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ALU’s 365 of Untrieds – Sally Hansen Barracuda from the Tracy Reese Spring 2011 Collection

sally hansen barracuda nail polish from the tracy reese for sally hansen spring 2011 collection 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.

When Chanel Riva came out this past spring, I was less than thrilled with it. The sheerness, the lack of sparkle or uniqueness. It just didn’t live up to the Chanel reputation or cost.

When I spotted Sally Hansen Barracuda from the Tracy Reese for Sally Hansen Spring 2011 collection, I immediately thought of Riva and thankfully it comes with a more affordable price tag.

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 has a thin, squishy consistency and while it usually becomes opaque in two coats, Barracuda required three due to slight patchiness. Since this line is meant to be worn sans base and top coat, it dries with a high gloss shine.

Sally Hansen Barracuda is an energized baby blue creme with the slightest hint of turquoise in its base color. You don’t notice it as much on its own but when you put it next to Riva,  you see the subtle difference.

sally hansen barracuda nail polish swatch from the tracy reese for sally hansen spring 2011 collection

When you line Barracuda up next to Rescue Beauty Lounge Bikini Bottom and Chanel Riva, it really stands out from the crowd. The other two appear quite muted in addition to the slight color variances.

sally hansen barracuda nail polish comparison chanel riva dupe rbl bikini bottom

One of the major differences between Barracuda and it’s competitors is opacity. Bikini Bottom is a sheer and Riva is semi-sheer so they both require at least 1-2 more coats to become opaque. Color-wise BB is more aqua and Riva looks pale and more blue next to Barracuda.

sally hansen barracuda nail polish comparison swatch chanel riva dupe

Bottom Line: While Barracuda may be a bit brighter than Chanel Riva, I find it to be a great substitute in addition to $OPI Havana Dreams, another LE polish. I prefer the Sally Hansen version simply because it’s brighter and I find it to be more pigmented than Havana Dreams. Plus, Sally Hansen is frequently on sale.

365 of Untrieds Stash/Share Verdict: SHARE the old, SOPI Havana Dreams, and STASH the new, Barracuda.

Sally Hansen Barracuda is available in drugstores nationwide as part of the limited edition Tracy Reese for Sally Hansen Spring 2011 collection. Sally Hansen CSM nail polishes retail for $7.99/ea for a .5oz bottle.

Thoughts on Barracuda? Of the three, Riva, Barracuda, Havana Dreams, which do you prefer? Did you pick up Riva or one of its dupes?

Disclosure: A product sample was provided by Sally Hansen. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.

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There Are 28 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Elizabeth says:

    I bought Barracuda at the beginning of the summer. I absolutely LOVE the color, but have a really difficult time with the brush shape. I don’t know if I would buy anymore Sally Hanson Complete Manicure or Insta-Dri because of it…I would rather pay a comparable price for a different brand like, OPI where I actually like the brush. I really do like the color though! It is amazing in person!

  2. Kim says:

    I love the Barracuda!

  3. Cryssi says:

    Oooh I might have to pick this up! I definitely didn’t want to drop that much money on Riva for what it ended up being. And your post yesterday reminded me… I have a bottle of White Kwik Silvr that I picked up earlier this year when a beauty store was getting rid of old stock, would you be interested in swapping for it? I’ve never reached for it at all, I prefer ChG White Cap on my own nails.

  4. Janna says:

    This one’s really pretty. I like the hint of turquoise!

  5. Valerie says:

    thoughts on barracuda: it’s impossible to find!! haha. I have Riva and ADORE it because it was my first Chanel polish. Also I’ve always thought Riva has a slightly jelly finish so I use that as an excuse for the ridiculous number of coats to opacity. But I think it adds to the color – I don’t think I would love its creamier sisters as much as I love Riva.

    Question: what do you do with your share polishes? do they happen to find their way to swapdom on MUA?

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      I stopped swapping on MUA a while ago. I just don’t have the time for it and I have too many polishes that I give away to try and list them all. I host a sale with local bloggers each year and sell my extra polishes to benefit a charity. Last year we raised over $1000 for Living Beyond Breast Cancer.

      • Valerie says:

        awww that’s such a good idea! Is that something you do locally in Cleveland or is it online?

      • Charli says:

        I think this is a great idea!!!

        Do you publicize when/where the sale is? I’m within reasonable driving distance to Cleveland, so I’d be interested in possibly stopping by the sale. Thanks!

    • emily says:

      i found an untouched display of barracuda at target a few days ago. if you’ve got one nearby, try looking there?

  6. emily says:

    i loved the color, but i had some serious problems with the formula on this one. gloopy, lots of cuticle drag, patchy… what a mess. is it worth another shot?

    • Rory says:

      I had the same issues, which breaks my heart because I had to wait a month for Target to get this polish back in stock (they’re the only ones selling it in my area).

  7. Kim says:


    Just curious, how does this compare to the SH insta-dri blue-away?


  8. meme says:

    I really like Barracuda. However, pastel blues just look horrible on me. Next to yellows, light blues are just the worst on me. Out of the 3 you swatches here, I would pick the SH Complete because I am not that picky when shades get this close in a color hue that is not my die for gotta have every variance in its range. Reason I would pick the SH is I adore the SHC formula and brush. I just wish I could find more of them around were I live. They are always picked over and lucky at that to even have spots for maybe 8 shades. I would love to see SH really market this one part of their line big time. Maybe they do in bigger areas then where I live. If ya never tired a SH from this part of the line – get any color you can. It’s a big treat.

  9. Emily says:

    God, I’ve been trying to hunt this down since I saw the empty display case a few weeks ago. now i want it that much more! god I love light blue polishes…

  10. Cat says:

    This is one of those lacquers that I’ve ALMOST picked up multiple times while out shopping…I just can’t bring myself to buy it, though. Those brushes are the real deal breaker for me. I can’t stand them!

  11. Jackie S. says:

    I’;m surprised you did not do a “side by side” using Barracuda and Havana Dreams?

  12. Sarah says:

    I love this polish! I bought it fairly recently and it’s quickly become a summer favorite. I don’t even wear blues, usually. I agree that the formula can be a bit of a pain, but a lot of pastels have this issue, and once you manage to get it on the nail and possibly slap a nice top coat on (even though this line doesn’t always need it!) if the application has gotten a little mangled, it looks very nice! I’m a fan of the Complete Salon Manicure line, I think they wear nicely and give a really smooth, glossy surface.

  13. Deb says:

    Sally Hansen has such a nice line in these Complete Salon Manicures! It’s nice to see you like so many of the colors.

    Something I have been wondering for a while is that you descibe some formulas as “squishy” and I’m not really sure what you mean. I’ve used some one the ones you’ve called squishy and I’m still confused. It’s probably just me :)

    I’m loving 365 of Untrieds, by the way!

  14. Renee says:

    It looks so pretty on your nails. Not sure how it would look on my dark skin…

  15. I am in love with this polish.

  16. Katy says:

    Very pretty! Probably a great summer pedicure color.

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Love the color, hate the brush but it’s worth it to me.

  18. Cat says:

    Love the color– I’m glad I picked it up. It’s beautiful on the nail!

  19. HBBGirl says:

    Just out of curiousity, how does Chanel Riva compare to Revlon’s Waterfall?

  20. Julia says:

    I love this colour!!

  21. Jess says:

    Thanks for posting the comparisons! I saw some celebrity wearing Riva on 9 fingers and a metallic gold on one ring finger, and in an effort to emulate that, minus the price tag, I got OPI Mermaid’s Tears instead. It has a more greenish cast, like Bikini Bottom, and after seeing it and Barracuda next to Riva, Riva is actually my least favorite, so it’s good to know I ended up getting exactly what I wanted.

  22. Medusa says:

    Beautiful color! I bet it would look fantastic with tanned hands, too! It reminds me of the Caribbean.

  23. basketlady says:

    I love the Sally Hansen Complete Salon manicure brush, and I love this color! I wish I had bought an extra bottle of it. I was standing in our local Walgreen store when a lady came by and picked up the last bottle…and if I understood her correctly, she was putting it on her male dogs toenails.