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Monday, May 14, 2012

Review & Swatches: Sally Hansen Gem Crush Nail Colors

Note: As with all of my glitter polish posts, I want to remind you that if you have difficulty removing glitter polishes, my favorite way of removal is the Foil Method.

I never get tired of glitters, especially as we head into summer. There's nothing more fun, to me at least, than glittery, colorful polish for a summertime pedicure, so let's take a look at some of the glitters that Sally Hansen has to offer! I received seven of the eight shades in this range (the only shade I did not receive was Glitz Gal, which you can see here).

Sally Hansen Gem Crush Nail Colors
(retail: around $6.50 each, 0.31 oz)

For all of the following swatches, I painted the first nail using just two coats of polish (no base or top coat) and the second nail was done using one coat of polish over a black creme (no top coat).

PLEASE NOTE: these photos were deliberately taken in low lighting so that you can better see the glitter detail. In person, they're far more sparkly.

Razzle Dazzler contains fine pink glitter and chunky silver glitter. This shade has very good coverage and could be worn alone without a base color if you used two coats.

Be-jeweled confuses me! It contains fine lavender glitter and, at certain angles, the chunky glitter is pink, while at other angles it's holographic (look toward the bottom of the black nail to see the holo). So I guess it's actually pink holo glitter.  Anyway, this is another one that could be worn with a base color if you applied two coats.

Cha-Ching! contains fine red glitter and chunky silver glitter. It's another one that's densely packed, so you could wear it alone without a base color if you used two coats.

I think I must have received a bad bottle of this polish because, if you look at this post (and others around the web),  you'll see that the reviewer only required two coats for complete coverage (and it looks gorgeous). I've tried several times to make this one work for me, but my bottle is so watery, with less densely-packed glitter, that even after four coats it's not nearly what you see in the post I linked to. Boo! And it also dries to much more of a matte finish than the other polishes I'm showing you today, so I don't really know what's up with this one. It's gorgeous in the bottle with all of that fine burgundy glitter and chunky holo glitter. I guess you could say I was unlucky with Lady Luck...

Showgirl Chic is full of bling, that's for sure. All of that fine silver glitter with uber-sparkly chunky blue glitter. Oooh la la! I cannot wait to wear this one on my toes, especially since it's got great coverage (almost a one-coater).

Oh Bling-Tastic, you are stunning as a top coat with all of your lovely blue and silver glitters, but on your own? You're too watery, even after three coats. But oh how I love you over black.

Saving the best for last here with Big Money. This is my favorite of the bunch because I just love that fine, taupeish-gold glitter mixed with the chunky lavender glitter. It's a striking combo for sure, and the coverage is nice (not as nice as Showgirl Chic, but not nearly as watery as Bling-Tastic).

FINAL VERDICT: I think that there are some nice glitter combos here, especially Big Money, with its taupeish-gold base and lavender chunky glitter. Some of the formulas in this collection are on the watery side, with less densely-packed glitter, and would work better as top coats, while others have better coverage after two coats and can be worn alone. Are the glitter combos unique in terms of other glitters on the market? Not really. HOWEVER, the easy access to Sally Hansen Gem Crush polishes makes them a convenient purchase for many of us, which is always a plus. As with other super-glittery polishes, you'll need to be careful as these have a tendency to peel off the nail if your coats are too thick. I also suggest using a good top coat with these, as some of them dry to a more matte finish, which diminishes the sparkle a bit. Overall, I think there are some fun combinations here and I think they're worth a shot if you love glitters and don't already have similar polishes in your collection.

 A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.


  1. I agree about Big Money being the best of the bunch! In fact, when Wags had these on BOGO recently, this is the one shade I picked up! I haven't actually used it yet because I have been on a nail polish purchasing frenzy. But that is our little secret...OK?

    My husband is coming home from deployment soon, so this girl will be reigning it in soon! ;)

  2. I am such a sucker for glitter polishes! I will have to pick some of these up for sure! Bling-tastic and be-jeweled are calling my name!

  3. Thanks for the removal tip...

    I have had bare nails for years, but have recently started painting them again and it is all glitter polishes fault, lol. I love them. They are low maintenance too, because they seldom show small chips or scuffs.. it all kind of blends in to the sparkle. They are a nightmare to take off though, will definitely give your technique a try.

  4. I love Big Money! The most interesting color combination out of all of them, and gorgeous on the nails!

  5. Great review, as always, G! I also fell in love w/the online pics of Lady Luck (LL), incl the post you linked to, so I was beyond bummed when my bottle turned out just like yours - a thin, watery mess. I'm wondering if I should try to return it for another bottle of LL or just exchange it for Showgirl Chic, which looks AMAZING! Big Money turned out to be my surprise fave especially b/c I'm not really a gold polish kind of girl, but it's just gorgeous, I can't stop staring at my nails!!

  6. I just got Big Money when Walgreens was having BOGO50%OFF and I thought it would be more of a top coat glitter, but I was pleasantly surprised when it had GREAT coverage! I put it just on my ring finger and it looks like my nail has been dipped in gold. The glitter has a very rough texture so I used a topcoat and it turned out great! I'm usually a salon brand snob (OPI is my favorite!) but thanks to this blog I have tried a few drugstore brands and the Gem crush is BY FAR my favorite.

  7. I love polish but is it weird that I hate all the sparkles and weird texture of glitters? I really feel like I'm the only one. When I have them on my nails I feel like it is something a little girl should be wearing. I do like blue glitters because they remind me of the sea. Fish and mermaids come to mind.

  8. I absolutely love them! Just waiting that they go on sale...


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