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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Review: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Nail Color in Commander in Chic

I bought this shade back in the beginning of December but somehow forgot to post a review until now. For those of you who are into the gray-brown mushroom type shades that seem to be everywhere these days, Commander in Chic has been compared to Sephora by OPI's Metro Chic (click here to see Steph's Closet's awesome side-by-side comparison of Commander in Chic, Metro Chic and You Don't Know Jacques). After looking at Steph's pic, it's easy to see that Commander in Chic is a total dupe of Metro Chic, but not so much a dupe of YDKJ, which, to me, is the darkest of all the mushroom colors I've seen lately.

As you can kind of see in the above pic, Commander in Chic goes on much darker than what you see in the bottle. This pic was taken after two coats, with no top or base coat. I was really hoping it would be lighter and more similar to American Apparel's Mouse which is, by far, my new favorite gray-brown mushroom.

Also in Steph's post, you can see a side-by-side comparison of the SH Complete Salon Manicure brush, which is extremely similar to the SH Instra-Dri brush (flat, firm and pointed). I'm not a huge fan of this style of brush because, for me, it's extremely difficult to control the amount of polish during application. I have used Commander in Chic about three times since I purchased it and I still don't have the application down--I always end up with either too much polish on my brush or not enough.

When I purchased Commander in Chic (for a whopping $7.99 at CVS which is pretty steep), I also purchased Plum Luck (a gorgeous deep amethyst purple creme), and I also posted pics of the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure display (click here for that post). Here are my pics of the brush again so that you can see it from the side-view:

brush from the front

brush from the side

So what do I think of the formula of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure polishes? Well according to the display, this formula promises the following fives steps, all in one bottle:

After using these polishes several times in the last month or so, I can tell you that it fits the "color" step but not much else. Without the help of a base coat, these polishes last a day or two on me before I see chipping and/or peeling. Without the help of a top coat, these polishes last a day if I'm lucky, before I start to see lines, scuffs and marks. So the finish is definitely not bullet-proof, that's for sure. Also, within a day or two the shine starts to dull, which again means you really need a separate top coat to extend your manicure and keep it shiny.

I can't really speak to the treatment claims because my nails chipped and broke as usual when I wore these polishes (granted, I'm VERY tough on my hands and I'm constantly chipping/breaking a nail). If I was able to keep these polishes on my nails for more than two days (without using a base or top coat) I could probably speak to you about the strenghtening qualities, but because of its performance when used without a base or top coat, I find myself removing my polish after day two. In other words, I never have this polish on my nails long enough to see if it actually does anything to improve my nail strength.

On the bright side, if you DO use a good base and top coat, you might be able to get 4 or 5 days out of your mani. So in other words, my suggestion is to treat Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure polishes as you would any other polish in your collection. Use a base and top coat for maximum results.

As for the price, I think that might keep some of you away from this collection (understandably). But if you wait for a BOGO, and you want an easily accessible dupe of Sephora by OPI Metro Chic, then definitely pick up a bottle or two when it goes on sale. But if you were hoping that this would be five things in one bottle, I'm afraid that, for me, it just isn't happening.

Do you already own any Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure polishes? If so, how do you like them?


  1. Thanks for the review, I bought this color and a green one ( Grass Slippers, I believe) and I haven't worn them yet. But the color looks pretty and I wasn't expecting a miracle in a bottle anyway , so I'll just wear it like all other polishes, so thanks!

    1. Just bought Grass Slipper- I love it!!! Perfect spring/happy color =)

  2. Thanks for your honest review! That SH gray is hot to death! $7.99 is pretty steep, like you said, I def gasped & clutched the pearls when I read that. LOL

  3. I saw these while I was running around shopping Walgreens and CVS like a maniac, and I have to say while I loved the beautiful colors, I thought the price was too high. I hate to spend more than $5.00 nail polish, so I'll definitely have to wait for a BOGO to take advantage of them. :(

  4. Hey, I'm wearing this color right now! I got it and a pink color from Walgreens during a buy one get one free sale. I actually love the brush and have a much easier time with it than I do with most nail polish brushes, but I think it's just a personal preference. The color did come out darker than the bottle, which made me sad, so I think I'm going to order that Mouse color too. Do you know if they sell the nail polish in American Apparel shops too? Anyway, Commander in Chic is a great color too!

  5. I seriously considered buying this color, since getting metro chic from sephora tip you posted I love all mushroomy, muddy, grey colors. The reason I didn't get this is because I am waiting on a bogo, I already have metro chic and rimmels steel gray (which is also a dupe for metro chic)

    I actually like the brushes

  6. As a rule I'm more of a metallic than a matte kind of girl but this color looks interesting. I may just hafta give it a shot.

  7. I'm glad to hear your take on these. I may have went a little overboard during the BOGO and bought 10 (!!!) of these. (My birthday was yesterday, it could be considered a present to myself, right?) I really like them, but I didn't expect the 5 in 1 thing they were promising, so I've been using them with base and topcoat like I would any normal polish. They've been performing very well that way. I like the wide brush, it seems to work very well for me, but I know some hate it. I hate the ripply bumps I get in my 'gap' when using skinny brushes, and these wide ones seem to allow me to make a very neat gap.

    I should mention that I used Fairy Teal the other day. Beautiful color, I got several compliments, but OMG STAIN. Seriously, I had smurf fingers for a couple days after I took that polish off. Augh, what a nightmare. So yeah, no way would I go without basecoat with these. And no way would I buy these at full price. Even with the BOGO free, they are still pretty steep, when you consider you can get a China Glaze for under $4 at most places, and online for under $3, if you shop smart.

    Still, Commander in Chic is a beautiful color, I'm glad I picked that one up. ^_^

  8. Ladies: You are so welcome! I'm glad to hear that my review may have helped you a tiny bit. I also find it VERY interesting that a lot of you seem to like this type of brush. Maybe it's just me--I'm horribly uncoordinated when it comes to painting my nails, and I find this brush doesn't help with that at all. I just can't seem to control the amount of polish on it, like I can with a traditional brush. Any pointers from those of you who love this brush?

    And I'm happy to hear that so many of you like this shade--it's a great alternative to Metro Chic if you can't get to a Sephora! xo

  9. I'm terrible at this kind of thing, but I'll give it a shot.

    When pulling this wide brush out of the bottle, I keep it completely vertical. 90 degree angle, perpendicular to the table, however you want to say it. I rest a flat edge of the brush against the neck of the bottle, as much as you can hold a flat against a curve anyway. And I just kind of hold it there, vertical, for a second or two and let it drip. Then I pull the brush at an angle across the bottle rim, removing further excess. Usually that's good enough, but if there's still a bunch of excess polish, I lightly dab the polish holding side against the bottle neck.

    Does that make any sense? LOL.

  10. OMG, that TOTALLY makes sense! Thank you so much, sweetie, for taking the time to explain your process. I am seriously going to try your method the next time I use one of these polishes and I'll report back. You're the best! xoxo

  11. No prob! I'm glad it might actually help someone, I felt kinda goofy trying to explain it.

  12. I am curious. Do you find that even with the pales (if you've tried any) that it comes out much darker on the nail than it did in the bottle?
    I had that happen both with Commander in Chic and Plum's the Word, and I wasn't quite ready for that.

    (Plus I haven't seen a site yet, including the company's, that matched the online swatch anywhere near the actual colors.)

    So I was just wondering what your experience had been.

  13. I bought the pale color, #140 Peachy Keen. The coverage seems to be streaky and not sheer as I had hoped.

    The finish is rather uneven and dull to me, so I am not loving it - especially at $7.99 from Walgreens.

    I had much better results from nail polish that was $1.50.

    As far as the "Complete Manicure" claim, that seems to be a stretch for the sales pitch.

    Sorry Sally Hansen - this particular color isn't a winner for me.

  14. Just wanted to say I love your blog!

    I bought several of these nail polishes the other day as I had to replace my stash because my 4 year old had a nail polish 'incident' and needless to say all of my polishes were destroyed in the end ;(

    Anyway, I am currently wearing Right Said Red. I think it's a very very true red, and I love the fact it dries fast and it's shiny when it dries.

    I also have Pat on the Black and Midnight in NY and Gray by Gray to replace some similar colors that were destroyed, I'll let you know how they look.

    keep up the awesome work!

  15. I really enjoyed this color when I wore it. I' a fan of mushroom browns in general, so I guess it's no surprise I liked it. I'm glad I didn't pick it up at full price, $7.99 is too steep for a ds polish, IMHO.


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