You know, somedays you feel like you’re an adult that’s getting it together – after all I found a new apartment and I’m working on setting up everything to move in April. But then you leave a pot of spaghetti sauce warming while you write a nail post, and come back to a beautiful display of splatter across your kitchen as it popped and bubbled, and it brings you back.
It’s not my fault that important nail posts always take priority. Some people just don’t understand our love for polish. I digress.
It’s a later night post for you all (see me cleaning pasta sauce from all over my kitchen above, pushing it back a little) But I especially wanted to get these beauties up. They’ve been staring at me from their little box just waiting to be used. These are the new Mega Strength polishes from Sally Hansen. They came to be a polish with a strengthener that “strengthens and fortifies” nails.
There are THIRTY new colors in this Mega Strength formula (I know, 30!), and they retail for $5.99 at Walgreens, CVS and Ulta ($4.49 on Target’s website). They’re a variety of creams and shimmers, as well as what looks like a couple glitter shades.
I have 6 of the new shades to show you today! I did receive these from Sally Hansen to try (see my full post about that here) but these are all my honest thoughts and reviews.
I also got the new top coat and hardener. I will admit that I haven’t tried many top coats in my time (I always show my swatches without top coat to show exactly how it’ll look on the nails without anything) so I can’t tell you how it compares to others. But it was a nice top coat and added a nice shine to the nails.
Now for the hardener, it seems to be a standard hardening base coat. You can wear it under polishes to give a little strength back to your nails. With a hardening treatment, it’s always good to consider it as a more “temporary recovery” – direct quote from the video I mention soon. It’s not going to make your nails grow faster, but if you have super weak or papery nails, it can give them some strength to grow a little longer without breaking. Simply Nailogical did a whole video on this and I’m taking all of my knowledge from her, as well as some personal experience as well (watch it here – specifically at 14:18). Hardeners are great to give a little strength back and keep your nails from breaking and splitting if they’ve been doing that consistently.
BUT it’s always good to remember that you don’t want your nails to be *too* hard (I know, nails can be a lot of work). That can cause the corners or pieces to just snap if you hit something (speaking from experience, say the pole on the train). You can always use hardeners, but it’s also suggested to follow up with cuticle oils and creams, to also give a little flexibility and give in case you hit your nails on something.
Obviously, I’m not an expert – I’m not sure how much actual hardener you’ll have in the color polishes. I’m sure those are fine to wear! I do think they’ll be great for day-to-day wear as you’re working on growing your nails longer and stronger, with a little color as well, much like the Essie TLC line. If you’re already using the colors with the strengthening component, the hardener as well won’t be necessary unless you have the most weak of nails. This long paragraph is about that hardening base coat.
Just something I wanted to put out there. A lot of rambling to say this is great to strengthen your nails when they’re weak – but maybe not something for the long term. I know not everyone is as crazy about nail growth as I am, but it’s just a little something to keep in mind. It’s a great concept overall, but its good to keep in mind and research a little if you’re serious about nail growth and longer nails.
I also noticed these have a smaller brush than the Insta-Dri polishes. The Mega Strength top coat brush is on the left, with an Insta-Dri brush on the right. It’s not a super skinny brush, but it is skinnier than their other ones, and squared off. I still like it because I have skinnier nail beds, but if you have wider nails it’s something to know.
Let’s get into the polishes!
These all have empowering and inspiring lady-themed names, and I’m here for our matriarchy. Waiting for women to take over the world, honestly.
The first one we have is ‘Rise Up’. This is a peachy pink with a bright golden flash. This could be pretty well opaque in 1 coat. It’s a smooth and easy formula, and that shimmer is so bright and apparent even in lower lights.
I noticed all of these polishes do take just a little longer to dry. That could be the hardeners in the formula, or just me being used to quick drying polishes (maybe I’m spoiled). I swatch quite a lot of polish, so I notice when it dries a little slower – nothing too crazy, but do carve out a little more time to make sure.
‘Class Act’ is a bright squishy red cream shade. This was a more crelly/jelly finish so it will need at least 2 coats to cover up any last visible nail line. It dries super shiny, and it’s a super smooth so it’s a nice even finish.
Not the most unique color, but if you’re looking for a classic with that strengthening component, this is a great option.
This next one did look a little similar in the bottle until I saw that shimmer pop.
This is ‘Slay All Day’. This is a bright fuchsia pink shade with a blue shimmer to it. Another easy formula that’s basically opaque in 1 coat. I do wish that beautiful blue flash was a little more apparent on the nails. It’s mostly visible in my bright lights, and gets a little lost in darker lighting, but it gives it some depth still. I think this shade will be fun for the summer.
‘She-ro’ (like hero, but for ladies, get it) is a gorgeous mauve cream shade. Another beautiful formula that was almost 1 coat. I did a 2nd coat to cover any last uneven patches caused by my ridgey nails, but it just glided onto the nails. So classic and lovely. (Yes, I know it’s not that unique but I’m a sucker for a nice mauve).
What might be my favorite of the bunch, this is ‘Persis-tint’, a beautiful lilac with a bright aqua blue shimmer. This did have a more sheer formula out of all of the shades. With 1 coat, it’s a “your nails but better” shade, just evening it out and adding a little interest. With 2, certain angles were opaque, but I did still see some patches at some angles, so I did a 3rd and all the nail line was covered.
This one was the most unique, and I loved it. A super fun shade and I’m so glad the flash was so bright.
It’s a more sheer unique look that has to be built up which might not be everyone’s style. But it was worth that effort for that flash.
(Also check out the glitter left on my nails after swatching the next shade. Oops)
Last but not least we have the glitter. (I wouldn’t have expected a glitter for a strengthening polish, but what do I know).
This is ‘Wildcard’ and it’s a gold glitter in a clear base. Here I used it as a topper over ‘Slay All Day’. As you can see, you get a lot of glitter coverage in just 1 coat – the middle finger was where I didn’t wipe off the brush, so it was almost too dense of glitter for a topper. If you wanted it to be more distributed, just wipe off some of the glitter, and then it’s a super blingy topper over the nails.
It can also be fully built up. This was only 2 coats, just brushing it on and distributing it, so it builds up very easily. It’s a little textured, as any glitter would be. So fun, and I would love this for New Years Eve (is that too far ahead to think about?)
She’s goddamn messy when you remove it – I had glitter all over my cuticles and fingers in the shades I swatched after this one (I really should have known better but you just couldn’t stop me from swatching in the order they were in the box). So be careful on removal – it’s a glitter so it’ll also take a little more work to remove as any full glitter look will.
So those are just a *few* of the Mega Strength shades! Honestly I wasn’t expecting to like these as much as I did! The strengthening aspect made me a little worried about the formula, but it was so easy, with quite a few shades being almost opaque in 1 coat.
Sure, some of these aren’t the most unique shades, but if your nails are suffering and you need that extra treatment aspect, they’re great to put on and wear in your everyday life. There’s a zillion colors to choose from, so you can find some classics if you’re looking for them.
I’ll be checking out some more of these polishes – especially the more shimmery and fun colors. They’re affordable and there’s some more shimmery I’m intrigued by. I’m glad I got to try these out – Sally Hansen has been coming out with a ton of new polishes lately and it can be hard to keep up and try them all. But I will have to try some more after these, they all had nice formulas and were smooth on the nails.
It’s been so cold here once again, so I can’t tell if spring is ever actually going to be on its way. I swear I’ll never complain about summer again – clock me on that when it comes to July without air conditioning.
Either way, I’ll have more spring collections coming your way. After all, we haven’t talked about the China Glaze or Essie spring collections yet. I also have the new Serene Slates collection from Essie, as well as a boat load of new Sinful Colors collections. Lots of exciting new stuff on the way! Stay tuned!