Sally Hansen HD Hi-Definition Nail Color Swatches & Review

First things first: I am trying to not purchase or write about companies that test on animals anymore. This is something I have mentioned on Twitter a few times, but many of you might not be aware of it. Sally Hansen is one of those companies that is widely believed to test on animals. However these were bought and swatched before I made this decision so I thought I would show them anyway. I am planning a whole article about this subject soon, so stay tuned!

Waaaaaay back in spring (doesn’t that seem so far away now?) Sally Hansen came out with a new line from their HD Hi-Definition collection. I saw them in stores and decided to pick up a few.

The formula was nice, but too thin in my opinion. I wound up being disappointed that some of them weren’t more opaque. I used three coats for all but one, and some could have even used four (or more!)

I was also a little sad that these looked so amazing and duo-chrome-y in the bottles, but they didn’t translate as nicely onto the nail.


Byte is a bright fuchsia pink with purple/blue shimmer. Gorgeous pink, I really like this one. This was one of the slightly more opaque ones, but I still needed three coats to get even coverage.


Laser is a medium blue with flashes of purple/pink shimmer. This looked really cool in the bottle, you can see the strip of purple showing in the pic. But on the nail the purple flash was much more subtle. This was three coats.


Resolution is a green metallic with gold shimmer flashes. This is the oddball in the collection because it’s the only metallic. This was the best one here in my opinion. The formula was really great, I only needed two coats.


LCD is a light pink with a blue/purple flash. Bleh. This was so sheer that even after three coats I could have used two more, and it still probably wouldn’t cover my VNL.


Spectrum is a light blue with blue shimmer. This was pretty but it still left me wishing it was more opaque. This was three coast and you can see the VNL.


I’m not loving these really; I think the colors could have been more opaque and saturated.

Did you pick up any of these?



  • August 18, 2010

    Kelly, I am impressed with your commitment to companies that don’t test on animals. As a fellow animal lover, I applaud your effort. It will help me stay informed as well.
    These are very sheer colors and none speak to me. And I have said it before about another color, but Spectrum reminds me of a Hall’s cough drop because it is too sheer. lol.

  • August 18, 2010

    Hmm I don’t like any of these and definitely won’t be buying! Thanks for the swatches though :)

  • August 18, 2010

    Looking forward to your post about animal testing. I didn’t get any of these; they seemed like a rip-off.

  • August 18, 2010

    I have Byte and Spectrum. I totally agree with you that they need to be more opaque. They do look good layered on top of say, a Zoya polish that is a corresponding color, or on top of a black, but it’s disappointing that they’re so sheer.
    Phyrra´s last post…Smurf MagicMy Profile

  • August 18, 2010

    These are definitely sheer as heck, but I tried one of the blue ones layered on top of something, and it looked amazing. Generally, I’m a bit wary about the Sally HD lines because they all seem to be pretty sheer.
    Ping´s last post…LOreal – Breaking CurfewMy Profile

  • August 18, 2010

    I love these for layering :)

  • August 18, 2010

    Thanks for the swatches. I have not had much luck with SH polishes. Maybe I am just picking out the wrong ones. Thanks for the post and especially the info on animal testing.

  • August 18, 2010

    Yes I picked up the blues, which I love especially “DVD” (you didn’t grab it). I was just given Byte in a giveaway, so I have yet try it our. They are a bit thin, but if you do a layer of nude and then 2 cats, its awesome!
    Jackie S.´s last post…Barielle Berry BlueMy Profile

  • August 18, 2010

    Thats really too bad that they test on animals; I will not purchase anymore of their merchandise. I like a lot of their colors (I already own), but I will not make any future purchases, plus I have yet to find a color that tops Opulent Cloud! That was “The Color” for Fall last year! Maybe another brand will come out with a great color like that!!!

  • August 18, 2010

    I can’t see the photos again! What is wrong with my browser? I keep getting “error on page” at the bottom left hand corner! Sorry. I really wanted to see these. :-(
    starlight´s last post…Crouching Hurricane-Hidden TreasureMy Profile

    • August 18, 2010

      Hi starlight,

      Hmm not sure are you letting the page fully load before you start scrolling?

  • August 18, 2010
    Kari Walbert

    Congrats to you for not posting reviews on products made by companies that test on animals. As a vegan and beauty product lover I am continually searching for new cruelty-free products. I use your blog as a resource quite a lot so I am excited to know that I don’t have to worry about the products you review not being cruelty-free. Way to go!

  • August 18, 2010

    I have LCD, but only use it on top of another color. I was really disappointed how sheer it was, so I didn’t purchase any of the other ones. I think your rating is dead on.

  • August 18, 2010

    My GF is psychedelic and would love these colors for a birthday gift.

  • August 18, 2010

    Resolution is the only one I like, I can’t stand VNL. I can’t wait to read your article on animal testing, all the information out there can be confusing. I try to buy from companies that don’t test on animals as well.
    Serena´s last post…Dragon ScalesMy Profile

  • August 18, 2010

    I own a lot of these polishes and they look so much better over black. LCD and Laser look gorgeous when layered. I know that polishes shouldn’t have to be layered to show their true color, but it’s a way to actually get use out of them.

  • August 18, 2010

    WAY TO GO VV!!!!
    Although SH says they do not test on animals on their site, THEY USE PRODUCTS THAT ARE TESTED ON ANIMALS. Nice little trick, huh? (sarcasm)
    I’m so happy you are doing this (not reviewing products that practice animal cruelty) and I am trying to be more aware of it and do the same.

    Skulda´s last post…NoteMy Profile

  • August 18, 2010

    hmm i like resolution better than i thought i would! the others are “thumbs down” in my humble opinion.

  • August 18, 2010

    Please don’t take this the wrong way – I absolutely LOVE This site and all your reviews. I applaud you efforts not to review products from companies that are tested on animals…but if you’re dedicated to that, why would you post reviews of these nail polishes? maybe you made the decision after you swatched them, but why does that matter?Why review something you wouldn’t buy and you wouldn’t want someone else to buy? It seems that giving them press helps to advertise them.

    That being said, i really do think your site is GREAT! Although it’s made me buy too much nail polish….!

  • August 18, 2010

    I have to admit, I’m not too aware of the animal testing side of things which makes me feel like a bad person. But I have such a big Sally Hansen collection and I like a lot of their polishes >.<
    I bought DVD as it looks fantastic in the bottle but it was so sheer I took it off so I could layer it. I put it over China Glaze Grape Pop and WOW, it's freaking gorgeous purple/blue duochrome goodness. I decided to buy Laser too but I haven't tried it yet.

  • August 18, 2010

    I believe I have shown this web site before. “Skin Deep”:: and did a search for Sally Hansen nail polish. If you scroll down the page you can see that they do test products on animals. Skin Deep is an on-line database developed for safety in cosmetics by ERG.

    Check out your favorite nail polish to see if it’s tested on animals. I had no idea Sally Hansen tests their ingredients on animals that are used to make their nail care products..Nameste
    Mc Huggs:)´s last post…Project Runway Season Six- Episode EightMy Profile

    • August 18, 2010

      Hi McHuggs,

      Thanks for that link!

  • August 18, 2010

    My pleasure. I went further an did a random sampling of most used polishes and found the following companies, based on data from Skin Deep, of nail polish companies that do animal testing on their products used for their nail polishes: Sally Hansen, OPI, Wet’ n’ Wild, Revlon Nail Enamel, Milani, Nutra Nail Lacquer, Butter London, Orly, Maybelline, Avon, L’oreal. The safest one was Giselle that performs animal testing on one ingredient “Titanium dioxide. How can this all be true? I thought all these companies were toxic free as OPI boosts on their web page.
    Mc Huggs:)´s last post…Project Runway Season Six- Episode EightMy Profile

    • August 18, 2010

      Actually I think that list isn’t accurate, at least according to PETA. A lot of the companies you mentioned are PETA approved and do not test on animals, at least as of 3 weeks ago. I have a post planned very shortly about this. Thx!

  • August 18, 2010

    That’s great Kelly, I mean if my list from Skin Deep were true, then most of the top brand nail polishes would be excluded from your web blog! Whew. Nameste.
    Mc Huggs:)´s last post…Project Runway Season Six- Episode EightMy Profile

  • August 18, 2010

    I have Spectrum one, and had to apply 4 coats to get a nice color + like u said, in the bottle looks awesome duo chrome but in the nails it doesn’t looks like =\
    LadyLuck´s last post…New Baby at Home- Sinful Color I Love YouMy Profile

  • August 18, 2010

    Good for you about not reviewing/ignoring animal-unfriendly products going-forward. Cosmetic companies rely on the internet – blogs in particular – for advertising. Perhaps ignoring them, a method of discipline that also works with dogs, will cause the company owners, shareholders, etc. to behave properly.

    There is no valid reason to test on animals. There are viable alternatives at this point. It sickens me to read company studies showing toxicity at all levels of use on animals. I’ve always found it to be disgusting but, even more so after our family decided bunnies (and now two dogs) would make great additions to our home.

    Must be nice to lack a conscience – life has to be easier without an internal moral compass.

  • August 18, 2010

    I think they’re often layered.

    Looking forward to the post! I didn’t even consider nail polish would still be tested at this point. And they kill the animals afterwards, don’t they? … Yeah, that is not worth it.

  • August 18, 2010

    First, I’ll certainly join in applauding your efforts to show cruelty free nail polish instead of stuff tested on animals :)

    I will say that DVD and Laser are both pretty awesome over Gray-by-Gray if you have that one (the dark slate gray from the complete manicure collection). The effect is more complex than you get just layering over a black, and the duochrome really pops.

  • August 19, 2010

    I have the collection and I’m disappointed that there are sheers here. Resolution is my favorite.

  • August 19, 2010

    I really wanted to try these out, seeing as the “sample image” of them looked soooo cool, but ended up being very disappointed with them on the test strips. I liked Byte and DVD, but not enough to buy them.

  • August 19, 2010

    I have tried a couple from this series: DVD and Laser. I must admit I was shocked at just how sheer they were, but then realised that they do indeed need layering – I found that 2 layers of DVD over a denim blue worked great. Thus I think you really should consider re-evaluating them when layered over suitable colours! Thanks for your great blog!

  • August 24, 2010

    you know what I do with these? instead of just layering, I do the gradient/ombre look. Like with DVD, I put Misa’s ‘throw me something purple’ on as the base, then started 3/4 of the way down with DVD, then halfway, then the last quarter. It looks like a manicure that took forever but it only takes a few minutes!