I have never had a gel manicure. The main reason is the cost. I’ve only had a handful of professional manicures and pedicures because why pay money for something I can do myself?
The other reasons I’ve never gotten a gel manicure include not being able to go two weeks without changing my nails, that I heard that they file down your nails which makes them really weak, and the fact that the acetone remover you have to schedule an appointment to remove them with is really not good for your nails.
So when I heard Sally Hansen had a top coat that gave the effect of gel polish, I was intrigued. Could they really last two weeks? Was a gel manicure really as great as everyone says, and will this drugstore brand do the trick?
The price can’t be beat (roughly $7 for the top coat and another $7 for any of the colors) and I was willing to have the same polish on my nails for two whole weeks just to see if it lived up to the claim.
I picked up a Miracle Gel Top Coat and Miracle Gel polish in Street Flair, a pretty purple that isn’t too in your face. If my polish was going to last for two weeks, then I’d want it to be suitable for both work meetings and nights out.
I was really impressed by how fast the polish dried. It’s cured by natural light, instead of the UV light the salons use, which can be potentially harmful. I used two coats of the purple and then one of the top coat. I was able to use my hands (carefully) in about 5 minutes. And now the waiting.
As far as wear and tear, my job requires me to open cardboard boxes and hundreds of plastic bags, and sensor and hang items. Usually if I’m not careful polish tends to chip within a day or two. I made sure to be as careful as I could without impacting my performance. I also chose not to reapply the top coat like I would with normal polish.
It was on Day 5 that I first noticed any changes. My nail was growing so the gel polish that was up against my cuticle was lifted just the tiniest bit making it susceptible to chipping (as seen on my pointer finger in Day 5). The tips were also wearing away, although not chipping, just kind of disappearing in a clean line (better seen on Day 7).
But let’s talk about the fact that 5 days in the still looked almost brand new as long as you didn’t scrutinize them. 5 days and my regular polish is normally all gone, due removed due to too much chipping. They stayed this way for about 2 more days.
It was after day 7 that more and more chipping started. The last week was pretty hard because usually when my polish chips I’ll take it off because other wise it doesn’t look clean and put together, but for the purpose of informing you I battled through my urges to grab some cotton balls.
Day 14 finally came around and my nails were not looking all that pretty. For what it’s worth though, while the edges were grown out and completely gone, the amount of gel polish left was pretty amazing.
So would I recommend Sally Hansen’s gel manicure Miracle Gel polish? Definitely. I wouldn’t plan on getting two weeks out of it, but it’s worth it for at least one week. Which is perfect if you’re going on vacation and don’t want to bring anything nail related, or if you know it’s going to be a busy week and you need a killer mani to help get you through. I like changing my polish up roughly every week anyways, so any longer and I’d get bored.
One downside is that you have to use the specific polish with it so if you want to change up the colors you have to purchase another one.
This gel polish is perfect for the at home nail polisher since they save you so much money, and you can get creative and use multiple colors for nail art of any kind and have it last longer.