By Ashley Close
There is a theory that during tougher economic times consumers turn to cheaper luxuries. They call it the “lipstick effect.” Instead of indulging in a new handbag or fancy shoes, we spoil ourselves with $6 beauty products. Recently, this economic trend has manifested in a surge of popularity for decorative nails.
The obsession surrounding the latest nail art trends has not slowed down since its most recent rebirth in 2007 with dark polishes. In fact, it has become more extreme. Consumers are no longer content with a black shiny nail, or a fancy matte, or glitter topcoat. No. They want over-the-top, they want choices, and they want it cheap.
I am completely guilty of all of this. I love nail art. Plain nail polishes of every shade, texture, and shimmer. I obsess over embellishments or funky patterns and sometimes try (and often fail) to recreate some of these looks. But, my homemade works of finger art typically last about 3 days before chipping, and I can’t afford to get a weekly manicure or application of Minx.
Enter Sally Hansen Nail Effects. As far as I am concerned this latest product is the be-all of affordable nail art products. It is easy to use. There is NO drying time. It says it lasts 10 days, but I am pretty sure that if it weren’t for the re-growth I could keep these babies on for a solid 2 weeks without any major wear and tear.
Each kit comes with directions, a cuticle stick, a small file, and 16 strips made with real nail polish. The directions are fairly easy to follow. Basically you just need to peel off the strip from its backing after removing the protective plastic and place it on your nail (I found it best to have a bit of the strip lay down past your cuticle. You can file it off easily, and it ensures no gaps). Then with the coarse part of the file remove the excess. They are easily removed with nail polish remover.
That’s simplified, so read the directions carefully, but you get the gist. They aren’t as cheap as a coat of nail polish, but are way cheaper than a manicure, and last at least twice as long. They come in solids, glitter, and a bunch of patterns including denim, and leopard print. My favorite is the lace. I’m guessing that they will continue to release new patterns, because they have become wildly popular. All under $10 and available at most drugstores.
I found my first set at:
Ashley is a native of Pittsburgh with an English degree from Chatham College. She spends her time stalking the New Kids on the Block on Twitter, and making wishlists on e-commerce sites she cannot afford. She also does yoga. Sometimes. You can follow her on Twitter and maybe someday she’ll say something interesting.