Sunday, December 7, 2014

OMG Nail Strips - Houndstooth and Black & White Splatter

I was recently contacted by a new-to-me brand, OMG Nail Strips, and asked to review their nail wraps.

Straight from the package, these seem pretty comparable to the many other brands of nail strips. They come 14 strips in a cardboard envelope, wrapped in plastic. Bonus: each strip has the size printed at the base. I haven't seen any other company do this before, and that info can come in handy. So we're off to a good start!

What's so special about them?  They are different from other nail wraps "because of their ability to stretch and have a unique resistance to chipping, tearing, and wrinkling" (info found on their website here).

I was also told when I was contacted that these wraps do not dry out. It's believable since they were sent in a plastic wrapper that wasn't air-tight, and I had no issues with them. That is really nice, too. I can't even tell you how disappointed I was to purchase a set of Sally Hansen Halloween wraps; used them one year, then wanted to throw on the leftovers as an accent nail for another mani the following year, and much to my surprise, they were brittle and worthless. So being able to use the OMG strips in the future whenever I want, and not having to worry about wasting money using half the product and being forced to toss the rest shortly after, is really appealing to me!

The application instructions are printed on the back of the cardboard, with accompanying video instructions on the website (here). The online instructions include a little "tip" not seen on the packaging. They say it is optional to swipe the strip 1-3 times with a cotton ball dipped in polish remover once it is on the nail. They claim this step melts the wrap to your nail, allowing for longer wear-time.

I found that additional little tidbit really interesting. I've never heard of "melting" the strips before, but it sounds logical, so I gave it a shot when I wore the Houndstooth pattern.

First, I wanted to take the wraps for a test-run. Typically with nail strips, you open the package, apply them, and call it good. So I did just that with the splatter pattern strips. No base coat, no topcoat. The nail wraps fending for themselves.

They are cute. They apply like any other wrap. They were easy to smooth out, and I had very minimal wrinkling where I got in a hurry. But they're living up to their claim of not tearing, so that's a plus.

I put the wraps on, proceeded to set up and decorate two Christmas trees, get some shopping in, a little laundry and a few dishes done. I was pretty surprised at how they fared.

Besides a few scuff marks and that weird perforation going on on my thumb (I'm certain that is from direct Douglas fir interaction), they still look pretty good.

No changes by the end of the second day, but the mess on my thumb was bothering me enough I decided it was time to switch up manis, though it hadn't gotten any worse.

While removing the strips (mind you, this is without base or topcoat), I found they were much easier to peel off (don't peel them off if you have polish on, it can peel layers of your nail!), than to try and scrub off with polish remover. Sure I could have let them soak in acetone for a minute or two, but why? When I could work the cuticle easily with an orangewood stick and peel the strips off in one or two whole pieces; with next to no residue at all and absolutely no damage to the nail bed. Five seconds per nail and done.

Overall, these performed well with no protection on top. On to the Houndstooth strips.

Side note: I do have to mention, when I was contacted, I was asked to choose two designs. I selected the black & white splatter, but I did not pick the Houndstooth. I would not pick the Houndstooth. I'd actually chosen a cute snowflake print wrap, because I thought it would be cute to show for the season. It wasn't until after the strips were shipped out to me, that I was told some patterns couldn't be sent.

Honestly, I do not like Houndstooth. I wish I had at least been consulted before they were sent. I would have much rather just picked another design, or only been sent one set. It isn't a huge deal. I didn't pay for the strips. You know the saying "beggars can't be choosers", but it did irk me just a tiny bit, so I felt it was worth mentioning. Anyway, here they are:

I went all out with these strips to see how long I could make them last. I used a light-cure gel polish to sandwich the strips on my index and ring finger. I figured this would yield the best results. My thumb, middle finger, and pinky have a Sally Hansen base coat, the strip, then two coats of Seche Vite.

On all the nails except my ring finger, I used their polish remover "melting" trick before topcoating.

My results after five days:

For some reason, "melting" the strip and using gel polish didn't work. It's almost like the strip stayed too gooey and just had a hard topcoat over it. It ended up peeling off in a couple pieces by the end of the second day.

I also got a minor tear on my middle nail but that was my own fault. I was pushing my cuticles back, and accidentally scraped that area or something; it just caught and tore a chunk off. Still, it was barely noticeable.

Other than the one full missing nail, they all still look good, and have no real visible wear, they look pretty much the same as they did when I first put them on!

I think my favorite combo for these is gel polish, without "melting" the strip. It is the longest lasting and has the toughest resistance. Everything comes off very quickly and easily with an acetone soak since it is only a couple coats of gel and the strip is thin.

How do they compare to other brands?  I've tried quite a few brands of nail wraps before (see here), and these are one of my favorite so far. When I wore the Incoco wraps, they were a little thicker and lifted around the edges immediately, especially with topcoat over them. Born Pretty Store's wraps were much thicker and very difficult to apply smoothly, sans wrinkles and tears. The Kiss brand strips have been the worst, by far. They were too thick to apply, and topcoat wrinkled them the worst I've ever seen. These OMG strips are most comparable to Sally Hansen (which I've always said is the number one brand for these); however, the Sally Hansen strips dry out. I believe this is partly what can cause them to wear and chip. But they don't need topcoat protection. You have to use up all the strips soon after opening the air-tight package, otherwise they'll dry out and have to be tossed. So they have their pros and cons.

Overall, I would say definitely wear a base and topcoat with the OMG strips, otherwise they won't last long. They aren't a throw-on-and-go wrap (well, they are, there's no dry time, but I'm talking longevity), they need topcoat. They're $7.99 USD, so about $1 cheaper than the retail price of Sally Hansen strips, and they perform just as good, if not better (I can use them later, they won't be brittle and worthless in a month - the one thing I hate most about Sally Hansen wraps). Alternately, you can get these in a 5-pack for $25 (so $5 a set), or in a 10-pack for $45 ($4.50 per set)! They also have new Nail Party Packs where you can earn commission and get a discount. Plus this company offers free shipping on all orders.

They have over 100 designs, from simple to detailed. Some of my favorites (photos from and linked to the product page on their website):

I'm a fan of these strips, and definitely recommend them!

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