Nail polish strips are so trendy at the moment that you’re spoiled by choice between different colors and patterns. There’s no nail fiasco of getting a freshly made, perfect nail and immediately ruining it on the drive home from the salon. Nail strips really come to your rescue!
Yet, as a conscious nail lover, you may want to know more about nail strips before adhering them to your nail beds. How are nail polish strips made? What are the ingredients that go into the making?
Here, we’ll answer these questions and give you some useful tips on using your nail strips correctly!
How Are Nail Polish Strips Made?
Polish strips are a new trend in the world of manicure and pedicure. They are made of real nail polish and come in both solids and patterns to allow you to change from one color to another in a matter of minutes.
Nail polish strips are free of toxic ingredients commonly found in traditional nail polish. They’re a one-size-fits-on manicure in the sense that they are flexible and pliable, so you can gently stretch them out for an ideal fit on your nails.
Nail strips consist of base coat, color coat, and topcoat, just like how you apply traditional nail polish in one fell swoop. Your nails will also sport the same look and shine that you’re familiar with.
Simply put, nail polish strips reveal the real attempts from their manufacturers to erase the inconvenience of getting wet nail polish and introduce a newer, more ready-to-use product that you can apply at home with less hassle.
Are Nail Strips Harmful To Nails?
Many nail strips do not contain toxic ingredients found in conventional nail polish, such as formaldehyde, parabens, dibutyl phthalate, etc. Therefore, with proper application and removal, it’s very unlikely that nail polish strips cause damage to your nails.
Do Nail Strips Work Better Than Polish?
We’ll look into the advantages and disadvantages of nail strips to determine whether it’s a better choice than regular nail polish:
No Drying Time
One of the biggest pros of these products is there is no waiting time for drying. The application takes you only a few minutes, and the chance of smudges and smears are also excluded from the process.
Another perk is that they are a way cheaper alternative to professional mani. Thus, if frequent visits to nail salons often set you back a lot of money, switch to nail strips, and you’ll save some serious cash in the long run.
Nail polish strips are less time-consuming than visiting salon manicures or applying regular polish. No drying time means you can put them on and go, which is ideal for when you’re pressed for time.
A Variety Of Designs
Not polish strips come in hundred, if not thousand, designs, colors, and patterns. This means that even the choosiest DIYers are bound to find something that pleases their tastes and preferences.
Give Nails A Professional Look At Home
These fool-proof decals allow you to create a cool, professional look for your nails that you might never be able to do before at home.
Ideal For People Who Want An Alternative To Nail Polish
Can’t afford the time (and patience) to polish a base coat, two color coats, a topcoat, and wait for them all to dry out? Welcome to the nail-polish-strip club! This is a good choice if you’re after somewhat the same effects of nail polish but not the hassle accompanying it.
More Expensive Than Nail Polish
There is no denying that nail strips are an affordable manicure. However, a nail polish bottle is still cheaper, especially when considering how many applications it would last.
Can Dry If Not Properly Stored
Nail polish and nail strips have one shared drawback: they’re prone to drying out with inappropriate storing conditions. The dried-out strips will become stiff and unusable until you act to revive them.
Risks Of Drying Out Nails After Removal
Unfortunately, brittle and rough nails are not the exclusive problems with nail polishes. Nail strips put your nails at these risks following the removal, too!
Might Not For Irregularly-Shaped Or Large Nails
When it comes to a good fit, nothing that can beat liquid lacquer – nail polish included. Nail strips do a better job of matching up to the nail sizes and shapes than nail stickers. Nevertheless, they are still far behind the nail polishes since they still struggle to accommodate odd nail shapes or nails in the overly larger size.
Lacks The Hardness Of A Nail Polish
Nail strips are convenient and versatile, but we would appreciate it if they were formulated with some sort of hardening agent. The topical nail polish layers, in contrast, make nails feel harder. This often means that they are less prone to breakage.
Do Nail Polish Strips Work Better Than Nail Stickers?
These stick-on manicures are perfect for those who want professional-looking manicures but are short on time or tight on budget. However, nail polish strips seem to gain more edges over the stickers, and here’s why:
The main limit of nail stickers is that their one-size-fits-most dimensions might fail to fully cover the nail beds. These stick-on decals can leave noticeable gaps on the sides, depending on the nail sizes.
On the other hand, nail polish strips offer more flexibility when it comes to sizing. Typically, they come with enough material that can be easily stretched out to give complete coverage for nails. Yet, as mentioned, there is still little room for them to improvise with oddly-shaped or extra-large nails.
Both of these stick-on manicures are only ideal for short wear. Nail stickers typically offer you a three-to-five-day run. Nail strips, however, last slightly longer, often within 10 days.
It takes more effort and time to get an on-point manicure with stickers. For example, you might find it’s quite challenging to apply them, especially with your non-dominant hand.
In addition, with nail stickers, you still need to apply a base coat for extra shine and a topcoat for sealing them. While these jobs are not necessarily a hassle, when considering the fact that nail strips do not require either of them, you might want to think twice!
Polish strips are fool-proof to apply, even when you’re a fresh DIYer. Anytime you do not get on the strips right, you can remove and start it over again without screwing up your manicure. Another good news is that many brands often include “spare” polish strips, which you can use if you mess up with a few pieces.
How To Apply Nail Polish Strips – Stepwise Guide
Step 1: Push Back Your Cuticles
Use a cuticle stick to push back the cuticles and remove the thin layer of cuticle on your nail bed.
Step 2: Prep Your Nail
You’ll only get a perfect manicure if you have a clean, perfect foundation. Before starting to apply, first clean your nails properly. It’s best to use some nail polish remover to swipe over your nails.
Acetone in the polish remover can not only remove nail polish but also help dry your nail and help the strips stick better by removing the residues and oil on the bed.
In case you’re using a common nail kit, use the alcohol pad that comes with it to cleanse your nails and eliminate all dirt and grime.
Are there any splits or ridges on your nail beds? If yes, apply a layer of base coat to smooth them out to create a perfect working surface for applying the nail strips.
Step 3: Choose The Size
Choose the right size by comparing your nails and the strips side by side. If you’re sitting on the fence between two sizes, choose the bigger one and use tiny scissors to trim it down to the right shape and size.
It’s best to start with your little finger. You’re likely to use your thumbs to break off the excess strips later. If you’re going the other way round, the polish strips on the thumbs can be chipped or stripped.
Step 4: Peel And Apply
First, take off the transparent protective film of your strip. Next, peel the backing off the strip. Place it on your nail bed and keep it as close to the cuticle as possible. While you’re at it, secure the strip in the middle to gain more control over the application. Pat the strip down gently from the bed to the tip.
Step 4: Cut Off The Excess
Trim off the extra with your nail scissors. Alternatively, you can use a cuticle tool to press down the strip to easily remove the excess.
Avoid getting too close to the nail’s edge, as you will have to fold the strip over when you’re done. Depending on the length of the strip and your nail, there might be another half of the strip left to use for your next nail.
Step 5: Fold And File
For large-sized nails, such as thumbs, fold the excess strip under the edge of your nail to cover it entirely. Then, place the file perpendicular against your nail and file downward to tear off the extra strip. Also, avoid filling the strip vertically since the up and down movements can cause file dust to reach under the strip.
However, for small-sized nails, it’s better to fold down the strip and hold on for a few seconds before tearing off the excess. This way, you can avoid creating uneven edges on the strips and prevent the possibility of wrong filing techniques making the nails look worn out.
Step 6: Apply The topcoat (Optional)
Most nail strips already include a topcoat in them. However, if you want to add an extra shiny finish, you can seal your nail with another thin layer of topcoat.
Tips To Apply And Maintain Nail Polish Strips
- The best time to apply nail polish strips is later in the day when you can allow time for the adhesive to fully cure without any disruption. For example, you can apply polish strips before going to bed so the adhesives can take time to cure while you’re sleeping (unlike during the day when you can get rough on your nails with day-to-day tasks after application).
- Avoid getting nail strips back-to-back. The nails can be suffocated by constant application, so give them a 24-hour-long break before starting with another set of nail strips.
- The potent combination of hot water and detergent is also damaging to the polishes and your natural nails, so you should wear gloves while dishwashing.
- To avoid bubbles and uneven surfaces, it is not recommended to slap down the strip over your entire bed. Instead, walk your way gently from the base of the nail and smooth the strip down to the tip.
- When it comes to beauty, less is more. Therefore, it’s best to keep your strips basic, add an accent nail on a few fingers (on the index or ring finger, for example), and give other fingers your favorite solid shade.
- Once you place the strip on your nail bed, you may want to blast the nail with your dryer for a few seconds to help the strip “melt” into the nail.
- Store the nail polish strips at room temperature. If it’s too hot, the heat can melt down the strips, and too cold can harden them, making it more difficult to apply them.
- Do not expose your nails to hot water, as the heat can ruin your manicure. Also, avoid over-washing your hands to improve the longevity of the polishes.
- Do not use lotion on your hands and fingers right before or after application.
- The nail strips should not be left in extreme heat or cold conditions for extended periods. The same is applied with direct sunlight or LED lighting.
- Strips are not meant to be applied over cuticles or skin. You need to push back cuticles beforehand and apply strips against or slightly above cuticles. This keeps the strip adhering directly to the nail and lasts as long as expected.
How are nail polish strips made? Nail strips are essentially layers of topcoat, color coat, and base coat combined. They are pre-made for you to apply to your nails without the dry time.
So, you’ll get the same effects as you would with nail polish but with less time and less money (if you’re a salon frequent!). Because they’re 100% nail polish, you know you’re in the clear while using them!
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