Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Review: S-Nail Nail Foils

I was lucky enough to receive two sets of S-Nail nail foils from my favorite Konad supplier OC Nail Art. Pleas note that these foils are not on sale at their site. They gave me and other people the chance to try them out in order to see if they should carry them in their online store. I have yet to find a way to purchase them anywhere else, but if I find that out, I will let you know....

I am going to give a quick rundown of the application process, show you pics of before, during and after and finally my thoughts about the products. I first applied the pink foils (there is no name or design number) and the second time trying the foils was with the silver and black Zebra print.

This is a photo of the instructions that came on the package (click to enlarge):

Here is my interpretation/follow through with their directions. I found that the tools needed for this manicure (imperative in my mind) were a manicure scissors, a rubber smoothing tool and cuticle trimmer (I have a combined tool click here) and a hair dryer or heating tool.

Step 1: I shaped and filed my nails, washed my hands and then cleaned them one last time with rubbing alcohol to get all residue off of my nails.

Step 2: Pick size. There were 16 foils, 8 various sizes. For the most part I was able to find a size that covered my nail, but in nearly all cases I had to trim because they were too large.

Step 3: Peel sticker and apply. Application was alright and I would agree that it worked better when I started on one edge and smoothed to the other. But it sometimes took trial and error (and me having to try to re-stick) if I had too much nail peeking through.

Step 4: Smooth the sticker on the nail. I did have bubbles on several of the foils or what I would call gathering where the sticker stuck to itself on the tip of my nail. I was able to smooth all bubbles out with a rubber-ended tool. On nearly all the nails I had to trim excess foil from some part of my cuticle. I trimmed as much as I could from my nail bed and cuticle area before I applied heat. Speaking of heat, there wasn't any guidance of what "heat will needed" implied, but I used a hairdryer on a medium setting. After heating, I went back and smoothed the foil and especially on the second foil application, concentrated on the edges of my nail.

Step 5: Trim excess. I used a cuticle trimmer and a small scissors to trim foil down to my actual nail. I found this to be the hardest step of the whole process--especially when needing to trim with my non-dominant hand. The difficulty was getting a smooth trim that didn't have any edges that would catch on things while doing daily tasks. Also, when reading the instructions I was confused by the note "When trim the excess, it will lift at the free edge if the top later is filed off". My interpretation of this was "don't file the excess or you'll have lifting". But I can't be sure because there was no website that I could consult with.

Final Looks:

The Trouble With Foils: Polish chips, but foils lift. According to package, these foils can last for up to 9 days. This first picture is the lifting I experienced after only wearing them for 5 hours (and just out on the town--no heavy lifting, dish washing, nail-heavy activities). I had full lifting on the sides by 24 hours (as seen in second picture). I only wore the pink foils Friday night to Sunday early evening. I could have trimmed the lifting and kept them on longer, but I couldn't stand the imperfections, and they truly did catch on things throughout the day and it really bothered me. I started to feel paranoid, so they came off. The silver foils I applied on Thursday evening and took them off Sunday night (but all Sunday I wanted them off, I only had time to do my nails Sunday night).

Final Review: The best part about this product is in achieving a look that you would never be able to get with polish. The metallic shine that these foils had was eye-catching and fun. People noticed my nails and it was fun. For me, their uniqueness would be the draw to purchasing foils in the future. However, I was led to believe that they would last for 9 days (OC Nail Art had much better luck) and they didn't. On a side note, I really am wondering about climate. I live in MN and it is cold here and when I wore these foils it was during some of our most cold days of the winter season (negative temps) and I am curious what effect that might have on lasting. I wish I had more to try in the summer for a comparison. I also feel a draw of foils is in their ease of application, i.e. no polish drying time and immediate gratification once done. But for me, completing this manicure took me at least and hour for the first application. Actually the second time I put the foils on, I took nearly two hours just trying to ensure using effective heating of the foils, smoothing and trimming. (Not that it should have taken two hours, I just kept getting paranoid about not have trimmed well enough or heated well enough or smoothing the foils well enough.) I really wanted this manicure to last! Since I was avoiding filing the foils (like I have been instructed to do with other nail applications), I didn't feel I could ever get a perfect tip with these foils.

Bottom Line: I don't know how much these foils will retail for, and I have to say that price point may be a major deciding factor in trying these again. I would say that for a special event, these would be a great manicure idea, but ultimately I didn't find them easy or durable. I found them exciting, but irritating and I'm glad I got to try them, but was appreciative they were free.

Something extra: I'm such a hoarder of special nail art ideas that I have saved all the scraps for these foils to use again. I posted about it here and you may see these foils pop up again in the future!

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