I'm a geek. We've established this. Specifically, I'm a textile geek that nerds out of things like thread count and microns.
So it should come as no surprise that all three of the Salon Effects kits I picked up last week involve textiles in some way.
First up, Fingerlace Gloves:
I've never used these before. It took me about 20 minutes to apply them, including time spent removing my old polish. I imagine I'll get faster next time.
As most of you know by now, these are real strips of nail polish that you apply like a decal, and like it says on the box, they were quite easy to apply. The hardest part for me was getting a neat edge after filling off the excess, but I managed. I did some of my clean up with the orange stick that came in the box.
My nails are short enough right now that I was able to get an entire manicure out of one packet (each box has two).
According to all of the advertising, these are supposed to last up to ten days. I could tell as soon as I put them on that I would need a topcoat, so even though it doesn't say to in the instructions, I put some Seche Vite on top.
For the most part, it had the desired effect, but the problem with SV is that it shrinks terribly, and pulled up the edges of some of the nail polish strips. Not a big deal, since once they were dry I could trim off the curled bits.
After three days, however, I can say that there is a little tip wear, and because I'm slightly neurotic I did start picking at the polish--will remove the rest of it later tonight or tomorrow. Overall, though, they did seem to hold up better than regular nail polish--with the addition of the topcoat. Without it, they were very soft and in places didn't want to stick (mostly jsut tiny, unnoticible places, but the kind of places where a small problem was likely to turn into a larger one, like on the edge of the nail.)
Each kit contains two packets of strips (I believe there are 8 in each packet), a mini nail file, and an orange stick along with the instructions. My nails are about 1/2-3/4 of an inch long from cuticle to tip, and since my left hand is half a size smaller than my right, I could apply the narrow end of each strip on my left hand, then use the wider, leftover end on my right. Viola, I now have 2 manis per box instead of one, so if you don't have talons, these are an excellent value, especially when you factor in that I bought them for $3.99 at Marshalls.
I like the lace pattern, and I think I'm going to use the second set for Halloween, since it perfectly matches my masquerade mask. I would like to try combining these with other techniques--like adding rhinestones or stamping subtle patterns over top. I also want to try them with a base coat, even though the instructions say to apply to bare nails.