tools on the wall racks and a bunch of middle-aged women in identical yellow shirts sitting on cheap lounge chairs at the back. The lounge chairs are the same as what you see in beach resorts which is odd to be found in this place. So I went in, chatted with the owner (who's a man), bought the polish strips, nail file and cuticle pusher. All the while my eyes wandered to the women, they were busy working on each other's manicures and some were doing foot reflexology! Weird. It's my first to see both services in one shop.

Ok enough rambling, on to the nail polish strips!

These are the strips I bought, RM10 each:

I thought it has 20 strips per piece but I was wrong.
Each sticker comes in different size
Instructions at the back

The instructions tell us to put the sticker on each nail, apply clear polish and file off excess. It's not making sense to me, why would you apply clear polish before filing off the excess? So I ignored the steps and proceeded on my own.

First, I peeled off the strips and placed them on my nails. My nails are small and narrow so there were a lot of excess on the tip and sides:

Then I used my cuticle pusher to smooth the surface in order to avoid wrinkles and ridges. After that I used one end of the scissors to carefully slice, peel and shred off excess on the sides:

After a lot of re-sizing to make it look like polished nails, I filed off the tip excess:

Done without top coat

I should have let it remain as it was because my top coat tarnished everything. The stickers started to wrinkle horribly and became totally unnatural!

It was horrific in reality

It was a wholelotta waste when it started to peel off on its own just after a day. Man, I was dismayed, angry and amused at the same time. Yes sure, it was so easy to do this, given the benefit of being non-toxic and so-called flawless but hey, please at the very least make it last for 3-4 days? But for RM10 per piece, one cannot expect much on the quality. I'm pretty sure Sally Hansen's Salon Effects is better but I don't think I gonna spend RM45 for a very-temporary-short-stay on my nails.

Anyway, I changed to another design the day it wore off. This time I heeded the instructions and applied top coat before filing off. Same results. Same expiration. I painted my nails with real polish on the 2nd night. Three manis in a week! Argh!

Bottomline: If you need a quickie or last minute manicure, go for this. Don't apply any clear polish or top coat. Stay clear of zips, lobster claws, bottle snaps and what-nots... it will probably last for another day.

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