Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is launching with 47 shades + a top coat and guess what kind of crazy I am! G’head! Guess! Yep, crazy enough to swatch every single launch shade ’cept one. But I’m not going to show them to you here one by one. This is just the review with some swatch composites chucked in for good measure.
I didn’t know what to do about this gargantuan post so I split it in two. I hope that’s okay. The full-sized 47 swatches will be right here in this linky thing to make it super-duper easy to get where you needa go.
sally hansen miracle gel review
Finally! Yes, it took a long time and let me tell you why. It’s an up-to 14 day wear nail polish. That’s 2 weeks. I only got one bottle of Miracle Gel Topcoat and had multiple hands testing for me and for you. That took some time but now we’re ready. Let’s do this!
*Note: my job is extremely hard on the nails – my hands are constantly wet, they’re in nasty chemicals, and they scrape against stuff for 6.5-8 hours a day. When I say something wears for more than a single day, given the beating it takes, that’s extraordinary.
how you use the miracle gel
You choose your Sally Hansen Miracle Gel color coat, you paint it on nice and tidy, you do a second coat of the same all nice and tidy, and then you use the Miracle Gel top coat over top. Then you’re done. Be smart with your nails while they’re still wet and then go about your business. Then, when it’s time (days later) to take the stuff off, whip out your trusty nail polish remover ‘n wipe it all away. Easy, right? Just like regular polish, right?
I would highly advise you use this on clean, bare nails and, because this Top Coat is stuffed with UV sensitive ingredients, I’d also advise you not use it in direct sunlight or under super-powered LED lights.
I would however, advise using it during the day. If you can do so, when you’re finished your top coat maybe stick your hand out into the direct sunshine for 5 minutes to help speed dry it. S’what I did and I made it out the door ½ an hour after I did 2 colour coats + 1 top coat. That’s fast.
my first miracle gel test
FOUR days. My sister Janine (head Beautygeek) doesn’t like me using capitals but I don’t care. FOUR! Do you have any idea how absolutely marvelous that kind of wear is for me? FOUR working days. With regular polish and work, I get one day chip free no matter what base or top I use. Astounding. Mind-blowing, even. Totally unheard of for me with polish that comes off with acetone and doesn’t have to be stuck in a lamp. Nail polish and bartending do not go well together. When I don’t work, I can get maybe 4 days max out of anything else but when I work, it’s one day. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel gave me four amazing days with minor wear at the edge and one tiny little chip. That’s solid gold, ladies!
super-tester alex plays miracle gel
No good. It was no good for her. The header in the email she sent me said “Sally Hansen Miracle Gel… pffft”. Uh oh. She went on to say “The edge of my fingernail is always the first place to show wear and this time is no different. Electra-cute was very blotchy and required three coats to get somewhat even. This time around I even tried two thicker coats… no better.” She gave up and I sent her off with some CND Vinylux to test instead. Clearly, her nail chemistry and Sally Hansen Miracle Gel do not go well together.
But wait – nail chemistry is different for different people! Don’t go! Wait! I have more tests!
mollee plays miracle gel
Mollee is not good with her nails. Her nails are thin and extraordinarily peely. She doesn’t file them or buff them, she opens pop cans with them, and she’s a waitress so uses her hands a lot and sticks them into bad glass-washer chemical things too.
Mollee was mightily impressed with the wear she got from Miracle Gel. I was impressed with her results too. In our industry, with our jobs, if we go one single day without a chip, it’s A MIRACLE. Mollee went four days. FOUR. In real person days, that’s like 10 or 11 days! On the fifth day, she cleaned the glass washer and it was over. Astounding, right? You know what that says to me? It says “holy crap – that stuff IS GOOD.” She also had very minor tip wear and a couple minor chips but even when I examined her manicure myself, I was amazed at the lack of wear.
amanda plays miracle gel
Early last week I handed the stuff over to another co-worker who was heading off on her weekend. Four days later, she brought her digits over to show me. She used Pink Tank from the Love Pinks collection and did just one coat and then top coat. As I instructed, she did it indoors in the shade (we laughed at how she said she was huddled in a dark corner for application – you don’t have to huddle in a dark corner) and then she popped outside and soaked up some sun rays. She said it dried to touch in less than 5 minutes and then she was good to go. When I saw her nails four days later, she had some minor tip wear and was actually amazed with the staying power. See? S’good stuff.
Yesterday morning, after Amanda re-did her Pink Tank mani using two coats + top, she excitedly showed me her nails and said ,"Three days!!"
I said, "Holy crap!"
She said, "Mind.Blown."
Neither of us can believe this is three days of wear in our industry. We're gobsmacked. We can't even comprehend it. We're literally flabbergasted. Amanda wants to know when she'll be able to buy it.
miracle gel over soak-off gel review
This test took some time – it required soak-off gel so I had to find a space in my busy polishing schedule to accommodate that. I slapped Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Pink Cadillaquer over some fully cured clear soak-off gel to see if it’d stick. Boy howdy did it ever! Another four day manicure with only minor tip wear! On top of gel? What kind of magic is this stuff?
Seriously. Over gel, I expected maybe two days – I mean it’s a shiny, smooth, non-sticky surface that regular polish sticks to like crap. To get four days on top of gel while working? That’s a 109% totally unexpected, genius kind of result. I don’t even know how it’s possible.
miracle gel top over regular polish tests
Because I know I’d want this kind of information, I also tested just the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel top coat in conjunction with other polishes. I don’t have words to describe how I feel about this top coat. It’s magic. Mollee put it over a L’Oreal shade she forgot the name of and got a chip on the fifth day. I put it over some OPI Green on the Runway and got four days.
I put it over Ceramic Glaze Exotic Dragonfruit neon and got four days. Four days? Over a notoriously chippy neon? How, Sally Hansen? How? Then I wore it over some Essie Haute in the Heat and got another four days. Amazeballz. What you gotta do is remember that four days for me is like 7+ days for a regular person and that’s a big deal.
a couple more things before i conclude
The Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Spring/Summer 2016 shades are out and your swatches are right here in that lazy link.
I've been getting comments about the colour transfer from the polish coat to the top coat brush. Yes, this is a thing. Yes, it's going to happen to you. Yes, it's a pain in the ass. BUT, to help keep your topcoat brush clean, you can just cut a little square of paper towel (maybe 2" x 2") and squish/wipe the brush off before you put it away or before you shake it the next time you take it out. That's what I did and mine isn't muddy - yet. I swatched a lot. You know I did.
Also, I've noted that when I use the topcoat over any other brand of polish (yes, you'll still get that colour transfer to the top coat brush), it does seem to dry more slowly than when it's used in conjunction with the other SH MG shades. But here's the thing - even though by the time you feel it should be dry, it'll still be dentable and feel soft. That's a good thing. Don't freak out - it's not so much dent-able as pliable. Pliable is good - pliable means it'll bounce back from minor damage. Pliable means it's flexible and won't chip or break. It also doesn't really seem to wear when it feels like it's still at that not-quite-dry stage. Sometimes it feels like it's not dry for hours but really, it is. It's just not rock hard - it's bendy!
the miracle gel conclusion
For Mollee ’n Amanda ’n me, Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is exceptional (even though many of the brushes suck really,really bad). We simply don’t get wear like that from regular polish that removes with a swipe of acetone. I don’t know how else to tell you that I think this stuff is magic in a bottle. From my experience, as long as this stuff goes well with your nail chemistry, you’re going to get unparalleled wear. Who doesn’t want unparalleled wear? I know I do!
Oh - Officially, from Sally Hansen: "The advanced Color Coat and Top Coat formulas contain an oligomer, and the Top Coat also contains a photoinitiator. The photoinitiator in the Top Coat formula reticulates with the oligomer contained in the Color Coat, thus curing the formula without the need of an LED/UV light. As the manicure cures over time, it becomes more durable due to the increased hardness of the film. So LED/UV lamp curing is not necessary, only natural light." I dunno what that means but I do know it works real good.
If you've got questions or comments, you know we wanna hear ’em, so fire away! And don't forget we've got full-sized images of all the bajillion swatches here in our picture heavy Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Swatch Post and there are more here in the Spring/Summer 2016 Swatch & Review Post.
In Canada, Sally Hansen Miracle Gel ($10.95CAD) will be available nationwide at mass retailers ’n drug stores August 2014. In the US, it's rolling out now. G over at Nouveau Cheap has had a Walgreens sighting! It's also readily available at Amazon.com.
Manicures and photos by Karen Falcon (she really, really loves this stuff a lot lot lot) ©2014 BEAUTYGEEKS/imabeautygeek.com
Many a special thank you to Super-Tester Alex, Molleeeeee, and Amanda - you're all such good people to give up your time for the sake of science. Thanks, Muffins!