I was planning to do this post for a while, but I waited to see if a dramatic change in my nail care routine makes a difference to my nails.
I used to moisturise my nails a couple of times a day, used many different nail strengtheners and every week I do a full manicure and pamper my nails.
My nails were always weak, splitting and breaking. They never looked bad or anything, but the only time I managed to grow them was during pregnancy and breastfeeding when my hormones were going crazy :)
About 2-3 months ago I decided to follow all the advice for strong nails to see if it makes a difference. I have been using cuticle oils and creams a couple of times a day, moisturisers as often I could, nail strengtheners daily and I also started using a crystal nail file. To be honest, the biggets thing I noticed is the fact that the splitting of my nails stopped thanks to the crystal nail file sealing the edges better. My nails are a little bit stronger now, but there isn't a big difference. They look very healthy and nice, but still feel weak and I can't grow them. As soon as they reach about 3mm they start breaking. :( I am convinced that not everybody can have strong nails and no matter how hard I try, even with taking vitamins etc, I will never have my dream nails. Here are all the products I am currently using to improve the condition of my nails:
Cuticle creams, oils and butters: OPI Avoplex (review), Antipodes Saviour Skin Balm ( review), Burt's Bess Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, GWDIHW nail wizard, No7 Nourishing nail & cuticle cream.
hand creams: NYR Bee Lovely, Apicare repair me, Burt's Bees Honey and Grapessed Oil, L'Occitane Shea Butter, Carrot & Shea, Weleda Skin Food, Burt's Bees hand Salve.
OPI nail envy nail strengthener is the only one I use at the moment. When I started using it it made a difference, but my nails must have got used to it, because there is no further improvement.
OPI crystal nail file- It is my hero! I reviewed it here.
I like using good quality base coats, top coats and nail polish. Cheap brands leave my nails feeling horrible and have a strong, unpleasant scent. My favourite brands are: Essie, Ciate, OPI, Deborah Lippmann and Mavala.
My all time favourite nail polish remover from Cutex- it is perfect for my weak nails and enriched with vitamins. It also makes my nails look whiter. I am sure you heard about this one before :)