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Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Polish: Review

Updated on June 1, 2014

Please note that this product has recently been discontinued, for unknown reasons. However, similar products are still being sold from brands like Essie, Loreal, and Sephora.

Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Polish (Electric Emerald)
Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Polish (Electric Emerald)

"It's magnetic? WHOA!"

I was awestruck when I first heard about Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Polish. I ran a search for photos of it on Tumblr, and it looked amazing. All the pictures featured a beautiful, swirley line pattern horizontally across the nails.

Not only was the look appealing, but what caused it seemed downright cool! Apparently, the polish contains magnetic particles that move around to form that design when you put a magnet over it (when it's still wet).

So I set out to get me some of this revolutionary nail polish!

Here's everything I liked and disliked about the product, from the color and price to the final design and more.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Electric EmeraldGolden ConductGraphite GravyIonic IndigoKinetic CopperPurple PotionRed-y ResponseSilver Elements
Electric Emerald
Electric Emerald | Source
Golden Conduct
Golden Conduct | Source
Graphite Gravy
Graphite Gravy | Source
Ionic Indigo
Ionic Indigo | Source
Kinetic Copper
Kinetic Copper | Source
Purple Potion
Purple Potion | Source
Red-y Response
Red-y Response | Source
Silver Elements
Silver Elements | Source

Color Variety

The Magnetic Nail Polish comes in eight colors: Golden Conduct, Purple Potion, Silver Elements, Kinetic Copper, Red-y Response, Ionic Indigo, Electric Emerald, and Graphite Gravy.

Eight colors is quite a variety. Can you think of any other colors you'd like to see included in that collection? I sure couldn't. Plus, they all seem to be bold and vibrant colors. I wanted them all!

After much time was spent trying to pick a color, I eventually settled on green. It is my favorite color, and green goes with a lot of the clothing I own. It's the only color I've tried so far.


I wasn't too psyched about the pricing. At my local Target, they're $8.99 each. I normally would NOT pay this much for nail polish (or just about any other beauty product, for that matter), but I really was dying to try this particular one. So I got it, anyway.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
First, clear base coat on all nails.Then, one thin coat of magnetic polish to all nails.Magnet used to make design.End result
First, clear base coat on all nails.
First, clear base coat on all nails.
Then, one thin coat of magnetic polish to all nails.
Then, one thin coat of magnetic polish to all nails.
Magnet used to make design.
Magnet used to make design.
End result
End result

How does it look?

When I took it home and tried it, I was so excited! I followed all of the instructions very carefully. Here's what the process calls for:

  1. Apply a clear base coat on all your nails. Let dry.
  2. Apply first coat of magnetic nail polish on all your nails, let dry.
  3. Apply another coat of magnetic nail polish to one nail (Tip: make sure this one's thick. The thicker it is, the better the design shows up).
  4. Immediately after applying the second coat, place the magnet over your nail. Hold it there for 10 seconds (moving it around a little to make sure it covers your whole nail).
  5. Repeat for all the rest of your nails. Let dry.
  6. Apply a final clear coat on top.

I took pictures of every step, which are on the right. I also took a video of the step involving the magnet, just to give everyone a clear idea of what is required.

What you see in the pictures is my second try. The first time, the design appeared as just this messy, dark line across my nails. Even the second time around, I had to redo several of my nails because the design came out a complete mess. If you didn't know what kind of nail polish it was, you would think I had done a really bad job painting my nails. It looked like the color was badly uneven on my nails.

After several re-dos and a lot of time spent, I finally got my nails to look how they do in the picture on the right (The last thumbnail labeled "End result"). You can see the stripes going horizontally across my nails. When the light hits them, the stripes have almost a 3D effect. I have to admit that after all was said and done, it was pretty cool. I just had to go through way too much trouble to get there!

3 stars for Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Polish

The Final Verdict

I give this product three out of five stars. The idea of it is really cool, and the design looks awesome, but it's just too difficult to make it look like it's supposed to. What I'm trying to say is, the results are not at all consistent. On one nail you might get a perfect design, on another you might get just a blob of dark color that looks awful, and on another you might get absolutely nothing.

Even if you can get the design looking great on the first try, it's still very time consuming, having to apply the magnet to each individual nail. Not to mention the time you will likely have to spend re-doing the nails that don't come out so great.

I will never buy this product again. To me, it's just too much trouble, and it's extremely frustrating. It's certainly not worth nine dollars. Honestly, I wouldn't even buy it again for half that. But hey, if you have the money to spend and a whole lot of patience, have at it.

While I'm very disappointed, I'm glad I gave it a try.


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    • profile image

      N.A.C. 5 years ago

      If you apply on fake nails before you put them on, it turns out really well, just like pictured in the promos. I achieved the same effect on every nail and it looked great!

    • profile image

      Jasmine 5 years ago

      I didn't have any troubles with the polish but I didn't use a clear base coat

    • profile image

      Bonnie Sharpless 5 years ago

      I'm not much of a manicure person, so I was afraid I wouldn't do a good job with this. But it looks awesome! The first time, it wasn't so great, but the second time, I took a little more time. I found that if I held the magnet absolutely steady and held it for a longer time (20 seconds instead of 10), I got really good results. Occasionally, one nail wouldn't look so great, but when that happened, I just applied another coat and tried again. My daughter-in-law-to-be and I did it together, and her nails, being longer than mine, looked even better. We were both thrilled with the result.

      I used the purple color, by the way. I wasn't too thrilled with the price, either, but I had a coupon for 25% off, so I "only" paid about $7.

      I just bought another one for my niece, because she loved my nails so much.

    • Kristen Haynie profile image

      Kristen Haynie 5 years ago from Modesto, CA


      That's a great idea! I'd love to know if that works for you! I never did try using a different magnet, and I'm curious to find out how it turns out.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • profile image

      Erica 5 years ago

      I agree it's too expensive for what it is. I got the blue. There's DEFINITELY NOT three shade separation in fine waves like in the square samples of color. However, the color is engaging in that it creates a neat "movement" when you wiggle your fingers. In short, I think that the main problem is that the magnet itself should be convex, so that it mirrors the shape of your nail bed. Moving it around isn't the solution, as the magnetic portions will follow that movement. If you hold it straight over the nail, it does a fairly good job on the mid-section/top of the nail; but nothing much for the sides. I'm also not thrilled with the number of chips after just a few days, even with top coat applied on days one and two. Next time, I'm going to try using a regular magnet & hold it at the tip, to see if I can drag the magnetic particles up to look like a cyber-French-tip design.

    • Kristen Haynie profile image

      Kristen Haynie 5 years ago from Modesto, CA


      Don't feel bad... I didn't know that the magnet was on the cap, either. Not until I watched the instructional video on the Sally Hansen web site.

    • profile image

      girlzemo 5 years ago

      didn't work for me --- I will get the base coat to see if that works -- funny, I did not know the top of the polish (the cover) was the magnet! LOL -- thought I was gonna go to home depot till I saw this! Will try again!

    • profile image

      Si Cotic 5 years ago

      I love this nail polish, the price not so much. As soon as I got home and tried it it worked great! The only problem I had was it didn't get the edge of some of my nails, but other than that it looks excellent! I would like to try the green or red next, when we get paid again that is. Just make sure that before you use this product you have some free time.

    • profile image

      trulyshy 5 years ago

      Hi Kristen,

      Thanks for the compliment.

      Yes, try how I did it. I don't have time to wait for a base coat to dry, then the first coat... I work, have a 3 year old, household.... etc. and to top it off, absolutely no patience.

      So, I thought I'd try it my way, one coat, it will either work or it won't.

      When using the magnet I looked from the side to ensure the magnet was parallel to the nail. I also rocked it back and forth very slowly. Rather I held the magnet over the middle for a few seconds, then rolled it over to one side held for a few seconds, then rolled over to the other side and held it there for a few seconds. Ending once again in the middle, holding it again there for a few seconds. I did one nail at a time.

      Yesterday was the first time I tried. I haven't worn polish in years, so I thought I'd never be able to do this being out of practice. It did take me two tries though. The first time half the nails were good, half I didn't hold the magnet long enough so the design didn't show.

      I hope it works for you. They do look great and I love them.

    • Kristen Haynie profile image

      Kristen Haynie 5 years ago from Modesto, CA


      WOW!! They look amazing! I LOVE the purple color, and the sideways slant of the pattern. I guess I'm just going to have to keep trying with this stuff. I was probably following the directions TOO carefully.

    • profile image

      trulyshy 5 years ago

      I picked up one of these at the drug store. I love it. I did not quite follow the instructions but still got amazing results.

      I cleaned my nails with polish remover to get rid of the oils. Then applied a good layer of the magnetic polish. I did not use a base coat, nor did I do two coats. But one good coat, not too thin, but not too thick either.

      Then I used the magnet. That was all. Ok, the next day I did put a clear coat over it because on the second day it was still looking awesome and I was afraid they would chip. Here is a link to a photo I took of my nails.

      I'm not usually the girly girl, so I am usually very clumsy at doing stuff like this. But, I think they turned out great and I will be getting a second color today.

    • profile image

      bex 5 years ago

      I just bought this, and although I'm not terribly adept at self-manicures, it was amazing. The patterns all came out great. Seriously, just follow the directions and it will look great.

    • Victoria Anne profile image

      Victoria Anne 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      I just saw an ad for these in a magazine this morning and was thinking about trying it. Thank you for the review!

    • profile image

      Sarah Thom 5 years ago

      Those do look so cool, I guess it's probably best to wait a little while before buying those for when they tweak it so it works better.

    • Paige Ronchetti profile image

      Paige Ronchetti 5 years ago from Chicago

      Well, it was a cool idea. I've never heard of this before, and had I come across this in the store I might have given it a shot. I'm glad I found your Hub first, though, because I definitely don't want something that's this much of a hassle.

    • profile image

      Anna Kathleen 5 years ago

      I've been curious of this new product and I'm glad someone finally covered it. I like to change things up sometimes, so this nail polish is a good alternative to the basic manicure. Thanks for the review! Take a look at my blog at :)

    • toomuchmint profile image

      toomuchmint 5 years ago

      Thanks for the review, Kristen! And Jenn, thanks for the advice!

      This product is too complicated for me. I've been eyeing it on shelves, but I think I'll stick to the basics. :-)

    • profile image

      Jenn 5 years ago

      Good luck!! I'm really interested in knowing if that helps. I've seen other reviews online where people said the same thing as you. I bought it before reading the review, though and I've had pretty good luck. I actually have it on right now and it's almost perfect, so it is possible!

    • Kristen Haynie profile image

      Kristen Haynie 5 years ago from Modesto, CA


      Great tips! I will keep trying using your advice. I bet my problem is that I'm applying a second coat that's too thick! I'm also rotating the magnet so it gets my whole nail. Thanks for sharing your advice! I'll make those adjustments next time.

    • profile image

      Jenn 5 years ago

      I have the red one and have used it 3 times now (10 nails, so 30 attempts). I've had both good and bad results. Here's what I've found: follow the directions. Do not move the magnet or apply too thick of a 2nd coat. If you apply a normal second coat, hold the magnet still, and do NOT skimp on the time, it works very consistently. If you apply too much, it will be a black blob. If you move the magnet, the waves won't be in a line...they'll be a mishmash. It's hard to get the very edges, but if you very slightly move the magnet toward the end of the 10 seconds, you can usually work it so it's not noticed. I did the one mississippi method of counting to be sure, lol.

    • Kristen Haynie profile image

      Kristen Haynie 5 years ago from Modesto, CA


      It sucks that we spent so much money on a product we don't like, and that didn't really live up to our expectations. They way I see it, at least we can post honest reviews online and make others think twice about buying it. I would love to try some other brands of magnetic nail polish, though. Maybe there are some that I would be really happy with.

    • profile image

      LISA 5 years ago

      I agree with you as well I will not buy this particular polish again since it did not work for me, and I did all the steps they said to do. I am so disappointed since I spent so much on it. I would love to take it back for a refund. Not worth the price!!!

    • michememe profile image

      Miche Wro 5 years ago

      I wanted to try this. I am glad you wrote this hub, followed by pictures.