I was a little leery of the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel because I thought there was no way a polish would come anywhere close to my love for the salon stuff. But since my mom and best friend swore by it, and since running to the nail place every few weeks can get pretty expensive and pretty hard to do once you have a little one, I thought I would at least test it out.
I first tried purchasing the polish at Ulta but they didn't have the special top coat so I had to pick some up on one of my frequent trips to Target. Target had a ton of colors to choose from and I ended up choosing "Creme De La Creme" because it's very neutral and almost identical to one of my favorite Essie colors, "Fiji".
Applying the polish was just as easy as normal nail polish and actually I think I might even like their brush better than the typical brushes. This color was a little opaque so I had to do 3 coats instead of the recommended 2. (Tip: If you do need more than 2 coats, make sure you apply them really thin because if you get the polish too thick it takes forever to set properly. I made the polish too thick on one of my toes and it was a smudged mess even though I thought it was dry.)
By the end of the first week I had a couple of chips. Nothing compared to how bad my nails would have looked if I had used regular polish though. And in all fairness I was really rough on my nails that week. I had been busy painting and hot gluing Christmas decor and had to scrub all that off my nails a few times. (Oh and please excuse my awful cuticles... That's what happens when you constantly have your hands in soapy water cleaning bottles.)
I had major chips by the 10th day so I went ahead and repainted them so they would look nice.
Compared to Salon Gel
- Removal is easier and doesn't ruin your nails.
- You can paint them in your own home.
- And you don't need any special UV light to set it.
- It doesn't last quite as long.
- It isn't quite as glossy.
- Doesn't dry immediately which can be tricky if you try this any time other than nap time.
Compared to Regular Polish
- Lasts a lot longer. Most of my polish will chip after the first day but this made it to around 7 days without major chipping.
- I feel like it is a little thicker which helps my brittle nails not break as easy.
- It's a tad more expensive.
I think it is safe to say I am a new fan of the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel. Although it isn't a total dupe for salon gel, it still lasts way longer than regular polish and it is quite a bit cheaper. And if you'd like to try it out you can purchase some here.
*Update. So I am now on my second application of the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel and it seems to be lasting me way longer the second time around. I think I was really rough on my nails the first time I tried it. It still doesn't last as long as the salon gel but who can complain when you aren't shelling out at least $25 a pop for an actual manicure.*