For the past 2 weeks, I've been desperately gluing the corners of 3 of my nails in my right hand, in the hope they'd keep on growing to the point past the splits. For some reason, they seem to be weaker than usual, and split more easily. I had already cut my thumb nail real short, because the glue wouldn't work, so only the pinky nail was still intact.
When I closed the fridge door earlier today, I somehow manage to split a new level in my pointer finger, so I just decided to call it quits and just cut them all shorter than the nicks. I still have the middle and ring finger with a little glue to keep the nail together, as there are small faint splits on the side of each nails, but the rest are "au naturel". Of course, I can't have one hand with short nails, and the other with long nails, so I chopped off the ones in my left hand too. *pouts*
In the process, I thought:"Hey! Why not treat them with proper products, so they can grow thicker and/or stronger?" So I went to Jean Coutu Pharmacy, and purchased 2 products that, according to the beauty adviser, are sure to help me in my quest for healthier nails. Mavala Nail Shield ($17.99) and Mavala Cuticle Oil ($11.99). Okay, the cuticle oil isn't suppose to give me stronger nails, but surely won't hurt! Here's what the boxes look like:
Their claim for fame and ingredients, as seen on the side of each boxes:
Cuticle Oil:"Keeps Cuticles soft and supple. Cuticle Oil softens skin and gently loosens the cticle from the nai. This permits the nail to grow freely and enables you to shape a perfect nail contour." --- Ingredients: Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Isopropyl Myristate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Propylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Citric Acid, BHT, Fragrance (Parfum), Geraniol, Citronellol, Limonene, Eugenol, Linalool.
Nail Shield: "Reinforces and protects nails. This specific action protects the nail plate and allows nails to grow stronger and longer." --- Ingredients: Butyl Acetate, Ethily Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Isopropyl Alcohol, Acetyle Tributyl Citrate, Phthalic Anhydride/Trimellitic Anhydride/Glycols Copolymer, Magnesium Silicate, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Nylon-66, Adipic Acid/Fumaric Acid/Phthalic Acid/Tricyclodecane Dimenthanol Copolymer, Benzophenone-1, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Citric Acid, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491).
I applied the Cuticle Oil as indicated. I had never done this before, but how hard can it be, right? It has a little fragrance, but it's nothing sickening that can't be tolerated. If I had to describe the smell, I'd say it smells a little like mink oil. I rubbed it all over the cuticles, and let it be for a few minutes. Then I rubbed off the excess oil on each nails with a paper towel.
Then I applied the Nail Shield. As you've seen in the picture above, the nail shield contains 2 bottles. The first bottle is a Nylon Fibre Base. The brush is bigger than most brushes, round and bulky, but the product applies evenly. The package says to let it dry until you see "the tiny nylon fibers form a protective network over the nail surface to give extra support as the nail grows." I didn't see them at first, but then when I looked under a bright light, I saw what I would describe as a very tiny spider web. It also felt a little rough, but nothing too dramatic.
Then you apply the content of the second bottle, the Sealer. The brush is thinner than the one for the base; it looks like a normal brush. The Sealer has a pinkish hue, and also applies without any problem. The brush glides on the nail, and you can't see strokes once it's dry. They say to apply 2 coats if you can still feel a little roughness, so I did.
Under the right light, I still see the little spiderweb on my nails. It's faint, though, and you really have to stop to look at it to be able to see it. Though my nails are about 2mm long, the tips do feel stronger, as they don't bend easily. I'll leave it that way for a day, and do a regular mani tomorrow to see what it looks like with this underneath regular polish.
I'd say it takes about 2-3 weeks for my nails to grow to a desired length. I'll keep using the product until then, hoping to see a difference. I'll put in a progress report each week, to see what it looks like. I've never paid so much for nail care products before, so I'm hoping it's worth it! I'm a little on the cheap side, but I was willing to shell out a little more, if it can help.
I'm also going to start applying cream to my hands before going to sleep. The air is getting colder, so my skin will start drying soon. This will most likely help out as well, because my nails tend to break because they're a little on the dry side.
Here's what my nails look like today, with the cuticle oil, 1 coat of nylon base and 2 coats of sealer:
So here it is, folks, a little experiment on my part! Stay tuned for more!
Questions, suggestions, anecdotes, etc? Feel free to leave a comment! ;D