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It’s been a while since I did a nail polish review, and I finally found one I like! And its price point won’t break the bank! Cause for celebration, indeed.

Sally Hansen advertises the Complete Salon Manicure as having “7 Benefits of a Salon Manicure in 1 Bottle.” Those benefits are base coat, strengthener, growth treatment, color, top coat, chip resistance, and gel shine. They also claim 10-day wear, which I didn’t find to be the case, but I got enough wear out of it to still be satisfied.

Sally Hansen polishes are 3-free (no formaldehyde, DBP, or toluene) but they don’t qualify as “natural” nail polish. I’ve all but given up on finding a natural polish that stays on for more than half a day.

IMG_5896My first foray into the Complete Salon Manicure realm was with a bright blue called Please Sea Me. It went on fairly easily. The brush is wide and flat and gives good coverage. Things got a little messy along the sides of my nails, but that happens no matter what kind of brush the bottle has. The polish was on the thick side, and two coats very thoroughly and opaquely covered my nails. I painted my nails on a Thursday and had a tiny chip in one by Monday, but the rest of the manicure held up well until I removed it on Thursday.

Removal is where I ran into some trouble. The blue is very, very blue and not easy to get off without ending up with blue all over your fingers. IMG_5900Plus, my nails were stained blue for several days afterward. The picture doesn’t quite capture the full blue-ness of my fingernails. I looked like a Smurf. The point of a base coat is to protect your nail from the pigment in the polish. Clearly, an included base coat does nothing toward that goal.

I painted my nails with this color a second time, this time using my standard Essie ridge-filling base coat. My nails still looked slightly blue after removal, but nowhere near as blue as they did without the separate base coat, and not for as long afterward. So the lesson here is that if you are using a highly pigmented nail color, a separate base coat is the way to go.

IMG_5945I also bought a bottle of Complete Salon Manicure in Raisin the Bar, which is a pearlescent rosy pink. I used it without a separate base coat and had no nail staining when I removed it. The built-in base coat clearly works much better with paler nail polish colors. However, I found the pink to be thinner and streakier than the blue. I only used two coats, but someone with long nails would likely need three coats to achieve opacity.

Wear time was about the same as the blue. I painted my nails on a Thursday, had a small chip in one the following Tuesday, and removed it on Thursday. It’s not 10 days like they claim, but if I can get a solid week out of my manicure, I’m happy. Removal of the pink was under 90 seconds, which is fast in my book.

The other nice thing about Sally Hansen is that it’s available pretty much anywhere. I bought both polishes at Target for $7.39 apiece. To me, that’s a reasonable amount to spend on a bottle of nail polish. I also picked up a random bottle at Marshalls for $1.99, which is a steal. I haven’t used that one yet, so I don’t know if the quality has degraded due to it being old. It’s hard to say why things are at Marshalls sometimes.

Overall, I really like this polish and will buy more of it. Not having to use a separate top coat is nice and cuts down on manicure time and drying time. Even when I have to use a separate base coat for the bright colors, it’s worth it to get a solid week out of my manicure. As you can see from the photos, there is a nice shine to my nails. I don’t really know if the strengthener and growth treatment make an impact. My nails are growing faster and splitting less than usual, but it’s summer, so that could also be the reason.

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