Sally Hansen Miracle Gel: how long will it really last?

Sally Hansen’s new Miracle Gel line of nail polishes is a gel hybrid that doesn’t require a special UV light. Instead, it cures using a little bit of chemistry between color and top coat, and a little bit of natural sunlight as you go about your day. It bills itself as lasting “up to 14 days”. Awesome, right? No fancy lamp, but just as much wear time? Well, I was skeptical. Even real salon baked-in-the-UV-oven gels don’t last that long on me; they start peeling from the bottom after about a week. But Sally produced some really cool colors in this line, and I found myself picking some of them up hopefully. The worst that could happen, I figured, would be it lasts as long as a not-particularly-special normal polish (on me, usually 4 days) and I get some cool colors into the bargain.

My first attempt with Hunger Flames, a metallic fuchsia, ended in sadness as I managed to scuff, gash, and ding half my nails into oblivion within the first hour (though each coat goes on thin and dries quickly, and the top coat will dry multiple coats to the touch in a few minutes, the finished manicure remained soft and harm-able on me for about 30-40 minutes. whoops.). I’m lazy, though, so I wore that for about five days, because who looks that closely at my hands?

Still, I wanted to give this stuff a serious road test to find out what it could do. So after I cleaned Hunger Flames off my nails, I decided to try again, with an accent nail and perhaps a bit less klutziness. So I grabbed Dig Fig, which is a red sort of in between strawberry and burgundy, my dotting tool, and two other polishes, and went to town. Freshly painted, I ended up with this:

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Dig Fig (red), Avol Gel Finish in Mudslide (brown), Piggy Polish in Yellow There (yellow)
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Dig Fig (red), Avon Gel Finish in Mudslide (brown), Piggy Polish in Yellow There (yellow). In my head this looked more like mod dots and less like googly eyes.

Each nail got three layers of Dig Fig, then a layer of the Miracle Gel top coat. Then I wandered outside and stood around for about five minutes to let the sun get at my hands. This isn’t strictly necessary – it’s not in the instructions or anything – but it seemed like a good idea. Sunlight = UV = more curing! When I came back inside after that, I added the dots on top of an accent nail on each hand, and then topped those nails only with NYC Grand Central Station top coat. I gave myself about an hour off doing anything heavy with my nails, to make sure everything was good and set, and then carried on with my life.

How did it last? Well, Day 5 was the first day I noticed tip wear; here’s my left hand that day:

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel manicure, Day 5
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel manicure, Day 5

On day 7, I noticed some tiny chips on my thumb and index finger on my right hand, but forgot to take a picture. Here’s how my right hand (I’m right-handed) looks today, on Day 9:

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel - Day 9
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel – Day 9

It looks pretty noticeable from that angle, especially on my index finger, but here’s the same hand a few minutes later, at a more realistic angle:

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel - Day 9
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel – Day 9

Tip wear? Sure. Edge of my thumb looking a bit worse for the wear? Yep. But the polish is still almost as glossy as it was on day 1, and I could definitely get at least a day or two more out of this before it got so bad that anyone but me noticed the wear. And I have had zero of the peeling-from-the-bottom problems I have with “real” gel that lasts less time.

I’m going to take this off today, because I want fresh nails for tomorrow, but I’m calling it: Sally’s 14-day wear time is more or less confirmed. Obviously everyone’s nails are different, but for me, where a typical manicure lasts 4 days and a salon gel lasts 6, 9+ days of wear from Sally is about as good as it gets.


Ipsy Bag August 2014

Despite evidence to the contrary, I am still alive! I apologize for the long period of silence; my mother-in-law was visiting, which meant giving up my guest room (aka my makeup room) to her and trying to avoid getting any more comments about how much makeup I own, so blogging sort of fell by the wayside. I’ve got a lot of ideas for posts floating around my head now, though, so hopefully you guys will profit from my having to hold back for a few weeks.

Today, I’m bringing you my August 2014 Ipsy Bag. The theme this month was “Beauty Schooled”, and Urban Decay contributed two of their new(er) products to the products Ipsy chose from, to much internet excitement. Let’s see what I got…

August 2014 Ipsy Bag - GlamGlow YouthMud, Manna Kadar Sheer Glo Shimmer Lotion, Jersey Shore Sun Mongongo Lip Conditioner, Lord & Berry Black Silk Kohl eyeliner, and Urban Decay Perversion mascare
August 2014 Ipsy Bag – GlamGlow YouthMud, Manna Kadar Sheer Glo Shimmer Lotion, Jersey Shore Sun Mongongo Lip Conditioner, Lord & Berry Black Silk Kohl eyeliner, and Urban Decay Perversion mascara

In an orange-and-white polka dot tube-shaped bag that is cute but made of cheap unlined vinyl, I found, first and squee-most, Urban Decay Perversion Mascara. (0.1 fl. oz. sample; full 0.4 fl. oz tube costs $22, so this is worth about $5.50) Much like their popular Perversion eyeliner pencil, Urban Decay bills this as “Bigger. Blacker. Badder.” It’s supposed to be a blacker-than-black, make-your-lashes-look-insane product, and…I was expecting to be underwhelmed. All the blog reviews I’d read of the product were glowing, but pictures of the mascara in use on those blog posts just didn’t look very special. I’ve mentioned before that my taste in mascara runs to the boring; I don’t like my lashes to be stuck together or theatrical-looking, and I suspected that that was what Perversion was going to give me, since it seems to be what “volumizing” mascaras all seem to do.

Folks, I’m here to tell you I was wrong. Hot bleepin’ DAMN, you guys, this stuff is awesome. For comparison, I give you, uh, my eyes.

Open, eyelashes uncurled in both photos:

My bare eyelashes, eyes open
My bare eyelashes, eyes open
My eyelashes with Urban Decay Perversion mascara, open
My eyelashes with Urban Decay Perversion mascara, open (3 coats on top lashes, 1 coat on bottom lashes)


My bare eyelashes, closed
My bare eyelashes, closed
My eyelashes with Urban Decay Perversion mascara, closed
My eyelashes with Urban Decay Perversion mascara, closed  (3 coats on top lashes)

I can’t even with this. There’s no clumps. My lashes look insanely long. And yes, blacker than black. I hate mascara because none of it ever looks good on me, and now Ipsy has twice sent me mascaras that are inexplicably awesome. I’m seriously going to go have to spend actual money on Perversion now when my sample runs out, and I’ve never done that before with an Ipsy product.

*deep breath*

Calming down now. I’m ok. Aaaaanyway. Also in my bag were:

  • GlamGlow YouthMud Tinglexfoliate Treatment (0.5 fl. oz sample; 1.7 fl. oz. full-size sells for $69, so my sample is worth about $20). Ipsy keeps sending me these exfoliating treatments, and I keep nodding politely and stuffing them in a drawer without using them. The skin on my face is just too sensitive for me to want to risk scraping it raw with sandy stuff. I will say, however, that I opened this Tinglexfoliate Treatment and sniffed it and it smelled exactly like the bag of Sour Patch Kids I’ve been snacking out of this week. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that! Use code IPSY30 when checking out at for 30% off any purchase.
  • Jersey Shore Sun Mongongo Nutrient Dense Anti-Aging Lip Conditioner (.15 oz full-size, worth $5.50). For all that this has a very long name, this is basically Chapstick. I mean, it’s fancy Chapstick – it’s certified organic, and it’s supposedly Mandarin Orange-scented (though my stick smells more like Key Lime Pie, and I’m cool with that) – but it’s basically a hydrating stick of wax you put on your lips. It does the job. It’s not unpleasant. But it doesn’t really do anything Chapstick doesn’t do just as well at half the price. Use code IPSY50 when checking out at for 50% off all of their Lip Conditioners.
  • Manna Kadar Sheer Glo Shimmer Lotion (0.27 oz. sample; their site doesn’t list a weight for the full-size, which retails for $29, so I’m going to eyeball it and guess this is worth about 1/3 of that, so $10). This is a pale pink, shimmery highlighter lotion that they say “enhances eyes, lips, or lashes.” It was a pretty highlight when swatched on my hand, but when I blended it into my cheekbones it just flat-out disappeared. I’m not too experienced with liquid highlighters, so maybe I was just doing it wrong, but man…disappointment. I’m going to keep playing around with this in the hopes that I figure out its secret, though. Use code IPSY20 when checking out at for 20% off any purchase and a free gift.
  • Lord and Berry SILK Kajal Kohl Eyeliner in black (0.02 oz. sample; full size official price is ¯\_(シ)_/¯ since their online store is “temporarily closed for refitting”. Googling, it looks like this sells for around $19 for perhaps 3x the size of the sample, so let’s guesstimate $6 for my sample). It’s a kohl eyeliner. It’s black. It’s perfectly fine, but no different than the five other black kohl eyeliners I already own. Use code LAB@14091 when checking out at for 25% off any purchase.
  • Total value of bag: (very) approximately $48, with nearly half that made up of the GlamGlow exfoliating treatment.

How does it all look put together? Pretty ok, but that’s mostly thanks to the mascara. In this photo I’m wearing:

  • Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid-Touch Foundation in 10 Porcelain ivory
  • Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette (third pan from the left, top row)
  • Urban Decay Perversion Mascara
  • Lord and Berry SILK Kajal eye pencil
  • Manna Kadar Sheer Glo Shimmer Lotion
  • NYX Matte Lipstick in Alabama (which is actually more brick-red than the tomato-red it appears in this photo)
Ipsy August 2014 products in use
Ipsy August 2014 products in use

If you would like to try Ipsy, please consider signing up via my affiliate link; if you do, I get some “Ipsy points” to use on future products.