Swatch Saturday: Sally Hansen Salon Insta-Gel Strip Review!

In nail strips, Nails, Sally Hansen by Jacki8 Comments

Good morning, readers! Today is Swatch Saturday but instead of actual “swatches” of polish, I have a review of two Sally Hansen Salon Insta-Gel Strips for you. I am a big fan of the real polish strips I have tried by Sally Hansen and Incoco and they are a great break if you want to take a week off of doing your nails. I hadn’t tried any of the Gel Strips before and Sally Hansen sent me some to try out!

I was sent the kit in Red My Lips to try out. To be honest with you, I prefer strips with designs so the plain red didn’t get to stay on my nails very long. I bought a design refill to use with this kit after I tried the plain red and liked it so much more and wore it as long as I could. Read below for more info!

The starter kit comes with the mini LED UV light needed to cure the top coat layer over the strips. Each refill kit comes with another top coat bottle as well.


Easy steps!


Included in the kit: Mini LED UV Light, Gel top coat, 16 double ended strips, nail cleanse wipes. (The file and orange stick weren’t in my box but I had some at home and used those.)

I followed the directions included. Buffed the nails lightly to remove the shine, wiped all nails with a cleanser strip, and applied the strips to the nails. I filed off the excess on the tips and sides and then applied a thin coat of top coat. One nail at a time, I put a finger under the light and pressed the ON button. It is on a timer and turns off after about 30 seconds. Once they were all cured, I used the second nail cleanse wipe to clean off the sticky residue.

I was surprised at how shiny my nails looked and how hard the top coat was after curing. This was WAY faster than any fast dry top coat and I couldn’t get them to dent when I tried. That was one of the best parts for me!


So, as I said above, the plain red was pretty but not for me, so I bought a refill kit in Pretty ‘N Poppy to do a wear test. These applied the same as the red and I loved the design!

I was being thorough with the curing and did the light timer three times for each nail. Once with my nail flat, once turned to get the ride side of the nail, and once turned to get the left side of the nail.Sally Hansen Salon Gel Strips Pretty 'N Poppy 1 Sally Hansen Salon Gel Strips Pretty 'N Poppy 2

Sally Hansen Salon Gel Strips Pretty 'N Poppy macro

I wore them until the fourth day, when I got a big chip on my left thumb corner. That is the spot that ALWAYS chips first, it is a very flexible part of my nail so I don’t blame the strips. As you can see on my other nails, there was just a tiny bit of tip wear. I was impressed because I did multiple baby and kid baths, as well as my own showers, cleaning, and dish washing in those 4 days. Much better wear than nail polish.Sally Hansen Salon Gel Strips Pretty 'N Poppy day 4

What are your thoughts on the Sally Hansen Salon Insta-Gel Strips? I am always a fan of strips because the designs are so pretty and they are easy enough for the novice nail artist to apply.
You can remove them using the “foil method” as you would for glitter polish. Below are links to the application video and removal video for you to watch and see them in action:
Sally Hansen Salon Insta-Gel Strips starter kits retail for $29.99
Sally Hansen Salon Insta-Gel Strips retail for $14.99
You can find them at drugstores and retailers where Sally Hansen are sold. I’ve found them at Ulta, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS.
Thanks for reading!
*Products in this post were sent for me to review with my honest opinion.


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  1. Cin O

    It's hard to believe that the red polish is strips. It looks like you painted them yourself. How long does it take though to do both hands with the mini light since you had to cure each nail 3 times? Does this remove with regular non acetone polish remover? I like the look, these look professionally done. Beautiful mani.

  2. Amy Neely

    Could you use the gel topcoat over regular polish? And does it add a lot of thickness? I've been thinking of getting one of these to use before I put tips or other nail designs on with tape. It's a bit drastic, but I've pulled off a lot of polish with tape, even after letting it set for hours and de-sticky-fying the tape first. So I had planned on painting one color, gel top coating & curing, then adding tips or whatnot, and another gel top coat.

  3. LittleMonsterx14

    oooh i love how durable these are! and the quick dry is an awesome plus! you could always get the plain ones and do nail art on top of them 🙂

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