MCDONOUGH, GA -- At $30 per visit to a manicure salon, Elizabeth Smith tries to save money by doing her own nails when she can.

"It's so expensive," she said.

For just $10 plus shipping and handling, Salon Express promises you can decorate your nails like a pro.

As a cash strapped college freshman, Elizabeth had her fingers crossed that it would work.

After studying the directions she got started.

First she applied a pink base polish to her nailsand let that dry.

Then she brushed a contrasting color on the image disk and used the supplied scraper to remove the excess. Unfortunately that removed all of the polish so it didn't work.

"I don't think there's anything there," she said.

We weren't off to a very good start until we realized that there was a blue protective plasticfilm on the metal disks that we had to remove. The directions forgot to mention that part.

"You could feel the indentations on the blue so it just wasn't clear," Elizabeth said.

So she tried again - brushed on the polish, scraped off the excess, pressed on the transfer stamp and rolled onto the nail.

In seconds Elizabeth had a little white flower design on her nail.

"It looks pretty good," she said. "I like it."

The set comes with six metal disks that contain 40 different designs - including several French tips.

Those are kind of tricky to get on evenly but Elizabeth thought she wouldget better in time.

"It doesn't look too bad," she said. "With practice it would work really well."

After trying several different designs, our tester thought this one's a keeper.

"The outcome was good because I got a cute design on my nail," Elizabeth said, "and it was very simple and it didn't take very long."

Everything cleaned up quickly with a little nail polish remover. Elizabeth couldn't wait to show off her handy work to her friends.

"For the Salon Express," she said, "I would rate it two thumbs up."

Read or Share this story: