NOTD: Sally Hansen Insta-Dry in 170 Expresso

NYC Grand Central Topcoat over

NYC Grand Central Topcoat over

This color is a gorgeous dusty rose color in a cream finish. This is kind of surprising considering the name, but I’ll go for it. I was so impressed by this polish: its pigmentation is incredible (this is literally only one coat!) and it did dry extremely fast. Thanks to the wide, stiff brush, application was also a breeze. It isn’t the shiniest polish out there, but this doesn’t  bother me because I always use my fabulous NYC topcoat (review here) anyway. I am looking forward to trying more from this line, if they are all like this my wallet may be in trouble!


NOTD: OPI I Don’t Give a Rotterdam!


This color is a gorgeous greyed cool periwinkle with fine silver, pink, and lavender glitter. This is such an unusual color, I really love it. The glitter also runs pretty densely through the polish, which is surprising considering the pigment is rather sparse and it is a glitter, not a shimmer. It is very sheer, so it takes three coats to build it up, but it dries extraordinarily fast so that doesn’t really cause any problems. The formula is also rather brittle in a way (possibly from the density of shimmer?), which can lead to a shorter wear time. A good topcoat (like the fabulous NYC Grand Central Station) will take care of that. Honestly the quality of the polish isn’t stellar but the color is, and you can certainly work with it. It’s certainly worth it!

Review: NYC In a New York Color Minute Quick Dry Nail Polish in 202 Grand Central Station

Walgreens: $1.99

Grand Central Station (clear top coat) over OPI Bogata Black berry

Grand Central Station (clear top coat) over OPI Bogata Blackberry

New York Color describes this clear nail polish as being a ” slick, glossy polish that goes from wet to set in less than 60 seconds”. It also claims a special “flow control brush”. Grand Central Station is completely clear, and oddly enough is not labeled as a top coat at all, rather is lumped in with the normal nail polish range.

Let me start off by saying that this is the best topcoat I have ever tried, and I honestly cannot say I see a topcoat in my future that can beat this one. Just to show how serious I’ll say it again. In bold. This topcoat is awesome. Now here’s why.

Just as NYC claims, this provides a beautiful glossy finish that actually also works to help camouflage any mistakes made when doing the previous coats. For someone like me who sucks at nails and is also impatient, this really helps.

It does dry fairly fast, which is fabulous (because of the aforementioned lack of patience), but I’m not exactly sure about under 60 seconds. It doesn’t much matter though, at this point.

I’m not sure about the “flow control brush”, it looks pretty bog standard to me, but it doesn’t pose any difficulties in application. This polish does apply great, but I think this is  more due to the formula rather than the brush. The formula is quite thick, and disperses across the nail so it is really even. However, this thickness obviously doesn’t affect dry time.

But the thing that really set this topcoat apart from the masses is the wear time. For me, nail polish normally wears about 3-5 days before it starts to chip. Tip wear for me typically occurs about 1-2 days after. This would be for brands like OPI and Essie. Better polishes, like Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure, wear longer, and crappier polishes like Catrice chip sooner. This topcoat can as much as double wear time for me, I’m on the 4th day of wear of the color pictured, and I barely have tip wear. Some nails are still completely perfect. They are all as glossy as the day they were painted. I tried this with another old, really crappy polish and it lasted 5 days without chipping. For me, that is unheard of. What I find really interesting, though, is that the description says nothing about longevity. I haven’t tried any of their other polishes, but NYC might just be selling themselves a bit short!

Overall, if you don’t own this polish already you need to go out and try it. It is all of $2, and it might just change your life. For all those people that can’t get NYC where they live, I am truly, truly sorry.

Rating: A+

Product Smackdown: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure (Commander in Chic) vs. Essie Merino Cool

I love taupe colors for fall in all capacities- eyes, nails, and sometimes even lips! Nearly every single nail polish manufacturer on the planet has got a version out there. Here I have two very similar colors of taupe polish from two respected brands- Essie and Sally Hansen. Let’s see which one wins!!

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in 370 Commander in Chic: $6.59 (0.5 fl oz/14.7 mL)   at Target

Essie Nail Lacquer in 76 Merino Cool: $7.79 (0.46 fl oz/13.5 mL) at Target

Essie Merino Cool vs. Sally Hansen Commander in Chic








Sally Hansen Essie
Features (as found on brand websites) Base coat, strengthener, growth treatment, salon-inspired color, top coat, chip-resistance and a gel finish all in 1 bottleVita Care technology for advanced 10 day wear, more shine and nourishing care

1st place

Outstanding durability, a chip-resistant formula 





2nd place

Price 1st place 2nd place
Color (for me personally) Mid-tone purple-based taupe (lighter than Essie)1st place Dark-mid-tone purple-based taupe (darker than Sally Hansen)2nd place
Wear time (until first chip appears)   After 4-5 days, only minor tip wear , no base or top coat

1st place

 After 2-3 days, no base or topcoat


2nd place

Application Brush slightly larger, product less prone to gloopiness1st place Good brush, product prone to gloopiness2nd place
Dry Time 1st place  2nd place
Ingredients DBP, Toluene, and Formaldehyde freeContains parabens

2nd place

DBP, Toluene, and Formaldehyde free1st place
OVERALL RANK 1st place 2nd place

Overall, there is no disputing it: Commander in Chic outperformed Merino Cool in virtually every category. Honestly, the wear time for me was the most impressive; for me most things wear 2-3 days before starting to chip, like the Essie shade. For me to get that much wear out of it was absolutely mind blowing for me. The Complete Salon Manicure looks like an amazing formula, I think I will be picking up some more colors from the line in the future!