Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Review & Swatches

While I was out doing the regular grocery shopping at Wal Mart I took a peek at the polish displays to see if they had any of the new items mentioned in the previous post. Of course, no. Should have known. But after I went to K Mart, K Mart has always had a far superior cosmetics department than Wal Mart. But anyway, they didn't have all the new things but they did have a couple items. They had all the Nail Art Pens but I didn't get any of them. They had most of the Quick Care items, but not the one I was most interested in (the top coat). They didn't have the HD polishes. But they DID have the Insta-Dri polishes. I picked up 3 to try out.

First order of business is swatches:

The first thing I want to say is that Uptempo Plum is not as flat as is looks in the photos - it has some shimmer to it. It caught my eye immediately in the store, and I do believe it is my favorite of the three. It does stain the nails though if you don't use a base coat (I didn't use base coats for the swatches) so if you get this color make sure you apply a good base coat first! It is also more uber dark purple than black, but it is very, very dark and "nearly black" so if you don't like super dark/black colors it's not for you.

Now. These polishes are marketed as "One Stroke. One Coat. One Minute." Meaning, it should only take one stroke to apply to the entire nail, one coat for even, pigmented coverage, and one minute to dry.

The one stroke idea of course requires a special brush. The brush in these polishes is wide and flat. Like this:

So how well does this work? Let's cover it one marketing point at a time, shall we?

1 Stroke: I have to say, I was intrigued by this point in the marketing from the moment I saw it. I knew there would be a different brush than I'm used to but I wondered exactly how they'd go about it. I have to give them credit for trying, but it's a better idea in theory than in practice. Or maybe "practice" is the operative word, and I just need more of it with these polishes to get the application down. But for the first time run through to swatch them, it was a tricky process. I found myself still having to use two or three strokes pretty frequently. I had no trouble getting my pinkies done in one stroke, but for the rest of my fingers (especially thumbs!) the brush just didn't take the color out quite far enough. Considering everyone's hands and thus nails are different sizes, coming up with a brush to suit most people had to be tricky though, so again... props for trying. (FYI my hands are pretty average in size; perhaps a tad on the smaller end of "average".)

1 Coat: Well, the swatches speak for themselves don't they? If you want opaque coverage with one coat, these polishes are not gonna do it. Maybe it's just me but I tend to want quick dry polishes especially to be opaque with one coat. These aren't it. Quick Sand and Rose-A-Go-Go are pretty enough with one coat, but Uptempo Plum NEEDS two coats to be fabulous.

1 Minute: This is where this polish really delivers! We've all bought "speed dry" polishes only to find they are not so speedy in their drying. But Insta-Dri honestly does dry in 60-90 seconds flat! (And it's an extremely humid day today, too!) But that only holds true for the first coat. If you apply a second coat, even after letting the first coat dry completely, the second coat will take about five minutes to dry. (I've always found second coats of speed dry polishes to take several minutes to dry... odd, isn't it?) But if you can find a shade you're happy with after only one coat from this line, you will LITERALLY be able to go on with your day just one little minute after painting your nails.

OVERALL: All three shades applied streaky and a bit uneven. The seriously quick dry time means you have got to be quick in painting, or it starts to get... I'm not sure how to explain it. Look closely at the swatch for Rose-A-Go-Go with 2 coats - I wasn't quite fast enough with that one on my pointer finger and you can see it made the texture of the polish kind of rough, rather than smooth. Tricky to apply and not exactly what it's advertised to be, out of 5 stars I'd give this polish 3.5. Doesn't fully meet my expectations, but definitely not the worst out there, either. It's worth giving it a try if any of the colors really grab your attention, but if you're on the fence about trying these polishes and/or none of the shades stand out to you much, it might be best to pass on these.

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