Sally Hansen Salon InstaGel Strips Review

PicMonkey CollageToday let’s talk about Do-At-Home Gel Nails…


There are a few different kits out there on the market from low end to higher end.

I really love gel nails I get at the salon…but I am pretty lazy about getting TO the salon, and by the time I need to get them done again, it’s pretty much a guarantee that I have picked them until my nails are damaged.


So I thought getting the kit to do at home would be a great idea, plus I like doing my nails…


Well, besides being a incessant picker, I am also cheap.  The Gel kit that I want the most is a tad pricey.  I know it would save me money in the long run, but common sense isn’t a language that I am fluent in.

So I started on the low end…with Sally Hansen InstaGel Strips Starter Kit, which retails at around $30 for the starter kit.  The strips themselves cost around $13, which I think is a little expensive for a one-time application, but I went ahead and tried it.

I’ve tried, with pretty good success, the Sally Hansen Nail Strips in the past.  So I was fairly confident in these.


Here’s what comes in the box…

IMG_6375A mini file, an orange stick for pushing back your cuticles, the strips, a gel coat and a mini LED light were included in the kit.


I read the instructions thoroughly before beginning the process, making sure to clean my nails completely before applying.  Even I know that nails with any amount of oil on them is basically the death of a gel manicure!


You clean your nails, file and buff them, carefully apply the strips, as you do with the regular strips.  The strip application process is a tad tricky, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze.

Once the strips are applied, you coat you nails one by one with the gel coat and set it with the LED light.


The mini LED light was pretty cute, and set the gel perfectly.  Once you’re done, the kit comes with a wipe, to clean the gel and make your nails shiny.

I chose the kit with the very nude pink….which I have found is far less forgiving than a colored strip!  You would think the opposite, but the clear strip shows every mistake and imperfection in your nail.

Here’s how they looked right after doing them…IMG_6376After the application process, which took me about 30 minutes, I was pretty happy with the results!


My plan was to take a picture of my nails on the 3rd day of the manicure, and then every 2 days following to show you how they held up.


After 2 days they had started peeling off…and in my world, when one starts to peel it becomes an obsession for me to get them all off.

The kit claims that they will last 2 weeks…well, that was not my experience.


The gel strips lasted less time than the regular polish strips, which are less expensive, take less time to apply and come in a ton of colors and fun patterns.


Anyhow…it was $30 for a 2 day manicure.

Not happy.


I’d love to hear if you have a favorite at-home gel kit…


*Also, I am not a professional nail lady, I bought this product on my own, hoping for great results.  All opinions are my own own, based on this single experience.

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  1. 1
    Katie says:

    I’m so glad you did this! I’ve been wondering about this kit to know if it’s worth it…guess not!! Love the blog, you guys are women I’d love to hang out with! You always keep me laughing!!

  2. 2
    Janel says:

    Just was looking at this kit at the store this last weekend. Was wondering if it was worth the money. Happy I didn’t buy it. Thanks for being the guinea pig! :-D

  3. 3
    Erin says:

    I’ve not tried Sally Hansen, so I can’t speak to that brand. However, I’ve been using Red Carpet Nails products for the past two months and it’s changed my life! (Doesn’t take much…..) It doesn’t last WEEKS as the company claims, but I can get a full week, maybe a bit more, out of my manicures. Two important things I’ve found: 1. Your nails need to be long enough so that you can run the brush just under the tips. It’s important to bring the polish down under the tip of the nail to sort of “seal” the nail. Otherwise it will peel at the tip. 2. You know how polish has a tendency to pool around the cuticle? Yeah, you need to file that down if that happens. That will peel up too. I find it works best if I brush just from the base of the nail, being careful not to let any excess polish pool at the base of my nail. Gosh, I’m wordy today. Anyways, if done right, you can get a great manicure with Red Carpet Nails.

  4. 4
    Sarah E. says:

    My bestie just posted her 12-day update with her DIY Gel nails.

    She hadn’t tried the Sally Hansen yet, so I’ll definitely be passing along your all’s review.

  5. 5
    Shannon S says:

    Good Morning America this morning, on their “deals and steals”, had the Orly Smart Gel kit for $73 (incl shipping) instead of $138 (plus shipping). It comes with an led light (which I’m happy about since I don’t like uv), the whole “starter kit” with base and top coat, nail tip primer (no other gel mani has this), buffer, cleansers, etc, and 2 colors. I recently had an Orly gel mani in a salon and loved it, so I am very excited to try this at home! If y’all want the link, just go to gma’s website and click on deals and steals!

  6. 6
    Leanna S says:

    I got my mom the Sephora by OPI kit for Christmas ( , and she loved it! We did our nails for New Year’s, and the manicure lasted about a week and a half. My mom turned around and bought me one. I did a lazy manicure (did not scuff my nails and did not focus on taking the polish over the tips), and it lasted about a week. I had two nails peel, but it was so easy to re-do them! And I even touched up the tips, and the polished looked smooth and shiney. If you invest in a true kit, you will not be disappointed in this one!

  7. 7
    Jane says:

    ugh I’m a picker as well! I have totally killed my nails, so I’m onto regular manis to recover. Butter’s Horsepower is a great growth treatment!

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