Product Review: Etude House "Play Nail Sticker Galaxy Express 999"

It can be really tough painting your nails. When I go online I see a lot of crazy nail art and want to do it myself, and then I realize it would take a lot of products, a steady hand, and not to mention hours of my time, to do it right. I love to paint my nails (I recently did a post on Panda Nails) but I don't do anything that would be overly complicated or realistic looking. So when I was out and saw a sale on these nail stickers I thought that I should give them a try. There were two versions available at the time, but I've always wanted galaxy nails so I bought the space themed version. 

Brand: Etude House

Product: Play Nail Sticker

Version: Galaxy Express 999 No. 02

Expiration: None

Overall rating: 1 out of 5

Galaxy Express 999 is a manga and anime series from the late '70s through the '80s, which won several awards. While I'm not sure why there's a renewed surge of popularity now, but it was a very popular series in Korea a while ago and it looks like a great series from what I've seen (it's under the "space western" category which is always fun). Etude House came out with different stickers and nail polish that was all galaxy themed based off of this series. There were two types of stickers and different sparkling polish in pinks, silvers, and blues, and the other version of the nail stickers has the characters on them. I believe these were all a limited collection so they may be a bit more difficult to find now, but I think that the polish especially looks really pretty.

The package comes with 16 stickers in different sizes and a small nail file. You can either use them on all of your nails or alternate between stickers and polish to make them last more than one wear. The variety of the sizes is great because you can match them to your own nail types, however it can be sad when one of the stickers you like most is too big or small for any of your nails. These are supposed to be easy to apply and after you stick them on you seal it with a clear top coat. However, as you will see, these aren't really easy to apply and don't really look how I wanted...

So first you are supposed to start the sticker at the base of your nail and gradually pull and press as you cover you nail up to the top. The texture is pretty much like latex and feels a bit weird. Because none of the stickers were an exact match it went on my cuticle a bit, which I had to clean up later.

After you attach it completely to your nail you use the file to remove the excess by filing the tip at a slight angle. The file has a really rough texture and is stronger than other files I've used before. (I actually still use it just for my nails now and I think it's the best thing I got from this set.) This part is actually really satisfying to do, but you have to be careful not to file off too much. 

After I filed off the tip I used it against the parts by my cuticle to remove that part as well. This was my first attempt and I noticed that while the base was smooth looking, the sides and top were all wrinkled. 

I  used the same method and practiced on all my other nails and still got the wrinkled look. Then I tried using my cuticle pusher to smooth it out instead of my finger and it worked a little better but still left the creases when I finished no matter how long I took trying to smooth them out during and after application. 

When I finished let's just say I was not happy with the finished product... The stickers felt a bit heavy on top of my nails and uncomfortable, and because of the creases and the texture of the stickers (very shiny and plastic looking) it clearly looked like I was wearing stickers and not polish. I've seen other stickers from different brands that you can tell are stickers, but not in a bad way because they still are smooth and blend well with other painted nails. Maybe my nails are too arched for them to work well, or maybe I just can't do it right, but they were supposed to look like this and not what mine looked like at all. In general it was very artificial and the stickers were not easy to apply and were just overall frustrating to apply and I ended up removing them right after use. 

I bought these along with some nail polish in Etude House on a two-for-one sale so it only cost me about $4 for both of them together. You can buy them for about $3 around Korea if the shop still has them in stock. I've seen these for sale online too, from $4 in different online stores to $17  on ebay, if you're really interested in trying them yourself anyways or are a fan of the manga/anime. However I would suggest getting the polish instead if that's the case. I'm sure if I practiced over and over maybe I could have gotten out the creases eventually, but the texture and feel would still be a problem for me. Maybe there are people who got it right out there but I am not one of them. 

If you have tried "Etude House Play" brand nail stickers yourself and had better luck than I did please let me know in the comments! And of course feel free to ask for any specific reviews that you would like to see in the future!

See you next time you jump down the rabbit hole,

-C.A.M.