Friday, April 5, 2013

Review: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat

I recently purchased the Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Anti-Chip top coat polish on a trip to Walgreens at the behest of my sister who swore that it worked just as good as the infamous Seche Vite top coat. She does nails, so I believed her. As soon as I saw this on the shelf, I grabbed it. I paid a whopping $5.99 for it. My guess is that if you find it at Target or Walmart, you may find yourself saving a little bit more. On my last trip to Target, I didn't see it. So maybe it hasn't made it there just yet, at least as of 4/2/13.

Regardless, I had to try this out and see if it could easily replace my Seche Vite polish. Here's what Sally Hansen tells you to expect from this product:

  • 3 free - no DBP, toluene, or formaldehyde
  • Dry any (emphasis theirs) nail color - 30 seconds to set
  • No-chip shine up to 10 days
  • What it is: A quick-dry, anti-chip top coat
  • How it works: Exclusive acrylic polymer formula hardens and dries any nail color. Dry to the touch in just 30 seconds. Double UV filter formula helps protect nail color.
  • The results: A chip-resistant manicure with superior shine that lasts.
How my experience translated:
  • This top coat delivers amazing shine. Dare I say, I actually think my nails looked glossier than with Seche Vite. Yes, I know, gasp-worthy. And the shine could have easily outlasted my manicure.
  • I was able to go about four days before I got a chip during the work week (Do my nails Sunday night, first chip on Thursday). I'd get about five days if I did my manicure on a Friday because I'm much more gentle on my nails over the weekend. I wasn't buying into the 10-day claim. That's just miraculous, especially since I'm not gentle with my nails. I type feverishly, attack them in boxing gloves, and don't wear gloves when I'm working with water. All of these things contribute to damaging your manicure because they cause your nail to bend, which then causes it to separate from your nail polish, resulting in chips. Still, four to five days is a good amount of time in my book. 
  • I was surprised that the polish did dry super fast. But beware. We are again dealing with careful use of marketing semantics. The packaging doesn't say it will be completely dry in 30 seconds - that's just outrageous. It says it will be dry to the touch. How is that different? I'll tell you. After I finished placing the top coat on both hands, I gently touched the first hand I painted. It definitely felt dry to the touch. But, it did not feel like it was set. Too much pressure and I'd get a smudge. The polish beneath the top coat wasn't completely dry yet. So yes, its dry to the touch if you need to do something quick and gentle. Just don't go jamming your hand in your pocket if you don't want your polish to shift. It took about 3-5 minutes for everything to completely set.
  • Not only did my nails look amazingly glossy,  they felt incredibly strong with this top coat on. Almost as hard as acrylics. My nail still had a little bend and give to them because, obviously they are natural, but they felt significantly and noticeably harder. 

The verdict: All in all, the finish and performance of this product is noteworthy, even if it doesn't totally measure up to the claims on the box. But let's be real. Did you really think a normal manicure would last as long as a gel mani? I didn't think so either. They'd put their entire gel line out of business with one top coat. 

Regardless, the shine is amazing, didn't fade away, and my manicure lasted as long as I can expect with my beloved Seche Vite (and China Glaze Fast Forward). It also dried almost as quickly. I have to give the edge to Seche Vite on dry time, since it tends to dry all layers together. It's not in the lead by much, since I also feel that Seche Vite and Fast Forward take longer than 60 seconds (their time claim) to completely set.  I normally wait about 5 minutes to be safe, but my Seche Vite is usually dry within 3-4 minutes.

If you want to save a few dollars, pick this gem up. It won't disappoint. And don't forget, there are often coupons in the newspaper that can give you some added savings. 

What do you think? Will you be trying this top coat out?

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