Roller derby nails – Sally Hansen Salon Effects Headbanger (Avril Lavigne collection)


When I’m not doing my nails (or at my day job or hanging out with important people like my husband and my dog), I love to be involved in our local roller derby league.  Although I’m not talented enough or brave enough to actually skate, I am part of the stats crew (called Non-Skating Officials, or NSO for short).

Although roller derby has a reputation as an “anything goes” sort of sport, there are several important rules for NSOs, at least for our team.   One of the rules is about attire – we either wear plain black shirts (no team affiliation allowed) or the official league NSO shirts, which are pink.  Most of the people I know who have pink shirts got their shirts after being certified by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), which is the governing body of roller derby in the US.  (Yes!  Roller derby has rules!)  Since I haven’t been around long enough to get certified, I wear black, although I’ve decorated my shirt with a few iron-on pink skulls to add flair.  🙂

The season opening tournament for my league was a few weeks ago, and I wanted to do a special mani.  I’d been saving some Sally Hansen Salon Effects strips just for the occasion.  They’re from the Avril Lavigne collection, and the design is called “Headbanger.”  I loved them from the minute I saw them on Copious.**  Pink sparkly?  Plus SKULLS?  They’re perfect for a derby NSO! Squee!!

I’d never tried Salon Effects before, and I’d heard such good things about them.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have such a great experience.  This might be totally chalked up to my technique – it was my first time using them, and frankly I might not be good at it.

For those who have never tried them, they work like this: the strip is placed on the  nail (it has sticky backing) then the excess is filed off the tip of the nail with the enclosed file.  Most of my difficulty involved filing the nail strips.  The strips just didn’t want to file off!  Of course, my nails are very short and it was hard to get the thick file angled correctly (I usually use a thin metal file), so that could have been part of the problem.

Another issue: although I used a coat of Seche on top of them, they started to chip badly within a day.  I don’t know what happened! I prepared my nails by cleaning them with nail polish remover to make sure that they didn’t have oil and dirt that would keep the strips from sticking.  I’m not sure if I should have done something else.  (I didn’t use base coat, because I wasn’t sure if that was OK.)

However, in the short term, they looked great!  The filing difficulties + the Seche resulted in some noticeable shrinkage, but otherwise, the strip designs looked exactly as advertised.  Not that many people were looking at my nails, anyway.  They were looking at the ladies on skates who were whizzing past at 20mph. 🙂

Pictures below:

indirect light

Indirect light


Direct light - sparkly!

Direct light – sparkly!


So, what do you think?  They’re definitely fun!  Do you have any pointers for me in case I want to get more Salon Effects?  What’s worked for you?


**  Are you signed up for Copious?  There are lots of nail polishes there, and Copious sometimes gives free credit (although I haven’t seen any in the past few months).  I’ve gotten several polishes from Copious, and I only had one issue with not receiving merchandise (and I got credit back in that case).  I’ve mostly had really positive experiences.  Plus – getting credit that you can use for nail polishes?  Not so bad!










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