The nail appliqués came from Incoco and as soon as they came I put on the french. The color is called "First Love" and the kit comes with 16 white, french tips (8 different sizes) and 16 double ended sheer pink strips (8 sizes). The double sided advantage is that there is 16 different sizes/shapes so you should have an easy time finding a fit.
The whole idea with these is they are sort of like a sticker of nail polish. You select the size for the nail and you place it on your nail and break away any excess. With the french manicure kits there are two parts: the white tip, and the sheer pink. It says to start at the pinky and do the thumb last. So I did left pinky, right pinky, left ring, right ring, etc.
Process: I started with fresh, clean nails. No basecoat or anything. These claim to be an all inclusive process of base, color and top coat. So I picked the size for my pinky, peeled away the protective plastic and the paper backing, and stuck it on bare. They have a sticky side to place on the nail so they don't move. These appliqués are thankfully forgiving and if you are a bit off you can move it.
Next, you need to remove the excess. If you have very, very long nails these may not have enough length for you. I had plenty left over, so I folded it over and using a nail file (one comes in the package) I file off the excess going perpendicular to the nail and down. Like this:
If there is hangover on the sides like on mine, you can file that off too. Once all the tips are on you need to start placing the sheer pink over that. This is similar to applying the colored appliqués (that will be in another post). This is how it looks as soon as you put it on, before it is smoothed down:
The nice thing about these, and very important for me since my nails are very curved, is they have some stretch to them. This gives you the ability to stretch them out and up to smooth out those wrinkles that are created on the sides. Once you got on the 10th sheer pink, you are all done! Complete french manicure!!!
Time involved: The whole process took me 45 minutes. I don't think that is too bad considering this is the first time I have ever tried to do this. Also, that is a pretty good time for doing a french that is dry. By the time I would freehand a french with basecoat, tips, pink, top coat and dry time it would take me 45 minutes. And with this I don't have to worry about getting a wonky smile line. They are perfect!
Finished look: Now the overall look is not perfect. But I think it's pretty good. If you look at the above photo taken after I was done, up-close, taken with the macro setting, you can see the little flaws. But for practical purposes, you don't look at your nails (and neither does anyone else) in macro, enlarged, up-close. Here is a shot I took with the normal setting the next day:
See how perfect that looks? And I had this on for days and never thought "damn this looks like crap I. Want to take it off". I actually really, really liked it!
They stay flexible while you are putting them on, but will dry out. That is how they set. They come packaged in a little air-tight envelope and you shouldn't open them until you are ready to use them. They are flexible and soft to put them on, but then dry out and set so they stay on and don't move.
Lasting power: Now Incoco claims that these last for 14 days. I don't know, because there is no way I would make it 14 days. I started to hyperventilate thinking about it. But I did have it on for 4 full days (96 hours) and it lasted! Through showers, washing dishes, washing the dog, everything. This is the mani after 4 days:
See?! They actually may look a little better with time since they have time to relax and adjust to the nail and the wrinkles and such smooth out more. I really think it might make it 14 days.
Removal: Now if these things can hold on for 14 days, I am sure you are wondering how the heck you get them off: With regular ol' remover. Incoco also has remover cloths soaked in an acetone remover you can use (they come in the kit):
I was surprised when I opened it and there was felt! How weird! But it worked. Just to see about regular remover, I tried an acetone and non-acetone remover with cotton balls and that worked too.
Overall verdict: Good. Definitely good. I think this might be the best way to get a DIY french manicure. Konad french tip plates are very hard to align properly. Free-handing takes a lot of patience and practice and is not for the shaky, and guides work, but sometimes pull up on the polish at the smile line and you get a little nick and that is irritating. >:c(
Bonus tip: The one thing that keeps standing out in my mind is that these (french or colored manicure) would be good for travel. There are no bottles to break, no liquids so you can take them in your carry on, and since the removal cloth is in there you don't need to pack remover. Lots of pros for traveling, I think.
They do last and look nice. They are forgiving and are stretchy so you can smooth out the wrinkles.
There is definitely a learning curve to these. You get better as you go along. But I think my work speaks for itself. I had never used anything like this before and my mani really doesn't look half bad.
I scanned the brochure that came with them so you can see Incoco's full color chart. They have colored tipped french manicures too if regular french is too plain-Jane for you!
(Make sure to click the pic for the enlarged view)
The polish does not stretch as much as the ad picture, by the way, but they do have a little give. Don't over do it. I ripped some by pulling too hard.
If you are interested to know what else I have in store for you, I have Sunset from the cremes, Oscar Night from the shimmers and get this: Black Diamond from the glitters! That's right. BLACK GLITTER!! WOO!
And here is a bonus pic of what I did with my Konad french tip plate before I took it all off:
You can purchase these at incoco.com. The french manicure kits come in three shades (the one in this post is First Love) and retail for $8.99. You can also purchase only the white tips for $5.99. If you are interested in the colored tip kits, those also retail for $8.99. They also sells Incoco at Walgreen's and on Incoco.com there is a printable $1 off coupon for Walgreen's.
What do you think?!
Disclosure: The products featured in this post were furnished to me by the manufacturer or PR company for review. For more information please visit my disclosure policy.