Sally Hansen Instagel Strips Starter Kit

Sally Hansen Instagel Strips Starter Kit
Covergirl catching fire black ombré nails


8 reviews

50% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.5

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.5

Price: $$$


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on 12/10/2014 7:09:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

My review is for just the strips, rather than the starter kit... I found these at a local Walgreens store on clearance for $2.99/ box, so I purchased two of them and used them with my 36 watt UV nail lamp from Amazon. The shade I tried first is Wine Not, which is a gorgeous deep burgundy creme. I have a lot of experience using gel polishes and nail strips, so I was curious to try these. While I wouldn't recommend these for a beginner, I was absolutely AMAZED at how easy these are compared to regular gel polish or strips. I was skeptical about how well these would stick, but they went on really easily and have lasted 2 days so far without any chips (I've done dishes without gloves 3x in that period). I cut the strips in half, so I will get 2 uses from each box, making them a good deal, especially on clearance. I love that there's only a few steps and my hands only have to go under the light once. My only real complaint is that each box comes with a full bottle of the top coat, which seems incredibly wasteful. However, I am super impressed by how easy, smooth and perfect these look. The top coat dries to a hard, shiny finish typical of a gel manicure. This is definitely the easiest, most perfect home manicure I've done!

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

on 11/25/2013 5:21:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I gotta say I love this kit. Worked really well for me and the manicure I got, which was glossy and glass smooth, was beautiful. If you enjoy fooling around with different looks for your nails (and I do, see picture above) you will want all the things in this kit.


-- If you are pretty good at fussing with your nails, the strips will go on quickly and you will have an absolutely flawless, iron hard manicure in minutes.

--The gel and ultraviolet light are worth the price alone. I practically had to pry the polish off and now use the two together it for every manicure I do, regardless of polish. Best finishing coat ever.


-- Most people aren't good at fussing with their nails, which is why manicurists stay in business. I can see this being frustrating for someone who struggles with giving themselves a manicure, but ultimately it will produce a better result than the usual "I'll just slap some polish on the top of my finger and take off all the excess with remover" method.

-- It only comes in 3 rather boring colors

-- The refill kits have a greater variety of colors, but are WAY too expensive. After I realized I liked the process I saw the refill price and decided I could do without.

--The ultraviolet light only takes 1 finger at a time, but you only need a few seconds each and I love the portable size so I prefer it to a bigger one.

In short, I'd definitely buy this if I didn't have it. I will continue to use it for any manicure I do. But Sally is going to have to drop the price of her refills before she can count me a regular customer for those.

6 of 7 people found this helpful.

on 4/22/2013 10:52:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

Firstly, If you haven't yet used the regular nail polish strips this system will not be easy. Its best to start with those, It will take a few applications to get good, you can also cut the strips in half to get two uses out of it. It just takes practice, if your not willing to put in the time then this product is not for you.
Thankfully I had used them many time so It was easy for me.
I find the strips better then regular nail polish because once they are on, their good to go and you don't have to wait for them to dry!!

My nails have been recently peeling and I am using this system to attempt to grow them out. So far I am on day three and they still look great. The regular nail strips last about a week, so I am thinking these will also last the same about of time before they start to look old and grown out. But hey a week is good enough for me! with regular polish I redo them every other day!

So don't buy this product if your a first time nail strip user, start with regular strips (which are cheaper) and work your way up.

Also the gel polish and nail lamp is definitely worth it, you can even use it over regular nail polish!

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

Like an idiot, I actually bought this kit and then bought a refill on the gel strips, thinking there must just be a learning curve.
I didn't have better luck the second time and I have to say, I feel like this was a waste of money.
It was difficult to use and took a LONG time. The polish looked kind of nice for a few days and then started to peel off. I ended up scraping the stickers off at work because I couldn't stand having my nails look so unprofessional, and it definitely damaged my nails.
The second time I tried to use these, I just gave up before I finished.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium Brown, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I really enjoy having long, beautiful natural nails and find that it's really difficult to devote an hour every couple of days to touch up a regular manicure. I get bummed out because it's in these few days of busyness that any uncovered nails breaks violently.

After several months of looking at this kit, I finally decided to buy it hoping to resolve some of the chipping issues. Based on previous reviews I was skeptical and now I understand why. Half of my nails look great, the other half look terrible.

The insta-gel strips are horrible to put on and do not really adhere to the nail unless you add some additional warmth and nearly stab yourself with the cuticle stick. It took me nearly an hour and a half to get this whole system down and even then some of them are already chipping. I am going to see how the good nails hold up, but I know I won't be purchasing this again.

1. Comes with a cute little led lamp that will be useful when using gel polish in the future
2. The kit comes with a gel polish that can be used in conjunction with other polishes

1. The strips are worthless on short nails and mediocre on longer nails, just use a gel polish
2. Very time consuming
3. Already chipping even know I tried and tried to follow the instructions

Save yourself the money and if you are looking to do at-home gel nails. Purchase an led light, rubbing alcohol, and pick a clear gel coat to practice with!

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

on 2/26/2013 8:16:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

not the Worst product out there. Reasonably priced and I like the way my nails look. I bought the product on sale and I'm satisfied with the results.

on 2/25/2013 3:59:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Ugh. Where do I begin? I'm annoyed that I even spent so much money when my instincts were telling me there was no way it would be even close to the quality at a salon. Listen to your instincts!

-the mini lamp may be useful with bottles of gel polish

-only 3 colors to select from in the starter kits. I chose the light pink, thinking it would be...a light pink. Wrong. It's clear, maybe with the very slightest hint of milkiness? Ugh. I literally did one hand & held it up to the other..the only difference was the "done" hand was shinier, something I could have accomplished with plain ol clear nail polish.
-much more difficult than it needs to be. I think the strips actually make the polish start chipping faster because they don't bond to your nails like a liquid gel would.

So NOT worth it. Save your money.

on 11/2/2012 12:14:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Red, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

You can't blame a company for jumping on an obvious bandwagon. Gel color has exploded in popularity, and so have peel-off polish strips, so Sally Hansen tries to combine the best features of both with the Instagel Strips. The starter kit, which I bought at Walmart for $27.95USD, contains a tiny little LED lamp that cures one nail at a time and runs on household current; 16 polish strips; a 0.14 fl. oz. (4 ml) liquid top coat; a wooden stick; two cleanser pads; and a small three-way buffer. Color refills are $13.95USD and come in some of the wilder SH patterns as well as some classic colors. I chose Wine Not?, a shimmery burgundy.

--Great color!
--The lamp is portable. I'll be stashing this one in my suitcase for on-the-road touchups.
--The lamp doesn't run on batteries, meaning you don't have to worry about the batteries dying in the middle of a mani, which has happened to me a couple of times with my other light sources.
--Supposedly it comes off with acetone when you're ready. I never got to this step (see below).

--For what you get, I consider the price expensive, almost over the top. $13.95 is outrageous for one set of strips. They probably figured we're comparing it to a salon manicure, but in my mind I'm comparing it to a bottle of polish.
--The box says the mani lasts two weeks. Um, NOT. Try two DAYS. The color was peeling off whole after two days of normal wear.
--The lamp is so small you can cure only one nail at a time.

Overall, I'm a little sorry I fell for this product, except for the baby lamp. I plan to stash the lamp and the top coat in my suitcase and try it with regular gel polish while I'm on the road.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

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