Hey guys! Today I have something awesome for you. I'm sure that you already know about Incoco and their nail polish strips made from real nail polish. And if not, some fact about them: Incoco is a, well, I'd call it a nail polish brand that sells nail polish strips/appliques made from actual nail polish, that means including base and top coat in every strip. The strips do not need any drying time, are B3F - without DPB, toluene or formaldehyde and are supposed to last up to 14 days. They come in vast number of different colours and patterns, their great site allows you to filter the patterns and colours. They also offer colourful french tip manis and strips for pedicures. They are located in USA, but ship internationally. They are in a few shops in Europe as well, but I have not seen them anywhere in my neck of the Europe. They are supposed to sell them in Austria, but I haven't noticed them in their shops.
Anyway, when I was asked to do a review, I was mostly curious about their stripes, as I did not have any good experiences with them before from other brands, plus I really like the Incoco designs. The package surprised me, being larger than I thought it would be.
I got two sets of full mani strips and another of french tips, plus three files (which are very important for the mani) and also the cuticle sticks. In the package there is also a few pamphlets with tricks, advices and instructions on how to get your strips on the nail perfectly.
Essentially, each strip has 16 nail polish strips. The full mani ones are double ended, do not forget that, as it is very useful! It helps a lot when searching the perfect fit for your nails. I find the shapes of the strips very nice, I could find the right shape for every nail, which is really rare for me. I forgot to take pictures of the full mani ones, but I took a shot of french tip set, and the full mani ones look like the clear ones here:
Be careful about using them immediately after opening, as the nail sticker is not 100% dry at the point of opening (that is why it is flexible) and it will dry pretty quickly after taking the protective foil off. You can't really tell that, nor do I know if then the sticker is completely destroyed, but they do warn you about it.
I did manis with the full manicure strips, the purple one called Venetian Lace and the yellow one Maxed Out. I skipped the french tips, because I dislike french tip mani and I hate animal patterns, but I do like the name: Cat's Meow. :) More about the application and my observations after the pictures.
Venetian lace is in fact a gorgeous warm purple (my camera makes it way too blue, you know ... one of those purples that never really photograph right) with black lace. They were the first I tried and I feel like they were my learning curve a bit, because I applied Maxed Out much better. Still, they look absolutely gorgeous (I wish I had the actual colour of purple on the photo). They lasted 4 days, then the edges of the strips started to chip.
I LOVE Maxed Out!! I liked it so much more than Venetian Lace (and if you'd know me, you'd know how surprising that actually is). I had them on for five days, then took a picture of the mani again, because I think I could easily stretch it for another day or two, but I went to a concert and wanted a fresh mani.
AFTER 5 days of wearing (including washing the dishes, washing my hair twice and all other ordinary stuff):
As you can see, after full five days of wearing there is only minimal tip wear and the strip on my left index finger started to chip. Saying that, this, for me, is already enough nail growth that it bothers me. And this is what I wanted to mention about the "lasts up to 14 days" deal. I find it so terribly unnecessary. Come on, you all know the overgrowth of the nail in 14 days. How on earth would that look like? OK, unless your nails grow REALLY slowly. Plus, I am usually fed up with a mani after 5 days tops anyway (usually sooner). These babies lasted on me 4 and 5 days, with Maxed Out still having a day or two extra time, that is IMHO more than great, it is excellent, more than any other strips I have ever tried (that usually started chipping too much on the very first day) and it gets an A+ on my demands for 4 days for each manicure. You could probably wear it even longer, especially if you are not so sensitive about nail growth showing on your mani. So it matters not, but I would consider it to be pretty darn awesome, if they just told that it lasts for about 5 to 7 days, and that would sound more reasonable and it would be true.
My observations, pros and cons and all that:
° There is a learning curve, I feel, so maybe try to apply a few strips before doing a full mani. As there are 16 strips in each set, that should not be a problem.
° The stripes should be of a room temperature, so if you are doing it on a cold day, rub them a bit between your hands (still in the plastic bag though!) to warm them up a bit, so they keep their flexibility.
+ They fulfil my expectation on longevity of manis I wear (4 days or more).
+ They really do not need ANY drying time. I applied Venetian Lace and was really late to my class, so I just put some jeans on and ran out of the flat. The strips were not damaged or dented by the buttons, zippers or keys, nor did it matter that I plunged into the abyss I call my purse about 10 minutes after I applied them.
+ The application is fast and really easy, I was surprised. The only thing that takes some time is trying to figure out the perfect shape of the sticker and even that is a matter of seconds, really.
+ With 8 different shapes of stickers I really think you can find the right shape for your nail. My nails are fairly wide and that was not a problem.
+ They sent me the files for mani, which was really nice. Any file will do, though, so that's great as well.
+ If you make a mistake when applying the strip,you really can take it off and reapply it, I had to do that twice and did not hurt the sticker. Just remember to do it slowly, in order not to tear it.
+ The Incoco internet page is great. It looks lovely, it is well organised and they have tons of helpful tips and instructions AND a video on how to work with the strips. Very nice page, really.
+ They are B3F.
- The removal is a bit messy. They almost feel like glue, they kind of stick to your nails, so it is not just "wipe off" method, I recommend soaking the pad and leaving it on the nail for a minute.
- The only big minus I can find is the price of the strips. The nail colors are $7.99 per set and the nail designs $8.99, while french designs and colours for tips are $9.99. I think the nail colors are seriously overpriced. I cannot speak for french tips, for I do not like them, but you do get in fact two sets of strips with tips, so I can understand the higher price. I think only the nail designs are worth the price, because their designs are great and you can see the long list of positive things I found about the strips. They are great and when I think how many polishes I have in my stash that I only wore once ... the 9 dollars does not seem that steep anymore. You get a product of good quality for that money, so it is like buying an expensive(r) nail polish that does not disappoint. Saying all that, taking a leap of faith with first order without knowing how good they are, with that price, I would not do it.
- This minus is more for me and my European gals. I do wish they would more accessible to the rest of the world. I mean, I am quite used to that, but still, when I add up the price of ordering just two sets, with the shipping costs I basically already reach the upper line for our customs, which means I need to pay taxes as well. And all of the sudden the pricey strips get too expensive for my student pocket. But their page is really good and user friendly, so if you do not have such problems, ordering online should not be a problem one bit.
In short, Incoco strips were such a great surprise, I will probably order them for myself, because I have an immense crush on some of the designs. I do find them expensive, but after trying them, I think the nail designs are worth the money.
Have you ever tried the Incoco Nail Polish Appliques? Have a favourite shade/design?
Thank you for reading and commenting, have a lovely end of the week!
*Product sent for reviewing purposes, you can read my disclosure here.