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The promise of long-lasting, chip-free nails that don’t require fortnightly visits to the salon seems too good to be true. And until now they have been.
But some new gel-effect top coats are making it easier and cheaper to have shiny, salon-like nails without dropping $50 every fortnight. So do they actually work?
Well, yes and no. I’ve been testing out several brands and kits of late and here’s what I reckon is worthwhile and what’s not.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat.
Sally Hansen’s Gel Top Coat comes in 18 shades from nudes and pastels to brights and darks, so there is a decent shade range to choose from. I tried both ‘Sugar Fix’, a pastel blue, and ‘Malibu Peach’, a peachy coral.
You apply two coats of colour – I found this was enough for the blue, but the softer peach shade required three coats – and wait for each to dry. I found this took roughly 10 minutes or a bit longer than a regular polish. You then ‘set’ it with the Miracle Gel Top Coat – you don’t need to cure this under a uv lamp, just daylight or a reasonably lit living room will do the trick. You remove this one with regular nail polish (acetone and acetone-free) remover, and you don’t need to soak or wrap the nails.
The results for me were a bit unbalanced. The pastel blue shade lasted eight days before chipping, but I only got five days from the coral colour before it started chipping at the tops of my nails. I’m not sure if it’s because I had more coats on the coral colour or I was doing more with my nails that week. I did love the shine though, and found it was almost identical to a salon finish.