Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel

I was pretty excited when Sally Hansen announced a new product that would give you a "true 2-step manicure with no light needed" with up to 14 days of color and shine even though I can't even imagine wearing the same color for two weeks. I was hoping for that "just painted" glossy look for when I go away for a week or even just a weekend (which is probably another reason why I change my polish so frequently.) Their instructions say to use two coats of Miracle Gel color over no base coat, then one coat of the Miracle Gel top Coat which you then let "cure" in natural sunlight for 5 minutes or so.

Target had the best price for getting the starter kit with a color and the top coat, so I got Street Flair there, then CVS had a Buy One, Get One 50% off sale (and I had ExtraCare Bucks) so I got Twiggy and Grey Matters there. I was going away to the Cape for the weekend so I decided to start with the bright and beachy Grey Matters, a gorgeous grayed pastel blue.
Grey Matters, two coats plus topcoat
I don't like not using a base coat for a number of reasons but I decided to follow their directions exactly. The color applied just as any other polish and I did a clean up before applying the top coat but even so there was a lot of color transfer to the brush. I had read that you needed to apply the color away from sunlight or a strong UV light because it would start to set quickly so I avoided the window and only had the over-the-sink light in the bathroom. I didn't get a sense that it was "curing" as I worked but I was disappointed to see that there were brush strokes in the top coat even after it settled in place. I ran outside and sat in the sunlight with my hands stretched out for 10-15 minutes, just to be sure that it had enough exposure. (I've given up worrying about what my neighbors think of my nail polish-related antics.) I loved this color and had high hopes for the weekend!
Grey Matters after four days
I have to say that I was not impressed. I was mostly taking photos that weekend so my nails weren't stressed all that much but the appearance after four days was not what I was hoping that a gel-like polish would be. In fact, it looked downright shabby! Giving it the benefit of the doubt and knowing that pastels can be iffy, I tried again with Street Flair, a neutral sort of medium purple.
Street Flair, two coats plus topcoat
Again I noticed streaks in the topcoat even though I worked as quickly as I could and sat out in the sunshine for up to 15 minutes. And again I was disappointed in the wear. It started to look pretty ragged by the second day but I waited for four days for a fair comparison.
Street Flair after four days
The third color was Twiggy, a pale neutral taupe. At the very least the appearance of wear should have been minimal because it was so close to a naked nail color, right? I even gave this one two coats of topcoat hoping that would give me a smooth glossy finish but, nope — still with the brush strokes. I actually think that this one looked the worst of the three but to be fair, I was working those days and that puts my nails through a lot more than just reading and relaxing.
Twiggy, two coats plus topcoat
Twiggy after four days
As a control I decided to use Grey Matters again, only this time treat it like a regular polish with a base coat, two coats of color, and one coat of Seche Vite. Now this is what I had been expecting!
Grey Matters with base coat and Seche Vite after four days
My final verdict? I wasn't that impressed. As I said before, I don't like not using a base coat and needing to set it in natural daylight meant that I couldn't do my nails at night, as I usually do. Also, having to wait about half an hour while it cured in the sun was boring and annoying. I'd much rather slap on a shiny coat of Seche Vite and be on my way! Fortunately, that gave me the best results in the end and, while I'm not sure it would last two weeks, at least it would get me through a weekend. However, I don't want to discourage you from giving the system a try — I decided to give it a go after reading a positive review by Karen at I'm A Beauty Geek where she also mentions that her sister had results similar to mine so it appears that individual "nail chemistry" has something to do with it. I'd recommend buying it at a store with a liberal return policy such as CVS or Ulta, though, just in case it doesn't work out for you. The line has over 45 colors, although I never saw all of them at any one place. Target, Walgreens, and CVS each had displays of varying sizes with mostly different colors so check around to see which ones have colors you might be interested in.


  1. I remember when I saw the press release for these and I wondered how true the claims would be.

    Thanks for letting me know not to buy the top coat. Maybe I'll just buy 1 of the colors I like to try it myself.

  2. Wow, that's so disappointing! I'm glad you gave an honest review though. Now I know I don't need these, and my wallet can be happier. :)

  3. Great and thorough review! I'll be testing these out soon, too, so I wonder what my experience will be like. I also use a top coat at all times, even if the polish says not to do so (as with Zoya's PixieDusts). Stinks that they didn't last longer as well!