For Lydia 🙂
I love nail polish and nail art, and I have only really gotten into it since I got ill. Before that, I probably had maybe 3 colours of nail polish and never enough time between working, studying and being mum to really use them very often. Now, it’s different. Now, I have time. Now I have NEED of at least one part of me to look half way pretty even if the rest of me feels like poo.
But after all the stress and meds from last year, it’s taken me a good long while to get my nails nice and strong again. It involves a four prong attack, and a bit of patience 🙂
I take uber high strength vitamins and minerals because of the fibromyalgia. The brand I have found with the most comprehensive content, in levels high enough, is Vitabiotics Perfectil, for skin, hair and nails, so I am killing two bird with one stone, as they say.
You can put what you want onto your nails, but without the right nourishment, you’ll be fighting a losing battle.
Agreed, these aren’t cheap, but they are not expensive either. There are other brands that cost more, and aren’t as comprehensive.
Don’t forget – I take these primarily for my Fibromyalgia, so if you have any guilt about buying them just for “appearances sake” – stop feeling guilty immediately!! They will support and strengthen your whole system.
2. Nail Strengthener
There are squillions of these available. Many people swear by OPI Nail Envy, but that is pricey. There are cheaper ones that work just as well, if not better. You DONT want a nail hardener as in my experience, that can cause brittleness and make your nails break more easily. You want a strengthener. Most recently I have been using this one, and it’s been brilliant.
I have seen a bit of confusion on some blogs about how to apply this, but it’s really simple. Apply one coat each day for 4 days, so it builds up. On day 5, remove it all and start again.
Another one that comes highly recommended is Nailtiques Formula 2 (they have 4 formulas, I believe)
This has made the most difference to my nails, and in the last 4 weeks, they have stopped peeling. I repeat, they have stopped peeling!! Basically your nails need oil to keep the moisture in and help to keep the keratin layers bound to each other.
I use a cheap cuticle oil that I got from ebay for about £2, and it has lasted about 5 weeks so far, and I have used it a lot.
So, what I do is, after my 4 days using the strengthener, for the next 2-3 days, I use the oil. Apply it when you know you won’t need to wash your hands for a while. Evenings are good whilst watching TV, for instance. I just apply a thin coat over my nails and cuticles, let it soak in for a while and then kind of massage it off. This of course, also stimulates the blood flow to your nails. A really good hand and nail cream last thing at night is always good too.
4. Quality Nail File
By quality, I don’t mean expensive, I mean a high quality grit. When your nails are soft, fragile, peel or split easily, I have found the most common emery boards you can buy are too harsh. The grit of the sandpaper is too course. You need a 320 grit at the very roughest. I use a 400 grit almost all the time.
Keep them short until they are nice and strong, then go mad with some fab nail polishes 😀 You are never too old, too ill or too fat for fab nails 😀
Oh, and I have ordered some soy nail polish remover as it’s supposed to be better for your nails, and more environmentally friendly – now that IS expensive, so I will let you know how I get on with that 🙂
If anyone has any other hints, tips, methods or info – please comment 🙂