Today I’d like to share my experience with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Polish. SH Miracle Gel is supposed to be a unique system that gives you a gel manicure in two easy steps, no UV or LED light needed. Before I get into the review, I should say that I have never had a real gel manicure done. I don’t go to the salon to get my nails done, and I am not sure that I like the idea of putting my hands under a lamp for any length of time. Gel manicures also have a rather difficult removal process- regular polish removes don’t work. So I am a complete stranger to the gel manicure world. I know that they are extremely popular for their long-lasting chip-free wear time, so when Sally Hansen claimed to get the same results with their at-home lamp-free products, I decided it was time to give gel a try.
Before I talk about how the polish performed, let me tell you a little more about the product. Sally Hansen has 45 shades in their Miracle Gel polish line. Here is what Sally Hansen says about it: “Miracle Gel is the first ever part part lacquer, part gel manicure system that delivers up to 14 days of color and shine in just 2 easy steps. Miracle Gel delivers the high shine, glossy look of a salon quality gel manicure with no UV/LED lamp or base coat needed!” Sally Hansen also claims that their polish is easy to remove with regular nail polish remover, another bonus over the traditional gel mani. The process of applying is very straightforward. Begin by cleaning any oils off of your nails with polish remover. Sally Hansen says to skip the base coat. Next, apply two thin layers of Miracle Gel polish, allowing it to dry completely between layers. Follow with Miracle Gel top coat. That’s it.
The Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat is necessary for the process. Sally Hansen says in the FAQ section that the two products are designed to work together and not with other products. For desired results you need both the Miracle Gel polish and the Miracle Gel top coat. It appears to be a pretty basic top coat. It is not too thick and it is not the type of top coat that makes imperfections disappear (like Seche Vite for example). The one main issue that I had with the top coat is that it picked up the color of the polish. I made sure that my nails were completely dry before adding top coat and the color still bled. Since you use the same top coat with multiple shades of polish, this could cause some discoloration, especially with lighter shades. I was not pleased.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polish retails for around $8-$9, give or take. For that price, I expect a high quality product. Unfortunately, Sally Hansen Miracle Gel doesn’t fit the bill. My first indication that something was off was that the brush on my polish was kind of deformed. SH Miracle Gel has a wide flat brush, similar to the Wet N Wild Megalast polishes. My brush wasn’t flat, but more pyramid shaped like it had gotten squashed somehow inside the bottle. Here are some pictures to show you what I mean.
The result was a finicky and uneven application. It’s too bad, because the shade that I have, Dig Fig, is a gorgeous color. SH Miracle Gel is not a self-leveling polish, and it has a slightly drier formula than most polishes. I thought that it applied streaky and I found it difficult to work with. I will admit that am not the best nail polisher in the world, but this was supposed to be easy, right? The top coat did not give me the glossy shine I am used to getting with a regular top coat. I was simply not a fan of the look. But my disappointment with the overall look achieved with the SH Miracle Gel was nothing to how disappointed and/or angry I was with how poorly it performed.
You may have noticed in the first manicure picture of me holding the bottle that my nails are chipped. The reason for this is because the manicure didn’t last long enough for me to snap a picture before it failed. I painted my nails with Dig Fig on a Monday night after dinner. I usually use natural light for my photos, so I planned to snap pics the next morning. Several hours later, when everything was completely dry and had been for a while, I took a shower before bed. This polish that Sally Hansen claims lasts up to 14 days chip-free, chipped on day 1 because I dared to bathe. Seriously? What ‘s up with that? I have used some pretty cheap polish that was pretty bad, but remember this polish is $8-$9 each. I am almost speechless with how bad this polish is.
Here is a shot of my other hand, this time on day 5 (Saturday night, hence the weird lighting). The chipping is obvious and ugly. By this point in the experiment I was so ready to remove SH Miracle Gel that I decided to call it quits early. I had planned on leaving my mani on with progress shots throughout the 14 day period. That was, of course, before I realized SH Miracle Gel’s Kryptonite- water. The one claim that Sally Hansen made about Miracle Gel that was actually true is that it is pretty easy to remove the polish with regular polish remover. Except one small problem. Remember how I said that I skipped base coat, per Sally Hansen’s instructions? Sure enough, that dark red polish stained my nails pink for a couple days. *Sigh*
All in all, my experience with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel was a complete fail. Now to be fair, it is possible that I got a dud polish. It’s also possible that my personal body chemistry doesn’t agree with the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel formula. That can happen, where a polish will work great for many people, but it is chip city on my nails. But, I am not willing to invest the money to find out if the problem is with me. I am perfectly happy sticking with regular nail polishes and leaving the gel nails to others. I do not recommend Sally Hansen Miracle Gel, but certainly read some other reviews on the net to see if others had a better experience than I did. I certainly hope so, because if my experience is typical, then Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is a truly terrible product.