Nail Polish Applique Strips review: Incoco

DISCLAIMER: I found these free, from one of the tenants that vacated an apartment a long, long time back. Like maybe 3 years ago kind of long. I’m sure these are basically expired by now, but since it’s nail polish, I don’t really mind.

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Incoco is a brand that exclusively does nail wrap stuff. They have lots of lovely designs on their online store. Their extensive collections include single colours, designs as well as french tips.

First off, a big disclaimer about cost. These are obviously one use, or close to one use items. I hate using up things that I can count with my fingers (other objects include Q-tips, cotton pads and wipes) so these don’t jam with my neuroses. Nail polish appliques are also notoriously expensive: Incoco brand ones are around $8 USD per pack. You probably get more bang for your buck (and happiness level) buying individual nail polish bottles.

I am not really into nails, but since I had so many packs of these things lying around I felt like I had to try them out. Many people tried to make these kind of applique strips A Thing a couple of years back but it never really took off, at least in Singapore.

These are real nail polish: from the reviews I read, the brands that use real polish strips have great wear and application, while the brands that don’t (for example, they use vinyl) are generally shitty.

Mine is a deep wine red, Red Velvet. I also have another generally dated kind of dark mauve-rose, Tea Rose.

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Mine may be a very old package, so they have changed it, but they included literally everything you need ever to do your nails. Mini nailfile/buffer and cuticle stick included. Even a silver tape to reseal your polishes in case you wanted to store them after opening. Even a mini polish removal cloth. EVERYTHING! I don’t even own a single cuticle stick or a buffer beyond the free hotel ones I get, so it was good for me, although you may find it very excessive. The new ones don’t mention these all in one package, so I guess they changed it.

Let’s talk application. I’m a nail polish noob, so I frequently have problems with cream polishes. I also don’t know the first thing about nail wraps, but the instructions were very easy to follow. I took a couple of tries to figure out which was the sticky side (it’s the side that was peeled off the base, like a scotch tape) but once I did that, and figured out the best sizes for each nail, it was a total breeze. You will most likely screw the first nail up though.

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The results are quite good! The polish definitely looks wayyyy better than if I tried to applied it, although the index finger always gives me problems (due to the size not matching up.) The rest of the fingers are okay.

This is my second time using these. The first time I used Tea Rose. I have to say that this application was not as foolproof as the first time which I literally did in 5 minutes and lasted for 1 week until I got bored and removed them. I have quite a lot of chips on my nails right now. It could be because my wraps are pretty old, so they may not have as good adherence, or perhaps I went to do a lot of shit after I applied them, or maybe because I was quite sleepy and didn’t apply them very well. The first time I did it though it lasted AGES and was so easy.

Pros:

  • Super easy. I finished a full set of hands in 5 minutes and it looks really professional and pretty indeed.
  • Perfect cream finish without all the struggling.
  • You don’t need any extra materials. Even without all the fancy stuff, you don’t actually need to trim your cuticles or buff your nails or anything, although that makes it prettier. Just like stick those on and go.
  • You have time to adjust and redo any nails that might need it
  • Lots of gorgeous colours and designs
  • Great for accents, for just 1 or 2 fingers on a hand.

Cons:

  • Expensive!!
  • One use: I hate the waste of all the other strips and the bits you have to peel off
  • Does not work well on nails that are deeply encased in flesh, your nail edge has to be sticking out somewhat to be able to properly adhere the polish to the edges

I think these are actually quite lovely (assuming the 2nd application is not the norm…) and I wouldn’t mind buying more, in fancy designs. Although they are expensive for individual manis, they can be fantastic as accents (and much cheaper.) This set comes with a french tip pack, but frankly I have no idea how to use it, so I also don’t know how you’re supposed to use the french tip sets that they’re selling. Still, I think that these are fun and cute, and though I wouldn’t necessarily depend on them for regular manis I think they’re worth a try!

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