New at-home manicure product: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel

Photo from instyle.com

Photo from instyle.com

Sally Hansen has a new at-home manicure system that's a game-changer.

InStyle reported recently that Sally Hansen's Miracle Gel at-home manicure "was the only beauty product that earned over 60 million dollars in sales last year." They tested it out and awarded it  "Best overall nail innovation 2015" in their "Best Beauty Buys Nail Category." 

That's high praise. So I decided to try it for myself.

Basically this system is a polish and a gel top coat that doesn't need LED lights to set/dry. You just apply two coats of any of their 47 shades, let it dry and follow up with Miracle Gel Top Coat. You don't even need base coat.

I picked this fun shade of purple called "Street Flair." Each bottle - including the top coat - is $9.99 and you can get it anywhere from CVS to Ulta (buy from CVS here).

The best thing about the whole experience: the applicator brush. Seriously. Why have we waited until now to get an applicator brush with a rounded tip the EXACT size of one's nail bed? You could paint your nails in the dark with this thing. For reals.

Anyway, I tried this stuff out and it was all pretty easy and straightforward. The test would be -- how long does the manicure last.

Here is the finished product, day one:

I thought about taking pics every day to show the evolution, but to be honest, nothing changed. It looked great for a long time. After 7 days though, I was itching to move to another color. This is what it looked like after 10 days:

As you can see, although there is a little chip on my left hand and the ends are generally wearing off on all my nails, the polish is mostly intact (i.e. no chips) and they are still somewhat shiny. It started to wrinkle up a bit at my nail beds, but might have been from my nails growing out. 

Overall, I would call this a success. I don't know about their promise to get "14 days" out of this stuff, but I think a solid 7 days, with a stretch to even 10 days, is pretty solid.

Let's break it down:

PROS

  • Lasts longer than regular polish
  • So easy to apply; the applicator brush is AMAZING
  • No base coat needed
  • Great color selection
  • Much more affordable than getting a gel manicure in a salon; once you invest in the top coat, buying new colors are about $10 a pop
  • No special lamp required - just regular light dries and seals everything
  • No special materials or process needed to remove the polish; no soaking, wrapping or scraping necessary. Remove with regular acetone (or acetone-free) polish remover

CONS

  • $10 is a little pricey for a drug store nail polish, especially if you are fickle and always want a new color
  • Takes longer to dry than my regular quick dry top coat
  • Doesn't give that thick acrylic look that salon gel manicures have; has the look and feel of regular polish (maybe that's a PRO?)

FAQ from Sally Hansen here.

Give it a try! I'm think I'm addicted: