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Allure Sally Hansen gelI’ve been on a hot streak with Allure Beauty Enthusiasts lately. This was my second trial in the past few months, and I just found out I qualified for a Redken hair product study which I’m VERY excited about.

The Sally Hansen Insta-Gel Strips was a really interesting product to test and review. I’m a fan of the regular Sally Hansen nail polish strips and have used them several times. The Insta-Gel strips are a pumped up, salon-worthy version of the regular nail strips. The set I was sent contained a starter kit (mini UV lamp, set of strips in “Red My Lips” and a second set of strips in a geometric design).

This was a very time consuming process for me – I ran into a similar issue to the regular nail strips I’ve tried in the past – my nail beds are smaller than the “standard” strip sizes. So I spent a lot of time trying to make sure they are positioned correctly and that I’ll be able to trim the excess off my cuticle area.

My usual strategy with nail painting (and with the regular strips) is to not worry too much if excess gets on the sides of my nail, because it will just flake off of my skin in the shower or bath. But once these gel nail strips are set, they are SET. There is no flaking off. I was able to break off the excess, to a certain extent, but was left with ridges along the sides of my nails, which made the entire nail loosen and fall off within a few days. Despite putting in lots of time and being uber careful, I still ended up with some mistakes. Although both the regular strips and the gel strips are pretty forgiving in terms of how they look on your nails.

I’ll be trying these again – the geometric design, which apparently isn’t up on the Sally Hansen website right now – this upcoming week. Now that I’ve learned from my mistakes and have a few new tricks up my sleeve, I’m looking forward to seeing if I can actually get closer to two weeks of wear with these. They really make for a nice looking nail and not having to worry about them chipping really makes the extra money and effort worth it, IMO.