Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Incoco Nail Polish Appliqués: Swatch+Review (Paparazzi, Pretty Please, Tapas for Two)

Products sent for review

Hey guys!  I've got something a little different for you today:  my second attempt at using nail polish strips!  This time, I'm reviewing Incoco nail polish appliqués.

I'm sure some of you remember all the difficulties I had the last time I tried a nail strip.  The Jamberry nail strip was thick, hard to smooth out (so many wrinkles!), and I had to fumble with a hair dryer in order to apply it.  I thought that maybe I was just bad at applying nail strips, but after trying Incoco, I've realized that my troubles were largely due to Jamberry's poor quality!  Incoco nail strips are so much easier to apply!  Check out their video on proper application:

You can also see Incoco's text instructions and read an FAQ HERE

Looks pretty easy, right?  I love that there's no need to fumble around with a hair dryer or any other weird accessories!  The strips are thin and stretchy enough just the way they are!  Because the strips are double-ended with a different shape on each end, there are 16 possible fits.  With that many options, there's a good chance you'll find the perfect fit for each of your nails!  I also like that no special removal methods are needed.  Because Incoco nail strips are made of 100% 3-free nail polish, you can remove them with nail polish remover, just like a traditional manicure.  After watching the video a few times, I felt hopeful! 

First Attempt:  Incoco Paparazzi

Incoco Paparazzi (with top coat)

Incoco Paparazzi (blurry to show sparkle)

Paparazzi ($8.99) features a gradient of pink to silver metallic glitter, with a touch of holographic glitter mixed in for extra sparkle!  I got a lot of compliments from strangers when I wore this one!

I chose to try Paparazzi first because I felt that the glitter might be a little more forgiving as far as showing wrinkles and such.  Surprisingly, I didn't have trouble with wrinkles at all!  My only problem with this set was that I didn't place the cuticle end up high enough, resulting in a wide gap.  Totally my fault.

Second Attempt:  Incoco Pretty Please

Incoco Tapas for Two (with top coat)

Pretty Please ($8.99) features a pink-champagne vine design on a black background (though technically, the black portions are the topmost layer!).  As you can see, I had a lot of trouble with this one.  As I tried to stretch the strips over my nails, they stretched too far and the black portions of the design cracked.  This may have been my fault, since the room I was working in was a bit warm, and I may have repositioned and stretched the strips too much.  It's also possible that strips with designs on them require more delicate handling. I also made some poor choices when fitting the strips, so they don't look quite right.  That was definitely my fault, since the Paparazzi mani clearly shows that the strips do fit me when I select the right strips and center them properly!

Third Attempt:  Incoco Tapas for Two

Incoco Tapas for Two (no top coat)

Tapas for Two ($7.99) is a cheery mint creme.  I picked this one so I could see how Incoco's solid colors performed.  As you can see, I had a little trouble with wrinkling, but I doubt anyone other than me would really notice.  I do recall having some difficulty with mobility in my hands that day, so it's quite possible that the wrinkles were my fault.  I chose not to apply top coat to this mani.  It was still very nice and shiny!

I have to admit that at first I felt that buying a plain, solid color nail strip was pointless (why use strips when you can just paint on a color?), but then I realized that these could really come in handy in certain situations.  For example, if you're preparing to go out for a social occasion and have no time to deal with traditional polish (not even time for a one-coater topped with Seche Vite), Incoco's nail strips are a great option.  I'm really bad about trying to apply my nail polish and my makeup last minute, so I might consider picking up a basic nude or a classic red to keep on hand just in case!

Assorted Thoughts

  • Much easier than Jamberry.
  •  The hardest part is picking the right size and starting to position the strip on your nail, but overall, application is pretty simple.
  • It's better to pick a strip that's too big than too small, and it's better to accidentally get it on your cuticle than to accidentally apply it too far down the nail.  Because Incoco nail strips are made from real polish, you CAN use acetone and a small brush to clean up your cuticles.
  • Incoco says that the strips can be repositioned as long as you haven't started smoothing the strip over your nail, but you really want to avoid man-handling it as much as possible.  You can fiddle with it a bit when you're doing the initial placement at the cuticle, but if you mess with it too much, you will rip or stretch the strip. 
  • Glittery designs are the easiest to apply and the most forgiving, as far as mistakes go.

  • They do not smell like nail polish.  There is a slight plastic-like odor to them, but it's not bad at all.
  • Top coat is not necessary, but it's fine if you do apply it.  I like that top coat makes my nails feel a bit thicker and stronger, so I used top coat after applying Paparazzi and Pretty Please.
  • Incoco says that manicures can last up to two weeks, and while I wasn't able to really test wear and longevity, I can say that they adhere quite strongly to the nail, so it should wear just as well as traditional polish, if not better.
  • Despite this strong adhesion, it's very easy to remove Incoco nail strips using your favorite polish remover.
  • If you use Elmer's glue as a base coat, your manicure will peel off just like it does with regular nail polish.
  • The  layer of glitter involved in the glittery designs is very thin, so I found it much easier to remove glittery Incoco strips than to remove layers of glitter polish. 
  • Incoco warns that the strips are sensitive to hot environments, cold environments, and exposure to air.  Be aware of the environment you're in when you apply them, and make sure you don't remove the strips from the plastic packaging until you are ready to use them.
Overall, I really liked these!  They have a ton of super adorable holiday designs, and I'm seriously considering picking up a few!  I think it would be a nice break from having to do my own nail art.  It takes a little practice and you have to be careful during application, but I think it's worth it.  Due to the price and the frequency with which I change my manicures, I would personally use these just for special occasions. 

Incoco nail strips are sold on Incoco's website.  In addition to the colors showcased in this review, Incoco offers a wide array of cremes, shimmers, glitters, patterns, traditional and wild French manicure kits, and even specially-designed pedicure strips! To stay up-to-date on the latest Incoco news and products, Like their Facebook page, and follow them on their blog, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Products sent for review


  1. Holy crap, that first color is soooooo pretty. /blinded by sparkle

    Also, I have nominated your blog for a Liebster award here: If you do end up doing it, please link me and I will add the link into the post. :)

    1. Aww, thank you, Kirby! Unfortunately, I don't really do those award things...nominating other people gets me all anxious and paranoid that I'm bothering them :(