Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure

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How many times have you wished for an extra few hours at the end of your day? If you’re like me, more times than you can count! Both at work and home, I’m constantly looking for ways to maximize my time. When it comes to my beauty routine, it’s no different.

I couldn’t agree with Recessionista more; nail polish is one of the easiest ways to stay current and on trend in a more conservative environment. But these days, who has time for manicures? The base coat, nail treatments, color, a topcoat…and an hour later your nails are done. Whew. Well, no more! Enter Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure.

Easy to find in any drugstore, you’ve probably seen (and maybe even passed up) Sally Hansen. But hold up; this is some pretty serious nail technology on the cheap! Inside this one little bottle are all five steps of a professional manicure. There is a base coat, strengthener, growth treatment, color, and a topcoat. The only things missing from this bottle are all the harsh toluene, DBP, and formaldehyde. That’s right, this polish is big three free! They also throw in their patented Vita-Care technology for longer wear, more shine, and nourishment.

Offering an array of 42 shades, I tried All Fired Up, a gorgeous true and classic red (shown here on our cutest and littlest model, my Boston Terrier), and Purple Pulse, a bright frosted blue-purple. Plus, the review team got to test a slew of other shades.

One of the first things I noticed was a little rubber band around the bottom of the cap, making it much easier to hold and not drop the brush while painting with a wet hand. Genius! The bottle has flat sides that gently curve into each other and fit pleasantly in the hand. And the brush has a flat, tapered tip that sold me with the first stroke! The color went on beautifully and nearly opaque with just one coat. Two quick coats were all it took for me to have perfectly painted nails.

I was concerned about not using a base coat as I have nails that stain pretty easily. When it came time for me to take the color off I was pleasantly surprised to find nary a hint of stain. The lack of a top coat did add to the chip-age factor though. 3 days later and I had some pretty serious peeling and chipping.

42 shades is a wide selection. But sadly, there’s nothing you haven’t seen before. I would love to see them get a bit more creative with their upcoming shades, but knowing where I can get a good ol’ standby color does have it’s perks.

Overall I really liked the Complete Salon Manicure line. Anything that can save me a step or two is good in my book! Review team and readers, what did you think?

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also contains an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.

21 thoughts on “Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure”

  1. Great review, Amanda! And thanks for agreeing with me. :)

    I agree with so much of what you said, but one thing I need to tell you is that your wishes have been granted! Sally Hansen HAS released colors you have never seen before, and I was lucky enough to receive one of them for this review!

    Let me back up. lol. Every year, Sally Hansen releases Limited Edition Tracy Reese for Sally Hansen collections, which often contain gorgeous, on-trend and unique shades.

    In this year’s Tracy Reese collection, one particular shade has caused an enormous frenzy in the nail polish community and that shade is “Hidden Treasure”. It is truly unlike anything you have ever seen before at the drugstore, but that’s a whole other post. :)

    And as luck would have it, the other shade I REALLY wanted to try from the Tracy Reese collection was “Silver Lining”, which I received from WHT (thank you SO much, ladies!).

    Oh boy. This is yet another shade unlike anything I have ever seen on drugstore shelves. The name “Silver Lining” is perfect to describe this sheer silver polish. It’s loaded with silver, gold and iridescent (almost holographic) violet-blue bits of microglitter which give it this sparkly, electric, foil-like quality on the nail. It is divine!

    “Silver Lining” is a sheer polish though, so it’s going to look its best if you layer it over another, more opaque shade (I can only imagine how this would look over black!). If you wear it on its own, beware of VNL (visible nail line).

    I own several Complete Salon Manicure polishes and the one thing I will say about the formula is that it can be worn alone, but I always treat it as a traditional polish and I use my favorite base and top coats. Worn with base and top coat, these polishes wear like iron for me and I can often get 5 days without any chips.

    As for the brush, it does take some getting used to. It’s a flat, firm brush (many drugstore nail polishes seem to be making the shift to this style of brush lately) and if you’ve got a narrow nail bed, you can pretty much cover your entire nail with just one swipe.

    For the range of insanely beautiful and unique shades alone, I can’t give Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure anything less than 5 stars. You just aren’t going to see a better assortment of colors and textures at the drugstore.

    Oh, and if the $7+ price tag seems high for a drugstore polish, don’t forget that CVS and Rite Aid often run BOGO sales on Sally Hansen polishes. :)

  2. Ok, how cute is Amanda’s Boston?! That color is fetching on her @mandaleem.

    I really wanted to like this polish. I loved the look of it right away. The bottle has a real high-end look to it, with graceful curves, a large size and I agree, the rubber band is a good edition. I’m even going to disagree and say I was rather impressed with the color selection. I got to try Thinking of Blue, a creamy medium navy blue that’s totally on trend. So, where did this review go sour for me? The brush. (@nouveaucheap, if this is the drugstore polish trend, I’m not happy about it!)

    The brush is gigantic and I found it totally unweildy, I didn’t feel like I had any control over it. I had a bit more luck with my nails, but on a pedicure, I felt like I got more on my skin than the nail. I also felt because it’s so big, it picked up way too much polish. The formula also felt a bit too thick to me. But I have gone 3 days without a chip (with no top or basecoat).

    This just wasn’t a love match for me. I’d love to revisit them again if they ever change to a smaller, traditional brush.
    .-= Stef´s last blog ..Pin-Up Cosmetics =-.

  3. @mandaleem that photo is adorable!! :D

    I tested “Gray By Gray” and as a lazy nail person (I admit, I never use base coats or top coats), I love the idea that this polish is all in one. I’ve used Sally Hansen products before and have always liked them…

    That said, this one didn’t make the cut for me. The “Gray” seemed really blue to the point that people kept asking me about my blue nail polish and no one thought it actually looked gray. I think it also just wasn’t a good match against my skin. But it’s still a fun color and I could see it looking great on other skin tones!!

    And I have to agree with @stef on this one in terms of the brush and thickness. It’s a really cool brush design but it did seem to pick up a lot of polish and combined with the thickness it just didn’t go on as well as some other polishes.

    Even so, I still stand behind the idea of this line and will keep buying other Sally Hansen products for sure!

  4. Adorable pup and great review, too, @mandaleem!

    I tested a color I never would have bought myself but ended up loving: Cafe Au Lait, a cool-toned nude that makes my nails look natural but, well, polished! I admit I didn’t realize that “Complete Salon Manicure” meant base, polish and top coat in one, so I’ve been using my Sally Hansen like regular polish (with my own base and top coats). Used this way, it lasts a long time without chipping, and I’m hard on my nails.

    The brush took a little getting used to, but after my initial trepidation, I kind of like it. I have not, however, tried it on my toes.

    There are a few other colors I’d love to try, including Silver Lining. Thanks for the BOGO tip, @nouveaucheap!

  5. @Stef – That’s Frankie, LOL! He likes having his nails painted as much as any girl dog I’ve ever met.

    The brush does seem to be getting mixed reviews, both here on WHT and other beauty blogs. I really like it but it’s certainly not for everyone. And I’m glad to hear that there are other colors being released! Looking online and the colors in my local stores didn’t seem to be anything special but I’m going to be keeping my eyes peeled for better options. At my local CVS the Complete Salon Manicure line runs at about $5 and there’s currently a BOGO sale for 50% off the 2nd bottle! Time for a haul on the cheap!

    I give the line a solid 4 stars, just one taken off for the chippage after a few days. And now I need to find “Silver Lining!”

  6. @mandaleem – Squee, love the manicure on Frankie!

    I’m with @nouveaucheap and loved the polish I tested. I went with Pat on the Black and love the color. It’s not a pure black shade, more of a very very deep and rich dark red wine that was flattering to my skin when worn as a manicure of pedicure. I love the look of short dark nails, but pure black can look too cold on me. Big thumbs on on the shade.

    I also have to say, I loved the bottle – very impressive look and feel for a drugstore buy.

    Finally, while @Stef and I normally agree on most everything, I have to say I loved the brush! Surprisingly I didn’t have an issue with too much color deposting on the brush and I loved how I could paint the entire nail with just three even stokes. For a color this deep you need two coats, but I skipped the top coat and went days without a nick and a full week before I had to remove the color. I adding this to my drugstore list of products – I totally need a few summer shades and you can’t beat the price.
    .-= Tyna Werner´s last blog ..How To: DIY Guide – Chalkboard Paint Pots =-.

  7. I know that painting dogs’ (and cats) nails is trendy (I abhor the whole thing honestly), but please don’t use nail polish used for humans. Nail polish for humans is incredibly toxic to our four legged friends, even 3-free formulas. Dogs regularly lick their paws as part of their grooming habits so they are constantly licking the polish. It’s toxic for us to ingest the nail polish, so think of how toxic regular human formulas are for our four legged friends. If you choose to paint your four-legged friend’s nails, please pick up some dog and cat nail polish like OPI Pawlish.

    Aside from that little aside, I’ll have to pick up a few. I haven’t tried the Salon line since it was reformulated.

  8. @katezena you make an excellent point. Just an FYI for everyone- I called the customer service line before hand to make sure the polish wasn’t toxic for dogs, painted, then immediately removed the polish from Frankie’s nails. He does have some doggie specific nail polish for when he’s feeling trendy ;) but I don’t regularly paint his nails and I don’t use human polish when it’s staying on long-term. Doggie (or kitty!) specific polish is the ONLY polish that’s truly safe for our furry friends.

    If you want another quick and fun way to color your pet’s nails try a nail cap like Soft Claws. It’s also a great way to protect your furniture without resorting to cruel declawing!

  9. Thank you for the great review and all of the great comments…the heads up on the brush is going to be very helpful for when I try it – and I am looking forward to trying the formula because of the efficiency factor. I love the idea of the all-in-one!

  10. I’ve really been getting into painting my nails this past year, mostly because I keep getting some lovely nail products to try out, so in the name of science, I, of the lazy nail maintenance, have been rocking some fairly well-manicured and polished nails. Now, I ALWAYS have some type of polish on my toes, I just feel prettier (and I was traumatized in 9th grade by seeing the unpolished “hooves” of my former BFF during a sleepover–my toenails have been perfectly painted ever since), but I very rarely paint my nails on my hands because I have some mild OCD with that because I want the entire nail covered and have no chips or dents or sheet marks, which is really hard to accomplish on a home manicure. I also end up looking like a crazed monkey did my nails because I end up with paint everywhere.
    Now I know some of you had some issues with this wide, curved-at-the-bottom-brush, but I swear, this brush was designed for my nails. I’ve NEVER been able to paint my nails and go. I usually have to paint, give up a few hours, then soak my hands to scrape off the extra paint, then it chips within a day or so, then REPEAT. I slapped 3 coats of Right Said Red (a bright, classic red that’s perfect year round, but especially cheerful in the Summer) and it went on perfectly, gave full nail coverage, and no traveling paint on skin. My nails looked like I’d had a professional manicure. What’s more, because the paint coats are thin, they dry quickly and smudging is next to impossible. Now, toes are a different matter, I still got paint travel, but one soak in the bathtub and the excess paint came off.
    I was nervous about no base coat as my nails tend to stain, but this didn’t seem to stain my nails like most polishes do. I was also nervous about no top coat because I hate chipping, but I got 3 days out of this before the chipping began. Now I can’t wait to try other shades in this.
    FYI: The cheapest I’ve seen this without a sale is at Wal-mart–it was under $6. I’ll race you there… :)

  11. I am actually a fan of the SH shades. I particularly love Commander In Chic. It is so Chanel Particuliere. The formula is pretty good. Not awesome. But better than the super cheap SH. I will admit that I haven’t been brave enough to go without base and topcoat. And yes, I know that this is the point of the formula. I am just not there yet, ok. But I will agree that the brush can be weird and awkward. It makes it difficult to do a good job on the sides of your nails. Overall, I will give these a solid 4 stars. Change the brush and lower the price a tiny bit and I will bump it to a 5. @nouveaucheap I am dying for that Tracy Reece shade, Hidden Treasure. Opulent Cloud alluded me. And I am afraid that Hidden Treasure will be the same story! Darn it!

  12. I didn’t get a bottle to review. I bought one on my own. Sally Hansen is my favorite drug store nail polish. My Mother’s Day treat was to buy a bottle of this new polish. (It cost nearly $8 a bottle and I normally don’t spend more than $3 for a bottle of polish.) I got Fairy Teal, because I’m on a teal and matte pastel kick right now.

    I really liked the brush. The handle was thick and easy to hold, and the width of the brush made it easier to apply color. Barely two strokes and my whole nail was painted. It lasted quite awhile on my toes, too. After about 2.5 weeks, I removed the color just because I got bored. lol.

    Besides the price, I wish that it had more gloss to the finish but I can’t complain considering it has a built in top coat, base coat, and nail vitamins.

  13. I was at Target today and picked up Commander in Chic…I LOVE it. I usually go with a completely natural/nude color but decided to try something different and I couldn’t be more thrilled. There has been some back and forth on the brush but I’m on team “love the brush.” Something about the structure of it kept me from coloring outside the lines and now I look like I have had a professional manicure. I was pretty good already but because of the brush there was no effort. I will be doing my nails all the time now because it was so darn easy!!

  14. Just back from a trip to Quebec City — highly recommended — and delighted to find this on my return. I discovered this polish right before my trip and brought Choco-Latte in to my beloved manicurist Pat the day before I flew out. It lasted me all through my vacation with nary a chip, and on my return I beelined to my local CVS to buy 5 more shades. This has, in one stroke (pun intended), cured me of my China Glaze mixology addiction and, for summer at least, replaced the O.P.I. sueded look. I suspect that will return in the cooler months, but for now, Sally has my heart. And Pat, who has invested 8 years in my nails, says the brush is muy bueno.

  15. I love Sally Hansen polish, though I have yet to try this particular line. It’s a little too spendy for me right now, I don’t like to pay more than $2 for a bottle of polish. If I can find it on a really good sale plus use coupons, I might pick up a bottle though. I have my eye on the yellow one.

  16. @stef: OK, I have to tell you that I was totally with you on these brushes when I first started using them, but I PROMISE that they grow on your after a while. I never, ever thought I’d say that, but I really don’t hate them with a vengeance anymore (like I used to). I still prefer “old school” brushes, but I’ve learned to work with these new ones and now they’re quite tolerable. :)

    @kellie76: Oh no! First Opulent Cloud, and now Hidden Treasure? The drugstore gods are not playing nice with you! I’m sending positive vibes your way…you WILL find Hidden Treasure soon. You will, darnit!

    @jpal: Team “Love the Brush” vs. Team “Hate the Brush”. lol! I love that! :)

  17. I’m really pleased with this line. I got Frutti Petutie, a bright, corally-pink, a few weeks ago. It applied smoothly, I loved the brush, and I had decent wear with it. I did notice issues with chipping, so I can’t get on board with the whole “COMPLETE Manicure” concept. I think it should be more like “everything you need for a manicure except a good top coat!” However, I found that with the application of a good top coat (I happened to use Sally Hansen Diamond Strength because I had it on hand at the time), wear time increased considerably.

    I just went back today for “Commander in Chic,” which is a mid-tone taupe (or what I fondly refer to as one of the currently-popular “cement” colors, lol). It definitely took 2 good coats to get full coverage (I went with 3 for good measure), but it’s a great neutral if you can stomach the color, which is one of those love-it-or-hate-it shades. Dry time has been decent, shine level before the top coat was good, and application with the new brush was a breeze.

    I’ll definitely be making shades from this line regulars in my collection! Recommended.

  18. I’ve been wearing Commander in Chic for weeks…I just keep redoing my manicure every 4-5 days. I’m that in love with the color and the formula. The most amazing thing is that the color lasts that long. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. It doesn’t even actually chip – it just fades a bit at the edges of my nails and then I figure I should change it! I get so many compliments on the color and because of the brush I’m able to apply so accurately it looks like I’ve had a professional manicure. I’m in love with this brush because it allows me to apply the formula quickly as well. I need to buy more colors but I get in such a rut. My worst nightmare would be if this line was discontinued so I am going to just round ’em up. I am thoroughly in love with the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure line of nail polishes and if it is wrong I don’t want to be right!

  19. I got some Sally Hansen coupons (you can find some printable coupons online) and I picked up a few more Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Grayest Gray (which looks like a very light blue in the bottle) and Commander in Chic (on @Recessionista recommendation).I’m totally in love with this polish because of the quickness in which it goes on. I wish I had gotten Grayest Gray sooner. I’m just really digging the matte opaque colors this summer and I never thought I’d be that person. :-)

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