If you don't have the time (or patience) to let polish dry or if your nail art skills are more oh no than Van Gogh, this is for you.
Marketing pro Nicole is a self-confessed "nail-a-holic" with an affinity for nail polish strips. She has tried and tested loads of them and continues to go back to Sally Hansen Salon Effects because of their accessibility (you can buy them at practically any drugstore) and range of designs. Here, she shares her top tricks for applying the strips.

  • Tip 1: Don't waste any of the strips. "I use half [of the packet] for my hands," says Nicole.
  • Tip 2: Place one end of the strip on a fingernail, then trim ("I use my nail…not even the emery board at times") and tear away the excess strip. Use the excess on the same nail on your other hand to maximize the number of nails you can cover with one strip.
  • Tip 3: Don't hesitate to use the strips on your toes. "I would use any left over strips and place them on my toes," says Nicole.
  • Tip 4: To make the strips last more than 10 days (the amount of wear Nicole usually gets out of hers), try topping the strips with a clear top coat. They will appear shinier (if this isn't what you want, skip it), but they can help the strips last a couple of days longer.
  • Tip 5: According to an answer Nicole got from the Sally Hansen company via Twitter, the shelf life of the strips is 13 months, but once you open the packet, they will dry out quickly since they are made of nail polish. Nicole has tried saving them in a Ziploc bag, but even that didn't prevent them from drying out some. "They were never as adhesive as the first time I used them," she says.
  • Tip 6: Nicole's all-time favorite designs include: Laced Up and Misbehaved. Her new favorites are Tri-bal it On (photographed above), Brattlesnake, Love Letter, and STUD-io Time, which is part of the new, edgy Avril Lavigne collection.
 What's your fave polish strip pattern?