I'm pretty surprised about the last review, *especially* the part about how long these lasted. I thought the designs looked really neat as an alternative to a solid polish. Unfortunately, that is where the attraction ends. Starting at the cash register.
I tried one on each hand to start out with and put 2 coats of polish on my remaining nails. The first thing I thought while I was putting these on was, "damn, I just wasted ten bucks". I polish my nails regularly and I will say that normally I can only get 4-5 days with a normal 2 coat manicure before the chipping begins. First of all, these are sealed in a package and apparently once you cut it open, you have to use all of them (which I didn't want to) or they will "dry out" according to the instructions. A definite minus. I would like to be able to use them whenever I want to use them. Most of the peel and sticks are too wide for my nail beds, and I don't have small nail beds, so plan on having to trim the sides. This is additional work and may cause them to not fit correctly it you don't cut them straight. On the ends of these, you are supposed to file the edges to your nail. Well, there's no way to do this without filing your actual nail, which I didn't want or need to do. The edges of these never laid down properly, they didn't adhere to the nail at the edges, causing a very annoying peeling from day 1 on. I even tried to put some clear polish on the edges to help hold them down. I put a coat over the top, too. No help. The edges of the adhesive tore the very first day. By the 3rd day, I had to peel them off entirely. And I wasn't doing any work with my hands that might cause them to wear quickly. Just a huge waste of money. I would like my money back. Very disappointing. Do yourself a favor and PASS on these!
Pure Lacquer Nail Apps are OPI's addition to the nail polish strip trend, and what nice additions they are. In most ways, they're pretty similar to Sally Hansen's Salon Effects. Like with Sally Hansen, they give you two sets of 8 nail strips, each set sealed on its own to prevent the strips from drying out. The application process is the same too: you just match each of your nails with an appropriately sized nail strip, gently stretch and smooth the strip to fit your nail and then file off the excess. OPI doesn't provide an emery board and orange stick like Sally Hansen does, but I don't think that's a bad thing. Excluding those items allows them to use slimmer packaging (just a flat envelope) and that allows for better storage. These are long wearing, require no dry time at all unless you use a base and/or top coat, and can be removed with regular nail polish remover. I'd recommend removing them with pure acetone if you can stand it. Even better if you can soak cotton pads with acetone and let them sit on your nails for 5-10 minutes before trying to take them off. If you let the acetone have time to do its work, they should come off really easily.
OPI strips are pricier (I think they retail for $12) than other nail strips on the market, but I think the extra expense provides a little extra quality. Though Sally Hansen's Salon Effects say they're made with real nail polish, they don't look like any nail polish I've ever seen. They're very matte, with almost a paper like finish, and the prints look a little grainy when you examine them closely. I found that my OPI manicure looked and felt much more like real nail polish and the nail art designs are very smooth and sharp. I also think the available patterns are a little more chic than what I've seen from other brands.
I wore these for 8 days straight and was pretty impressed with the wear. I did get two extremely small chips on my first full day of wear, but that happened while I was deep cleaning my car and had been rooting around blindly for items that had rolled under my front seats. I filled both chips in with a similar color of nail polish and then covered the whole nail with topcoat. After that, you couldn't even tell that I had chipped my manicure and neither finger chipped any further after that. On Saturday (Day 5), I chipped/broke part of my thumb, but I think that had more to do with the nail than the manicure. My thumb has been weak and peelly lately and I must have cracked it on something while I was babysitting my niece. A small portion of my nail broke off and took part of the strip with it. I filed my thumb a bit and that nail didn't look ragged afterward or chip any further during the remaining two days of my manicure.
By day 8, my nails still looked pretty fresh. I had moderate tip wear and the bottom of the design had pulled away from my cuticles a tiny bit (mainly due to nail growth), but otherwise they looked just fine. I could have gotten away with at least a few more days of wear if I hadn't been itching for a change. I did use both a base and top coat (Barielle's protein treatment and Seche Vite) and that probably helped extend the life of my manicure.
My only real complaint about this product is the price. $12 is a lot to pay for a single manicure that you do yourself. Even if you're used to using expensive polishes on your nails, $12 a pop is pretty steep. If you have short nails or small nail beds you might be able to get two uses if you only open one pack at a time and cut each strip in half, but my nails are way too big for that.
Still these are darling enough to be worth the splurge every now and then. I got lots of compliments while I was testing out the Fishnet pattern..So I'd definitely repurchase, just not as often as I'd like to!