Saturday, August 17, 2013

How to apply nail polish strips ft. Incoco strips

When Incoco contacted me a month or so ago offering to send me some of their nail polish appliqués, I was all over it. It seemed like a no brainer. I get to test these products out and show you how they look when you apply them. Plus, since nail polish appliqués are growing in popularity, I thought it'd be a good chance to do a quick tutorial on how to apply them.

Yes, it's a pretty simple technique, but it does require a little bit of practice to get it right. Be warned, the first time you try it you might end up with a crooked appliqué or a ridge or two. Don't let that discourage you. After one or two nails you'll get the hang of it.

The best part is that Incoco figured this would happen, so you can easily remove and reposition the nail strip without damaging the adhesive! That means you don't need to be scared about making mistakes. Plus, you'll get 16 total nail strips, so that if you do mess one up, you'll have extras. Don't worry if the one's you have left are too big for your nail, there's a way around that (that I show in my video demonstration).

Before we get into the how-to, let's share a little background on and my experience using Incoco nail appliqués:

  • They're made of real nail polish that includes base coat, polish, and top coat, so they look and feel like nail polish on your nails.
  •  They're 3-free (no DBP, toluene, or formaldehyde)
  • I like  that Incoco nail strips (unlike other brands I've tried) are a bit stretchy. This makes it easier to apply them without creasing and easier to fit most nail sizes (just don't pull too hard, they'll break!)
  • These are perfect if you love nail polish designs but aren't into DIY
  • They're also fantastic if you need to apply and go. No dry time needed!
  • You'll also love these if you have a hard time giving yourself a clean, professional looking manicure at home. Fool proof!
  • They come in more than 200 colors and designs, so you're bound to find something you like!
  • They're affordable, only $7.99 and available for purchase at
  • Removal is easy and hassle free. All you need is regular nail polish remover. 
  • If you mess up, you can remove and reposition the same strip (I tried this and it totally works!)
  • Each package contains 16 strips to fit all your nails (plus a few extra in case you need to fix a few)
  • They're easy to apply and provide a really pretty final product with very little hassle 
  • I wish they had some kind of nail hardening property to them. While my manicure looks great, my nails don't feel as hard as they do when I use my nail polish. I'm afraid my nails will be more susceptible to breaking.

Once I got the hang of using them, I got a really nice final result and I actually found them easier to work with than other brands I've used that were a bit thicker, making it harder to tear or file along the edge of my nail without leaving jagged edges.

Now, without further ado, let's get into the tutorial and some tips to help you get the application right on your first try.

What you'll need

Step 1: Clean off your nails and buff (optional) them

Tip: Wiping down your nail with a cotton swab dampened with rubbing alcohol will help remove any dirt and oil off your nail so nothing interferes with the nail strip adhering to your nail. 

Step 2: Pull nail strips out of package and measure them against your nails

Tip: When in doubt, choose a nail strip that's a little too wide over one that's too narrow for your nail. Once you're done applying the strip, you can use your nail or a cuticle pusher to gently press around the edges of your nail bed. This will create a makeshift perforation and you can tear away the excess strip. (You can see me demonstrate this in the video below)

Step 3: Remove clear cover from the top of the nail strip 

This step might only be necessary for Incoco nail stops

Step 4: Peel the strip off the sticker backing

Step 5: Remove the silver tab from the rest of the nail strip

Step 6: Position the strip on your nail and gently stretch it to fit

Step 7: Smooth out the surface gently

Tip: In the photo I'm using the back of a makeup brush, but this didn't yield the best result (caused creasing). Learn from my mistake. Use your fingertip to smooth out the surface. It has more surface area, creating a much better finish.

Step 8: Fold the edges of the nail strip over the end of your nail and file off the excess

Tip: While the nail file works well, it can create some jagged edges. Instead fold the nail strip under the end of your nail and gently use your nail (or a cuticle pusher) to put pressure on the folded-over strip until it perforates, then you can gently tear it away (demonstrated in the video).

You're all done!

Now the question is, will these last the 14 days the packaging claims? Follow me on Instagram, where I'll be taking daily photos of my manicure to show you how it wears, how long it takes before it starts to show some wear and tear, and whether I can truly rock it for 14 days while still looking good. My fear is that nail growth will cause me to abandon the manicure before the 2 week timeframe, as I'm not a fan of that look.

Here's my how-to video to show you my application technique in real time (P.S. Watch for the giveaway!):

Are you a fan of nail polish appliqués? I love how they can make a manicure hassle free and make nail designs much easier to achieve.

Giveaway entry and rules:
  1. Contest is open in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico
  2. Must be 18 or older to participate (or have parental permission to do so because you'll need to share your mailing address with me)
  3. Subscribe to my Youtube channel 
  4. Leave a comment (on the video in YouTube) telling me (1) why you want to be entered to win the Incoco nail polish strips, and (2) your favorite color nail polish. 
  5. FOR A BONUS ENTRY (optional): (1) Follow this blog using GFC, (2) leave a comment on this blog post about anything nail polish related, and (3) include your YouTube handle and GFC name (if they differ from the name you used to leave the comment. If they're the same, just say: "My YouTube and GFC handles are the same as my contest name).
  6. Contest closes Saturday, August 31 at noon EST.  Any entries submitted after that will be void. 
  7. I'll contact the winner via their YouTube inbox (so make sure you don't block emails!). Winner will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing information, otherwise I'll have to choose another winner. 
  8. Once I notify the winner and receive their information, I will announce their name (YouTube handle) in this blog post and in the video's information bar. 

Prizes cannot be redeemed for cash. The makers and manufacturers of the items being given away are in no way affiliated with this contest. While I take every precaution to ensure packages are delivered to contest winners, I do not take any responsibility for items lost, stolen, or damaged during the shipping process once I have confirmed shipment from my end.

Don't forget to check out all the different appliqué options over at

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. I love wild polishes for my toes, I keep my fingernails a bit long for the crazy stuff.

    My GFC and Youtube names are the same.

  2. Thanks for sharing! What's the craziest thing you've worn on your fingernails?

  3. Probably a single glitter nail like here

    Sometimes I will do a decal or some iridescent hearts or stars glitters under my gel. My hands are boring.