I have wanted to try out the Sally Hansen Gel Polish Starter Kit since it first hit stores a year or so ago.
I previously reviewed the Instagel Strips a couple weeks back, which is the gel version of the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips (same as the regular version, you just cure these ones with a gel topcoat and LED lamp). I absolutely loved those and love my Sensational Gel Manicure Kit so I had high hopes for this one. Plus, Sally Hansen products have never really let me down in the past.
I hate to say it, cause Sally is my ‘gal, but this kit was a huge letdown. Don’t get me wrong, I love the packaging, the assortment of gel colours, even the fact that it comes with an acetone remover, but the biggest downfall for me about this was the fact that the gel polish peeled off the next day. For a product that claims to last two weeks, one day of wear is not gonna do it for me, considering the kit retails for C$69.99.
The Sally Hansen Gel Starter Kit comes with an LED lamp, a base coat, your choice of polish (it comes in three colours – Wine Not, Red My Lips, and Shell We Dance), a top coat, 10 cleanser pads, acetone remover, a cuticle stick, and a buffer. You basically get the same stuff as the Sensational kit (the Sensational one comes with a bottle of cleanser and pads, but no acetone remover), but the Sensational one also has a gel primer which is applied right before the base coat. Maybe it’s this extra step that makes the polish last longer, I don’t know.
Applying the polish is a little more timely than a regular manicure. You shape your nails then buff them. After, you wipe away any dirt or debris with a cleansing pad. From there you apply a layer of the base coat, cure it for 30 seconds, then apply two coats of the polish, curing each coat for 30 seconds. Finally, apply a layer of the topcoat and then cure that for 30 seconds. The final step, rubbing away any tackiness with a cleanser pad, leaves your nails dry and super shiny.
I received the kit with the Red My Lips colour, but I actually tried it out with Red Zin, a blood-red shade. I absolutely love the colour and the finish, but hated the fact that one nail peeled off the next day. I was fine with that, I just redid the one nail, but then two days later, multiple nails came off. Not cool, Sally Hansen, not cool.
I’m thinking maybe if you cure the polish for a minute each (the LED lamp shuts off after 30 seconds, whereas the Sensationail one shuts off after a minute, beeping after 30 seconds), the polish would last longer. I have had no issues with the Sensational kit with wear, and honestly, a LED lamp is an LED lamp, the only difference between the two sets would be how long you cure the polish for (30 seconds for Sally Hansen versus one minute for Sensationail).
Overall, I didn’t have the best experiences with this kit unfortunately. I would spend a bit more an invest in a better gel set (the Sensationail one retails of $89.99 at Shoppers but they often have a sale on it). I really, really wanted to love this set because I love Sally Hansen products, but when the actual nail polish lasts longer than the gel, there’s a problem here.
Have you tried the Sally Hansen Salon Gel Polish Starter Kit? Leave me a comment below if you have, I would love to know how it worked for you!
Please note, I was sent this product from PR. All opinions are my own.
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