Category Archives: Sally Hansen

Clear Lip Liner & Lip Primer Comparison

Purchases & Press Sample – Affiliate Links
clear lip liner - lip primer

Lip Primer & Clear Lip Liner

Milani and OCC each recently released clear lip liners (or should I call them lip pencils? I never know which to write). I purchased the Milani to try it out, then received the OCC as a press sample. So, I thought I’d do a comparison of those two items plus all the other clear lip liners & lip primers I own. This post is a comparison of the following six items:

– NYX Lip Primer – $6.99 at Ulta
– OCC Anti-Feathered Clear Lip Pencil – $16 at Sephora
– Sally Hansen Plumping Lip Primer (in jar) – around $6; I’ve only seen it at CVS
– Maybelline Clear Lip Pencil – $4.95 at
– E.L.F. Lip Lock Pencil – $3 at
– Milani Clear Anti-Feathering Lip Liner – $4.49 at

I expect a lip primer / clear lip liner to do two things – prevent feathering & extend the weartime of my lipstick.  All six of the items I tried prevented feathering (as tested on my hand, because lipstick rarely feathers on my lips).  However, in terms of extending the wear of my lipstick, there’s a clear winner, a clear loser, and four items in the middle.

Best for extending weartine: Milani

Milani clear lip liner

The Milani Anti-Feathering lip liner has a soft texture.  It creates a sort of “grippy” surface on the lips for your lipstick or gloss to adhere to.  Although it’s marketed mostly as preventing feathering, it actually did the best job of extending the weartime of my lip products. Do note that if you use too much pressure or sharpen it to too fine of a point, the tip will break off.

I’ve seen the Milani liner at CVS stores and Walgreens stores for around $6, and it’s available on the Milani website for under $5. Recommended!

Worst for extending weartime: ELF

ELF lip lock pencil

The E.L.F. lip lock pencil is only $3, but I still don’t think it’s worth it – it does nothing to extend the wear time of my lip products. On the positive side, it does prevent feathering and I like the packaging – it’s much easier to cover my lips with this size pencil than a slim pencil, plus it doesn’t need to be sharpened.

When I posted about this previously, a couple people commented that this product is meant to prevent feathering (which it does), rather than extend wear. I think the description on ELF’s website implies that it does both; but the intent really doesn’t matter. In the end, if you’re looking for a cheap anti-feathering pencil this is great; if you want something that extends wear, it’s not.

Average: OCC, Maybelline, NYX, Sally Hansen

clear lip liner - lip primer-2

I found the Maybelline & OCC pencils (the nearest two in the photo above) to be extremely similar – both are slightly hard, waxy pencils. Both prevent feathering and help lipstick last longer, but both are a bit difficult to use due to the thinness & texture of the pencil.

The NYX lip primer (farthest away in above photo) is a chubby pencil, so it’s easy to use. It looks light pink in the photo, but applies almost-clear; I can’t see it swatched on my skin, and it mutes the natural color of my lips just a little. This is a solid choice, just not my favorite.

sally hansen plumping lip primer

The Sally Hansen plumping lip primer (review) might actually be my favorite of all of these products.  The Milani does do a little bit of a better job at gripping the lip product, but the Sally Hansen makes up for it in being easy to apply.  You can see that it’s in a jar in the first photo in this post, and that’s because it broke off a while back – not ideal, but it’s still easier to use than a skinny pencil. Do note that the “plumping” aspect shows up as a minty tingle, so this is not a good choice for those with sensitive lips.

Overall, I’d recommend the Milani, the Sally Hansen (as long as you don’t have sensitive lips), and the NYX.  The ELF lip lock is also a good choice if you only care about preventing feathering, not about weartime.  And I’d skip the Maybelline and OCC – they work, but the others are all easier to use.

Do you use any type of lip primer? I’d love to hear what works for you!

*I recieved the OCC pencil courtesy of the brand and The Makeup Show. I purchased all other products featured in this post. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

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Sally Hansen Go Gold & Silk Onyx Satin Glam Swatches

Purchased – No Affiliate Links
Sally Hansen Go Gold Silk OnyxSatin Glam bottles

Go Gold // Silk Onyx

As I mentioned, I purchased two of Sally Hansen’s new Satin Glam polishes a few days ago. They sell for around $5 each, and the bottle is quite small – .33oz. The bottle is identical to the Lustre Shine bottles.

Here’s the display again (and a sharper picture this time).

Sally Hansen Satin Glam display

Pink Chic // Teal Tulle // Taffeta, Black Onyx // Taffeta
Go Gold // Crystalline // Metal End // Sun Sheen

I did a quick swatch using both colors I bought, Go Gold and Silk Onyx

Sally Hansen Black Onyx Go Gold swatch

Black Onyx & Go Gold

It’s a bit difficult to see the finish in photos, but these are definitely satin / a soft matte.

Of course, you can add topcoat to make these glossy. I found that Go Gold looks doesn’t change, but topcoat makes the multicolored sparkle Black Onyx visible. I don’t have a good swatch photo of the mani topcoated, but here’s a fuzzy close up where you can see the sparkle in Black Onyx.

Sally Hansen Satin Glam swatch-2


You can also see what they look like when glossy from looking at the bottles.

I’m sure many of you are wondering how these compare to Zoya’s recently re-released satin finish shades, but I don’t own any of the Zoya satins, so I really don’t know. They do look like they have a similar finish based though, just based on swatches I’ve seen.

Do you prefer glossy nails, or do you like different textures?

Sally Hansen Lick-O-Rich Sugar Coat Textured Nail Polish Quick Review & Swatches


Sally Hansen Sugar Coat Lick-o-rich

Today I have a quick review (and comparison) of Sally Hansen’s new, limited edition Sugar Coat textured nail polish line. I purchased just one shade from the line – Lick-o-rich, which is black.  The Sugar Coat polishes remind me of Milani’s Textured Creams; both the Sally Hansen and the Milani textured polishes are creme finishes with no shimmer or sparkle.

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Sally Hansen Fuzzy Coat Nail Polish – Review & Swatches

Sally Hansen Fuzzy Coat Swatches

All Yarned Up // Tight Knight // Fuzz Sea // Tweedy

Earlier this week, I found an end cap display at CVS with two new lines of Sally Hansen polishes – Fuzzy Coat, which is a short bar glitter polish, and Sugar Coat, a textured polish. There are eight shades of each, and I’ll have a swatch & review of Sugar Coat in a separate post.

Sally Hansen Fuzzy Coat polishes

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sally hansen peptide lip smoother, plumping lip primer

Sally Hansen New Peptide Lip Smoother & Plumping Lip Primer Review

sally hansen peptide lip smoother, plumping lip primer

Sally Hansen recently released four new lip care products, which I found in a display at CVS.  I purchased the Peptide Lip Smoother and the Plumping Lip Primer, and I have reviews of both of those for you today.  The display also included an invisible lip liner and a stick lip balm balm, but since I have a Maybelline clear lip liner and plenty of lip balm, I passed on those for now.   Here are images (from of the items I did not purchase:

Sally Hansen invisible lip liner, full & radient lip balm

As to the products I did purchase – the Peptide Lip Smoother is really interesting. It’s definitely not a traditional balm.  It’s supposed to be “skincare for lips” – and it sort of feels more like a moisturizer than a lip balm. It’s a white, milky fluid when it comes out of the tube, though it does disappear completely when applied. I’m having a bit of trouble figuring out how to describe the texture – I guess it’s sort of like a thick, slightly waxy lotion.

I do find it moisturizing, but it’s not as moisturizing as my favorite lip balms (I usually use Jack Black during the day and Nuxe Reve de Miel at night).  I planned to test it the Peptide Smoother by using it as my sole lip balm for a couple days, but my lips weren’t happy with that plan – I need my other lip balms! That said, I do really like it in combination with my other balms, and I will continue to use it.

Sally Hansen Peptide Line Smoother

The Sally Hansen Plumping Lip Primer is my very first plumping lip product and my very first lip primer.  Let me say first that I like it, and second that if you have sensitive lips, it is not for you! I am wearing it (under a lipstick) right now – I applied it about 25 minutes ago, and I still feel a minty tingle from the plumping action.  It isn’t bothering me – I don’t have sensitive skin generally – but I’d play it safe & skip it if you’ve had problems with plumping products before.  I’m not sure I can detect any plumping action going on with my lips, either.

That said, this is a really nice lip primer. It applies clear (so it doesn’t interfere with your lipstick color), and is semi-matte (so it doesn’t interfere with your lipstick finish – matte lipsticks still look matte).  It’s definitely moisturizing and makes matte lipsticks more comfortable to wear.  My lips are in pretty good condition right now, but I think it also does a decent job of smoothing out lip lines and making my lipstick look better – though I will have to see how it does when my lips are in rougher shape.

Sally Hansen Plumping Lip Primer

The real question is whether it helps my lipstick last twice as long, as it claims, and the jury is still out. I tested it with two different lipsticks (both lipsticks that don’t last very long on me), and with one it didn’t seem to lengthen the wear; with the other, it helped a lot.  I think it may depend on the texture of the lipstick and how it interacts with the texture of the primer.  And, I don’t think that most lipsticks will last twice as long – but some will last an extra hour or so with the primer.  I’ll continue to test it out, and I’ll update this post if I have any further thoughts on it.

Quick Swatch: Sally Hanson Mermaid’s Tale

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure - 560 Mermaid's Tale

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure – 560 Mermaid’s Tale

Sally Hansen has recently revamped the Complete Salon Manicure line, discontinuing some shades and adding some new ones, but keeping the bottle the same. Quite a while ago, I came across a bottle of the shade Mermaid’s Tale in a Walgreens display, but didn’t buy it – and have regretted it since! I finally found it again at Target, and this time I snapped it up.  It’s also available on Target’s website, plus there’s a locator tool you can use to find it in-store near you.

I have one similar polish – Milani Teal, from the Jewel FX line.  Milani Teal has a clear base with small blue glitters, plus large silver, blue, and green hex glitters. Sally Hansen Mermaid’s Tale has a blue jelly base with the same small blue glitters and the same blue and green hex glitters, but it does not appear to have any silver hex glitters.

Comparison Sally Hanson Mermaid's Tale Milani Teal

SH Mermaid’s Tale – one coat // SH Mermaid’s Tale – three coats // Milani Teal – one coat

Of course, one reason that a lot of people are excited about the Sally Hansen is that it seems to be a dupe for Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe. I don’t own Across the Universe to compare myself, but this post by Vampy Varnish has an excellent close up shot. It appears that Across the Universe also has small blue glitters plus the light blue and green hex glitters.  Across the Universe may be in a slightly deeper blue jelly, or it may just be the lighting; it’s hard to say.  If they’re not perfect dupes – and they may be perfect dupes – they’re definitely close enough that you need a side by side comparison to tell the difference!

Overall, I am really happy with my Mermaid’s Tale purchase.  I probably could have frankened something similar with Milani Teal and a blue jelly, but the Sally Hansen is great quality – it’s not streaky even at one coat, and the glitter is nicely distributed.  If you’re looking for an Across the Universe dupe – or just a pretty polish – I’d recommend this one.

(Also: sorry about the lack of on-the-nail swatches; I am loving my current manicure too much to take it off!)