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ALU’s 365 of Untrieds – Rimmel London Steel Gray

By on April 9, 2011
in 365 of Untrieds, Rimmel, Taupe
rimmel london steel grey nail polish bottle 365 untrieds 365 of Untrieds is my personal challenge to weed through the polishes in the ALU stash that I’ve been wanting to try but just haven’t gotten around to.Back when Chanel Particulière was making nail polish headlines, there was talk of a potential dupe in Rimmel London Steel Grey.  Of course, at the time, whenever I would remember to look for it at my local drugstore it was sold out.  Then a few months back I picked up a bottle and I”m just now getting around to trying it out.

Formula & Application: I can’t find an ingredient listing for this specific formula on the bottle or on Rimmel’s website.  The US and UK sites both offer links to ingredient lists but neither one includes the Lasting Finish PRO formula.  I hope to update this section with ingredient information.

The bottle is identical to the retired Sally Hansen Salon line only the rubberized cap has been replaced with tapered, smooth plastic.  The brush is a flat paddle style with a curved brush similar to the ones you find in the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure and Insta-Dri bottles.  Coty owns both Rimmel London and Sally Hansen so this isn’t surprising since the Lasting Finish PRO line touts the same 10 Day wear claim as the SH CSM line.

The polish applied pretty watery and somewhat sheer.  It isn’t as pigmented as the CSM line so they definitely have different formulas in some respect.  I have found that the curved brushes can be inconsistently shaped and I happened to get a janky one so I cut the protruding bristles with my nail scissors.  After three medium coats I was able to get the polish opaque and it dried quickly to a glossy finish, no top coat required.

Rimmel London Steel Grey falls into the taupe-y grey category.  It’s a pretty spot on match to Sally Hansen Commander In Chic which I raved about when I wore it for 10 Days straight with amazing results.  I would say the only real difference between them is that the Sally Hansen is a bit more pigmented so after three coats it looks a bit darker than Steel Grey but they have the same base color.  Neither one is a match to Chanel Particulière but they are a great affordable substitution for a similar look.

rimmel london steel grey swatch nail polish 365 untrieds

Bottom Line: Even though the funky neutral trend has passed its prime, I don’t see this type of shade going out of style any time soon.  Depending on which brand is offering a sale I would say that either the Rimmel or Sally Hansen version of this shade would make a great addition to your nail wardrobe.  I prefer the Sally Hansen but only because it’s a tad more pigmented.

365 of Untrieds Stash/Share Verdict: There’s no point in owning two of this color and since I had such great results with Commander In Chic, Steel Gray will go in the SHARE bin.

Rimmel London Steel Grey is available at drugstores nationwide.  To find a retailer near you visit

Thoughts on Steel Grey?  Have you given the Lasting Finish PRO formula a 10 Day wear test of your own?  How did it fare?  If you own both Steel Grey and Commander In Chic did you see any major differences between them?  Which do you prefer?

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There Are 34 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Lesley says:

    so glad you mentioned how similar it is to Commander in Chic. Now I know I don’t need both. hahaha
    still looks very pretty on you.x

    • FromTwinings says:

      Ditto. I saw a YouTuber wearing this and it went straight onto my lemmings list but whaddaya know..I have CiC sitting in my untrieds LOL

      Thanks for the comparison mention ALU!

  2. Ava says:

    Your nail shape is looking really lovely! This 365 untrieds challenge is so fun for me to read :) Keep up the good work!!!

  3. Katie says:

    I have to say, this is truly bizarre – I was surfing the web, painting my nails in Steel Grey, when I checked your page and there it is, posted today! Crazy!

  4. Aoife says:

    Michelle, I have a big question and I hope you can answer. I have googled it but I decided that asking a nail-polish pro herself is the best idea. Basically I want to know how on earth you avoid bubbles? I have lots of nail polish, most of them don’t bubble at all. However, about 10% of my bottles bubble, every time I try to use them, and I love the colours but they’re so terribly bubbly. I really want to know how it never seems to happen to you.

    • Lillian says:

      You could roll the bottle between your hands to get the air bubbles out. (Pretend you’re rolling a ball of dough.) It might take some time though.

    • Danielle says:

      perhaps you could try thinning it out a bit with nail polish thinner? Maybe this would help it dry more evenly and prevent bubbles?

      Perhaps try a different top coat? Sometimes combinations of polish and top coat don’t agree.

  5. Frances Duman says:

    I love it too. Rimmel has a great formula and brush. Love it. You are right Comm in Chief is almost identical. Their black satin is great too. Very pigmented.

  6. Whitney says:

    I really enjoy this color. I’ve never personally tried a gray polish, or even though about it really, but it is such a natural color that would wear well with any skin tone I may just have to pick some up! Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Ginger says:

    I wear this color on my toes. I actually like the Insta-dry version the best. BTW, I’m loving the 365 of Untrieds!

  8. I love this type of color. I own so many polishes near this color but I justify keeping them all because they are SLIGHTLY different.

  9. Jo says:

    I love this untrieds posts! Love this colour too :)

  10. Heather says:

    well I just bought this, and Commander in Chic, now I wish I would have known how similar they are…I would have just bought the CIC one instead…oh well, now I have two of the same color, hope I dont hate it on my skin tone! lol

  11. Pam R says:

    I’m really enjoying seeing your untrieds! :)

  12. Amy says:

    Just want to say that this is beyond my wildest dreams of your new year’s resolution to start posting more often. Thanks so much for all the awesome posts, I am still drooling over all those Estee Lauders…!

    are the summer essies in line to be swatched? I’ve had my eye on Sand Tropez but I need a swatch on some comparably porcelain skin!

  13. Rachel Kurtz says:

    I am loving the 365 Untrieds–so much fun to see one every day! Keep it up!

  14. Amy Y says:

    Haha, that’s so funny. I think this is the first polish I’ve owned before you.

  15. Meeka says:

    Though neither steel nor grey I absolutely love this one! I did skip the SH version though so I couldn’t compare but I’m quite happy with it :)

  16. Virginia says:

    It’s also incredibly similar, if not a dupe, to SOPI Metro Chic!

  17. Rachel says:

    I compared it to Essie’s Merino Cool in the drugstore. Haha. They looked like dupes. :)
    Keep up the great work!

  18. Lillian says:

    Is the Sally Hansen nail polish limited edition or permanent?

    • Lillian says:

      Oops I meant if Commander in Chic was limited edition or not.

      • Danielle says:

        I’m really enjoying your 365 days of untrieds. Your application is so beautiful too! Your nails are looking lovely.

        I own CIC but I’ve been wondering about this one. Thanks for the post!

  19. Mc Huggs says:

    This is a great taupe color Michele. Your swatches make a great sell for the nail polish.

    How to Avoid Nail Polish (Vapor) Bubbles:

    Someone ,(Aiofe) asked how to avoid bubbles, well you have to remember that all nail polishes are, “flammable liquid,” and the air bubbles in the polish bottle are actually “flammable vapor bubbles” trying to escape from the sealed container.

    In order to avoid the bubbles (which also may transfer to your nails) by gently rolling the polish in the palm of your hand, back and forth, will eliminate these vapor bubbles, I have never had a problem with the bubbles by doing this method of gently rolling the polish bottle in the palm of your hand, back and forth and having the nail lacquer, “bubble up.”

    I have also seen some nail technicians take a bottle of nail polish and smack the bottle’s bottom a number of time, (this may have the same effect, removing the flammable vapor air bubbles before applying the polish to your nails.) However, I never tried this, I always used the “gently rolling,” technique and it seems to work every time with every bottle of polish I have used.

    Hope this helps.


    Mc Huggs :)

  20. love4lacquer says:

    I love this 365 days of Untrieds. it gives me a for sure awesome post every single day, thanks for your wonderful blog :)

  21. Isabelle says:

    Hey Michelle! I’ve heard that Steel Grey is an exact dupe for Sephora by OPI’s “Metro Chic.” Do you have that color? It’s like my favorite!!

  22. I have the Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro in Midnight Blue & it is GORGEOUS!!! I even found it on clearance at Target for 99 cents…such a steal! I was so impressed with the quality of their formula & how chip-resistant it was. I’m a nail polish junkie


  23. coco_fiere says:

    I have both CiC and Steel Grey and they are identical to me too. Actually, I have 2 Steel Greys because I got them for

  24. Tania says:

    I usually don’t like using Rimmel nail polishes, for me they usually show the visible nail line and they start chipping after a day and I find that Rimmel nail polishes should be used for the weekend or night out but if yours actually went the distance with good results,then you may have changed my mind on Rimmel. the London Steel Grey looks beautiful.
    Tania, Manchester, UK

  25. Melissa S says:

    I bought this color about a year ago and wasn’t too happy with how it looked on me (my skin tone). I also bought Sally Hansen Steel Grey and I liked it much better than Rimmel.

  26. Barclay says:

    I just realized I have this color, and I’m a huge sucker for greys and neutral tones, and this one is great but it isn’t special – I will say, however, the brush shape is a big selling point for me. I wish more folks would get with the flat-shaped brush program!

  27. Lindsay says:

    This is my absolute favorite grey!

  28. Rebecca says:

    I just purchased Rimmel’s Steel Grey a few days ago at a Target store here in Las Vegas. Maybe Rimmel has improved the formula from the way it was for you. It went on quite dense and pigmented. Great, solid coverage in one coat and opaque in two coats.
    This is now my favorite “greige”. So many are too dark or too chocolate-brown. This one has just the right amount of grey in it. I’ve seen on line pictures of Chanel’s Particuli