Product Type: Sally Hansen makeup
Newest Review: ... the polish is almost all ruined by then. Price and Availability As will all Sally Hansen products this is available in all good supermar... more
Patience is a virtue!
Sally Hansen Double Duty
Member Name: bamamo
Sally Hansen Double Duty
Advantages: Good base for polish to stick to, repels chips, easy removal
Disadvantages: If used as a top coat alone need a lot of drying time to avoid ruining whole manicure
I love having a fresh manicure as much as the next girl but I'm often put off by how annoying I find it when it starts to chip. I've tried lots of different nail polishes, some with more success than others, but generally speaking I find that I am getting chips after a day or two even with the more expensive brands, and honestly I just can't be bothered to take the whole lot off and start again that quickly!
My mum recommended I try Double Duty, and I picked this up quite a while ago but wasn't all that impressed. For some reason I am always more moved to paint my nails in the winter, so I decided to give this another shot and now I'm not exactly sure what I didn't like about it in the first place!
Double Duty as the name suggests is a two-in-one nail product from Sally Hansen, who are pretty much the leading name in nail care. It works as a base and top coat, and contains nourishing ingredients such as vitamin B5 to help care for the nail. I'l be honest, I really don't think that one little vitamin is going to make a nail healthier when you consider everything else that goes into a nail polish, not to mention removing it again, so whenever anything claims to be "strengthening" I simply don't believe it. I prefer to think of it as "less potentially damaging".
The first times I used this product, and hated it, I was applying simply as a top coat as I'm pretty lazy and don't like to wait around waiting for base coat, 1-2 coats of polish and top coat dry. I almost always smudge my manicures, so for me one extra coat is just asking for trouble.
I was wrong! If you use this just as a top coat, you must wait a LONG time for your polish to dry. As in absolutely-not-a-single-chance-of-it-smudging-ever before you apply the top coat. Being lazy, as mentioned, I waited until my nails were dry to the light touch and applied the top coat. This makes it incredibly difficult for the top coat to dry and as such the polish becomes a kind of sludge which will smush (technical word) right off the nail and look awful. I was always finding that my nails would have the imprint of whatever fabric I was wearing, and be a weird texture, and it was so awful I'd have to remove it immediately - which in itself was more difficult because the whole shebang had never thoroughly dried and was sticky goo.
Lesson learned: either be patient or use as top and base coat. Now, as you can imagine I was kind of skeptical when I first used this as a base and top coat, because if I needed to wait that long for one coat, how long would I be waiting for two? Well, actually, not that long. If you don't mess with it, a thin layer of base coat dries within a pretty reasonable time. It also makes the nail feel more matte and as such quite a sticky base for polish to cling to. I would not say that this is one you could wear as a clear polish, because it's not high gloss on its own and feels weird, but it does provide a nice base for the polish.
As the base it leaves is not slick, it can make polishes apply a tad less smoothly than they would on their own. Personally I don't mind this, as I find thinner layers tend to wear better anyway as they are less prone to peeling. The polish itself dries pretty quickly over the base coat.
Once it is completely dry, the Double Duty becomes super glossy as a top coat. I have no idea how it can manage to be matte on the bare nail, and glossy on top, but it does! I like to leave this really quite a while to dry as I am wary of getting those awful imprints again, but once dry it really does feel hard as (pardon the pun) nails. It is slick so that if you accidentally bump your nail it kind of repels the impact rather than chipping. The gloss effect does look nice although at first after applying I find that it feels absolutely awful to touch things that are plastic, especially cling film. I've had this a lot with certain nail polishes, and it totally makes me cringe, although fortunately it does seem to wear off after a few hours, maybe some kind of strange static thing?
I've had my current manicure on for three days now and have only chipped one nail, the rest are looking perfect so I'm absolutely thrilled. Touching up one nail, that I don't mind. What I will say, though, is that with one layer of base coat, in this case one of polish, and one of top coat is really quite thick. I've found that when the nail chips, which generally happens right at the bottom if you catch it and lift up the entire layer, a huge chunk will peel away. In fact, it is really easy to peel the entire nail's colour off cleanly if you wanted to. This means that one little chip normally leads to an entire ruined nail, as it is either left flapping around or will come off by itself. Still not the end of the world if there are so few chips anyway, but a little annoying.
Removal-wise, though, this does mean that everything comes off very cleanly. In fact, dare I say too easily - I have just redone my chipped nail, smudged it (told you I'm useless!), used nail varnish remover to try get the offending stain off my duvet, and ended up with two nails on the hand I was wiping with missing their tips of colour and with cotton wool stuck to them! Definitely no staining of brighter colours and effortless removal.
A bottle of this costs £4.95 and I think that is pretty decent value if it will prolong wear so much. My mum swears she can get a week's wear from manis done with this. The brush is a really nice size and it is very easy to paint on, although it tends to load up with a lot of product so you have to be careful not to overdo it.
I will continue to use this now that my patience has proved to me how good it is, but would definitely recommend that you do use it for both its roles intended!
Summary: If used the way it's intended, a really great product!