Manicure Round Up, guest starring Sally Hansen Miracle Gel

It’s been a while since I did one of these, so I think it’s time again for a manicure round-up, where I show you pictures of manicures I’ve worn recently and do a short paragraph on each rather than a full post. In this case, these manicures go back quite a while, some a month or more (this summer has been one crisis after another; I’m lucky I got paint on my fingers at all!), and not all the pictures are that great. But nonetheless, there are pictures and that’s gotta count for something, right?

Let’s start with the one I called my mint chocolate chip manicure:

L'Oreal "Mint Glacee", Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Matte "Mauve Matter"
L’Oreal “Mint Glacee”, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Matte “Mauve Matter”

This contained, at its heart, only two polishes, but since one was gloss and one was matte, it also involved a sandwich of topcoats. I started with L’Oreal “Mint Glacee”, a pale mint green gloss. Then I freehanded – really, really messily – half of each nail over it with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in “Mauve Matter”, a brownish-mauve matte. I slicked the whole thing over with Seche Vite to get it a bit drier, then added Nicole by OPI’s Matte topcoat over everything. As you can see if you look closely at my middle finger, the layers of topcoats got a little wonky in spots, but this nevertheless turned out pretty nice, at least from a few feet away. Everyone who commented on it told me it reminded them of mint and chocolate. Inspiring cravings everywhere I go: my work here is done!

Next a manicure I did solely to troll my husband, because I’m just a terrible person like that. You see, I’m an artsy girl. I don’t really get sports in general, and I really don’t get the religious fervor with which some people approach certain sports. My husband, on the other hand, will comfortably tell you that football was a second religion in his house growing up, and he continues to be obsessed with it. There’s a longstanding rivalry in his home state between two schools; one’s colors are red and black, and the other’s color is orange. He worships the red-and-black school, and apparently doing so requires loathing the orange school. So far, so understandable. I don’t feel it, but I can understand fandom.

But here’s where it got weird for me: because he dislikes a school that likes orange, he has a genuine, deep-seated emotional hatred for the color orange, everywhere. He automatically dislikes orange clothes or makeup I put on, even if they look objectively great, solely because they’re orange, and orange is the color of that team.

So when he told me how excited he was for the beginning of college football season and the first game his red-and-black team would be playing, what else could I do but…this.

Revlon Gel Envy "Long Shot", Avon Cosmic "Saturn"
Revlon Gel Envy “Long Shot”, Avon Cosmic “Saturn”

That’s Revlon Gel Envy in “Long Shot” on everything but my ring finger; Avon Cosmic nail enamel in “Saturn” on my ring finger, and a matte topcoat on everything. I didn’t particularly love the all-orange look, but it did its job: hubby squealed in indignation when he saw it. Mischief managed!

Next up was another Sally Hansen Miracle Gel, this time in blue:

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel - Hydro-Electric
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel – Hydro-Electric

If you look closely here, especially at my pinky, you can see one of the weaknesses of the Miracle Gel line: opacity. This is two coats of Hydro-Electric, and you can still see visible nail line (noooo, the dreaded VNL!). The same thing has been the case with all the Miracle Gels I’ve tried: two coats isn’t going to cut it, and depending on the color, three might not either. Now, each coat dries quickly, so it’s not like it’s a huge hardship to have to slap a third on top, but I still keep being surprised by how even colors that look deep, dark, and opaque in the bottle thin out on my nail. I expect “gel” colors to be thick and opaque; Miracle Gel is neither.

After a couple of mostly-creme manis, I decided to go wild with a glitter. I laid down my trusty Nail Pattern Boldness Glitter A-peel, then went to town with Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in “Mermaid’s Tale”.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure - "Mermaid's Tail"
Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure – “Mermaid’s Tale”

This is a deep blue-black jelly with blue and teal glitter. This is also a really terrible photo of this manicure. I apologize to those of you with a sense of aesthetics. For those of you who don’t care about my photography skills: I got about four days out of this before an entire index finger’s worth of polish popped clean off, signalling it was time to move on. Ah, peel-off base coat. You giveth and you taketh away.

Time for something that was neither creme nor glitter. Yay metallics!

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel - Purplexed
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel – Purplexed

Can you tell yet that I really like the Miracle Gels? Because yeah, this is another one. Folks, meet “Purplexed”, a metallic eggplant with just the tiniest smidge of blue duochrome effect. It was awesome. It lasted a week. It basically functioned like every other polish I’ve tried from the Miracle Gel line. Moving on…

Zoya - Dream
Zoya – Dream

Oh, my moons and stars! This is Zoya’s “Dream”, which I picked up during Zoya’s July three-for-free sale. I bought it hoping for a galaxy on my fingers and it did not disappoint. Zoya is a brand I don’t own too much of, so I’m still feeling it out for longevity and such. I put “Dream” on on September 5th, and though tip wear happened as usual, I didn’t see my first chip until the 11th. Six days: not too shabby for a non-gel polish.

And finally, the simplest manicure that’s ever made me feel disproportionately proud of my nail art abilities:

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel - Sugar Fix; Whet - Facetious
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel – Sugar Fix (light); Whet – Facetious (dark)

After seeing a similar manicure on Pinterest, I figured a) this would be pretty hard to screw up, and b) I totally had the colors to make it perfect! I did actually manage to screw it up a little – centering all those dots can be hard, and it’s easy to get drag marks on your dots if you’re not careful with your topcoat – but I still think it came out awesome. I am ze nail art wizard, yezzz.

What colors and patterns have you been wearing lately, my dears?