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Color Street Nail Polish Strip Review

Are Color Street Nail Polish Strips any good?

We’ve all seen the different nail polish or manicure strips popping up in our Facebook feeds. Get a great manicure in just minutes! It looks perfect and you can have elaborate nail art otherwise only seen on Pinterest! Sounds great, right?

I have to admit that I’ve tried a few of them and they’ve been fine, but never great enough to make me use them more than once or twice. I am a girl that once owned almost 3000 bottles of nail polish (I had a bit of a hoarding issue, I’ve since pared my collection down a lot). Any nail polish strip would need to be amazing for me to use a strip instead of a regular polish. Fast, perfect application and amazing wear.

Recently a blogger I know started selling Color Street, and I was intrigued. The customers on her page were raving about them, and they definitely sounded better than the other nail strips. For starters, Color Street strips are actual nail polish, instead of a vinyl sheet. Somehow the vinyl sheets are difficult for me to work with, and I haven’t had great wear.

how does color street nail polish work?

Why Try Color Street Nail Polish?

I decided I wanted to try out Color Street nail polish for myself, so I ordered 4 colors (there was a buy 3 get 1 free sale, I’m a sucker for sales). I bought from top to bottom London Calling, Tokyo Lights, Giza Sands and Miami Beach.

Note that in this picture it looks a bit like they don’t match within each pack, but that’s because the strips are facing slightly different ways, the top coat is pretty shiny so they’re reflecting the light a bit differently. The strips within each pack do match each other!

Color Street Nail Polish Review

What is Included with Color Street Nail Polish?

Here’s a peek at what comes inside each pack. You get 16 strips to fit nails, a small emory board and 2 “nail prep pads” which are alcohol swabs.

Note that the nail polish strips are actual polish that is about 95% dry. It contains base coat, color and top coat all within the strip. You shouldn’t need other nail products when using Color Street, though you could definitely use a top coat if you want. The strips stretch a little bit, but not a ton. This helps to get the right fit, but you won’t be able to make up for big size difference between a strip and your nail bed for example.

How to apply color street nail polish

How to Apply Color Street Nail Polish

Overall Color Street Nail Polish Strips are pretty easy to apply. I didn’t do much to prepare my nails for this manicure. I had recently filed my nails down, so I just pushed back my cuticles and used the alcohol swabs to super clean the nail bed. I compared each nail strip to my actual nail beds to decide which strips to use. I have fairly small hands but long nail beds, they’re somewhat narrow though. I ended up using the 4 biggest strips, skipped 1 strip size and used the next one for my pinkie. They all fit pretty well except for my middle finger, it could have used the same size strip as my index finger.

There’s a clear plastic coating to remove from the strips and then you can remove the nail polish strip from the backing. It is a little sticky, but it isn’t difficult to work with. Once you’ve removed the tab at the end, you can apply the polish on to your nail. There are 2 ends you could put near your cuticle, and my nails are a little more of a squoval so I used that end at the base of my nail. I push down in the middle first and lay the polish down flat, stretching as I need to.

Once I’ve positioned the polish in the right spot I pull it down over my nail and pull, the polish will rip over the nail in just the right spot. You can then file down the excess.

Once I’m done, the polish looks pretty good, though note it isn’t perfect, especially on my slightly wide middle finger. I’m hoping that with practice I can stretch those strips a bit more so the coverage is better, but currently the best I can do still leave a pretty big gap.

These are the longest wearing polish strips! Color Street Nail Polish Review and Results

How Long do Color Street Nail Polish Strips Last?

I’ve now gone through 3 packages of Color Streets, and I can already get them to last a minimum of 10 days chip free, but with a few tricks they last me 2 weeks. I removed my last set at 2 weeks because of regrowth, not due to tip wear, so I think that’s the upper limit of how long a manicure can last me anyways.

Tips for a Longer Lasting Color Street Manicure

First, you’ll need to really prep your nails very well. Most of this manicure is in the prep, you can’t just apply them and be done. I spend a lot of time now preparing my cuticles for the application, especially since the regrowth is my limiting factor. I push my cuticles back, I use cuticle remover, then I hydrate them and push them back a little more. During application, I try to apply as close to my cuticle as I possibly can. It makes a difference!

Next, make sure you really work that nail prep alcohol pad. Remove every last bit of lotion, soap, anything you could possibly have on your nails!

Once I have the Color Streets on, I apply a layer of a thicker top coat. You can skip this step if you want, the strips already include top coat in them. It also negates one of the biggest benefits of Color Streets, namely you don’t have to wait for them to dry. However, since I can’t get them to be 100% perfect, and the strip has base coat, color and top coats, the result is polish with an edge on it, maybe not 100% to the edge of my nail. You can see that in the very top picture of this post, that was my first Color Street manicure (Giza Sands). It’s a chipped nail waiting to happen! So, I apply a top coat (I use Seche Vite for this) that will smooth those edges. I think that’s why there’s a big difference in between the 1 week pictures in the result picture. The top is Giza Sands 1 week out, no top coat used. The middle picture is London Calling 1 week out. The tip wear is much less with London Calling, that had Seche Vite on top. (Please excuse my super dry cuticles and scrape there, I was gardening and then came in and took pics!)

Finally, my biggest tip for longer wear with Color Street nail polish strips is one I discovered by accident. Cut your nails in them. I took pictures of London Calling at 1 week because I thought for sure I was going to remove the polish. I had broken a nail, just a little edge under the polish. But my daughters needed me and I was in a rush, so I quickly clipped that nail about 2 mm shorter and went to make dinner. The next day I remembered that I had done this, but the nail looked great! I clipped all of the others, removing the little bit of tip wear. My manicure looked new, except for the bit of regrowth at the cuticle. I probably should have reapplied my top coat, but I left it as it was. It still looked pretty great a full week later when I finally removed London Calling because 2 weeks of regrowth was just too much!

Nail Polish or Color Street Nail Strips?

Overall, I am very impressed with Color Street! I am a self admitted nail polish addict, and I’ll be stocking up on Color Street Nail Polish Strips. I don’t think I’ll be using them all the time, but they’ll be finding a place in my regular manicure rotation. Given how well they have held up already, I can’t wait to try them out when I’m swimming in the pool every day this summer!

Pros:
• These are very long lasting, despite activities like working in a hospital, washing dishes and gardening.
• They’re perfect for travel, no more carting along a collection of bottles! Just a small envelope of Color Streets and a polish remover wipe is all you need!
• No waiting for them to dry. The strips are 95% dry already. I wouldn’t go wash my hair or put on gloves right after application, but you won’t be able to smudge these.
• They take me roughly the same time as a regular polish manicure, but I’m very fast with regular polish. I think they would be a bit faster and with less clean up for most people.
• Nail art designs are available.

Cons:
• They’re not perfect. I still haven’t mastered getting a wide enough fit on my middle finger and it is never 100% perfect at the tips. I would do a better job with regular polish. However, I’ve also had a lot practice and usually don’t need to clean up at all. I’m abnormal. This might do better for some people than regular polish.
• Limited shade range. Now that I’ve tried them, I want allll the colors. But I’m kind of boring and just want solids. But I’d love to have at least 20-30 more to pick from. I currently have a cart with 3 Charleston Blush and 1 New York Minute. Maybe I’ll add in a Giza Sands. But really… I’m hoping they release more solid colors soon.

I bought my Color Street Nail Strips via Krush Beauty!

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About Me

I’m a doctor, a mommy and a bit of a beauty addict. If you let me, I can take 2 hours to get ready in the morning. Really. I'm on a quest for faster beauty that works!

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63 Comments

  1. 4.27.18
    Kristen said:

    These really intrigue me. I tried the Sally Hansen strips years ago and really liked them. I HATED jam berry. They were really hard to get on, didn’t stay on long, chipped and peeled like crazy. I tried some essie ones I found in a dollar store and they went on easier like the Sally Hansen but didn’t last nearly as long, although for a dollar who cares if you only get a few days out of it. I’m going to have to give these a try!

    • 4.27.18
      15mins said:

      I’ve tried Jamberry too and they did NOT work for me. I think it’s the vinyl. I’m in love with these!

      • 3.18.19
        Suzanne said:

        Jamberry now has “Lacquer Strips” that are not vinyl and more like these….just an FYI

  2. 4.28.18
    Jessica said:

    I’m so glad Color Street worked for you! I am in love with the sets as well and so much that I decided to sell them myself!

  3. 5.14.18
    Erica said:

    I am a stylist for Color Street. I would definitely give the glitter or glitter designs a try. (They tend to stretch a bit better than the solid for that middle nail.) Also if you start at the center of your nail and push outwards towards the edges while applying, you’ll find the stretching easier.

  4. 6.18.18
    Juli said:

    Since your nails are short, apply the strip sideways and use your nail or a cuticle stick to remove the excess on the sides to fit your wide nailbeds

  5. 8.5.18
    Rebecca said:

    I tried to like these, I really did, but they just aren’t for me. The first set I tried were the French tips and they were awful. They didn’t stick, but even when they did, any small amount of tugging to bend the edge to file and they would slide off. The regular ones are also an odd shape that doesn’t fit my nailbed. I have long, skinny nails and only the smallest 4 fit my nails. I know I can cut the others to fit, but honestly, I wanted these to make doing nails easier and shorter, not more complicated. I’m sure they’re great if they fit. I hope they come out with child sizes like Jamberry, because then maybe I could use them.

    • 8.5.18
      15mins said:

      I’ve heard the french tip ones slide off easily too. I’m only doing the solid colors, I’m not a big french tip or nail art person. I didn’t realize Jamberry had kid sizes!

    • 11.2.19
      Maria said:

      I have long thin nails too. The petite sizes (which are new and don’t yet come in every color) are a lot better for me since I use all the smaller sizes as well and only have to 2 largest left over every time. The BEST tool that I’ve found is using the cuticle stick to “trim around the excess” if I use a larger strip on a smaller nail. They look perfect! I wish I had known this when I first started using them. As for the wide middle finger, I use 1 strip for 2 nails. Put the strip on one nail, trim close to the top with scissors, and use the other half on the same nail of the other hand. When I do this, I can get 2 manicures out of every pack and if I choose to do so, 2 pedicures (using the cuticle stick and scissors) with the 2 biggest strips that I never use on my hands! Thrifty by nature, what can I say. 🙂

  6. 8.10.18
    Miss Abby said:

    i absolutely LOVE color street. the founders are SO kind and care. i started color street by getting samples and now im addicted. its wonderful. its also really cheap, considering how long they last. would TOTALLY recommend to anyone skeptical!

  7. 8.11.18
    Anastasia McNabb said:

    I love Color Street! I find that the lighter colors with glitter look the best. The Venetian Masquerade and French Riviera had great staying power, and I definitely agree that they look good longer if you clip or file them every few days! My nails are short enough that I can get two applications out of each strip!

    • 12.14.18
      Danielle Kaylor said:

      Have you tried moon river? beautiful!!!

  8. 8.12.18
    Donna said:

    I love this product and they last a long time. My problem is what to use when ready to change colors. I use acrylic polish remover and it still doesn’t want to come off. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    • 8.12.18
      15mins said:

      You likely need more friction. Use a felt pad or try one of the acetone polish pots with plastic bristles on the inside.

    • 9.3.18
      Maryann said:

      Hi Donna – Mineral Fusion non-acetone polish works great! Just dip a cotton ball place on nail and wait a minute or two and it should come right off. The glitters just like other glitter polish can be harder to remove. I dip my cotton ball and wrap my fingers like I’m taking off gels wait 3-4 minutes remove the foil and the glitter should come off with no scrubbing! Mineral Fusion does not dry your nails and it’s available on Amazon and at some Targets/Whole Foods. 😊

    • 12.27.18
      tbc said:

      I know I am going to get some push-back for saying this, but I peel off the glitters and see NO damage to my nails. Not at all like peeling off gel polish or (god forbid) acrylics.

      • 1.26.19
        RDM said:

        This is exactly what I do, with no damage either.

    • 1.18.19
      Tara said:

      I had trouble at first too! But the secret is to turn your hand so your cuticles are above your tips. Then use a cotton ball and go from the cuticle and push firmly as you slide the cotton ball down your nail to the tips (which is in the direction of your body). Hope this helps!

    • 1.28.19
      Neenah Cook said:

      I soak mine in acetone nail polish remover. I found it takes much less time and is much easier than regular nail polish removers.

    • 3.14.19
      Jen said:

      Use the 100% acetone finger nail polish remover and put it on a cotton ball or make up remover pad and let it soak on your nail for a minute. Then scrub good.

      I am so addicted to Color Street! I am not a finger nail girl until now. I have about 20 packages and I don’t even sell the stuff. It’s that good. Takes practice.

    • 8.29.19

      Hi Donna, I prefer using Mineral Fusion nail polish remover. Available on Amazon or in Whole Foods. It works great, doesn’t have nasty smell, and is gentle on the nails. Especially with the glitter Color Street polish strips, put mineral fusion polish remover on cotton swap and place on nail for 3-4 mins become wiping polish off. Remember, remover has to clear 3 levels of polish. 100% acetone remover works well too – smells though. Good luck and keep coloring your world with Color Street!

  9. 8.18.18
    Cheryl said:

    I have used this product for 5 months now hoping my nails would grow out and stop peeling. The problem has only gotten worse. Now my nails are completely dry at the tips and won’t even hold the strip securely. I will be forced to clip them all back on the next set losing all growth I have achieved at this point. I also spend a lot of time prepping and use Small Hansen cuticle and hand cream.

    • 1.23.19
      Stephanie said:

      What are you using to remove the strips? I noticed a HUGE change in my fragile, peeling nails when I switched to a non-acetone remover!

      • 1.24.19
        15mins said:

        Same!

    • 3.7.19
      Jessica said:

      Don’t use the alcohol pad. For some like myself it’s too drying and can cause the splitting. Just wash thoroughly with soap and water and make sure they’re dry.

    • 9.18.19
      Cindy Dame said:

      Mine are doing the same. I hadn’t put any on for about three months then put two different sets on probably 5-6 weeks. Now my nails are all peeling back and in terrible condition again. It makes me sad because I live the way they stay on.

  10. 9.17.18
    Teri said:

    I echo the sideways application for short nails. Works for my daughter. I’ve also layered the skinny pinky strip underneath. I have very wide nail beds. Seche Vite is a great top coat and does provide some ‘forgiveness’ for any manicure. I’ve also tried cutting my nails with the strips. Amazing how durable they are. I had to cut down my pedicure because they lasted so long. I started using these right after removing a pro manicure, so my nails were not in great shape. I, too, feel like my nails are dry after a couple months of using them, but I also discovered that I bought 100% acetone polish remover on accident. So I will switch to Mineral Fusion and hopefully have better luck. I have also recently become anemic, and one of the side effects is dry, brittle nails. So it is hard to know which is the culprit. I try to give my nails one day ‘breather’ time between manicures now, too. I think that helps.

  11. 10.21.18
    Theresa said:

    A vendor was selling these at a festival and had sample packs of two strips that she would put on your nails. I wanted to see how they would hold up before I bought any since I am in the pool 4-5 days a week. I had the glitter strips on three nails–both of my pinkies and one ring finger. Within two days, they had chipped along the cuticle, but I left them on. At two weeks, there is so much nail growth, that I wanted to take them off. I have used nail polish remover three different times and still can not get the strip off. My nail now looks like crap!! I will not be using this again!!!

  12. 11.1.18
    Char Pirro said:

    I purchased 4 sets and have used 2 sets with glitter. Loved it… then went to use nothin Toulouse, a solid color, and it was horrible.. it bubbles up and had creases. I had to take it right off. My daughter tried it and had the same problem. We had to throw them out. So disappointed!

  13. 11.2.18
    Cathi said:

    Only tried the French manicure and love it. Almost three weeks in and the tips still look great. The base grew out but around day 12 I filled the nails down and the base smooth and put a nice top coat on. Base is grown out again now but since it’s French you can’t really tell

  14. 11.13.18

    I use the french tip ones and I am in total love!! They last me about 3 weeks!!

  15. 11.17.18
    Amy Herzog said:

    I have purchased these and within one week they were cracking and chipping off. No a big fan of these. Si disappointed I thought they were a great idea, I will not be purchasing again.

  16. 11.17.18
    Terry said:

    I ordered from this company about 2 months ago. Have tried twice to get my order unfortunately they got my pay and I still have no product from them. I will never recommend this product to anyone. Without trying the product just due to the lack of getting my product that I paid for and the lack of customer service.

  17. 1.23.19
    Elizabeth Kemp said:

    I would love to know why they come with only 16 pieces when we have 20 digits. The small ones need to be wider and I have tiny nails

    • 2.12.19
      Angie said:

      You should be able to get 2 nails per strip, and then reseal the package for future manicures. I can get three manicures from a set, and then have a few left for accent nails with other sets.

  18. 1.27.19
    Charlotte said:

    I had the same problem with the solid colors of bubbling and looking horrible…. my daughter tried the same ones and had the same problem. We had to throw them away. What a waste of money! The glitter styles were very nice. I’m interested to know why the solids are so bad.

    • 1.27.19
      15mins said:

      I tried one of the new sheer shades a month or so ago and had the same bubbling, I was disappointed. The darker colors are better, but the lighter ones… nope.

  19. 2.13.19
    DM said:

    I have only tried the french manicure. It looked amazing on day one. By day 6 the tips and the clear strip had began cracking. How did some of you make it 3 weeks? Did I possibly apply them incorrectly?

    • 2.13.19
      15mins said:

      I put a layer of clear top coat over the strips, and then refresh at least once a week, it makes a big difference! I use the OPI gel top coat or Seche Vite

  20. 4.4.19
    Diana said:

    Why am I getting horizontal fine cracks in the surface of my color street nail polish? I contacted the girl I purchased them from and she recommended I put a top coat on. I now have my second set on using a top coat after application and continue to get fine cracks. This set has been on one week today and the cracks seem to show up after only 3 days. I’m a little disappointed. Any recommendations?

    • 4.4.19
      15mins said:

      My guess would be that your fingernails are a bit more flexible than other people’s fingernails, and they show up more for you than other people. I would experiment with different top coats

  21. 4.19.19
    Carol said:

    I like them, are convenient and not to hard to use with practice but…..my nails have become very weak and brittle. They have started splitting and peeling/flaking something terrible since I have used them, especially the tips of my nails. Is this happening to anyone else?

    • 4.19.19
      15mins said:

      Are you removing them with Acetone? Did you wear nail polish frequently before?

      • 4.20.19
        Carol said:

        I do not use polish or do manicures, no time. This is much easier.

        • 4.20.19
          15mins said:

          That’s likely why you’re having the splitting, if you aren’t used to using these products your nails are drying out from the polish and remover. I recommend making sure your vitamin has biotin in it (2.5 mg a day) and using lots of nail oil as well

    • 9.18.19
      Cindy Dame said:

      Yes

  22. 6.4.19
    Holly said:

    My actual nail strip cracked (not my nail) after only 4 days. Anyone else have this problem?

  23. 10.21.19
    Melissa said:

    I tried color street for the first time over the weekend at a convention and love them. They matched my dress perfectly. I also go comments how good they looked.

  24. 10.24.19
    Edna Peters said:

    I did try Color Street, I did press down all over the nail to make them stick, but… tips of the nail the color street is peeling off, what did I do wrong and how to fix them? Thank you.

    • 10.24.19
      15mins said:

      I apply a top coat over it and it helps a lot with this issue!

  25. 11.24.19
    Lori said:

    I just tried these and I find that the glitter colors are easier for a beginner to use. Also the more I practice the better I get at it. I too can do polish easier but only if I use a particular brand of polish with an undercoat then a quick dry top coat and that brand has inconsistent colors for sale, can’t always find what I want. I was a skeptic about these Color street strips but o got some at my nieces FaceBook party and I’m addicted to the glittery designs lol
    Hosting my own party soon . And I do not have time to sell them or I might lol

    • 1.9.20
      Rhiannon said:

      I would love to sell them, as well. However, as you noted, I don’t have the time.

  26. 12.23.19
    Cate said:

    I agree, these aren’t always a perfect fit but I love the quick application! They do need to add more solid colors. Love your post!

  27. 1.9.20
    Rhiannon said:

    I love Color Street nail strips. They are perfect for what I’m looking to accomplish with decorated nails. The con I have found is my nails are splitting really bad after wearing them repeatedly. I have to cut my nails back after each removal to get rid of the split tips of my nails. Other than this, I do recommend the product.

  28. 1.17.20
    K. said:

    Do you know if Color Street is safe to use during pregnancy? I have read conflicting things in general about nail polish during pregnancy and these must have some sort of adhesive as well to have them stick to your nails. The ingredients are below for all but the french. I know that one place claimed that they are 7 free in terms of chemicals.

    Nail Strips (Solids, Glitters & Designs)
    UNIVERSAL INGREDIENT LABEL
    CONTAIN/INGREDIENTS:ACRYLATES COPOLYMER, NITROCELLULOSE, ADIPIC ACID/NEOPENTYL GLYCOL/TRIMELLITIC ANHYDRIDE COPOLYMER, ACETYL TRIBUTYL CITRATE, TRIPHENYL PHOSPHATE, BUTYL ACETATE, STEARALKONIUM BENTONITE, ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL, BENZOPHENONE‐3, PHOSPHORIC ACID, DIMETHICONE, ETOCRYLENE, TRIMETHYLSILOXYSILICATE, POLYVINYL BUTYRAL, N‐BUTYL ALCOHOL, ETHYL ACETATE, MICA, CALCIUM ALUMINUM BOROSILICATE, CALCIUM SODIUM BOROSILICATE, SYNTHETIC FLUORPHLOGOPITE, STEARALKONIUM HECTORITE, POLYETHYLENE TEREPHTHALATE, SILICA, TIN OXIDE, POLYURETHANE‐33.MAY CONTAIN/(+/‐):TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 77891), IRON OXIDES (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), YELLOW 5 LAKE (CI 19140), YELLOW 10 LAKE (CI 47005), RED 6 LAKE (CI 15850), RED 7 LAKE (CI 15850), RED 34 LAKE (CI 15880), BLUE 1 LAKE (CI 42090), BLACK 2 (CI 77266) [NANO], VIOLET 2 (CI 60725), ALUMINUM POWDER (CI 77000), BISMUTH OXYCHLORIDE (CI 77163), MANGANESE VIOLET (CI 77742), FERRIC AMMONIUM FERROCYANIDE (CI 77510), ULTRAMARINES (CI 77007).

    • 1.17.20
      15mins said:

      You don’t need to worry about nail polish because your nails are dead proteins and can’t absorb anything. My typical warning about applying only in a well ventilated area doesn’t even apply in this case 🙂

      • 1.18.20
        K. said:

        Thanks. It can be confusing to try to find out what is safest. I read one place that TRIPHENYL PHOSPHATE is considered an endocrine disrupter and can enter the body. I couldn’t find that data touted elsewhere though.

        • 1.19.20
          15mins said:

          That’s a new one for me. But regardless, your nails can’t absorb anything and are a pretty effective barrier.

  29. 6.30.20
    Chelsea said:

    Hi! Curious about your thought maybe on seche vite fast drying topcoat? Loved it for years but avoided while pregnant. Nothing seems to compare. Is it safe to use while breastfeeding? Ingredients below. Thanks!

    Butyl Acetate, Toluene, Cellulose Acetate Butyrate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Trimethyl Pentanyl Diisobutyrate, Butoxyethanol, Dimethicone, Benzophenone-3

    • 6.30.20
      Christine said:

      Your nails can’t absorb anything at all, so all the stuff about nail polishes not containing certain chemicals is all hype. You can use whatever you want while pregnant/nursing, but just be sure to apply in a well ventilated area like usual.

      • 7.1.20
        Chelsea said:

        Thank you!