FINALLY I came across Minx #1 for at-home application, the do-it-yourself version of the nail effect previously only available in salons. They were on a lower shelf in my local Ulta store, very unassuming and hidden away. As soon as I saw the silver gleam, I snatched them from their cardboard display. I opted for Silver Moons: metallic chrome accented by a silver matte moon. Ulta also had the gold version of these, which I originally added to my shopping basket in my excitement, but I decided to try just one package to start.
Frankly, I'm glad I only bought one pack, and to be honest, even that seems excessive at this point (considering each mani-pedi package is $18 and I wasn't planning to use the pedi portion). I still love the effect, and I'm glad I didn't have to cruise over to the salon to get it, but I gotta say, I think Sally Hansen nail strips are a much better bang for the buck -- but Sally doesn't make the silver mirror strips.
Minx #1, the retail version of the salon original, are difficult to apply and super thin, so any imperfections in your nail bed will show right through. I'm sure this effect is only exacerbated by the unforgiving metallic foil color I selected, but still. For an $18 DIY, I was hoping for better results.
It looks okay, but as you might be able to tell from my photo above, the finish is uneven and, while that is a symptom of my less-than-perfect nails, I buffed my nail beds before application so I don't know how much better I could've done. Also, trimming off the extra strip length was troublesome, and you HAVE to file the excess off with a super-gritty file in a downward motion at a 90-degree angle to your nail tip -- this is the only way to successfully trim; back and forth filing doesn't work, nor does a softer file (which I used in hopes of achieving a less ragged finish). It just takes a long time and produces results that are (literally) a little rough around the edges. I applied these bad boys about 12 hours ago and they're already starting to peel, too.
I'm also a little disappointed about the "matte moon" thing -- from the look of the package, it looked like the strips were a solid shiny silver so I was surprised to find the little half-moons when I opened them up. That's partially my lack of attention to detail when making the purchase, though -- I was just so excited to have found them that I didn't read the description that said "Silver MOON."
Perhaps it's obvious at this point, but I won't be buying these again. I'm keeping my metallic chrome silver moon manicure for now, and I'm glad I got it out of my system! But I'll be sticking with Sally Hansen strips in the future, thank you very much. :)
Remember to visit the other awesome Mani Monday bloggers! Thanks to Heather at Glitter and Gloss & Heather at Just Love.ly Things for hosting!