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ALU’s 365 of Untrieds – Sally Hansen Gray by Gray

By on April 30, 2011
in 365 of Untrieds, Gray, Sally Hansen
sally-hansen-gray-by-gray-nail-polish-complete-salon-manicure 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.

I’m blaming the rainstorms and overcast, cloudy skies on my apparent grey polish streak. I think this is the 3rd or 4th grey in the Untrieds and we’re only a month in. Hopefully sunny weather and fun brights are in my future because I am OVER this blech, fall-esque weather.

When the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure line debuted, I raved about the formula and its durability. It is, without question, my favorite drugstore brand. At first I questioned the marketing claims about ten day wear without base or top coat but my skepticism was easily shot down. If you missed my original test, check it out here. Today I’m wearing a shade from the line that I can’t believe I haven’t tried before now, Sally Hansen Gray by Gray.

Formula & Application: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure nail polishes are 4-Free (including formaldehyde resin) and free of camphor, which can be an irritant. The hefty glass bottles are topped with a smooth chrome cap that has a rubberized grip around the base. The grip makes opening the bottle easier and keeps the brush from slipping while polishing.

The brush is the same flat, paddle style as the Insta-Dri line with curved bristles. The bristles are firm so use a light touch to avoid streaking or dragging the polish.

The Complete Salon Manicure formula feels thin when you apply it but Gray by Gray is so pigmented that you barely need two coats. Since this line is meant to be worn sans base and top coat, it dries with a high gloss shine.

Sally Hansen Gray by Gray is in no way grey to my eye.  If anything it’s a slate blue creme.  Considering that I file my polishes according to color , this one has been living in my blue drawer, not grey, for months.  I’ve talked in the past how most greys have either a blue or green base but this one goes beyond that limit.  It’s much more of a murky greyed blue than a blue grey.


What I discovered when I pulled this polish out is that it’s a close relative of the famed MAC Blue India. The now discontinued fan fave is one of the colors I’m most asked about in terms of dupes. Sadly I have yet to find an exact match but I believe that Gray by Gray is an excellent substitute as they come from the same base smoky blue-grey base color.


As you can see, Gray by Gray is a bit lighter than Blue India but unless someone really knows their polish, I doubt they’d know the difference.


Bottom Line: Gray by Gray has an amazing formula, excellent lasting power and is a gorgeous unique shade. I’m a huge fan of the Complete Salon Manicure line so the color would have be truly hideous for me not to give it a thumbs up.

365 of Untrieds Stash/Share Verdict: It’s staying where I found it… in my STASH.

Sally Hansen Gray by Gray is part of the Complete Salon Manicure core line which can be found at drugstores and mass retailers nationwide. Sally Hansen CSM nail polishes retail for $7.99/ea for a .5oz bottle.

How many of you own Gray by Gray?  Thoughts on the color?  If you’ve been looking for a MAC Blue India substitute would this quell your desires?  What has your experience been with the Complete Salon Manicure line?

Disclosure: I purchased this nail polish. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.

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There Are 50 Brilliant Comments

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  1. I missed out on Blue India so I will definitely get Gray by Gray. I love the CSM polishes too. I know some people complain about the brush but I actually really like it.

  2. dana says:

    i got it on right now and love it.. i wore a basecoat and a topcoat and it only lasted 1 day- so maybe i need to do the sans thing

  3. Lisa says:

    I think it’s pretty close to RBL 360. Very pretty though!

  4. mayzie says:

    i’m totally with you on keeping this one in the blue drawer, now that i know you agree i don’t feel so weird about it!

  5. Vette says:

    Wow, I need this! I love Blue India, and a lighter version would be so welcome in my stash :) Thanks for the comparison!

  6. karina says:

    How does it compare to OPI Ski Teal We Drop?

    • Kelly says:

      these are both in my untrieds which I had handy. Ski is way darker and a bit greener. In the bottle at least. I took a couple iPhone snaps for you if you want to see it, they’re in my flickr, hopefully the following link will work. If not I’m user subgirl13 on there & they’re my most recent photos in my stream.

  7. Suzanne says:

    I have this one and I love it. I was sad I missed the MAC Blue Indis but good to know they are so close…this makes me feel better about missing it.

  8. Pamela says:

    I have this color! But I’ve never worn it. Good to see what it look’s like on your nails. It’s prettier than I thought it would be. I look forward each day to see what color you’re trying next!

  9. Katie W. says:

    Thanks for the review! I purchased this about a month ago and still haven’t tried it. I actually put it in my giveaway pile, but have since yanked it out and will be trying it on soon!

  10. terri says:

    I also have this polish..Grey by Grey….& it’s exactly what you say..More blue than grey…I have NO idea how or why they chose this name ? I would have called it Blue by Grey..LOL But it’s a great shade & goes with everything..LOVE it!

  11. darby says:

    How funny! I actually picked up this polish a while back because I couldn’t find the MAC color and wanted something in the same family! Glad to see I picked right!

  12. Rory says:

    I bought this color last year, and it’s quickly become one of my favorite polishes! This is one of the first polishes where I have almost used the entire bottle.

  13. Anutka says:

    Gorgeous color! Will have to add it to my want list :D

  14. Emily says:

    Oh I always have this in my hands at Riteaide when I’m on a polish kick (truth time: when am I not?) but my need for polish, my bank account and their sales haven’t seemed to line up in a *long* time-so I don’t have this yet. Thanks for helping me pull the trigger. I must add that they *do* have some fabulous colors, don’t they?

  15. Lauren says:

    How is removal? I have Fairy Teal from this line and it stains both my nails and the surrounding skin horribly every time I go to remove it.

  16. Serena says:

    So pretty! I haven’t tried Sally Hansen yet, but Commander in Chic is on my wishlist and I am adding Gray By Gray.

  17. Putturani says:

    This one perfectly suits the weather! I was wearing a grayed out blue/green till yesterday from Revlon and it too had AMAZING wear. I wore it a week with only one tiny chip and almost no tip wear. But Sally Hansen sometimes lasts two weeks!

  18. Sarah says:

    I have this one, and I also like it. I agree that it’s really much more blue than grey. I originally bought it for winter manicures with snowflake nail art, and it worked great as a base for that.

  19. Susan says:

    I love this shade! Never heard of it before. But slate blue is one of my best colors – never tried it in polish though, so I’ll definitely be picking this one up! Thanks!

    • meme says:

      I am with ya on slate blues being one of my better shades too out of the blue range. I just did my toes in OPI What’s With the Catitude – a sky blue cream and it’s just not looking right. Making my skin look really blue. I am going to search for a topper to go over it and change it up some to see what I can Frankenstein it to!

  20. meme says:

    Me! Gotta have it now – no yesterday I mean! Beautiful. Cannot wait to see if I can locate it so it can come live with me too! Thanks so much for this one! And the wear everyone talks about is amazing to even think of on this formula!

  21. meme says:

    Off topic sort of – where do I purchase the nail rings like you demo here the 2 shades side by side? I have looked on the web and only found some from Hong Kong via eBay. I have a funny feeling I might never get them coming from that far. I don’t have a license so pro supply stores are out for me. Anyone know? I want a ton of them to do an inventory of all my polishes that are in each box of shades I have.

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      I ordered them from but I’ve purchased from an eBay seller in Hong Kong in the past and received my wheels with no problem.

      • meme says:

        Thanks so much. Glad to know both resources. I really want either wheels or the rectangle ones vs. making my own with nail tips glued on Popsicle sticks. It’s high time I have an easier way to look at each polish shade in each of my boxes vs digging through and either knowing from my previous uses, or doing a fast swatch.

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Also what some girls do is buy a box of fake nail tips, like at Sally’s, and glue them on popsicle sticks that you can get at a craft store.

      • meme says:

        Had thought of that one, but then I have all those loose Popsicle sticks scattered in the top of each box. Guess I could drill a hole in every stick on the opposite end and put a string through the hole. Just seems easier to get the demo rings or rectangle shape of the same. Ya know how it is when you have it all planned out exactly what ya want! Plus I don’t have a drill bit small enough…a lovely neighbor borrowed my dremmel drill and never returned it!

    • karhyb says:

      I was able to get them from Sally’s without a license. it’s fun to see all the colors on the wheels.

  22. Hanneri says:

    The Sally Hansen complete manicure line has just been released in South Africa and I am definitely going to get myself a bottle of Grey on Grey – will go perfectly with our Autumn weather

  23. Chris says:

    Whoa, this is totally pretty and totally unexpected! It does look more blue than grey. Maybe they thought of it as a cooler, muted blue and that’s what brought on the Grey by Grey name?

  24. ReaderRita says:

    Thank you for the comparison! I opted not to get Blue India when it came out because I wasn’t sure about the color on me, and didn’t feel like paying that much to find out…but now I know I can try Gray by Gray and get a similar effect. (affect?)
    Thank you!
    I am so lovin’ this “Untried” thang, BTW- you’ve inspired me to dig deep into the back of the Helmer quite a few times! Yay!
    (geeze, that sounds kinda dirty…but you know what I mean!)

  25. Jill says:

    I love this! I missed out on Blue India so I may have to pick this up. The only thing it’s missing is the cute packaging, but it’s very close!

  26. Mc Huggs says:

    It’s a beautiful color however, why the crazy name? It’s definitely a blue cream shade. (Good thing if someone ordered the color by just the name alone, they would have thought it was a mistake.)I love to get it.


    Mc Huggs :)

  27. Jill says:

    MAC’s Blue India is looking really similar to Chanel’s Bond Street to me. What do you think?

    • Jill says:

      Ok, correction, Dior’s Bond Street. I actually just found your review on that and the reference to MAC’s Blue India! Thanks!

  28. Cat says:

    Oooo, this is a really pretty color. As I keep running across cool polishes that were released way before I got into polish, it’s great to find some similar colors (and cheaper too!). I think I will be snagging this asap!

  29. NailPolishFan says:

    I own this color and love it. I actually really like the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure nail polish line. Especially for the brushes.

  30. Melissa says:

    Has anyone had issues with streaking? I just bought and applied Fruitti Petutie as a test to see if I want to wear this color, or a different color from this line, on a vacation next week so that I wouldn’t have to worry about chipping, etc. However right now, it appears a little streaky so I was wondering if the whole line is this way or perhaps just this color.

  31. Erin says:

    I’m so into the Sally Hanson nail strips I’ve gone right past the Complete Salon line! I’ll have to correct that! Beautiful color. I think it will match my new swim suit. Sorry, it’s sunny and warm here!

  32. Lauriestrode says:

    Both Sally Hansen lines are finally available in Denmark, though not as cheap as in US. Will definately give this a try, love that colour!!

  33. Skyla says:

    Thats awesome I’ve skipped this color over and over not knowing that its close to Blue India.
    If you have Orly Sapphire Silk could you compare these plz. Thank You.

  34. Mary says:

    When MAC Blue India came out, I was gonna get it, but then I stumbled upon Sally Hansen Gray by Gray and decided to go for the drugstore polish.

    The first time I wore it, I LOVED it – kept looking at my nails. This is definitely a special color because it’s a grayish blue that you don’t see too often.

  35. meme says:

    I JUST found it today in my local RiteAide. Plus they were having a sale with buy one full price, next one is 50% off. I really like that Salon Line. I have never been a big Sally Hanson fan. But the formula in the Salon Line is amazing! I like that really different kind of brush in it too! Great shade! So glad you put this review up! I came home also with SH SL Cafe Au Late. I need a good nude shade that covers vs. being really sheer. I also hauled home 2 of the new summer collection regular retail avaiable Essies – Brazilant – a really bright coral with a bit of pearl in it but not sure the pearl will show when on – might be one of those you see in the bottle but not on. Then also brought home Absolutely Shore – a really different green than anything I have. It’s not mint, but it is very light like a mint green would be. It’s more like a eucalyptus color that has a ton of white in it. Now…what to do my toes in? I have my own not yet used batch as well too – not 365 of them – but enough of ‘em that I should have no business buying another bottle of polish if I had half a brain! But I have a full brain of polish head!

  36. Bet says:

    Thanks so much for posting this, I just picked it up at my Rite Aid as well.

  37. DM says:

    I have Gray by Gray, and while it’s a beautiful color, it leaves a very gross green stain on my nails and fingers… I used it twice, same issue. Probably won’t use it again. Or purchase anything from this line again.

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Really? Wow, that’s strange. I had staining from Grass Slipper but not Gray by Gray. Bummer. :(

  38. kathyb says:

    i keep coming back to view this post everyday. does that mean i NEED this color? yes, i think it might. ;)

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Clearly you must get your hands on it, and it on your hands, very soon.

  39. Camila Campolino says:

    I got this color from CVS last year along with Sally Hansen Complete Salon in “Fairy Teal”. OMG, I looove it. Even though it’s a muted shade, it’s definetly on the bluish side, but still work-appropriate. And the formula is just unbeatable. Go snag it while you can!

  40. Farrah Rose says:

    First off, I’d like to say that I have become absolutely obsessed with your blog. I have gone through tons of your newer and older posts in the last couple of weeks (it has become my new guilty pleasure) and I have found them all to be informative, relaxing, inspiring, and so much fun to read. Your nails are absolutely envy-worthy!

    In regards to the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure line, I am a huge fan as well. I have tried Gray by Gray but did not love the color. It reminded me of shark or dolphin skin. I don’t know why exactly, but it was a little weird and off putting. Very silly sounding, but that is the absolute truth! I have tried others though that I adored. Commander in Chic was a bit darker then I wanted but not terrible. Pat on the Black was absolutely gorgeous. And the Alexander Wang limited edition Bandage is stunning. I love my nudes as they are so versatile. I’m wearing it right now with gold leafing. Very pretty combination.

    As for the actual quality of the product, it is stupendous!! I don’t quite get 10 day wear but it’s definitely much longer lasting than any other polish I’ve tried. The formula is simply amazing. Very easy to work with as it builds to a virtually perfect glossy opaque in 2 coats. Lastly, the brush! It is to die for. I truly do not know why so many people do not like it. It works wonders on my narrow pinky nail and my wider thumb nail. I’m hoping to get many more colors in this Sally Hansen line, particularly Pumice, another color from Alexander Wang’s limited edition set. Hopefully I’ll be able to find it!

    This has been a particularly wordy novel, but this is my first time commenting on any of your posts. I look forward to submitting more in the future. Take care!! :)