Sally Hansen Nail Polish Review – Why I’ll never cheat on Essie again

May 6, 2014 § Leave a comment



I hope you all had a lovely bank holiday! I’m kicking off my WordPress return with a review that’s a teeny bit late for Manicure Monday, but only a little! I don’t want to fill my blog with negativity, but at the same time I think it is quite important to share bad experiences as well as good ones, so here’s my review of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure nail polish:


Rating: 1/5
Application: 3/5 – smooth consistency, large rounded brush, not gloopy
Dry time: 1/5 – more than 5 hours!
Opacity: 3/5 – required 4 coats for full cover
Price: £6.99 from Boots
Would I buy again?: Never!


Down to business

I’ve had my eye on Sally Hansen for a while, but I’ve never bought it. I always default to Essie when I buy polish (I LOVE Essie so much) and the stands are right next to one another. But Sally Hansen is £1 cheaper than Essie, and a friend did mention a while ago that she quite liked the Sally Hansen she’d bought from America.

A few days ago I saw a manicure guide on that mentioned white/pale polish as a summer trend, and I really liked the look. So I popped into Boots after work one day and picked up a bottle of Sally Hansen in Pink Slip, which is a lovely pale white, with hints of pink that make it look a lot less stark than true white does, which I feel is really nice on nails, especially against my skintone.

The polish consistency is nice, it’s quite close to Essie in that it’s very thin, and goes on in a thin, smooth coat. The brush is great, it’s quite wide and flat and has a well-rounded tip that makes application even easier. Unfortunately that is more or less where my positive experience ended.

It took me 4 coats to get any kind of reasonable opacity and colour buildup, and even then it wasn’t quite as opaque as I would have liked. It only took the polish around 2-3 minutes to become totally touch dry, which is really nice. But I began my nail painting at about 5pm. I finished in around 20 minutes or so, base and topcoat included, which is a pretty normal time for me. When I went to bed at 11pm, the polish still wasn’t totally hard. Any kind of pressure on my nails caused dents in the finish, which I found after opening a Nair box, and even pressing with my fingers left prints!


When I woke up in the morning my nails were ruined. I had sheet prints in almost every nail, and wrinkling in the polish. Even though I waited until each coat was dry before applying the next, the polish had bubbled. I took it off as soon as I got out of bed.



Sheet prints are something I can accept if I did my nails less than an hour before going to bed, but almost 6 hours later..? Absolutely not! I just noticed on the Boots website that they also sell a Sally Hansen instant dry top coat, so maybe you’re meant to apply that after, but I never saw any mention of that on the bottle I bought, and personally I don’t think I should have to buy a top coat just to have a polish dry in a reasonable time!

I’m so disappointed with Sally Hansen, and I definitely will never buy it again. I could overlook its faults if it was a bargain brand, but for the price they charge I feel it really should be premium!

If you are looking to save money on polish, I can certainly recommend Rimmel’s nail polish lines, and even the Boots Seventeen polish! Otherwise, if you’re willing to spend a few extra bob for an excellent finish, Essie is the only brand I recommend!

You can read a little about Rimmel and Seventeen’s polish lines in this Manicure Monday post!


All in all


  • comes with an excellent brush
  • good application


  • takes a lot of coats to achieve full colour and opacity
  • ridiculous dry time
  • expensive for a poor polish

Bottom line: Don’t waste your time!

What’s your favourite nail polish brand?


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