I'll be honest: when I started this nail-improvement-adventure I wasn't sure I was actually going to post any of these pictures. I was so embarrassed. That's why I'm starting out with pictures of my nails today: cuz, wow! The difference is amazing! and it doesn't even hurt to type anymore, though it does feel different. Good different.
When I described my nail problems a few people mentioned trying Nailtique 2. I didn't even flinch at the price because I was so desperate (and all the reviews seemed awesome!). I just wanted to feel all right about my hands again. Now I'm going to recommend it with all my heart - and no endorsement (!!) other than just me. It's totally worth it - and if you click through the link I provided you'll find the best deal because it's for two bottles.
Before: my nails were soft, brittle, and constantly breaking (deep!). So deep that my fingertips would crack and bleed. No amount of cream seemed to help. IT WAS SO PAINFUL! and ugly. Not to mention my terrible stress-habit of picking at my dry cuticles. We all have our habits. I don't chew my nails but...yeah. I may as well have! More honesty: this isn't even the first shot!!! I couldn't even take a picture of what they looked like before I started using Nailtique. I was too ashamed.
|it's a clockwise week-by-week thing|
I was a little bummed at first because I had to give up color (glitter included). The way this stuff works you put on a coat every day for a week, remove, repeat...and so forth. Every once in a while I'd do a color between cycles (always with a base coat so your nails don't stain!) but I stuck to the plan. I got a few other brands but they didn't hold a candle to how well this one worked. That's OK, I still use them as my base and top coats. I tried a couple by Sally Hansen, Nail-aid, and Orly's Nail Rescue. The latter is good once you've built up strength but as you can see I was in a super bad starting place.
The only other product I use is Epically Epic's solid lotion. That's something I can no longer live without. It's dense, contains no water, and smells fantastic. One tin lasts a long time making it a better deal than most cuticle creams I've seen mentioned. Every night as I'm reading in bed I massage it into my fingertips and then hands. It is a bit greasy so that's why I save it for an overnight soak but hello, results! I pack it on pretty thick so perhaps that's why I find it so greasy; probably.
Over the years I thought it was just impossible for me to have healthy hands and nails because I've always worked jobs where I have to wash wash wash and use tons of soap and sanitizer. I've also never had a dishwasher (hello apartment dwellers!) but using gloves will save the day! With a little effort, I can, though.
Oh, and I also learned that crystal nail files (used in one direction, always) are so gentle. I found this great deal on Amazon and have them everywhere in my apartment so I'm never tempted to self-file, so to speak. Be sure to check out the top review because it's from a DUDE and it's both hilarious and accurate.
So that's how this working girl turned stay at home mom got healthy, strong nails.
I made a deal with myself during all of this, too. Since I couldn't use colors I quit making random nail polish impulse buys while running through the drug store. I have enough and I don't need 20 shades of practically-the-same-pink. Instead, the deal was: get healthy nails, get pretty polish a few times a year from indie polish makers. My favorite by far has been by Creme n Sugar Shop - which is like the one indie polish I use that I didn't write a secret shopper review for. If you look for yourself, though, you'll see; they're beautiful. I also appreciate that she is a mom who was just making polishes for fun because she decided to sell them. Definitely a labor of love.
There. Consider her reviewed! and totally worth putting down an impulse buy for.
*all opinions entirely my own - I have never received any endorsements from the products I mentioned above except for free shipping once from Creme n Sugar because I was her first customer and ordered from my hospital bed. They were so pretty I thought she'd sell out while I was hooked up to machines and not able to move: see Genie in a Bottle. That was just a random act of kindness, though, further complimenting her excellent customer service.
**please support indie polish elves! In addition to Creme n Sugar I also support Liquid Sky Lacquer and Wicked Polish...who did receive secret shopper reviews by me.