According to Sally Hansen, "Top coat goes on thick, dries quick. Unique Vinyl & Gel Tech formula combines with nail color to create multi-dimensional shine & volume. Transform your regular shine into spectacularly gel-like brilliance with no UV light!" I've never had a gel manicure before, and I know "gel shine" is kind of a buzzword right now (All Lacquered Up has a great breakdown of the different types categories of "gel" manicure). Over the course of a few days, I tried the topcoat to see if it holds up those claims.
For this mani, I wore two coats of Nicole By OPI in Goodbye Shoes with an accent nail of one coat of Revlon Copper Penny with Goodbye Shoes and Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Tulle Kit for my freehand scale print design (easier to do than I expected, by the way). I wanted to see how the topcoat performed over both a regular mani and a layered nail art look, and over several different finishes. I was glad to see that the topcoat did dry fairly quickly. It was a little slower than Julep Freedom Polymer Topcoat, another "gel finish" topcoat that doesn't require an LED lamp. However, within 20 minutes, it was dry enough that I had to press on it to disturb the finish, and was easily able to smooth the fine lines from pressing down with my thumb. By an hour later, it had dried hard-no visible disturbance, even when I tapped on one nail with another. The accent nail wasn't smooth, but I resisted the urge to add a second coat (didn't want to skew my highly scientific results). The final mani had a gorgeous wet shine.
|Disclaimer-The chipping on the middle finger is my fault!|
I like it, but for me, Sally Hansen 3D Shine is more of a backup than a go-to. I'd compare this to Sally Hansen Mega Shine in dry speed and shine. In fact, it's very similar across the board in performance, the texture's just a little thicker and the brush is flat rather than round. I didn't notice any distinguishable level of "plushy" gel look. The closest I got was with Sinful Colors Dream On (the picture at the top with the bottle), and it's a jelly type formula that looked pretty plushy pre-topcoat, too.The shine level was impressive, but much more obvious on cremes than metallics. Maybe Julep and HK Girl have ruined me for other topcoats, but this one didn't have quiiiite the speed I need for an everyday topcoat. That being said, compared to other topcoats, it's still pretty fast, and I do have to acknowledge that while it says it's quick drying (true), the dry time wasn't the focus of the advertised benefits- the "plump" look and high shine were the main selling points on their end. Thing is, I didn't think my nails looked much plumper than with any other topcoat when following the instructions on the box to use just one coat. If you're in love with your Mega Shine (which is also a few dollars cheaper), you probably don't need this one. If you're slightly more patient than I am and strongly prefer a flat brush, give this one a shot.