1. No-light gel

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    Sally Hansen Miracle Gel, a two-step colour and top coat system for your fingernails, dries quickly for a shiny long-lasting finish. Sally Hansen says it will last 14 days. Best of all, it comes off your nails easily. You can do it at home so it is also easy on your budget. 

    I bought this product in Montreal to touch up my own gel mani. Later at home, I used it over my freshly-done gel nails and for a pedicure. It was perfect for travel as the process does not require a lamp. Just one thin coat of colour (that matched my mani) and the glossy top coat covered a multitude of sins or chips until I had time for a redo. It looked good and was an easy fix. I hate using strange nail salons as often the work is bad and it takes too long. 

    According to Sally Hansen, the advanced color and top coat contain “an oligomer” which is a chemical that allows them to bond for a longer-lasting lacquer. Another way to explain an oligomer is that it is a polymer or plasticizing agent. The top coat also includes a “photoinitiator” which activates a bond between the color and top coat and cures the polish without a lamp. 

    I love this product. It is easier to apply and easier on natural nails – and it looks fabulous. And, equally important, it comes off easily with regular nail polish remover and no soaking or buffing. 

    However, while it went on easily over my gel manicure in a pinch, it is thicker and harder to work with over freshly-applied gel nails than regular gel polish. But it is made for natural nails not gel nails – and for that it is hard to beat. 

    If your do own nails as I do, you need to try this. It really is miraculous.