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Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Summer Shades

By on May 27, 2009
in Uncategorized
While I’ve talked about the Sally Hansen Salon line ad nauseam, I’ve never really discussed the Insta-Dri line that was introduced last year. Building off the success of their popular Insta-Dri top coat (a MUA nail board fave), Sally Hansen created a highly pigmented, quick dry polish for those of us with little time for our hands.

With the recent launch of their summer shades, I figured now is the perfect time to discuss the line. Again, I’m seeing a rainbow-esque theme from Sally Hansen, much like the HD line. I’ve got the first four polishes from the collection for you after the jump!

Sally Hansen boasts “One Stroke! One Coat! Done!” but before we discuss that let’s talk about the brush for a sec, shall we? As far as wide brushes go, this one is the most unique. It’s as wide as the bottle neck with a rounded tip.

I call it man sized and I don’t mean that in an offensive way just that it’s really well suited for a man’s wide nail beds. So to my guy nail fanatics, I’m talking to you George, this brush was made for you! Due to its size and densely packed bristles, this brush picks up a TON of polish so make sure you wipe it off well before applying or you’ll end with monster pooling at the cuticles.

In spite of its size, the rounded shape does make application pretty simple. Though those of you with thinner nail beds may disagree. Mine are kind of wide and squat so it really is almost a one swipe process.

However, while these polishes are well pigmented I wouldn’t call them one coaters, especially the yellow. They get close but you definitely need two coats to avoid streaking and unevenness. They claim you can wear them without a top coat and while they do dry VERY fast with a shine, it’s not the same effect as what you get by adding a layer of Seche Vite. Now on to the colors…

Brisk Blue is more unique than I anticipated. I can honestly say that I don’t have a duplicate shade in a drawer filled with 40+ light to mid tone blues. It’s a very brilliant sky blue. Held next to OPI Just Groovy, Just Groovy looks pale and washed out.

Lickety Split Lime has a bit too much yellow in it for my taste. You know how I feel about my greens but I’m just not loving this. In the bottle I was all ecstatic, on my nails not so much. It’s like split pea soup on crack, very in your face. While I have some lime greens I adore, this just isn’t one of them.

Lemon Dash reminds me a lot of Essie Shorty Pants from last summer’s neon collection. On the nail they are very, very close. And unfortunately Lemon Dash has the same application issues that plague most yellows. I was able to get it even with work and a layer of top coat but unless you are totally into the shade, it’s not worth it. I’m diggin’ it so I’ll put up with its problem child status.
Orange You Fast! is more of a tomato red to me than a true orange. What I love is that it applies very true to the bottle shade from the first coat. You know how with a lot of reds, the first coat looks NOTHING like the bottle color? You see its berry, pink or orange base color and have to build to bottle color? That’s not happening here. What you see is what you get!
The Sally Hansen Insta-Dri summer collection is on shelves now in limited release so hurry out to your local Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, WalMart, Kmart, etc and snag your favorite shade before it’s gone.

I’ll be bringing you swatches of the rest of the collection tomorrow but in the meantime, what are your thoughts on these? Have you tried the Insta-Dris? How do you like the formula?

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There Are 22 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Orange you fast is calling me!

  2. Jennifer says:

    I recently bought the yellow polish and loved it. It doesn’t dry that fast though.

  3. juvenescent says:

    I love the brush on these polishes. I have tiny nail beds, but something about these brushes call my name.

  4. Lani says:

    Thanks for swatching these!

    I have 2 of the colors from the standard line. I like the colors/formula, but the brush kills me! I have tiny nails…I may cut the brush in 1/2!

    I MUST get the red (orange)! I love reds, but hate that usually you have to do like 2-3 coats to get a bottle color.

  5. blackkattats says:

    I have the blue on my toes right now…good toe colors cause you don’t notice the pooling or brush marks so much…the yellow was the first yellow i ever bought and i cried a little when I put it on. I made a horrid mess! But gets better with practice…i have since bought better yellows…Victoria Secret’s has a Beauty rush line out right now for summer with a to die for yellow and orange that apply a lot better.

  6. Vesper says:

    ooh! I'm loving Brisk Blue.
    How similar are Lemon Dash & Lightening (another Insta-Dri)?

  7. rmcandlelight says:

    Can you do a comparison between the fall yellow lightning and the summer yellow. (Can’t rember the name.)

  8. MC says:

    How similar is the Lemon Dash polish to Sally Hansen’s “Lightening”? I was so disappointed in that one’s application! And I agree the brush is quite wide. My nail beds are a pretty normal size but maybe more thin width wise. This brush= major cuticle clean up for me!

    I’m going to have to pass on these. Pretty colors but SH isn’t really that inexpensive now. I’d rather spend a little extra on OPI or ChG.

  9. Georrge says:


    I am honored that you mentioned me in your web blog, I love that. Thank you, you made my day, lol.

    Your nails could not look any more beautiful than ever. Now, here I have to find these “man sized” brushes…the colors are fabulous. Your amazing Michelle, that’s what I love about you and you many lovely and beautiful fans.



    George :)

  10. Anonymous says:

    I agree that the Lemon looks a lot like lightening. I too was a little disapointed with the application… it took multiple coats and the brush got my skinny fingers VERY messy! But still… I love the color :)

  11. Susanna says:

    I have to try these. The brush sounds great (I’ve got fat fingers and wide nails) and the blue looks divine!

  12. Tiffany ツ says:

    where did you happen to buy this collection?

  13. Tiffany ? says:

    where did you happen to buy this collection?

  14. Anonymous says:

    WHY can't I find these anywhere? Not even online! I've searched every Walgreens and CVS in my area :( They can't possibly be sold out/discontinued already, can they?

  15. Scoots says:

    I haven't had any luck finding these around town either. The worst part is that lickety-split lime is the /perfect/ Seattle Sounders FC green I've been looking for so I can wear it to the games. So far I've been sporting just light greens, but nothing even close to the team color.

  16. Laudry says:

    You're so right about the lime-green color. I can't pin it down but for some reason it is a bit nauseating!
    Love the "Brisk Blue," though!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I love this product! I first bought the "petal pink" and today added "royal run" and "hurry honey" to my collection. "Royal run" is a beautiful shade. They truly dry in just a minute. And it lasts quite well, through hair washing, hand washing et all…about four days or so.

  18. JoAnn says:

    While I do appreciate the the pretty shades and the fairly quick- dry time, I do not like the wand. The brush itself is good – thick and soft. But the flat sides of the wand make it difficult to wipe off the inevitable excess into the bottle.

  19. JoAnn says:

    I've found these at Walmart and Rite Aid.

  20. Chindy says:

    Bought this polish in #27 – Brisk Blue. Its a beautiful color and except for chipping easily, I was happy. UNTIL I removed it to find that it completely stained my actual fingernails BLUE! I have tried everything but it will not come off. I’ve had blue fingernails for over a week. I’ve had to wear other dark colors just to cover it up. Not sure if this is a problem with all the colors but be carfeul!

  21. Medusa says:

    I was just going to ask what you thought of these, but I figured I should search through your old posts first.

    I just painted my nails with “Racey Rouge” (#13) & was wondering if you had the same troubles with application & a bubbly formula. I also have the colors “Night Flight” (#24) and “Rapid Red” (#09).

    I think I bought all of these in a sale a while ago, & also because they were advertised as quick drying.

    I’m really disappointed though – I’ve had to use 3 coats and the brush is so big & difficult to use that I had SO much lacquer around my cuticles/fingers that it took ages to get it off. Some of the bristles are also crooked/not flat which makes application even messier. Also, even after 3 coats, the polish has dried with bubbles. It looks nothing like your nails in the above pictures. I haven’t used top coat, BTW.

    And even as I type this, my nails still aren’t completely dry. So much for the “Insta-Dri.”

    Thoughts? Maybe I am doing something wrong.