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I Tried Those "Easy" Nail Polish Strips And Here's What Happened

I am a low maintenance person.

I love all the hair and makeup products. I wish I could be one of those women who always looks airbrushed and flawless with that perfect winged eye liner and just the right shade of lipstick, but that's just not me and I've learned to accept that. 

I typically don't have the patience for a full, daily beauty routine as I'm trying to rush out the door, especially when it comes to my poor nails.

Whenever a special event or holiday rolls around, I have the best intentions to get a manicure or at least take the time to polish and sculpt my nails, but it usually doesn't happen.

I get busy trying to get my hair to cooperate, or not get liquid liner EVERYWHERE, or finish packing to leave, or cleaning if guests are coming, so the nails get put on the back burner.

If by some MIRACLE of time management, through no fault of my own, I actually get them painted, without fail, I'll remember something else that needs doing and, no matter how careful I am, I inevitably bump at least one nail before it's dry. Then, in my impatience to just get it done, I'll try to fix the ugly nail and the whole thing ends with the offending digit being covered in a glob of polish and I just give up.

So, when my friend, Rhiannon, asked if she could send me some samples of her Color Street nail polish strips just in time for Thanksgiving, I JUMPED at the chance to try them out.

"Maybe I'll actually be like those women who's nails look festive and beautiful for the holidays. Maybe I'll look like I actually have my $#!@ together for once!"

It was a long shot, but it just might work!

The package arrived and I tore into it. There were a couple two-nail sample packs.





At first, I thought that was it and was a bit disappointed that I wouldn't get to do all my nails in sparkly, glittery awesomeness, but then I actually looked at the rest of the content she'd sent.




YES!! Two full nail kits on top of the little sample packs!

Then, I read her note...which I probably should've done first, since it explained everything...the samples were simply to practice with.

Good call, girl. 

I can really make an easy beauty task complicated as hell and mess everything up in 2.5 seconds. 

Remember those at-home stick on acrylic nails? Those were always an experiment in hopelessness. It was basically a way to spend a whole lot of money while making a mess and ruining my nails.

This time was going to be different, though. I could feel it!

My family came to me this year for Thanksgiving, so after getting as much of my manicure-ruining chores done as I could, I sat down to give this thing a shot before the first of my family showed up.

I grabbed the lighter shade of the practice sample packs (both glittery blue) and read the instructions.



1. Clean nails before use.
The package came with some nail cleaning pads. I opened one up, swiped it over my nails, "easy peasy. I'm a natural," I thought to myself, knowing that I really hadn't done a damn thing yet, but trying to psych myself up.

I picked up the smaller of the two strips, placed it on my pinkie nail for reference and it seemed like it'd be a good fit. 

"Here we go!" 

2. Remove clear cover.
Simple enough. "And done."

3. Peel polish strip.
"Welp, no turning back now," I thought to myself as I eased the strip by it's attached tab off the white paper backing. So far, so good.

4. Tear tab & select end.
"But wait, is it okay to get my fingers all over the sticky side of this thing? What if I end up with it stuck to a part of my finger I never intended? I really don't want to mess this up." 

Based on my level of panic at this step, Rhiannon was definitely thinking when she included the practice strips. I went for it and ripped that tab right off that sucker.

*Deep breath*

5. Apply to nail & gently stretch to fit.
Have I mentioned I do NOT have a steady hand? Which is also another reason I'm not big on painting my nails (or using liquid eye liner).

I slowly lowered the strip onto my nail, and, GAHH, off center.

"I wonder how many times you can stick, unstick, and restick these puppies? I guess we'll find out." 

I gently pulled it back up and repositioned..."well, close enough I guess. This is just practice after all, right?" 




6. File Excess
Thankfully, the kit comes with an adorably tiny emery board for this part. I gently started filing and got the extra bit on the end almost entirely off. With just a bit of it still attached, and me being the impatient a-hole I am, I stupidly grabbed it and pulled. 

DO NOT DO THAT.

Doing that took a nice chunk of polish off my nail with it. 

Honestly, it probably wasn't super noticeable, but if I know it's there, I will mess with it until I ruin the whole thing, just like with traditional liquid polish and globbing it on instead of starting over.

Overall, though, I was feeling pretty comfortable and decided to give the other practice strip a go. 

This one went on my index finger and went 1,000 times smoother than my pinkie finger.




"Okay, time for the real thing, I guess."

I tried just peeling the first strip off with the included cuticle stick...this was also not a good idea.

Those suckers are on there GOOD and if it wasn't for the coat of OPI Nail Envy (the BEST stuff for strengthening your nails and usually the only part of a "beauty routine" outside of teeth brushing, showering and hair removal, that I really do regularly 😜 Click the link above or the pic below to get it from Amazon.) I probably would've damaged my nail enamel just a bit.

Again, this is what INSTRUCTIONS are for as it says right on the full nail kit package, "Easy removal with nail polish remover." This is what I get for skimming instead of reading.




I got out the polish remover and got to work getting the polish off. This took a bit as, A. those strips are made to be on for up to two weeks, not to just be removed right after you've put them on and B. Ever try removing fresh glitter polish? 

GLITTER EVERYWHERE.

No worries, though. It wasn't my first go-round with seasonal glitter and it most certainly will not be the last.

After all of that, it was time for the moment of truth. Practice was over. Now for the real thing...actually, I guess practice didn't need to be over. I did have two more strips, but time was running out and I REALLY wanted this to happen.

I cleaned my nails again and looked at the two full kits. The first was "Ready, Set, Confetti," a really fun, "deep black topped with tiny sparkles and multicolored confetti glitter" that I absolutely LOVE.

 

The second, a really pretty "gold glitter topped with more rainbow glitter" called "All The Jingle Ladies." 



Tough pick, but "All The Jingle Ladies" is basically Christmas in peel & stick form, so it felt like a better fit for Thanksgiving/Christmas and decided to save "Ready, Set, Confetti" for New Year's Eve.

I took the "All The Jingle Ladies" strips from it's envelope and got to work following the steps I had earlier during practice. 




Little by little, it all came together with almost no snafus!

All of a sudden, one hand was completely done and lookin' GOOODDD.



Now, I said "almost" no snafus. Let me say that I highly recommend measuring each sticker to each nail and placing them in the order of finger placement before starting. 

Seriously, do this for both hands. This probably isn't that big of a deal, but I had a minor panic attack when I couldn't remember which size strip I had put on which finger on my first hand. 

Also, I found it better to err on the side of caution and got a little bigger than my nail bed as I could use the included cuticle stick to clean off any excess on my skin, rather than have a gap of no polish on the side(s) of my nails, because that drives me bonkers. 

But that's just my personal preference. You do you, boo boo.

Just as I got my strip sizing figured out again and was starting on my right hand, my sister and her family showed up. 

Now, during a normal nail grooming session, this would've been a major "oh, crap, I'm about to jack all these sparkly, freshly painted, nails up," because I wasn't not going to hug my loved ones and help them carry bags in after they drove through three states to get to me, BUT not a problem when your polish goes on DRY!! 

I got to get my family settled in AND didn't put a single dent in my newly manicured mitts. Fabulous!

I got back to work on my last few tips with the help of my just-arrived niece and nephew and VOILA!! It was done and they looked amazing and festive!



I had finally accomplished having pretty, put-together tips for a holiday, just like a real grown-ass woman. I even had a small hope that maybe, just maybe, if I was careful enough, I'd be able to rock this mani for Christmas, too.

Well, that was a fleeting thought. 

Let me tell ya, if you're going to be typing away at a keyboard, cooking Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings, baking multiple pies, and doing a crap ton of dishes by hand because you need the same bowl for multiple applications right after prettifying your pointers, then I have two words for you: TOP. COAT.

Ughhhh...how did I forget the top coat?? 

(Sidenote: I found out, for my future reference, that A. Color Street polish has a built-in base and top coat, so extra is not needed for typical wear, but does come in handy if your hand will be in a sink for 4 hours straight or you're planning on going elbow-deep in a turkey and B. Color Street DOES have a clear top coat set called "Clear As Day," so you can continue to avoid wet nail disasters and keep those beauties from premature chippage...especially if you're hard on them like me! Find them here.)

Not saying my nails didn't still look banging after the Thanksgiving festivities. They really held up amazingly well, considering. BUT I was only able to eek a week out of my gorgeous, glittery "Even Carly Can Do It," nail strips before they started wearing at the tips.

Most people could probably leave them alone, but I am not most people. Nope, once I see chipping, well, I can't help myself and start picking away like Curtis Lowe after a fifth of wine. 

See that middle nail down there??




The bright side? 

I was able to hold myself off long enough to make it through some of my Christmas shopping with most of my mani intact! 

I don't know why, but it really made me so happy to be going through cozy boutiques and shops in quaint mountain towns done up in all their 'tis-the-season-twinkle-light-glory with some sparkly, seasonal festiveness on my fingers. 

The other bright side? I still have ANOTHER PACK!! I'm gonna make damn sure I get all of the glittery joy possible out of this one, though.

I can't wait to ring in 2019 with "Ready, Set, Confetti" rocking on my nails and my New Year's Resolutions: "Don't forget the top coat" and "less dishes, more manis" firmly in place!

Carly

PS~ In case you missed the links above, find Rhiannon's Color Street page here, Ready, Set, Confetti here, and All The Jingle Ladies here!


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