Product Review.
Sally Hansen’s Home Gel Nail Polish

Last winter I was complaining to my sister Fish Pedicure about how I had too much to do and didn’t have any idea how I was going get it all done.

My well thought out solution, was to sit in the corner and stare at a dead bug.

Vacuuming was one of the things on my to do list by the way.

She scoffed and said, all you need is for someone else to do your website photos for you. That would free up a lot of your time. As long as whoever’s taking the pictures has chipped, black nail polish the readers will never know the difference.

Fish pedicure has a great sense of humour.  She wasn’t using it in this particular moment.  She was quite serious.   And quite right.  Not about someone else taking my photos, that’s just stupid, but about my chipped black nailpolish.

You know how taking pictures of her own ass is Kim Kardashian’s trademark?  Chipped, black nails are kind of mine.  Her trademark gets her millions of Twitter followers, mine gets me offers of change and a warm place to sleep from random strangers.  Suck on that Kim.

Now that I’ve addressed my problem, I can address the product.

Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel Nailpolish.  A product that claims to last for 2 weeks, just like a manicurist applied gel would.

Sally-Hansen-Gel-Polish

How could I say no?

So I shelled out $11.99 for a bottle of topcoat and $11.99 for a bottle of polish and started the experiment.

I painted different nails with different combinations of the Sally Hansen Miracle gel polish, regular polish and the Sally Hansen Miracle gel top coat.

 

Gel-Polish-title

 

 

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In case you can’t be bothered to analyze the nail graph, the middle, index and thumb nail of my left hand were Miracle gel polish and Miracle gel topcoat.  Those are the ones to watch.

The actual Miracle Gel Nail polish comes in all kinds of colours, but since Black is what I wear most in the winter black is what I got. Also the bottle of top coat is black, but the top coat itself is clear like regular top coat.

 

 

Sally-Hansen-Gel-Polish-3

I decided I needed to divide my fingers up into sections. One section would have Miracle gel polish and Miracle gel topcoat. Another section would have regular nail polish with the gel topcoat. And the final sections would have regular nail polish and regular topcoat.

I would wear this nail polish through my regular daily activities (including but not limited to baking, fixing large appliances, digging up potatoes, cleaning up cat vomit, scratching mystery things off the floor and giving bad drivers the finger)

Sally-Hansen-Gel-Polish-2

 

After a few days things were looking iffy.  This is the hand with the Miracle gel polish and Miracle gel top coat on the thumb, index and middle finger.  You can see here how dull the top coat is.  It just isn’t nice and shiny. And it wasn’t even when it was first put on.  Plus … after just 3 days slight chipping at the tips and base is starting.

 

The chances of this gel polish lasting for 2 weeks as advertised is looking slim. I’m already thinking the “miracle” portion of the label should probably be scratched out.

left-hand-day-3

 

 

However.  The Miracle gel polish and Miracle gel top coat was holding up much better than my other hand.  The right hand has regular polish and Miracle gel top coat on the index, middle finger and thumb.  They’re already a mess.

 

 

right-hand-day-3

 

 

I’m quite used to walking around with fingernails that look like a disaster.  It’s kind of my way and I’m O.K. with it.  The reason is that my nails become a mess so quickly.  Within days after doing them they look like I joined a chain gang immediately after digging myself out of a grave.

But this.  THIS was bad.  After leaving black nailpolish on for 2 weeks this is how they looked.

 

The top  hand is the hand with the gel polish and gel topcoat on the index, middle finger and thumb. Clearly it doesn’t look as good as new after 2 weeks. The ring finger and pinkie are regular nail polish with regular top coat.

 

The bottom hand is the hand with the regular polish and gel topcoat on the index, middle finger and thumb.  It’s even worse.

 

Sally-Hansen-gel-polish-2-weeks

 

Want a closer look at the beauty of the Sally Hansen gel polish and top coat that’s guaranteed to look good for 2 weeks?

Well here it is after 2 weeks.

 

sally-hansen-gel-polish-2-weeks-2

 

And here is the hand with the regular polish and the Sally Hansen gel topcoat.  It can only be described as a shitshow.

 

sally-hansen-gel-polish-top-coat-only

 

There are two things the Sally Hansen polish has going for it.

1) It does hold up better than regular polish.

2) For some reason while I was removing it, the nail polish remover didn’t make it bleed and smear all over my fingers and nail beds. It removed fairly cleanly.

 

Other than that?  It was horrible.  It was a complete disappointment.

I know that I’m harder on my nails than your average cattle rancher but I was still hoping for some kind of good if not great result.

I didn’t get it.  I got nails that looked like they belonged on a common crack whore as opposed to a higher quality crack whore.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Polish rates:

1 cleaver out of 4.

 

1-cleaver

The only miracle here was the fact that in the full 2 weeks nobody asked me if I needed any cardboard to help keep the rain out while I slept in my hovel under the bridge.




107 Comments

  1. Eva says:

    Hilarious writing! Just in case someone stumbles across this like I did by accident, trying to find out if I could use the gel top coat on regular polish, I thought I would comment.

    The SH miracle gel polish wears very well with a little maintenance and proper application. Nails must be thoroughly smoothed with an Emery board and really cleaned with acetone before applying the base coat. Apply at least 2 coats of base color,allowing 5 minutes between coats for it to dry. Then apply the top coat and allow it to dry. Usually the next day I apply another thin layer of top coat. I am pretty hard on my nails and I’ve definitely gotten 2 weeks out of this product with only a very rare chip at the tip that was easy to fix.

  2. Hagar says:

    The website makes clear that the polish and gel top coat are only supposed to be used with each other — you can’t use the gel top coat on other polishes and expect anything (I actually found it very annoying that I had to go to their website for directions on how to use this, since the polishes don’t come in boxes with instructions). Also, as another poster said, this is basically a UV-curing polish that doesn’t require you to buy a lamp; you can’t use artificial light to cure it, and if you make the mistake of trying to do your nails on a cloudy day, they take much longer to dry and don’t look as good. For me, that’s a dealbreaker; I work all the time and I’m usually stuck trying to do my nails at night, so a polish that basically requires direct sunshine to dry and look decent doesn’t do me any good.

  3. Nichelle says:

    Came across this post while searching if I could use regular polish with the gel top coat. You had me laughing!! I’ve had my manicure for less than a week and while it isn’t chipping, it has crack lines like crazy and the tips are wearing. No way it would last over a week and I’m super hard on my nails.

    • Karen says:

      I don’t know who these people who say it’s worked for them are. I have a hunch they’re a lot more delicate than I am. ~ karen!

  4. Christine Shubin says:

    I just found this article and have to comment. The Sally Hansen Gel Nail Polish and top coat are amazing to me. For the entire 48 years of my existence I have never been able to wear nail polish. If I polished my nails literally in 2 hours the polish can be pulled off in one nice nail shaped sheet off each fingernail. I apparently have oil nail beds or something that does not allow any polish to stay on for more than a couple of hours.

    I tried the Sally Hansen gel on a whim and 8 days later my nails are still polished without them peeling off. I call that a success. I did experience some wear on the edge of my nails after cleaning house sans gloves so I quickly added one thin coat to each nail and another layer of top coat and I was good to go and it took literally no time at all to “fix” them up. For someone who has never been able to wear nail polish her whole life I am loving this.

  5. Nicole says:

    Try the CND brand Vinylux weekly polish. I can usually get a solid 5 days out of it (I get one day if I’m lucky with regular polish). I have really crappy, bendy nails though. People who have good strong nails should get 7+ days out of the Vinylux. It goes on better than SH Miracle Gel and dries rock hard in 10 minutes. It’s also cheaper. Average bottle for color on Amazon.com is $5-$7, top coat about $9. I do like the SH Miracle top coat though and use it with Vinylux color with same results, it’s thinner than Vinylux top cost though so it needs 2 layers, but doesn’t get as thick as quickly, and therefore useless, as Vinylux top coat. Good luck! hope this helps!!!
    Ps I do maintenance work on my nails just by lightly filing the ends ever day. It seems to keep the chips from happening as quickly.

  6. Ava says:

    The way you did your test with regular polish and the gel top coat are one of your problems. You can’t mix the gel-based products with regular polish, or the other way around. The gel top coat is meant to work with the color coat. As for the Sally Hansen gel, I can’t tell how many coats you put on, but it only looks like 2 very thin coats. Plus it’s black polish, and everyone seems to make very thin black paints. 🙁 I use Red Eye right now, and I get decent results. Roughly the same as what I get from regular Rimmel or Wet & Wild plus the Revlon fast dry top coat. Revlon’s top coat does chip just at the tips a bit more easily, but I love the super glossy finish it has. I do like Revlon’s color coats as well. The only thing I like about the SH gel polish is that it dries fast and cures in about 23 minutes. But at this rate I’d sooner just go back to regular polish and use a 3 coat process again, but shell out a bit more for fast dry colors. I think I had more luck with SH’s fast dry products.

    For me, both Revlon’s quick dry top coat has a nice advantage: it evens out for a smooth surface. So if I decide to fill in the color coat where the tips chipped, I can apply another top coat and have it looking pretty close to a fresh manicure.

    If you’re worried about the whole chipped-nail look, the thing most women don’t realize is that if you want a manicure to last for about 10 days you need to maintain it. No polish truly lasts over 5 days without minor chipping or without wearing down. I try to apply the top coat once more the day after I did my manicure. 2 or 3 days later, I’ll apply it again. Once I start to see my natural nail tips peek through the color too much from being worn down, that’s when I paint over the tips 1 or 2 times, then apply another top coat. Unless I need to go somewhere important, I just let it wear down again before starting a fresh manicure. Depending on what I’ve done that week and what brand I used, it could be 7 to 10 days. And I always, always use a base coat. My favorite is the thickener from Nutra Nail.

    As long as you make time for your manicure, and I mean actually schedule time for it throughout the week, you won’t have to worry about major chipping issues. Keeping a fresh top coat on helps it stay bound to your nails. Polish just goes brittle after it’s finished curing completely, hence the chipping. I don’t think it’s anyone’s fault to have chipped nails when we expect the polish to last as long as they advertise. In reality, I think they don’t make it last so that we’ll use more and buy more. Isn’t that how the world works? lol

  7. Sari says:

    I guess everyone is different. I now swear by the Miracle Gel. I still don’t know if it will last a full two weeks, because I get bored and have to switch things up (I’m crazy about nail art). But, I can easily get five days without the polish chipping, and the top coat is still nice and shiny. I did find it a bit tricky to work with at first, because of the wide brush and the fact that it starts to get tacky so quickly, but I have the hang of using it now. There is no need to use glue for rhinestones, because they will stay on if you push them into the color coat and cover with the top coat. I’m thankful that it does work for me, because I have a severe allergy to the regular gels, but I don’t have any negative reactions to this..

    • Karen says:

      Funny! I just gave it another shot last week and again it was a disaster for me, lol. I’ve had great luck with real gel polish but this stuff isn’t real gel polish which probably explains why you aren’t allergic to it. But if it works for you then that’s good news for you! ~ karen!

  8. Tina says:

    I’ve tried many of the gel polishes — in the salon and at home. My current favorite is CND Vinylux which I can do at home. Polish usually lasts one day on my nails before chipping; I’ve had the Vinylux last 11 days but the average is 5-7 days. It hardens in sunlight but I use my turtle’s full spectrum light to set it fast at night time.

    A few things… Multiple thin coats work best. CND claims that it is non-staining (the color coat is the base coat) but I found the purples, reds, and dark pinks did stain a bit. So I use a thin coat of a lighter color first. Also, do not peel off the polish — it bonds with the nail so you will take a thin layer of nail with it. Not a good,thing for those of us with thin nails. It removes with non-acetone remover but it does take a bit of rubbing. Oh, and it doesn’t wear well on nails that aren’t in good (smooth) shape. My nails tend to separate into layers on the sides. I’ve found that sealing the cracks with nail glue helps a lot. (Get real nail glue, not super glue, it seems to work much better.)

  9. Janelle says:

    Your hands are pretty and your nails are also pretty and they are naturally white, which most people would kill for (or pay for a la a french manicure). You should wear clear polish. It still chips but it’s not as obvious and you can just slap some more over top. There. One more opinion I’ve doled out which nobody asked me for.

  10. Angela says:

    So far, for a regular home manicure, I’ve had the best results from China Glaze Strong Adhesion base coat, with two higher-end color coats–OPI, Essie, China Glaze, and Seche-Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. The best tip I found for reducing chipping was to make sure that your nails are completely dry between coats. Not tacky, not mostly dry, completely dry. I’ve been surprised at how quickly the higher-end polish dries, so it’s not too bad. Before I started using these products and this method, my manicure would last about a day without serious chipping, now it’s a week, and I type all the time.

  11. Suzanne says:

    I don’t wear nail polish simply because of the upkeep. If I could find a perma- polish, it would be rainbow; to divert visual attention as to not clash with the scabs and callouses of my weekend attempts at battling the invasion of blackberry bushes. ( I think they are Aliens).

  12. Nancy says:

    Egads, those photos, Halloween started already.
    I use that Purell gel hand cleanser about a 1000 times a day. (I’m a nurse, I do NOT have OCD.)
    Polish, which we are not supposed to wear, don’t tell; gets all gummy with all the Purell. Does anyone have suggestions for this scenario?

  13. tajicat says:

    Thanks for sharing. I wondered about the gel polishes, won’t waste my money now. I have yet to find one that lasts long on me either.

  14. Debbie Bashford says:

    I still have not found a nail polish that can stand up

  15. Pam'a says:

    Heh. I can’t imagine ANY nail polish holding up under the Karen regimen, but if the advertising says it, then it should, dammit.

  16. Shauna says:

    oh my gosh, I love this stuff! I have’t even read your post yet, so I hope you ended up agreeing. Nail polish stays on my nails for exactly 30 seconds before it starts peeling and chipping off. This stuff stayed on for about 3 days before I got the first slightest chip and I was able to keep it on for a week and it still looked decent. Normally, after one full day I look like a 3rd grader and then I’m lazy and don’t take it off, so it just gets further chipped as the days go by.

    • Shauna says:

      ha, oh well. Considering my nails chip usually within an hour, I was happy to have a decent set for 5 days. 2 weeks, definitely not, but longer than 1 day had me giddy.

  17. Beth W says:

    Thank you, thank you, thanks to you! That saved me $25 which I will gladly put towards wood now that the cold is supposedly on it’s way.

    • Karen says:

      Wood is SOOOO expensive! I have to order a couple of bush cords for the winter and I’m dreading paying for it more than stacking it. ~ karen!

  18. Oh dear, I had been tempted, thank you for saving me Karen, I owe you!

  19. Robyn says:

    I have scrub bucket hands that aren’t very pretty so I decided to try the shellac manicure at the salon. It was beautiful and shiny and lasted for a good 3 weeks. Then I went back to have it removed. That was a sad occasion because I think half of my nails came off with it. They soaked it off in acetone, then scraped. Now I have paper thin, cracked nails that look like crap. Just an FYI so someone can learn from that mistake!

    • Angela says:

      I had this experience with gel/shellac also. It looked gorgeous and wore like iron, and then it was removed… I also really hated the margin of unpolished nail they had to leave at the base, which just got bigger as my nails grew out.

  20. Kelli says:

    Thanks for this Karen, i was very tempted to buy this stuff. My nails are thin and brittle and need lots of help. Polish flies off within a day (and I’m not that hard on my nails). My grandmother swore by jello (or drinking gelatin) for hard nails, but I wondered how much of that stuff I’d have to swallow first? Bleah.

    Wondering if you might try this stuff too, just for grins: http://www.sallyhansen.com/nails/nail-care/strength-growth/triple-strong

  21. Deana says:

    I got the Sally Hansen UV light kit. Best thing EVER! I am not one who can wait for regular nail polish to dry. I end up messing it up before it’s dry. I can do a whole manicure with the light in 15 minutes and it last and lasts. If I do get a chip or slice (I tend to slice my nails with knives whilst inthe kitchen, not good) I give just that nail another coat of polish and top coat and I’m good to go. I did my toes and they looked good for the almost the whole summer. I will never go back to regular nail polish, it’s the light for me.

  22. Olga says:

    Ohh I get it now! So I guess you have to buy special top coat for that gel polish. I have to say I bought gel polish to try it out, I kind of red the instructions ( I didn’t even look at them) and after I put it on my toe nails and my hands I couldn’t believe they sold that product at the stores. My first and the only reaction to it was WTF?! It was just one big mess of never drying nail polish.

  23. Julie Hoover says:

    If you let it cure outside in the sun then it’s amazing! I LOVE it. I am very hard on my hands because I am a geologist and we are redoing our house (and I don’t have a maid and I like to peel labels off of things) and it looked nice and shiny for two weeks for me. I’ve done multiple colors and fingers and toes.

    I noticed that if I let it dry on a cloudy day it doesn’t work as well.

    Give it another shot!

    http://www.greenmountaincottage.blogspot.com

    • Julie Hoover says:

      Plus, you have to use the special polish with the special top coat.

      “The Miracle Gel™ Color and Top Coat work together as a system to create a durable manicure with high gloss shine.
      Formula ingredients are key. The advanced Color and Top Coat formulas both contain an oligomer; the Top Coat also includes a photoinitiator. The photoinitiator activates a bond between the Color and Top Coat, thus curing the formula in natural light without the need of an LED/UV lamp. The formula continues to cure over time, increasing the durability of the manicure.”

      No natural UV light in the house. You’ve got to go outside.

      • Karen says:

        I’m gonna be honest, that actually drops the product down even lower on my rating because a) it says nothing about that on the nail polish bottles and b) this means you can’t apply the polish if it’s raining, snowing, cloudy or evening. ~ karen!

  24. Terry says:

    Karen you make me laugh. And laugh. No matter how good or how crappy my day is. I want to keep you all to myself, my little secret addiction… ooh, thats bad, isn’t it. Okay, I will share you with just a few close friends – but when a community intervention is needed to keep us all straight and narrow, I am NOT to blame.
    Bless you, my little ray of sunshine!

  25. MegC says:

    I honestly haven’t searched the comments to see if anyone has noted this, but if you use the base coat it goes MUCH better! I am not as hard on my nails as you are, what with having no chickens or really any responsibilities at all, but I started using the gel because typing as much as I do with longer nails means that the tips chip like a mofo. It took a few tries to get it quite right, but they did tend to last a bit longer than the usual. Also, I highly recommend the little rubbing alcohol wipes you can get on the first aid aisle to shine the top coat. For the average Jane, I’d say it’s 2.5 cleavers 😉

    • Karen says:

      This particular product, the Sally Hansen Miracle gel doesn’t include a base coat and says it isn’t necessary. It says the colour is a base and colour coat all in one. So that’s how I used it. Also I shouldn’t have to use alcohol wipes to get it to shine the way a regular, normal topcoat would. Booooooo from me. To miracle gel. Not you. 🙂 ~ karen!

      • MegC says:

        You crazy Canadians and your different products! And suuuuuuure you’re booing the gel polish. Whatever. I know you’re booing me! I’m going to go pout in a corner with my superior gel polish 😉

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