I liked this ridge filler. It went on smoothly and easily. The polish brush is your standard narrow brush but no strays, which is unusual for a polish this cheap. (paid $1.99 on sale at Sally's) Big bonus, dried really fast between coats. I hate draggy nail polishes and I hate polishes that take 30 minutes to dry between coats. Incidentally, so does the hubby, since our bathroom is en-suite and that's where I do my nails. The faster, the better...gives him less time to bitch about fumes and vapors and whatnot.
It makes a good base for my colored polishes but I also discovered that it makes for a pretty excellent mannequin hands look (if you're into that - I am). I have light-medium skin and this color matches my skintone pretty well. Mannequin hands look good when you have (ahem) aging hands like me!
I don't mean the ghastly "corpse hands" look that some pale polishes can give you (Zoya Pandora, I'm lookin' at YOU...freshly dead...bleeaahhh).
This just smooths down the ridges and makes for a polished, albeit slightly matte, finished look. I put on SH No-Chip Top Coat over the top if I want it to be really shiny. The matte look is more of a natural buffed nail appearance than true matte. It doesn't so much fill in my ridges as round them out a it, but I have fairly severe vertical ridges in my nails...always have. The ony thing that truly fills in those suckers is acrylics. And I went down that road. *shudder*. Even with a good nail tech and good product, my nails were pissed off, weak, and flaky for six months after I had them (properly) removed. Never again!!!
Wear time is above average for my horrendously-abused hands. After two days of on-off-on-off gloves in wet snow, along with scrabbling at bindings, dealing with helmets and snowboards and little girls' mussed-up hair, along with general Mom stuff, I only had two chips. Yet, because of the flesh-toned nature of the polish, the chips were all but unnoticeable.
The bottle is round and short and easy to tip if you are clumsy like me. The smell is fairly strong but not as horrendous as, say, Seche Vite. This stuff is formaldehyde and toluene free as well. It's silk-enriched, although I'm not sure it has any beneficial effects as the silk is essentially suspended (and probably dissolved) in the lacquer, but I'm sure there aren't any deleterious effects from the silk either.
I haven't noticed my nails in any better or worse shape since I started using this about a week ago. All in all, a nice, inexpensive base coat or mannequin hands look essential. Not quite HG, but close. I would give it a 4.75.