Get Yo' Nails DidGet Yo' Nails DidMolly McAleer

There are two nail looks that people have been asking me about for ages: That nail polish that crackles when laid atop your favorite color (see: The Katy Perry for O.P.I. collection) and Sally Hansen Salon FX Strips.

I have tried the Sally Hansen jawns a few times now with varying results. The first time I did them they lasted for two weeks. The second time they chipped the second day I had them on, but I decided to try it a third time because I finally found the design of my dreams at Target: Houndstooth.

Little known Molls Fact: I was a HUGE Gwen Stefani fan for years. I mean, I still am, but in college my screenname was GwenStefwannabeX. That should tell you something, and if that doesn’t tell you something, then maybe consider the fact that I’ve seen No Doubt live five times.

Whenever I see houndstooth, my immediate reaction is “GWEN!” and I’ve been seeking these particular Sally Hansen joints ever since I found out they made them.

I have to admit that I was tempted to show off these Nail Couture self-adhesive nail stickers before I committed to the houndstooth, but I realized that these are something that will be a little bit more difficult to find than the Sally Hansen brand, which I’ve found at both Rite-Aid and Target. Expect me to show these off in the future, though.

The first thing I did was remove my old nail polish before taking a moment to scratch Wagandstuff’s head before I chopped all my nails off. They were long and looking okay, but they were feeling slightly frail and I felt like houndstooth would look best on a shorter nail. Remember your animals and loved ones that need to be scratched, my friends.

I chopped my nails off, and this is what they looked like before I filed them. I went short, short, short and then I cleaned the bejesus out of them.

For a little less than ten bucks, the kit comes with everything you need. You get an orange stick for pushing back your cuticles, and a file that preps your nails and will later help you remove the excess nail sticker.

I have magical girlfriends who’ve told me that they can use these two packages that come in a single box as two separate manicures, but I have yet to figure out how to do this. I use one on each hand and then have a couple left over from each box that don’t fit on any of my nails.

Once you’ve filed your nails to the shape of your liking and then buffed them with the grey side of the nail file that comes in the package, you swab your fingers down with nail polish remover one more time and then start to stickin’.

This is what it looks like once you’ve checked to make sure that the sticker is the size of your nail, applied it and are waiting to scrape off the excess. Yes, you totally just scrape off all the extra using downward motions and the orange part of the nail file they gave you in the box.

This is what your first nail should look like when it’s done. Pretty cute, huh? You kinda want to keep going, huh?

And this is the finished product. I think it’s pretty cute. Ignore my left pinky, that one just has a little bit of extra sticker on it and will be fixed, but overall? TIGHT, MOLLS. TIGHT NAIL GAME.

This option is definitely better than having to hand paint houndstooth and it’s sure to be a hit at my next social gathering (aka, when we all meet around someone’s desk at the office to talk about what happened on So You Think You Can Dance the night before.) I’m thinking these ones might be my favorite and most long-lasting attempt at the Sally Hansen faux-Minx look so far and that probably has something to do with the fact that I read the directions. And now you’re reading my directions, you know? Damn, Molls… why you gotta be so accessible!?

Be sure to note that while these may peel off eventually, they’ll also come off with a liberal amount of nail polish remover on a cotton ball and some elbow grease.

What’s your experience with Sally Hansen Salon FX? Do you have a favorite design or a better solution? Hit me up in the comments or at and let me know what you’ve tried and if you have any fancy tricks that may make this process even easier.

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  • Jennifer Favela

    I love Sally Hansen Nail Effects! Just a tip I thought I would share: Since they are made with real nail polish, they dry up once you open the package and leave out overnight. SO, if you want to save any leftovers for another use, you can put them in a ziplock bag (make sure to squeeze all the air out!) and it helps them last longer once opened! ALSO, if you are very careful you can actually use one strip for two nails, doubling your usage from one pack! ALLLSO, I have found that you can use one strip to cover all your toes (except your big toe obvi). And they last a loooong time on your toes too. xoxo Jennifer

  • Colleen McPhee Pinto

    The flowers are by far my fave. this is the best picture I have of them… ignore the jesus bandaids (which I still regret not buying.)

  • Jessi Reel

    I’m obsessed with these…they last such a long time! I like the cheetah print! But I’ve also used the solid color and the metallic gold just because they last so long and look like a professional manicure. WARNING-I first bought the goldey-bronze shimmer, and I wanted to check out the strips so I opened them, scoped them out, then put them back in the box. Two days later-I went to apply them and it was all dried up! They wouldn’t stick to my nails. Other than that one bad experience, I love these and stock up when I see cute patterns, because they sell out in my town!

  • Wenonah Culpepper

    I use the butterfly ones. And I’m also one of those magical people who can make one pack work twice. (:

  • Tiffany Blake

    love them! last time I put them on they lasted two weeks+ easy, I eventually had to take them off because I was sick of the pattern.

  • Sarah Beth Pennington

    I may have to try this after my beach week. Good to know.

  • Aubrey Churchward

    I just tried to lace applique for the first time and really like the result. I had a bit of a hard time with wiping the excess off and not nicking the tops of the nails but I got smart enough to learn to cut the strips in half so I’d have less to get off. Thanks for the inspiration :)

  • Cassandra Richards

    I am loving reading all your nail posts, they are so inspiring and there are several I want to try. BUT, I have really small nails and I am worried that some of the cool designs will look crappy on them. I don’t bite my nails (anymore), they are just naturally quite tiny. I hope this doesn’t mean I can’t have awesome nail swag.

  • Estela Magana

    There is absolutely no one more fabulous than my #1 girl crush, Gwen Stefani! She’s hit hero status long ago. I LOVE THESE nails! Molls, you are fantastic! I’m definitely going to do this soon!

  • Jessica Day

    I’m trying the “laced up” ones right now. Can’t decide if I love or hate them..

  • Cait Quinn

    Put a layer of clear non chip nail polish on top of the Sally Hansen decals and they’ll stay on a lot longer!

  • Kate Rajala Tornese

    I use these and LOVE them – I have “Violet Night” (neon purple) on my hands and the Limited Edition “Don’t Get Catty” (neon pink leopard print) on my toes. With care (and my very small toenails) I can get a full set of 10 fingers and 10 toes out of one pod of the 2-pod package…. abracadabra!

  • Alli Woods Frederick

    I rocked the houndstooth about 2 months ago and ♥ed it. My, what excellent taste you have!

  • Marisa Asbury

    i just used these last night after reading this post, and they really were pretty easy and fun to use. i love not having a “waiting around, not touching anything, drying time”. i cut each strip in half, and saved the other half of the strips for next time. i also put a top coat on, so hopefully these will last for awhile! i do looove these little babies!

  • Erin Long

    Zebra and houndstooth are my favorites by far of the Sally Hansen. I found a “Nail Fraud” brand of nail decals and got them because they were scull and crossbones but they didn’t last nearly as long. Chipped almost immediately and then got too destroyed keep after less than a week. Just tried Sally Hansen instra-dry nail polish and THAT’S awesome too. That Sally…

  • Maria Jose Rojas

    these look so freakin awesome!!! I ‘ve never seen them here in Venezuela,but I vow to look for them incessantly and apply asap!! Thank you for such a great post :)

  • Lucile Hecht

    here is what I wrote about the nail strips on my nail polish blog:

    They held up really well for me and I got SO MANY COMPLIMENTS! I almost made a t-shirt explaining what they were and how they work because so many people asked me.

  • Sarah Mihalus

    I’ve had a package for a while and haven’t tried them yet, but now I can’t wait! The crackle nailpolish is tight, I used it over green polish and it look way cool. My best friend insisted that I buy it for her graduation present.

  • Alyssa Galella

    Obsessed with these! I don’t even get manicures anymore because I love them so much. Can’t wait til they come out with more colors/patterns. The gold/black fishnet pattern and the bright orange color are my fave.

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