Tuesday, March 4, 2008

road test: sally hansen natural shine

My manicurist back home was a firm believer in nail polish, used in moderation and not re-applied every few days, as a way to protect nails from harsh winter weather.  Until I moved to Central NY I found that to be true and could generally maintain my nails on a manicure scrub and coat of Revlon Sheer Snowflake Pink or Essie Ballet Slippers once a week.  But now that we've had a couple weeks of rain/snow and it's down to 9 degrees outside, I'm finding even using nail polish remover once a week is too harsh.  It seemed like the perfect time to try one of the new vitamin-packed protective nail polishes.  I opted for Sally Hansen's Natural Shine Instant Nail Finish because it boasts purse-portability, speedy drying time, and all sorts of beneficial ingredients from white tea to Vitamin E.
But to really put this product to the test, I packed it along in my messenger bag for a week to see if this product is really an on-the-go fix for beat up nails.

Sunday- Applied two coats. The low-viscosity gel dried to a buffed look with one coat and a reasonable shine with two.  One caveat: the dead skin on my nail beds wasn't masked at all; clear polish usually does the trick, but not so with this product.  I should have used a manicure scrub beforehand.
Tuesday- It was starting to look a little flaky on the sides by the cuticle, so I applied a quick and stealthy coat in about a minute during a coffee break at work. I was concerned the fumes would give me away but it was dry enough to type after about 30 seconds and was completely set in about a minute. After a dab of lotion my nails look perfect.
Wednesday- The temperature dropped and wrecked my cuticles, so I experimented with using a manicure scrub with the polish still on.  My cuticles looked great and it didn't seem to wreck the polish at all.
Friday- By the end of work the area around my cuticles was chipped beyond repair, so I removed it.  My nails seemed a little less brittle, but not much.

Overall this product's fast drying speed is a huge bonus, but it really didn't do anything to mask the dry skin at my nail bed.  If you're not a big polish wearer, I would definitely recommend this for a quick spruce-up before an event but you'll only get a perfect manicured look if you use a scrub before application.  If you like the look of lacquered nails, this product is probably not for you.

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