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Fool's Gold?

 purchased by me 

Esperanto!  That's what that was yesterday.  McGee and I decided to do the dorkiest thing possible for April Fool's.  We confused and annoyed our Facebook friends too.  It was great!  The nail treatment I reviewed in yesterday's post is just as befuddling as a language you can't figure out.

When Sally Hansen's new-ish 18K Gold Hardener started turning up, there was some confusion.  Is it a gold flake topper, along the lines of OPI Man With The Golden Gun and similar?  Nope.  I bought it and I can tell you now, the confusion only starts there.  There's a lot I don't understand about this stuff.  It's meant to go on bare nails, either alone or under polish.  My nails are stained like crazy, so that's not something you want to see.  I shrugged, threw caution to the wind, and used it as a topper.

over All Bark...because Sally isn't the boss of me

I kinda feel like there should be a disclaimer on the box, since the "gold" bits you see aren't real gold, 18K or otherwise.  The first time I found a bottle in-store, I went right to the ingredient list, looking for answers.  You can see it for yourself on  There is real gold in this stuff, but it's colloidal.  Invisible.  Why is it in there?  I have no idea.  Everything I could find seemed kinda questionable.  Gold is barely reactive at all.  That's why it doesn't tarnish quickly and it's safe to use in things like piercing and dentistry.  Put it on your nails and it'll probably just kinda sit there....being microscopic.  Yay?  So what is the "gold" stuff we can see?  It's there in the ingredients if you're patient and stubborn enough to find it.  It's listed as "Synthetic Fluorphlogopite", or man-made mica.  It makes this a subtle, but eye-catching topper.  Wait a second though...this is supposed to go under polish, not over it.  Why bother putting mica in something you won't see?  Marketing?  That's the only answer I can come up with.  Once you look past that, this does have decent potential as a strengthener.  There are some good ingredients mixed in with the weird ones.  It's got a large dose of copolymers and plasticizers, so it dries nice and hard.  That's great for protecting soft nails.  Hydrolyzed wheat protein is also on the list, a good ingredient for a strengthener to have.  It's also got pea extract, apricot seed powder, and a preservative derived from radishes.  As confusing as this list is, it does add up to a strengthener that I'd call worth trying, especially if you're looking for something without formaldehyde....and if you don't mind there being gold-ish flakes on your otherwise bare nails or under your polish.  I'm gonna keep being rebellious and using it over polish.  I put Contrary Polish Better Together over this manicure last week, and coverups usually accelerate chipping...but all I've got is tipwear.  My nails don't seem as bendy with this stuff as they usually are, though I do use several other strengthening/hardening products.  I can't say how it'll do on you, but it's lasting wonderfully on me....and it's pretty too!

over All Bark

While I've still got you, let's look at All Bark on its own too.

All Bark is a medium brown crelly.

I do love a good brown, but it's a near-dupe for OPI Ice-bergers And Fries and that has a slightly better formula.  All Bark is core though, and Ice-bergers isn' there's that in its favor.  This is three coats, because of the hint of crelly sheerness.

Bottom line: 18k Strengthener has potential as a treatment, but could make polish look lumpy or patchy because of the flakes.  I like it a lot as a topper.  All Bark is a little on the sheer side and dupey, but I like it.

Thanks for putting up with my silly thing yesterday...and extra thanks to the three of you who replied in Esperanto!  I didn't think it would be so many.

Sorry I haven't been posting much recently, by the way.  Allergy season is kicking my ass extra early, extra hard this year.

 all products in this post were purchased by me 


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