I've been doing my own gel manicures at home (I swear by the Red Carpet Manicure system!) for the past year, so when I saw that one of the items in my Summer Luxe Box were nail stickers, I was super excited to change up my nail game. The Essie Sleek Stick nail stickers in 'Embrace the Lace' were neutral enough to wear to the office, but still super fun looking.
I've had previous experience with the Sally Hansen nail stickers, so I was pretty confident of my abilities beforehand.
Included in the package are 18 nail applique strips, 1 cuticle stick, 1 file/buffer, and an instruction sheet. I also brought a small pair of scissors to use just in case I had to trim some of the nail applique strips to fit.
The instructions are pretty clear. You start off by matching all of yours nails with the best fitting nail strip. I did run in to a bit of a snafoo here, though. My index, middle, and ring finger are extremely similar in size, but there were only two strips that seemed to fit properly. I thought I could use my small nail scissors to trim a larger strip down to the correct size, but the way that they are packaged made it very difficult, and I ended up abandoning the idea. In order to cut a strip down, I would have had to peel it off of the clear backing, which meant I would end up freehanding the trim.
Once you find the best fit, you peel the applique off the clear backing and try to apply it as close to the cuticle as you can. You can gently pull on the strip while you're smoothing it down to get rid of any air bubbles. The best technique that I found was to actually line up the sticker to the side of your nail, rather than your cuticle. That way, you don't get any weird gaps at the sides because you didn't centre the sticker properly. This part was actually pretty hard for me. The shape of the sticker didn't match up to the shape of my nails, so sometimes these gaps were unavoidable. If you make a mistake, don't worry! It was actually very easy to remove the sticker and try again.
Once you get the best fit, you pull the excess over the edge of your nail and use your file to get rid of the extra bit. I like to use the buffer side afterwards and rub it all over my nail to really make sure that the sticker is on tight. I also used the cuticle stick to smooth the bubbled edges down as best as I could.
The end result was not as fabulous as I thought it would be! It was sloppier than I had anticipated. It was actually very difficult to smooth it over the edge of my nail, hence all the bumps that you can see. Once you run the buffer over your nails, I suggest you leave the stickers alone. I was playing around and peeled off a sticker after I was done to see if I could reapply it.. and while I could, it definitely wasn't as sticky as the first time.
The nail stickers lasted about a week on me. They probably would've lasted longer if I had done a better job applying them.. my hair kept getting caught under the bubbly/ragged edges. These were actually very easy to remove, too! You can peel off the entire sticker in one go. It does leave a bit of glue residue behind, but you can easily wipe that away with some rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover.
While I did like the design, I don't think I would purchase the Essie Sleek Stick again. The application was just too difficult, especially when I compare it to my experience with the Sally Hansen nail strips.. but that doesn't mean I don't want you to have your own opinion!
I'm giving away one set of Essie Sleek Stick nail stickers in 'Show Me Your Stuff.' This giveaway is open internationally and will run until August 23rd, 2013 at 11:59 PM EST. Simply fill out the Rafflecopter below!
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