Today I've got China Glaze's answer to the popular Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips. The mouthful of a name ChG has chosen is China Glaze Real Nail Polish Appliques. These strips are currently offered in twelve different designs. My friend at Sally Beauty Supply thinks they will be part of their permanent collection as they've reset their display to include them.
The pattern I'm showing today is called Loop Hole. It features overlapping grey and black squares with rounded edges over a plain white base. Very cool, very retro.
Application is pretty on-par with other polish strips. The set comes with 16 different sized strips, which seems to be standard. You choose a size that is close to the size of your nail and smooth it down. Once it is in place, gently file the extra off with the included nail file. The instructions recommend applying the strips to warm nails to improve adhesion, and it also suggests using topcoat. (I didn't because I didn't look at the instructions until after I was done. Rebel!)
I've only used the Sally Hansen's and China Glaze's versions of nail polish strips, so I'll share some similarities and differences.
Both include sixteen strips, instructions, an orange stick, and a file. Application is very similar. Both have varied patterns available. Leopard spots, feathers, zebra stripes, net patterns, tile patters, etc. Wear time is excellent, and I think both are a good value if you are not good at nail art when you consider the cost of a comparable mani with nail art at the salon.
Differences are few, but I think they are significant. First is the cost. I am a Sally Beauty Club member, so my cost for the China Glaze set was $5.99. If you're not a member, cost is $6.99. I've gotten the Sally Hansen strips for anywhere between $6.80 and $9.99. I've seen them for more than $10, but I didn't buy those.
Second are the strips themselves. SH strips are much thinner and more flexible. This makes them very easy to trim off the extra from around your cuticles. However, if you accidentally place a strip crooked, good luck getting it off without ripping it. ChG strips are much more substantial. This makes them easier to adjust the sticker if it's needed. I found that the ChG strips wore better on me as well. I had them on four days before any wear at all. I usually get three days out of SH strips before I start seeing tip wear.
Other differences are minor. SH claims up to ten days of wear on the package and ChG claims up to seven. ChG's instructions recommend using topcoat, which I did not do, and I don't believe SH instructions mention this.
After the first set, I do like the China Glaze strips better than Sally Hansen's. Both are great for when I want some easy nail art, and I can definitely still see myself picking up special edition Sally Hansen strips. I'm curious to see if China Glaze releases similar sets.