Saturday, 12 February 2011

Nail Update and Rebel Nails

It's been over a month since I posted about my self imposed nail polish ban. I've managed to stick to it, despite the horror of my bare nails! I purchased a crystal nail file too and have kept them short to minimise snagging. Unfortunately I haven't been as diligent as I had hoped to be with the other treatments. However, I have applied Nailactan regularly, I've kept my hands in good condition with regular application of moisturiser and in the last week or so I started taking some 'Hair and Nails' multi-vitamins.

So, has there been any improvement? Unfortunately not. My nails look almost exactly the same as they did 5 weeks ago. It does feel a bit demoralising. I do wish I had been better at using treatments to help repair them but I suspect that the multi-vitamins will give me the best results. I can't quite decide whether I should start wearing polish again. As my nails haven't improved in 5 weeks of no nail varnish, starting to wear it again might not actually make them any worse?

As I couldn't make a decision on the nail polish, I thought it would be a good moment to try the Rebel Nails that Oxford Jasmine kindly sent me to cheer me up. If you haven't come across them before, Rebel nails are nail wraps (a bit like nails shaped stickers) which you apply directly to the nail. You select the right sized sticker, peel it off from the backing, heat with a hair dryer and then place on the nail starting at the cuticle end then smoothing down. There are instructions on their website and as well as a helpful video. I won't deny that it's a little tricky on the first go. I found the hardest part was getting the wrap centred on the nail. Removing the excess was also a little difficult but I think that is probably because my nails are so short. I think this is the sort of thing that would get easier with practice. I was really pleased with the end result, the opaque sparkly silver is perfect after weeks of naked nails! I have found that they are prone to lifting up a bit at the tip but it isn't as noticeable as regular tip wear.

I will be leaving these on over the weekend whilst I make a decision regarding whether to continue the nail polish ban. As a final note I will leave you with a picture of the nail polishes that I have queuing up to try.

What would you do?


  1. I would be deeply gloomy about this Jane - 5 weeks and no improvement is pants really. Now I am in no way a nail expert, and I don't profess to be, but I have had long nails and short nails and flaky nails and spliting nails. My nails never grew -I spent the whole of the summer after my A-levels rubbing in almond oil into my nails probably 3x per day (sad or what!) and they didn't grow. It wasn't until I stumbled across OPI Nail Envy that my nails grew, although I used it too much and it no longer works for me. I do think you need to use something on your nails to protect them, after all they are porous and water will get in and weaken them. Invest in a cuticle oil or cream whatever consistency you prefer, and a clear polish - one of my best ever is Essie 3 in 1 base and top coat from Boots, great reviews on MUA including mine ;-), my nails do actually grow within a week with this. Apply the varnish say every other day or 3 x per week and the cuticle cream/oil as often as possible and see how that goes. Sorry I am writing an essay instead of a comment. Good luck. Jan xx

  2. Thanks Jan, that really helpful. Rather handily I won some Solar Oil in Clever Rabbits giveaway so I'm looking forward to trying that. The nailactan seems to harden the skin around my nails a bit like the scientifique, so I've become nervy of using it. I do agree that something to products my hands when they're in water seems to work better than nothing at all. I had been using Nail Envy for that (it doesn't seem to work for me to repair/strengthen nails). I do have a Rimmel 3 in 1 that I use too. I'll check out the reviews too :)
    Thank you for the advice x

  3. Hi Jane, Solar Oil is good stuff and should help get your nails on the path to health. Also Dr Hauschka Neem Nail Oil is very good and I have found it to be extremely effective at strengthening and growing the nails. Good luck!

  4. Aw poor you! def give the multi vits some time normally around 3 months...i love the fact you have a nail polish queue, I have a few polishes (some forgotten) so maybe I should line em up in order of preference. =D

  5. I can completely relate to this. I have weak nails and dry hands. The only solution I've ever found for both conditions is to moisturise with thick, thick hand creams like it's going out of fashion. Only then are my nails able to grow. I've actually come to like short nails though, especially with dark colours :)

  6. I think that oils etc are all well and good for improving the cuticles but it's the vitamins that will make a lasting difference. I am on drugs that deplete my folic acid and I found that along with my hair falling out (!) my skin and nails also suffered. Taking a B-Complex supplement has done wonders (as well as not running out of my mega-dose folic acid pills - all my own fault!). Good luck lovely, I hope you see results soon. My cuticles are never nice no matter what I do! xx

  7. Hi Jane, much as I know its a nightmare I was glad to hear that your nail polish ban had had no effect, as mine had the exact same result! I have now gone back to wearing polish, a week on and my nails if anything are starting to look a lot better. My prob with no polish is that I see every flake and cant rest til I have peeled it, thus trashing my nails. Polish covers the flakes and as my nails look nicer I am much less likely to attack them. I am liking the Nailactan, my cuticles are in pretty good nick at the mo. For my money Nail Envy is a big spend for little result, not impressed myself I also used to use the Rimmel one which I always got great results with and am intending to re-purchase. On the upside, a bit like the month when I gave up booze and it made no difference to my weight, a month without polish and no improvement means you can polish away happy in the knowledge you aren't doing any harm!

  8. Hi MB. I have horrible nails and I have a tendency to bite them. I had acrylics put on for my wedding last October and kept up with them through the new year. After they came off I started up with the Mavala Scientifique Nail Hardener and their two-step Nail Shield. I am finding the nail tips are smoother, they are NOT peeling (a huge victory!!) and they're flexible but also very strong (whereas before, they would often tear/rip or chip into a jagged mess that would have to be filed off).

    My damaged nail bed is about 50% grown out so I am excited to see the result once normal nail bed is grown to the tips. I am sure it'll be very positive. My routine is to apply the hardener and shield 2-3 times/week (I have Once Removed nail polish remover to gently take off the lacquer and then start over each time). I will apply polish over this system on weekends so my nails look night in photos :-) Each night I rub Healthy Hoof cream into my nail bed and cuticles.

    I am so happy with this system. I've tried OPI Nail Envy, Nailtiques and various Sally Hansen products in the past and the Mavala stuff is the only system that's worked for me. my vote is to keep on with your attempt to get better nails and then use polish! PS: full credit to Get Lippie as this post is the reason I investigated and purchased this system - I linked to the post (I think it'll show up in my name) b/c I don't know how to use HTML tags!!

  9. @FragrantWitch: Thanks, I will have a look at the Neem nail oil when I’m next in Oxford. I’m really enjoying the Solar oil so far.

    @Imo: Oh yes, there’s a queue alright. It’s been building up since Christmas now! I also have All Hail McQueen in my bedside table and it keeps calling to me wanting to jump the queue!

    @dempss: I agree, I think dark colour on short nails looks very chic. I’ve never had particularly long nails and they’ve always been messy. It would be great to get them in a little better shape though, I’ll go and slap on some more handcream momentarily!

    @SFSC: I agree, I think the oils and other treatments will only get me so far and that I’m likely to see more improvement with the vitamins. I know you’ve mentioned the drugs caused problems with your hair, it must be so upsetting. Have you tried Silica at all? I know lots of people have recommended that when I’ve mentioned my nail problems. I’m considering giving it a try.

    @Debbie: Oh no, what a shame it hasn’t helped your nails either. I think you’re right that I might as well crack on with the nail polish. I think the only thing I need to be cautious with is the nail varnish remover. I accidentally got some with acetone in a while ago and that dried my nails out terribly. I won’t be making that mistake again, that’s for sure! I cheated on the Nail Envy and bought it from the States. Despite my make spending habits, I can’t bring myself to spend lots if I know it’s cheaper to ship it in. It’s a funny one too, for some people it works really well and others it has no effect on. I wish I knew why that is the case.

    PS. You gave up booze for a MONTH?!

    @Gretchen: Hi! I tried the Mavala system too after Get Lippie’s post and despite my early hopes, it didn’t work for me. That’s why I think the multi-vitamins are the only way forward. None of the other recommended treatments seem to really work on my nails. I’m very pleased to hear that the Mavala has worked out well for you, it must be great to see them improving. :)

    Jane x


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