NIY: Nail it yourself!



I recently attended the wedding of a kabarkada, where I happened to be part of the entourage as a bridesmaid.

Normally, I would not go to great lengths to prep for a wedding. I would just make sure I had nice makeup on, fix my hair, and wear the required attire. That in itself would already take several hours, after all.

I don’t really pay attention to my nails. I just keep them clean and that’s it. I find that if I can do things myself, I’d rather save myself the money and do so. Going to the salon to have my nails done is something I consider a luxury.

I have tried having my nails done from time to time.

If I have regular nail polish applied, within a few hours of application it would already chip off and get botched up. I find this frustrating because I would remove it as soon as I got home (since it didn’t look nice anymore.) Basically, I just spent money to enjoy nice nails for a few hours? No, thanks.

For special occasions (and whenever I just feel like splurging) I get gel polish on. Now, those last me a good week or so. I find the cost worth it. I don’t have to worry about working with my hands, they look great until my nails outgrow them. Those are sulit.

For the recent wedding, I had planned to get gel polish for my nails. The window I had allotted for this was the day before the wedding — which was my only free day to get everything I needed to do, done.

But, there I was, the night before my supposed “free day” considering other options because I was feeling under the weather and needed to rest. It was raining that day and to go out in my condition would not have played out in my favor. (Not if I was getting ready for an entire day of celebrating and night of partying with dear friends. Oh, priorities!)

My mom came home raving about these stick-on nail polish things that night. (Oh! hello, answered prayer!)

Counter-clockwise from top: The different variants; my nails upon application; the front and back of the package; the contents of the package; and my nails after 12 days

And, oh, hello to the Incoco Nail Polish Applique! I jumped at the chance and asked for one of the sets.

A pack costs around Php 395-495, depending on the design. I figured, the cost of a pack far outweighs the hassle of having to find time to go to the salon + cost of services + tip. It took me a while to figure out which one of the designs I wanted, I ended up getting something plain called “Oscar Night” after much deliberation.

On the packet it looks like a nice, subtle, champagne polish.

I had a lot of questions for my mom, who had some of these on her nails. How long they would last, how to apply them, how to remove them, etc. She gave me the rundown but, of course, I would have no idea until I got around to trying them for myself. I’m one of those people who needs to do a combo of research/interview/trial before I can vouch for something.

I opened a packet and here were the contents:

So, there are 2 sets of nail polish strips, a nail file, instructions and silver foil sticker. (I had no idea what the silver foil sticker was for.)

The instructions are pretty simple: peel off the strip, stretch accordingly, apply on nails, file off excess. The application? Took me a bit of getting used to. I think I was trying to make it come out as perfect as possible, but as with anything you do for the first time — make room for mistakes.

The good news was, these are relatively fool-proof with a bit of adjustment. The stick-ons can be applied and peeled off upon several tries if you do not get it right the first time. Also, there are more than enough stickers if you don’t keep your nails too long and you make mistakes.

I had almost half of one set left over, which I used the silver foil sticker to seal the plastic with. (Yes, I found use for it because I refused to believe it had no purpose.) You can’t keep these exposed to air for too long because they’ll harden and get brittle which will make them hard to apply.

It took me about an episode and a half of what I was watching which was maybe 50 minutes long per episode, making application time a bit under an hour and a half. (Curiously it was Bondi Ink on Netflix. I like tattoo-related shows, being heavily inked.)

Here was the final result on my left hand:

If you stare closely at it, you’ll see it isn’t that perfect. However, from afar, these look really great. I got a lot of compliments on my nails on the day of the wedding, and even up to a few days after application.

The appliques smell like nail polish but they stick on and stretch like decals. I have no idea how they were able to accomplish that, but I am thankful because they did not feel as heavy as regular nail polish. The layer was thin enough to still be comfortable working with my hands. I wasn’t worried about scratching them or accidentally removing them after application. However, I did get a scratch on one nail, so I suppose you need to let them set maybe 30 minutes to an hour after putting them on just to be sure.

I had these on for about 12 days and had to remove them just so I could cut my nails which were getting too long for work already.

If you look closely, there are cracks along the polish and chips on the sides and edges. They stay on pretty nicely compared to regular nail polish. Regular nail polish won’t last you this long. Gel polish will last you a few days longer, but you need to go through that arduous process of having it removed at the salon.

These come off with your usual nail polish remover. Albeit, with a lot of effort. Say, about, twice the effort of getting regular polish off of your nails.

I find it helps to soak your nails in a cotton pad saturated with the solution before attempting to rub off. It leaves a sticky film from the applique after which you can just remove using your nails.

There was a slight discoloration after, but negligible compared to regular polish.

I still have the ones I applied on toes on since those don’t grow as fast as finger nails. I am not including a photo because I don’t think anyone would want to see my feet, but the edges or sides have not chipped off on them. Still stuck on, as well and good, as the day I put them on save for a little space where my nails have grown.

Overall, these were a treat to use. It made things easier for me as a bridesmaid pressed for time and looking to be a semblance of presentable for a dear friend’s wedding.

Actually, I would not mind using these on a regular day either because it doesn’t have the stigma attached to regular nail polish. I don’t find myself too concerned about keeping them intact while working because they’re light on my nails. I don’t find myself wanting to remove them after just several hours of application because they’re starting to chip off and get scratches either. Plus, they stay that way for more than a week! They aren’t as expensive as gel polish, but they stay for almost the same amount of time. You also don’t have to go to the parlor and go through the removal of gel polish, which I feel puts a lot of stress on my nails.

The only downside I think is that you need to put in some effort to apply them. It takes time and getting used to, which I know is not for everyone. Hah! If you can find someone else to apply them for you then I think that would be the win-win situation.

For more information about Incoco, you can visit their website at


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