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When I came to the end of my bottle of Maybelline's 'Caramel Rose', a lovely browny pink nail polish, I was faced with the problem of trying to replace it. Sadly, I'd had this bottle for so long that Maybelline no longer manufacture this shade or even one remotely like it, so I began trawling through various manufacturers' colour ranges, all without success. I'd more or less resigned myself to having a go at mixing some colours together myself to try to replicate the shade I wanted when quite by chance I spotted this Sally Hansen nail polish which, if not exactly the same shade, came a pretty close second.
I've used Sally Hansen nail hardeners and nail polish removers before but never tried any of the nail polishes so wasn't sure what this would be like, though given Sally Hansen is a brand confined exclusively to hand and nail care, it was a fair assumption it would be OK. In fact, it was way more than OK and Sally has found herself a new fan.
The colour palette isn't huge but has something for everyone and covers just about the whole spectrum from very pale shades and neutrals to much darker colours including deep purples, greys and even a black. The shade I bought was So Much Fawn which isn't particularly well named as it's definitely not a shade of fawn I've ever come across before. It's much more a neutral pink-brown, go-with-anything sort of colour.
It's pretty obvious that a good deal of care and attention has gone into this product beginning with the design of the bottle. Like all nail polish containers, it's clear glass and the base though smaller than the main body of the bottle, is heavily weighted to give it stability. The printed information is kept to a minimum but what there is is almost impossible to read because it's so small.
The company claim that this polish provides a complete manicure which incorporates a base coat, strengthener, growth treatment, nail colour and top coat all in the one product. Personally, I think this may be the case with the lighter shades in the range but for the darker colours, I'd be reluctant to use this polish directly onto my nails in case it stained them.
The silver cap with the usual integrated brush is finished off with a rubber edge which makes holding the brush both comfortable and non-slip, allowing greater control when applying the polish. The brush itself is the best one I've ever used. It's fairly large in size and it's flattened giving a broad painting edge so that most of the colour is applied with the first stroke, and one stroke is all someone with very narrow nails would need. Even broader nails would only need finishing off with additional strokes either side.
The rich, creamy consistency makes application easy and at a pinch, it would be possible to get away with only one application although for a truly well finished look, two coats is better.
As someone who rarely uses rubber gloves, my nail polish needs to be pretty robust and though Sally Hansen nail polish may not quite be up there with the Leighton Denny, Nails Inc or Opi brands, it certainly produces results which are every bit as good considering this is a mid-range nail polish which retails at a much lower price. It's been my experience that irrespective of how much one pays for a nail polish, they none of them last anywhere near as long as they claim and this one is no exception. Having said that, it does perform very well and it certainly doesn't chip like so many cheap polishes do. Instead this seems to simply wear away round the nail tips and edges, which is easily rectified with a quick touch up every so often and this allows me to maintain great looking nails for up to a week.
This Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure polish retails for around £5.99 for a 14.7 ml bottle which, in my opinion, is exceptional value. The colour range may not be as large as some other manufacturers but it provides a wide enough choice that there is likely to be a suitable colour to appeal to most tastes and its staying power is as good as any top-of-the-range polish.
My first experience of using Sally Hansen nail polish has definitely made me a convert to this range. It's great value for money.
I was always a loyal Nails Inc girl. I loved their polishes and found that they gave the best finish and had the biggest range of colours. Until I tried Sally Hansen.
This Complete Salon Manicure range was on offer in Wilkinsons. They normally retail at £6.99 but were just £4.69 for a limited period. My daughter bought me a shade called Commander in Chic, a gorgeous mink grey which looks great on my toenails.
As the name suggests, this polish does it all. It boasts of base coat, nail strengthener, growth treatment, long lasting colour and a top coat, all in one application. I don't actually know if it really has all those good things in one bottle, my nails don't seem to have grown any quicker, nor do they feel stronger yet but the polish covers beautifully. The colour hasn't stained my nails at all so I can conclude that the base coat element works and the best thing is that the colour lasts on my toenails for two to three weeks without a single chip which is the one thing I really want from a polish.
Applying it is a doddle, thanks to the wide brush and the chunky design of the bottle is easy to hold while I'm painting. The first coat dries amazingly quickly and the finish is shiny. I think that this is a quality product, and even at full price represents very good value for money.
As some of you will know, I have a bit of a weakness when it comes to trying out new nail polishes. At least my last purchase cost only £1, thanks to the fact it is available in Poundworld. The Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Nail Colour costs around £6.99 for 14.7ml normally, and I may well have been tempted to buy it at that price because I love the colour I selected. The fact it was a Sally Hansen product would have made me pause slightly as I have had a run of disappointing products from them. At £1, I didn't mind giving it a try though.
A COMPLETE MANICURE IN A BOTTLE?
Sally Hansen are obviously a well known nail care company and they produce several lines of nail polish. The big selling point of the Salon Manicure polish is the fact that it offers 5 products in one bottle. Specifically, they are: base coat, strengthener, growth treatment, colour, and top coat. I had to find this out from the Sally Hansen website as my bargain purchase comes without the outer packaging. The patented "Micro-Encapsulated time-release Technology" is supposed to infuse my nails with "advanced wear, care [and] shine". The end result is "Chip resistant, noticeably smooth and brilliantly shiny for up to 10 days". The last selling point is an exclusive "double brush" that is intended to coat the nail with one stroke. I will give my opinion on this below!
Sally Hansen offer 36 shades in the Salon Manicure range. I had about 4-5 to choose from in Poundworld, but I note that Boots offer most of them online. I opted for No. 450 "Fairy Teal" which is still listed as a current shade on Sally Hansen's U.K website. I am not sure about the "fairy" bit but it really is teal, an unusual nail colour that I love.
The bottle is generously sized and a tapering wedge shape. It has a thick base and chunky look that makes it seem a good quality product. The large silver coloured lid makes a comfortable brush handle, especiallly as there is a little rubber strip around the bottom rim where you rest our fingers. Apart from that, it looks much the same as any other bottle, but I don't really pick a polish based on that myself.
I didn't know exactly what was meant by a double brush. It is actually just an especially wide one although I would doubt that it is twice the width of a standard applicator. It is also very flat. I don't think there is anything revolutionary about the brush shape - I can think of several other polishes that come with wide flat- ended brushes. They do make the polish quick and easy to apply although I do need more than the advertised single stroke to cover each nail. This is especially true if I am doing my thumbs. I think two strokes is more realistic. I do like the fact the bristles don't splay out too much - this means it isn't too easy to get polish on your skin near the nail edge.
The polish itself has a good consistency - not too runny but smooth and even to apply. It doesn't look thin but a single coat doesn't deliver quite enough colour on it's own. It is intended to be a two coat polish so I don't have a problem with that. Applying two coats isn't a chore considering how amazingly quick each layer dries. It often seems to me that when a polish is advertised as being super fast drying or something similar, it isn't. Then a polish that doesn't make any specific claims as to speed dries in a flash and this is one of those. The first coat is dry enough for a second to be applied without smudging in less than 2 minuttes. As this product is intended to be used without base or top coats, you can also technically save time by not applying these seperately. However I do feel a top coat is needed - see below.
5 PRODUCTS IN ONE BOTTLE?
The polish dries to make a very smooth, even and glossy finish. The level of pigment is excellent, and at this point it is easy to believe a top coat won't be needed. Unfortunately I have found the polish chips very easily. The first time I wore it lasted 12 hours when I was following my normal routine that other polishes cope with for at least 3 days, if not more. I have not got it to last beyond 24 hours so for me the idea of the colour lasting up to 10 days is far out. I am not talking about small chips either - this polish can flake off in large pieces and it also dents easily. I eventually decided to apply a top coat, even though it is not supposed to be necessary. Ater doing so I got the polish to last 3-4 days before I needed to re-apply which is still disappointing.
I am happy to use this without a base coat though as I find it removes easily and I haven't noticed any staining or yellowing of the nail. As to whether it works as a nail strengthener or growth stimulant, I haven't noticed any difference in either respect. My nails are naturally quite strong, bar one bizzarely, and so it may be that if yours were weaker in the first pace you would notice more of a difference. I also associate nail growth treatments as something that you need to use frequently and for a reasonable amount of time before noticing the effects. I have been using the Sally Hansen product along with other polishes, rather than day in and day out so that may also make a difference. As for the "micro encapsulated time release technology", I am not sure I would recognise it if I saw it in action!
WOULD I RECOMMEND THE POLISH?
I mainly bought the polish because of it's colour. That is strong and doesn't fade so I am reasonably happy considering the price I paid. I would be extremely annoyed at the poor resistance to chipping if I had paid full price, especially as the polish is supposed to last up to 10 days. I liked the smooth and shiny finish, but I can't tell if this would have lasted longer than average because the polish doesn't stay put that long. I wouldn't buy this for the 5-in-1 product claims. I don't think it replaces a seperate top coat, and the other strengthening benefits were not obvious to me. As a standard polish, this is below average for me as it chips too readily. I would only recommend it if you can get it for a low price and don't mind re-applying often. Boots are currently selling some shades for £2 which seems fair to me. My rating is based on what I paid - it would otherwise lose an extra star.
[This review is also on Ciao under the same user name.]
I ordered Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in "Hidden Treasure" from ebay, for only £3, as I've heard lots of good things about Sally Hansen products in the past and the "Hidden Treasure" colour is a bit of a cult favourite! It's discontinued but still available here and there, and is a slightly milky clear polish full of beautiful little sparkly flakes!
I was really impressed when the bottle arrived - it feels really good quality, having a nice weight to it, and an elegant shape. The weight definitely helps stability - it's not too easy to knock over in the middle of painting your nails! The lid is also nice - a chrome finish with a rubbery black ring which helps with grip and control while you're painting.
The big stand-out for me was the brush! It's quite a bit wider and flatter than a standard nail polish brush, and feels flexible but firm. This really helps to make the polish easy to apply.
The polish itself was smooth, not too thick or thin, and went on easily and evenly, and dries in decent time. I've used it a few times now and I've not had any trouble at all. Obviously I can't comment on the other colours, but this one was great, and based on this experience I'll be trying out some more from this range in the not too distant future!
There are lots of colours available - discontinued colours in particular are often available cheaply on ebay, but you can buy current colours at about £7 from Boots.
Five steps of a manicure in one bottle / How it works: 5 Products in 1 Bottle: Base Coat, Strengthener, Growth Treatment, Colour & Top Coat / Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Nail Colour has patented micro-encapsulated time-release technology that infuses nails with advanced wear, care & shine ingredients / Chip resistant, noticeably smooth and brilliantly shiny for up to 10 days / Exclusive double brush covers the entire nail surface in one even stroke / Directions for use: Apply 2 coats of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Nail Colour to clean, dry nails / Allow to dry /