Sometimes I really want a product to work so well and then I am disappointed. That is the case with the Sally Hansen Gel Manicure products. This was just a product I bought on my own – it was not given to me as a sample at all. The idea is that you can get the long lasting gel manicure at home. These are supposed to last about two weeks, just like the salon ones. Plus you can get the whole kit for the cost of about two salon gel manicures and this does ten.

Sadly, it does not last two weeks.

My thoughts on the Sally Hansen at home gel manicure products

The kit comes with everything you need. Some cleaning wipes, the base coat, color coat, top coat, and the special curing lamp. My only complaint about the kit is that they do not give you enough of those little wipes that you are supposed to use both before and after you are done with your nails. They should have twenty in the kit, not just ten. You need two for each manicure. The rest of the kit was fine – it had all the products I needed and good instructions.

Curing lamp for at home gel manicures

You use this special little lamp between each coat of the gel polish. It “cures” the polish. Once you get to your final coat and use the wipe on it your nails are safe to touch even. That part is awesome!

I will say that product application is really key for these manicures. You have to get just the right thickness of coats on. You need to make sure you cover the entire nail, including the edge at the end of the nail. This is kind of hard to do for a regular person doing their own nails. Super important is that you not have any of the product on your skin around the fingernails because it will burn you if it is there when you put your hand under the curing lamp. Trust me – it does not feel pleasant.

Now the product may last longer if you put it on perfectly. I’m not sure. I’ve used it several times though and the results are always the same. The polish does look pretty to start with but only lasts about 3 days which I can get from a regular fingernail polish. Then it peels off and chips but to get it all off you have to soak your nails in acetone based polish remover much longer than regular nail polish. This of course damages your nails more.

So as you see there really is not a lot of benefit to the cost of the kit and the extra damage to your nails when using the kit. I do like gel manicures or Shellac manicures at the salon and those really do last for two weeks. For me the salon version is worth the money and actually is what they claim versus this at home kit.

Sally Hansen Gel Manicure Strips - they don't last

Recently I thought I would try the new gel strips they have to see if that would be any better. Nope, they were worse actually. The strips you peel off the backing and place on your fingernails and have to try to make them fit. This is a problem. They are either too wide or too narrow it seems for each nail. You can see in the picture above where they are too big on the edges of some of my nails. After you put the strips on you put the top coat on and cure under the lamp. These didn’t even last 24 hours! Major fail. I loved the idea of having the pattern like the leopard print but not if it is not going to last at all. Plus the strips had 2 different hues to them – you can see my index and middle finger have a bit of a red cast to them. The other two fingernails the background is more gold and the spots crisper. They were like this out of the package.

So while I love a lot of Sally Hansen products – the at home gel manicure products I do not like and I would say save your money. If you want the long lasting effects of a gel manicure go to the salon and get them done. If you like doing your nails at home, just stick with the regular (non-gel) nail polish.

Have you tried the at home gel manicure kits (this brand or others)? What were your results?