How To: Sally Hansen Salon Insta-Gel Strips


This whole gel nail craze is getting fun! Sally Hansen has created the next big thing by combining the Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips and a gel topcoat to create salon quality nails with a long lasting, chip resistant, super shiny finish.

Check out photos of the kits, and a how to so that you can skip the salon and still have nails that slay!


The starter kit contains everything you need to get started- the mini LED lamp (with auto timer), the gel top coat, 16 gel polish strips, 2 nail cleanser pads, a cuticle stick, a nail file, and a buffer.



Prep your nails!

Use the stick to push your cuticles back, shape the free edge of your nails, smooth the nails, and buff to remove shine. Then take a nail cleansing pad and wipe the nails clean to ensure that you get all the oil and dirt off (this makes for a longer manicure).


Pick the strips that best fit your nails and apply by removing the clear strip. Be careful, on some of my strips, I could remove the plastic and the gel polish not come off at all, so please peel slow, and if all else fails, go back at the very top and pinch  the strip loose. Now that you have the strip, place it against the cuticle and press the strip. Apply a good bit of pressure because it tends to buckle at the cuticle. If you have long nails, stretch the strip and then smooth over the nail. I found that rubbing it really well on the nail makes for a better and smoother manicure. Bubble free!


Take the darker pink side of the file and file away the excess strip at the free edge of the nail. Do that for all your nails.


Gel time

Shake bottle of gel really well before you begin. Then apply a thin coat all over the nail and free edge. Turn your timer on and stick your nail under the lamp. Once you hit the button, it is automatically timed to run for 30 seconds and then it will cut off, indicating that it’s done.


Once all your nails are cured, use the nail cleansing pad to remove that sticky residue off your nails.



Removal was a snap for me. I saturated a cottonball in polish remover put it over the nail and wrapped it in foil and it came right off. Make sure you wash those hands and hydrate with a little olive oil.

On my nails I have on Pat On The Black, which is a very deep, dark and vampy, oxblood but almost black. It’s cute.


  • Saves Money- You pay $27.99 for the starter kit, and the refill strips are $13.99, so you are paying essentially 14 bucks per mani after buying the starter kit.
  • Easy to apply. Easier than polishing your nails with traditional lacquer
  • Fast- It only took me 5 minutes per hand, and I could walk away and do something else with my life instead of waiting on nails to dry
  • Super shiny- the shine is freaking incredible. Like glass!
  • No chipping
  • Strips even fit my extra wide nails
  • No damage to the natural nail


Sally Hansen’s Salon Insta-Gel Strips™ is a breakthrough, 2 step chip-resistant gel manicure that lasts up to 2 weeks. Exclusive to Sally Hansen, you can get a fast and easy gel manicure in 2 Easy Steps! Just simply peel and apply. The gel top coat provides a durable manicure and nails appear flawless and shiny for up to 2 weeks. The UV-cured real nail polish appliqués that are nourished with additives such as Vitamin E and they are removed with Acetone polish remover in 5 minutes.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Sally Hansen via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Sally Hansen

More about Aprill

Aprill Coleman is an award-winning beauty, lifestyle and wellness blogger and freelance writer based in Jackson, Mississippi.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.