NOTW: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel + Topcoat Review

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I'm a skeptic by nature, so when companies launch products promising the best of a fussy beauty treatment, but without any hassle, I'm doubtful right away. Want false lashes but don't want to mess with applying them? Use this clumpy and extensive system to mimic an effect that looks nothing like what false lashes do. Look how much easier we've just made your life (not)!

I had the same concerns when I saw the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel display, and was determined to put it to the test. I noticed the topcoat on my first Walgreens trip, and waved it off as marketing nonsense designed to get me to buy more product. I went home with Malibu Peach and the week-long experiment began.  

*These pictures were taken while I was in San Francisco, which is why they're lousy quality and a weird mixture of gray/sunny.

Here we are, Miracle Gel day one without topcoat!


Application felt more like Sally Hansen Bitchily Thick and Streaky, but this is one of those formulas that kind of evens itself out where obvious lines are concerned. You'd have to be very skilled to get an ultra-smooth manicure with this polish, and even my cousin needed three coats to get full color. But what you'll definitely notice is how the thicker formula causes a more obvious edge around the cuticle where the polish has piled up--unavoidable with this consistency. I didn't use any topcoat at all, so that rubbery and semi-flat finish you see is purely from the polish. 

Day three...




Day five...




And finally, day seven!




I wasn't too impressed with my week one trial without the topcoat. It didn't seem to be any different from any other nail polish, except for being thicker and harder to apply. Chipping was more of an issue towards the end of the week, but shrinkage was a severe problem throughout. Between all those factors and the way the finish turns even more rubbery, I thought I was done with Miracle Gel.

Luckily, my cousin convinced me to buy the coordinating topcoat and give it another try.

Here we go, day one of Miracle Gel + topcoat!


The topcoat definitely gave the polish and extra boost of shine, and though it is another thickish layer piled onto thick coats of varnish, it didn't make my paint job look heavier. 

Day three...


Day five...


And day seven!





Overall, this Miracle Gel and topcoat system isn't a miracle worker, but it's still pretty impressive. I only had one or two minor chips by the end of the week, and some wearing at the tips. The most noticeable problem for me is reminiscent of a real gel manicure in that your nails start to grow out. Still, if you looked at my nails from a distance, you wouldn't think there was anything wrong with my manicure.

I didn't touch up my topcoat after the initial application, and if you look closely at the picture above, you can see a harsh line where the topcoat shrank to. The polish doesn't shrink nearly as much with the topcoat on top, so if you're really trying to go for longevity, I say touch up the topcoat (especially those crucial tips!) every few days. 

This actually could be a good system for gel manicure addicts trying to wean themselves off the damaging treatment. It's not perfect of course, and even if you religiously slicked on the topcoat, it still wouldn't be as durable as an actual gel manicure. But, if you took care, there's no reason why this wouldn't last a full week.

I'm so glad I tried this set with the topcoat and am curious about it individually--off to see how it compares to the Dior Gel Coat! 

Have a terrific weekend!

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