A not so recent hype in nail polish land are gel nails. I thought it interesting, but quite expensive to invest in since I already own so many regular polishes. That is why I am super late to jump on the band wagon. After being gifted one shade and the top coat, I felt it a bit more reasonable to buy some more colors during a sale. I now own three shades, have worn all three on my nails and so have formed a good opinion of what I think of this system. Is it worth investing in or not?
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nails Wine Stock, Tidal Wave, Sugar Fix & Top Coat
As far as beauty hypes go, this is one that is still quite affordable, but quite expensive at the same time. A true gel polish kit will easily set you back €100 for a starter kit, while this will cost you at least €20: €10 for a color and €10 for a top coat. Given the fact that a regular nail polish can retail for as little as €2 and that this is a system that is completely separate from regular nail polish, I think €20 just to get started is a rather steep investment. So I was glad when I received this in a goodie bag.
The first thing you’ll need is a special top coat. This is the thing that will ensure your manicure will last longer than any other manicure. I haven’t tried this with other polishes, but this does seem to work with other gel polishes. The top coat applies nice, even coats. It is not too gloopy, nor is it too thin. The consistency is just right.
What is not just right about this top coat is the drying time. I am used to using the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat, which dries my manicure in about 10 – 15 minutes. With this, I have to wait double or triple the time. Not a bad thing per se, but you’d better have an episode going of your favorite TV series for some time before this has completely dried.
The first shade I’d like to show you is Tidal Wave. Tidal Wave is a bright cobalt blue. This is the type of color I love to wear in the summer time. It is vibrant, it is bright and this looks so good on the toes. The color on the nail is exactly that of the bottle and it goes on opaque in two coats.
My first Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polish was Sugar Fix. Sugar Fix is a pale pastel blue and whenever I eyed up this nail system I always thought this would be my favorite shade. And it is. So I was happy to find this in the goodie bag as well. This polish is again exactly like the bottle has you expect and applies evenly in two coats.
Wine Not is a deep burgundy shade. I personally love wearing these kind of shades during fall/ winter. So I thought with a spring, summer and fall/ winter shade in the mix, I’ll have everything I could possibly need. I’d still like a nice nude to completely round it off, but it’s a good range so far. Wine Not also applies evenly in 2 coats.
But now the real question is of course: does this last? With a gel manicure you’d expect your polish to last longer than just a few days. Now before we get to the answer, you should know that my nails aren’t the best. I have super brittle nails that bend easily, hence polish chips very quickly on me. With regular polish, where I apply a base coat, 2 coats of polish and a fast drying top coat a manicure lasts 2 – 3 days without chipping. That is, if my nails are in good condition and I use a ‘good’ polish, i.e. Essie or OPI.
Here you can see Wine Not on my nails just after I applied it. The color looks gorgeous. Over the past few months I have worn all three shades on different occasions. I find that the lasting power of this polish is longer than with regular polish. On me, this lasts roughly 4 – 5 days without chipping. After that, it becomes a lot messier, a lot quicker. So when this chips, on me, I lose have a nail of polish.
Does the slightly longer lasting power warrant the investment? To me, no and for two reasons. One, it takes a lot longer to do your nails, so it’s not so much an investment of money but of time, that I simply don’t always have. I just want to slap something on and be done. Secondly, with only 1 – 2 days of extra wear time, I don’t find it worth it to replace my entire nail polish collection with this type of polish. Truth be told: I am usually bored with whatever polish I’m wearing by the third day anyway and I found that out by using this.
So there’s a few pros and cons here. Pros: the lasting power is longer. Cons: takes longer to dry and you’d have to replace most of your polishes if you already own quite a few (like me). In short, this product works great and lives up to the promises, but it not feasible for me from a time and money perspective. I will certainly keep on using these colors as the product in itself is A++++.
Do you use gel nail polish?