I’m going to start this post off by saying that I’m a huge Sally Hansen nail polish fan. That’s important to get out up front since, obviously, the title of this post might imply otherwise. And, I’ll point out that the use of “My” in the title was, most certainly, intentional.

Of all the affordable nail polish options I’ve tried, Sally Hansen is by far the best when it comes to lasting, chip-free color.

My go-tos are Insta-Dri®, Complete Salon Manicure™, and Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear® because they’re inexpensive (between $4 and $8 a bottle at the local CVS), and because they stand up to a few days’ wear before things start going downhill.

If you couldn’t guess, I’m kind of a serial typist, clickity-clacking for at least 12 or 13 hours a day between my regular job, and all my freelance/blog writing.

Nail polish doesn’t like extreme typing. Not even a little.

Or, maybe it’s just me.

My Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Polish Fail!

I keep my nails short. A “sporty” length as some call it. Anything too far beyond my finger-tip and I start to twitch as the letters tic-tic-tic when I type. The only way I can describe it is like a claustrophobic feeling that makes me squirmy—I get that way when I’ve worn a hat (especially one with a bill) for too long, too. Two cheers for idiosyncrasies!

Not sure if it’s that sporty length (I’d imagine having longer nails would encourage this, too), but after a day or two, the very top edge of paint on my index and middle finger nails starts wearing away. Shortly after, it’s my right thumb who (because of some sort of learning-to-type snafu) does all the space bar work for all the words. Clickity-click-click

The left thumb, it just gets to hang out and watch. And, as a result, stays beautifully, unchippedly, polished for twice as long as the rest of my actively typing fingernails.

And yet, I have plenty of friends who type just as much as I do, and manage to keep their gel polished finger nails chip free for a week, or even longer. So, I’ve been wondering if that’s the ticket: GEL POLISH.

Used to be you had to visit a salon for gel manicure, and—quite frankly—I don’t have the time or the money to be doing that on the regular. Sometime within the past five years DIY gel polish systems popped up, complete with the lamp and other accessories you need to create the same gel manicured process at home. Nope. Nope. Nope. That’s way too much work.

And THEN, Sally Hansen came up with the magical idea of gel polish that doesn’t require anything fancy to work, aside from a specially formulated polish and a specific “must use” top coat.

At $9.99 a bottle, Sally Hansen Miracle Gel™ is a bit more expensive than my usual Sally Hansen fare, but it’s also a heck of a lot less expensive than visiting a salon every other week, especially when the bottle touts, “Up to 14 Days of Color & Shine!!!!!” and it lasts for lots and lots of applications.

Okay, it doesn’t actually have all (or any) of the exclamation points, but that’s how my mind read it. The thought of polish lasting even a week and looking fabulous is extraordinary.

So, I invested $20 in “Slate-r Girl” and the special top coat and prepared myself to be awed by the staying power of my new gel nail polish friends.

First, the video (because I’m kind of geeky and I wanted to make sure I did it right).

Seems simple enough. Clean nails, two coats polish (dry five minutes between each), one coat top coat, let it dry for 15 minutes “before digging around in your purse,” and then done.

That’s my kind of manicure.

And for the first two days, my “Slate-r Girl” nails looked fab.

It was day three when I noticed my usual index finger wear and tear. And by day four things started to go downhill quickly.

Day five? Let’s just say I put the “Removes like regular nail polish” statement to the test. And it works, the regular non-acetone nail polish remover I use for everything else.

My Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polish fail!

I shared my hopeless gel polish story with some girlfriends.

It appears they don’t see the same pathetic showing that I do. Their Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polished nails (in “All Chalked Up” and “Smartease”) look unblemished at day five.


I feel like the “nailed it” poster child for Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polish, instead of Pinterest.

I’ve reverted back to my Insta-Dri “Cocoa A Go Go” with an Xtreme Wear “Disco Ball” glitter top coat because that combo seems to harden well enough that chips are thwarted AND because when it does chip, the glitter seems to do a nice job of hiding it. Touch ups, for when it’s not so camouflaged, are pretty simple when shimmer’s involved.

But seriously, I refuse to give up on the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polish when it seems to work brilliantly for every other fingernail on the planet.

A girlfriend helped out with a few tips:

Swipe your nails with vinegar first to remove oils, then try using a base. Soak your nails in ice water when you’re done.

So I’m gonna try those tips, along with a double top coat, I think.

But, what say you? Have you tried gel polish at home, and was it a long-lasting success?!?


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