Nailed It? Not really.


During a trip to Las Vegas in May, I found some some Essie Sleek Sticks nail appliques for $1.99 USD at a Ross. Since that was much cheaper than the $11 CAD they sell for in Canada, I picked a set up in Over the Moon just to try it out. Yes, yes, I know nail appliques have been in existence for a few years now, and that I’m late to get on the bandwagon! I’ve just never been into nail art that much, and painting my nails in one colour using nail polish had always been more appealing to me. Even though I’ve had these nail appliques since May, I wanted to save them for a special occasion.

I attended a wedding over the weekend, which was the perfect time to try the nail appliques out. With the mauve-nude base and sparkly silver dots, they were both classic and blingy – a great combination for a wedding. After wearing them for a few days, I had made up my mind regarding how I felt about them.


  1. Easy removal: I don’t know about you, but I always dread taking nail polish off. I’m not sure why…it just always feels like such a chore to me. The Essie nail appliques were easy to remove from my nails. All I did was lift up one corner of the applique, and the rest of it would follow. It left a bit of a sticky film, which was easily taken off by some soap and water.
  2. Looks professionally done: Unless you’re fantastic at nail art, any type of design you try to do on your nails tends to look less than desired. I know I’ve tried to do a glitter gradient on my nails before, similar to the design of Over the Moon, and it just never looked great. The appliques made my nails look like they were professionally done; in fact, I had friends ask whether I had done them myself or gone to the salon.


  1. The uneven edges: This was my biggest gripe with the appliques. I had this issue where after filing the extra material off, the edges of my nails felt uneven and jagged. I tried using the nail file that came with the appliques, I tried used my Sephora glass nail file…nothing would file the appliques down to the point where it felt smooth. The jagged edges were clearly visible too, as you can see on my ring and pinky finger in the close-up shot of my nails below.IMG_2406a
  2. Poor lasting power: After two days of having the appliques on my nails, the edges started wrinkling up. It looked strange, so I ended up taking them all off. This was disappointing, as I had previously heard about how long-lasting nail appliques were. Perhaps it was just user error and I had not pressed the appliques onto my nails hard enough?
  3. The appliques didn’t perfectly fit my nails: Even after choosing the applique size that was closest to my nail size, there was usually a sliver of bare nail on the side. Not a huge deal as it mostly wasn’t noticeable, but still a little annoying when you want perfect nails.
  4. They only give you 18 appliques: I found this a little strange, as it means you can’t use the package for two separate manicures and will have eight leftover appliques after the first use. Before I opened the package, I thought that perhaps I could use the remaining appliques when I did my nails in the future as accent nails, but the size of the leftover appliques were too big to be able to use on my fingernails. I will have to get creative in thinking of ways to use the remaining appliques!

Overall, I think nail appliques are great for an event when you want your nails to look special but don’t want to shell out the money for a manicure. While it was fun to try them out, I’m not entirely sure I’ll try them again.

Let me know in the comments what you think about nail appliques!

11 thoughts on “Nailed It? Not really.

  1. Thank you for the honest opinion! I’ve seen several of the Essie nail strips at TJMaxx and Marshall’s but I was very hesitant on purchasing them (even though they were fairly cheap). They look very pretty on your nails though!


  2. I’ve never used any nail appliques before but I did pick up a couple of packages on clearance to test out. I have this feeling that I won’t like them either. How positively ODD they give you 18 pcs! I guess I understand if they give you extra for 1 full manicures, but they could give give a couple of extras, not EIGHT. But to be just 2 pieces short for another complete manicure… that’s just silly.


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