It’s no surprise that Shellac* is one of the top 5 things searched for on my blog. I’ve been yapping on about it for more than 18 months now.
I quickly became a convert after my beauty therapist jumped on board the Shellac nail train because it sat well with my lazy girl beauty tendencies. I’m not good with nails. Never have been. And the times I have bothered to get a manicure or do one myself (horrific), they’ve chipped within a day and rendered the whole process a big fat time waste.
So, discovering that I could have my lovely nails and still be lazy was a big WIN in my book.
Consequently, there has not been huge periods of time over the past 18 months when I HAVEN’T had Shellac on my nails.
Over the past couple of months I’ve changed that a bit.
The reason: I could tell that my nails were weakening. Nowhere near to the extent that they did that one time I got acrylics (WHAT was I thinking?) but they were weakened all the same. I must point out here that definitely for the first six-12 months there was an overall strengthening of my nails. Where once my thumbnails would split as soon as they grew out of the nail bed, they no longer did.
What I’ve been doing of late is bringing back my Shellac application to once a month, with a two-week breather in between. That means lovely coloured nails for two weeks; then two weeks of sending my nails on a nail-cation for a nacial (nail facial) or two.
Yes, I’ve been treating them with love and kindness and the result has been just what I wanted. Beautiful strong nails that are ready, willing and able to take a Shellac-ing.
So, what home spa treatments have my nails been on the receiving end during their nail-cation?
I’m glad you asked. Here’s the line-up:
Have you tried any of the Revitanail products? They really are amazeballs. My nails lapped them up.
1. Revitanail Cuticle Remover Gel $14.95: my cuticles are rampant if left unchecked (umm, yes, that would be my natural lazy state of affairs). This product has made my manicurist’s job all the easier.
2. Revitanail Nourishing Oil $14.95: With Shellac, it’s advised to nourish your cuticles throughout the time you’ve got Shellac on your nails. The way I remember to do this is having this oil at my desk. This keeps your nails hydrated and cuticles happy.
3. Revitanail Ridge Filler $14.95: Confession time. One of the really bad habits I have towards the end of the Shellac’s lifespan is that I start to pick it off. This is a no-no, they are meant to be soaked off with acetone. Do not do it. It dodges up the nail surface big time. To make up for my nail colour picking sins, I’ve been coating my nails with this.
4. Revitanail Nail Strengthener $29.95: If you buy one Revitanail product for your your weakened nails, make it this one (I also like Orly’s Nailtrition and OPI’s Nail Envy). The idea is you start with two coats and then apply a coat a day for the next five days. Then you remove and start all over again. Another one best left at your desk so you remember!
There is of course one last important piece to my nail-cation: treating the hands that are home to said nails with regular application of a hand and nail cream. Here are four that have come across my desk over the last month that have impressed my hands no end:
1. Revitanail Hand & Nail Cream $19.95: pearl extract and green tea are key ingredients here and along with pure aloe, avocado oil and multi-vitamins, work to really nurture your hands and nails. It’s fast absorbing and sits beautifully on the skin.
2. Garnier Hand Instensive 7 Days SOS Repairing Hand Balm with Shea Butter for Extra-Dry, Cracked Hands $4.25: Love the price on this one and the product doesn’t disappoint – it’s powered by L-Bifidus an ingredient that keeps the hydration coming even after you wash your hands. Absorbs beautifully too.
3. Berkeley Square Fig and Cherry Shea Butter Hand Cream $16: This one had me at the smell. It’s a little addictive, I must say. It’s not too heavy and not too light and sits well on the skin offering good hydration throughout the day. Available at David Jones.
4. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Eventone Age Spot Hand Cream $7.99 (Available April 2012): The tops of my hands definitely give away my age – more than my face does – thanks to a lack of knowledge about sunscreening them in my teens and 20s. This one is great for targeting age spots but also hydrating and keeping your hands as young looking as possible. I haven’t seen a huge difference yet but plan a full assault using this hand cream soon.
Do you give your nails a nail-cation? Are you better at treating your nails than I am?
* So, as you can see I still went ahead with my planned Shellac appointment despite what I read on the weekend. I’ll continue to monitor what studies show up in regards to the link between UV nail lights and finger cancer and make my long-term decision from there. I know this would not be what some of you would do but I’m ok with my decision. For now.
** Disclosure: I pay for my regular Shellac treatments but the above products were sent to me for trial purposes in accordance with my disclosure policy.