Friday, October 10, 2014

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish + Top Coat: Review and Swatches

Disclaimer: Product featured was provided for review.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish + Top Coat: Review and Swatches
Late this summer Sally Hansen released its highly anticipated two step no-lamp Miracle Gel nail polish system and boy was I excited. I have a horrible track record with nail polishes, no matter what brand and finish, they will chip on me within the first or second day. So as you can imagine, I was quite ecstatic when I saw the release of this line as the nail colors last up to 14 days with brilliant shine and no chipping. So, just how well do these no-lamp Miracle Gel polishes work? Find out by clicking.......
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish + Top Coat: Review and Swatches
Each Miracle Gel polish is sold separately ($10.99 CAD; there are many colors available), for optimal result, you need to pair the base color with the Miracle Gel Top Coat. Although Sally Hansen suggests that the Miracle Gel Top Coat should only be used with Miracle Gel colors, I've actually tried it with ordinary polishes and it works just the same.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish + Top Coat: Review and Swatches
Packaging:
The Miracle Gel polishes having the same bottle and brush design as the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Polishes, which means they also have very wide and slightly jagged brushes. This makes application slightly more troublesome as it is harder to get clean lines around the cuticles.

Formulation of Color Polishes:
The formulation of the base colors are more or less consistent. I find all of these to have a runnier and sheerer formulation and for most of these colors I needed three coats for opacity.
If used without the topcoat, these take pretty much forever to dry so they definitely should be used with the Miracle Gel Top Coat.

Formulation of Top Coat:
Formulated with "photoinitiator", this top coat cures under natural light and helps the manicure last up to 14 days. The drying time of this is indeed very fast. However, I have two pretty big issues with it.
Firstly, the thinner formulation and the jagged brush make it impossible to apply the topcoat without smudging the base coat. Even when using just one color, the top coat causes streaking (see hand swatches below), which makes the manicure look less professional and less shiny.
Secondly, this top coat shrinks! After it fully dries, I noticed that it pulled away quite noticeably from the cuticle (see hand swatches below) and it seems that the thicker the base color, the more the top coat will shrink.

Longevity:
The mani system lasted quite well (not 14 days of course). I experienced no chipping and only minimal tip wear for three days, which is quite a record considering my bad luck with chipping. On the fourth and fifth day however, the polish started chipping pretty badly, so I had to remove it before things got too ugly. But overall, the wear is really good compared to other polishes so if you usually have no problems with chipping, this could potentially last longer on you.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish + Top Coat: Review and Swatches

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish + Top Coat: Review and Swatches

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish + Top Coat: Review and Swatches
Notice the shrinking and streaking caused by the top coat.
Three coats of wine stock + top coat.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish + Top Coat: Review and Swatches
Notice the shrinking (especially on the index finger) and streaking caused by the top coat.
Three coats of wine stock + top coat.
Overall:
I really wanted to love this system but unfortunately it didn't work out as well as I had expected. The base colors are all quite runny and sheer (the oxblood I used in my swatches required three coats and there were still uneven patches). Although extremely fast drying and chip-proof, the top coat causes streaking and it shrinks quite noticeable.
I love the concept and the fast drying time and long lasting shine/wear but this system definitely needs some perfecting!

Availability:
Available in drug stores Canada wide.
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