Wednesday, 12 January 2011

My nails, the very ugly reality

My hands and nails are incredibly dry at the moment.  Have been using Nail Envy since November on my nails but not seeing any great benefits.  Was reading Lady of the Lane last week and noticed Charlie had been getting great results with the Mavala range so I decided to give it a whirl.

In the interest of being scientific here are photos of my nails as they look today.  Brace yourselves its not pretty!

Left hand top pic and right hand bottom.  Look at that flaking, these pics are making me cringe and I apologise now if you are sat with your arms crossed and your hands trapped in each armpit to protect them from these images!

I am going to start today with the Mavala hardener, which contains formaldehyde and carries all manner of dire warnings and will continue with the Nail Envy on top of that until I get chance to pick up one or both of the cream and serum Charlie has been using to hydrate her nail bed and cuticles.  Certainly looking at her pics these products have really worked for her.  I am not wanting to get my nails longer, I really like them this sort of length but I want all 10 of them completely flake free so fingers crossed! 

Update since I wrote this: have been using the Mavala Scientifique, perhaps a tad more frequently than I should, and have decided on a total ban on nail varnish for a month - although not totally sure I can stick to that.  Have only used the hardener, hand cream and olive oil for the last few days and already my nails and hands are looking so much better.  Am thinking if I can stick to my no nail varnish rule then I might treat myself to something fab at the start of Feb to break the ban.  At the moment thinking Illamasqua Scarab..... but prepared to be inspired - please tell me, if you were about to break a self-imposed month long nail varnish ban which polish would you really really want to break it with?


  1. Very interested to see how you like the Mavala (not that I can think of a local source for it here, but that's why there's the internet). I've got some nails that aren't so pretty at the moment, too.

    I'd likely break a polish fast with glitter, because I've been in such a mood for sparkles lately.

  2. I'd suggest maybe applying a cuticle oil at night (I love the Ciate Love Me Oil)and even wearing cotton gloves once a week in bed!
    No7 do some for £6 (great if you have a £5 free voucher)

    Think the no nail polish is a really good idea!

    As for what I'd pick....this is so difficult haha hmmmm I think maybe something boring like Barry M Mushroom...don't know why I love it so much!

    Fee x

  3. @KarenD - So far so good with the mavala, although balancing out its "hardening" properties with lots of hand cream to maintain flex or they'll all just snap off! Love glitters but have issues with remover so anything that is tricky to remove tends to get overlooked - your franken was fab btw!

    Fee - Have been putting on olive oil but you are right a proper cuticle oil would prob be better. Gloves - like the idea, struggle to sleep in them, it makes me feel claustraphobic, as does wearing socks in bed! I love those nude type shades too, wanting Models Own Nude Beige at mo but if I can get all 10 nails the same length and in tip top condition really want something "wow" to break the ban with - hence Scarab!

  4. Wearing no polish shouldn't really make a difference, unless you're trying to reduce staining (which it looks as if you don't need to) - so don't feel the need to 'ban' yourself from polish if you don't want to. All this business of polish 'stopping your nails from breating' is cods-wallop. I had problems with peeling nails when I worked behind a bar as I was forever getting soaked, but simply carried on treating them whilst wearing polish and they grew pretty long and very strong...until I managed to stab the fridge with them full pelt the other day and snap a couple ha! If anything I think wearing polish helped me - as you take a bit more care not to use your nails as tools etc when you're wary of chipping polish, especially when it's a colour you really love.

    With regards to flaking and dryness, get yourself a pot of Lush Lemony Flutter and a good hand cream, I like the Jurlique ones. I keep both in my bag so they're on me at all times, and use hand cream throughout the day with a good dollop of Lemony Flutter morning and night, and again in the daytime if I've been outside a lot and it's freezing. I've tried plenty of oils over time but LF gave me the best results in the shortest amount of time.

    Avoid getting your hands wet whenever possible (wear rubber gloves for washing up etc), and try not to file them too much (and don't buff). I'd really recommend a glass file like the Leighton Denny one for when you do shape them, as it seals the edge as you file, and I find is much gentler and more efficient. Don't use your nails as tools either, I find a spoon works wonders for most things I'd have previously used my nails to do, such as opening cans! Try using an AHA-based cuticle remover once or twice a week too, I like the OPI Avoplex one.

    My mum had good results with Jessica Critical Care too when she had issues post-acrylics, but I really do think the biggest step is keeping your hands hydrated, and making sure you have a good diet too (although it'll take around 6 months to see any real results from dietary changes).

    Hope all that helps, I'm not a nail technician or anything but I love anything nail-related and have had a pretty drastic turnaround with mine over the last year. As for a ban-break polish, how about one of the Deborah Lippmann ones? Her glitters are to die for, I picked up 'Across The Universe' and had so many compliments the first time that I wore it. I'd be wary of wearing glitters too much until your nails are back on track as they can be a nightmare for your nails to remove, either soaking in acetone or scrubbing away, and neither is particularly good for them! But as a one-off, I'd say there's no better way to start your journey back into polished tips! :) xx


Would love to hear from you, I always read comments and reply and I love not feeling like I am talking to myself! dx


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