I am not a nail polish blogger. Sure, I sometimes post pictures of my nails on Instagram and I have a rather large and ever-growing Nail Polish & Designs board on Pinterest that I am
mildly ashamed ridiculously proud of. But nail polish blogger? Nah. I can’t keep up with it… no matter how often I do my nails (2-3 times per week). You see, I don’t have the energy, the patience or the funds to keep up with the latest nail polish trends or to put that much effort into taking pictures of my hands.
I’d like to think that despite all of that, I have a pretty good idea of what makes for a good polish. I have a very hands-on type of job that is quite rough on a manicure – which is part of why I paint my nails as often as I do. No matter how “chip resistant” a nail polish or top coat claims to be, it just can’t seem to survive through a week of working in a jewelry repair shop. So instead of worrying too much about how long my manicure is going to last, I focus on three other things:
- Is it easy to apply and remove?
- How many coats will it take to achieve full coverage?
- Is this the color for me?
With those 3 things in mind, let’s talk about my newest discovery…
I have a preference for “jellies”, a non-cream type of formula that has a very specific sort of consistency to it. Problem is, most jellies are translucent even after 3-4 coats (and who wants that many layers of polish?). I prefer a full coverage type of polish that isn’t streaky. I have several creme polishes in my stash. Some are okay. Some are actually fairly nice. But I feel like by the 5th use, the creme polishes I own are already losing some of its original “oomph” as important chemicals in it have already started evaporating (despite the fact that I take good care to store my polishes properly). I end up thinning them back out a lot.
I’ve seen a few ads for this “Miracle Gel” by Sally Hansen off and on, and I happened to see it while shopping at Target recently. This particular color “Pinky Rings” caught my eye. I’ve been looking for the perfect pink to go with my complexion (which is why I own so many bottles of pink polish). Oh what the hey… I’ll give it a go.
At $7.99 it wasn’t particularly expensive – not when you compare that I sometimes spend upwards of $10 for a bottle of nail polish that I end up not liking. Nope… $7.99 for a bottle of polish I actually really like? That’s a steal. Of course, that’s just the cost of the polish itself. Apparently it requires a special top coat to make it truly a “gel polish”. I didn’t realize that when I bought it. I could have sworn there was a sign that suggested it was everything I needed. I’ll chalk that one up to being super tired after work. The special top coat is also $7.99 which is also not a big deal (to me anyways). I have top coats that cost a little more than that.
So instead of worrying over the fact that I don’t have this special top coat, I went with my standard, full manicuring procedure as follows:
- Completely remove all old polish using Sally Hansen Moisturizing Polish Remover (or any remover will do).
- Clean hands with a good, antibacterial soap and dry thoroughly.
- Gently buff nails and reshape edges.
- I massage Sally Hansen Cuticle Eraser Balm into my fingers and I let them sit. It’s great if you have super dry cuticles or you work with chemicals often.
- Clean hands again, using an old toothbrush to make sure all of the balm is off of my nails (this is really important because you absolutely cannot get polish to stick if you don’t remove all of the balm).
- I massage Aveeno Skin Strengthening Hand Cream into my hands and fingertips. I like this hand cream because my cuticles are quite prone to tearing and this stuff is like magic in a little bottle.
- Use a cotton swab to remove any excess lotion from the nail bed.
- I use Nail Tek Intensive Therapy II, a special coating that helps repair peeling or weak nails – then allow it to dry completely (this is extremely important).
- I paint 1 coat of Seche Clear Base Coat. This is especially important for use with highly pigmented polishes. Nail staining sucks. Allow to dry completely!
- Depending on the polish, I paint 2-3 coats of the polish, allowing each to dry completely in between layers. In the case of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel – “Pinky Rings”, I might have gotten away with 1 coat, but I habitually used 2 to get a flawless coverage.
- After the polish is mostly dry, I use one coat of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Nail Coat, then allowing my nails 5-10 minutes of time to dry and “cure” before I even consider the idea of doing anything that may ruin all of the crazy work I just did.
I only do this crazy list once a week. Again, I don’t have the time nor the patience to do this every single time. For quick, late-night polishing, I skip steps 4, 5 and 8. You may not need all of that but my skin is delicate and as I mentioned – my job is pretty rough on my hands.
This is my new favorite.
I have always liked the Sally Hansen “Manicure in a Bottle” brush and the Miracle Gel utilizes the same one. That already scored points with me. What really sold me was how easily this polish glided on without any trouble at all. I had no need of cleaning up the edges because it went on that smoothly. It scored more points when I realized that I probably could have gotten away with using just 1 coat. It had a full, even coverage. I ritualistically used two coats anyways.
So… It had the “jellie” consistency I was looking for, plus it gave me the coverage I was looking for? This has to be too good to be true!
What really sold me is that it’s the pink I have been looking for for what feels like forever. I seriously have a bottle of polish that has been mixed, tweaked and mixed again at least a dozen times because I couldn’t find that perfect shade and have been making my own! Finally, I can stop doing that… geez. They do have a selection of other colors although my local Target seemed to be sold out of most of them (go figure).
We’ll see how well this polish does when put through all of the damage of where I work. I don’t expect it to hold up since I haven’t utilized it properly. I’ll definitely be getting a bottle of the proper top coat for it and giving that a try. This experiment was definitely worth the money to me regardless – like I said, longevity of polish wear isn’t high on my list of priorities anyways.
For full disclosure purposes: This review is in no way sponsored by any of the companies listed in this post. I have not been contracted to write about this polish or any of the products I use regularly. The links are Amazon affiliate links and I will earn a small % should you use them to make a purchase.
Have you tried Sally Hansen Miracle Gel yet? How was your experience!?