New CND Shellac applied yesterday at Suite Three Buderim: Hollywood

When did you last treat your nails to a nail-cation?

Nikki ParkinsonBeauty 21 Comments

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.

New CND Shellac applied yesterday at Suite Three Buderim: Hollywood

New CND Shellac applied yesterday at Suite Three Buderim: Hollywood

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:

Revitanail nacial products

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:

hand creams

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

Comments 21

  1. My nails have been on a  nailcation for years, lol! I never had time for nail polish, and it’s only now that my kids are getting a little bigger that I’ve been treating myself to doing it.

    That said, my nails were breaking a lot anyway, even when I wasn’t painting them. I definitely think bringing a strengthener into the mix would be a great idea again. I used one years ago right before I was a bridesmaid, and it gave really good, quick results.

  2. OMG I just threw a tube of that Garnier hand cream in my grocery trolley today; before I checked this post. 
    Synchronicity. Glad to hear it’s a good one.

  3. Well I do agree with you 🙂  I have been using Shellac for about 6 months now, and at first it was all amazing, lovely strong nails, long lasting polish etc.  But now….my nails are definately weaker and they are peeling on the ends so Im not happy jan at all.  Will be popping in to have the polish removed this week and may stick to polish on its own, an a bit of a nail-cation myself.  Just have to stock up first 🙂  However, it doesnt seem to have affected my toenails, so shellac can stay there, as that last for ages!!

    1. The good news Danya is that it only took about two weeks for my nails to recover! I’ve only just got my first Shellac application on my toes – but I suspect it last longer because we don’t use our toes for as much as our fingers. My normal pedis last ages! Maybe this one will get me through to Spring! Joking!!

  4. Due to a broken wrist, I decided to treat my self to a mani & pedi yesterday. I decided to go for shellac to see how long it lasts as like you Nikki I’m hopeless with maintaining my nails!!! Generally I go nail polish free on my fingers & paint my toes every few weeks. I use Manicare Cuticle oil (when I remember) it has apricot kernel oil and te moe I use it the healthier my entire nails are, ie strength and even the growth improves.

  5. I have horrific nails and as such I sort of ignore them.  I do have the revitanail nail strengthener and when I actually use it my nails do look better and get a tiny bit of growth without them peeling away.  I also have oily nails and polish hardly even lasts a day before chipping away so I almost never paint them plus why highlight something so ugly!  I did the acrylic thing many years ago and they were awful and due to oily nails I always seemed to be in for repairs and the pain from the parts in my nails that become so thin well there was almost no nail in spots at all – awful.  

    Wow I actually have a tiny bit of white tip at the moment and think thats a side benefit of the lotus oil you put me on to because after applying to my face I actually sort of rub the residue over my hands and wow I think that has made a bit of a difference which I hadn’t even  noticed at all until you actually talk nails and I pay them some attention!!

    1. I too have oily nails and used to hate nail polish as it would chip or even come off in whole pieces after just a day of wear but after a little advice from a friend am now having MUCH better luck.
      My tips for oily nails are – wipe nail down with nail polish remover right before painting to remove any oils on the nail, this is what I think makes the biggest difference, and don’t let your hands get wet for an hour or so before painting, so there’s no excess moisture in the nail. 
      These two steps make a huge difference for me, now my color lasts 3-5 days before chipping. 

      1. Thanks for the tip – I already wipe my nails over with polish remover but haven’t found it to be a great help but never thought about keeping hands dry for an hour or so before painting so will definitely add this step and see how I go. 

  6. I VERY rarely apply coloured polish to my fingers (never lasts more than a day or 2 looking lovely), but always have painted toe nails.

    My favourite hand cream is Jurlique Rose hand cream: beautiful true rose fragrance,  makes my hands feel lovely and an Australian brand! 

  7. I am a nail polish addict and usually my nails are kept in pretty top shape (I’m often asked if they are fake!) BUT I was in a wedding about a month ago and the bride wanted me to have acrylics – goodbye healthy, nice nails!

    Will have to stock up on some Revitanail prods and give my nails a ‘nacial’!

  8. I’m useless at applying and maintaining nail polish; I am just too impatient. Plus I like digging in the garden. My favourite hand cream is L’Occitane Shea Butter as it is so rich and nourishing but sinks right in and doesn’t leave a slippery greasy residue. It’s perfect for keeping in the car for applications at traffic lights.

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