Since treating my nails to a gel polish manicure a few weeks ago, they haven’t been the same. The polish was near impossible to get off (I had to resort to wrapping my nail-polish soaked fingers in tin-foil like some kind of Alien 2 extra), and once the polish had finally been banished, my nails were left in a very sorry state. Brittle and dry, with a texture that hinted at supreme future peeling, twinned with that chalky white hue that’s common in unloved nails. Having previously enjoyed strong, healthy nails I was distraught, and commenced a period of mourning
At work the next day I confessed my nail-abuse to Emma, who recommended I try the Nailtiques Formula 2 Kit, which not only has an efficient sounding name, but promises to rescue nails that are prone to splitting, peeling or weakness in just 3 simple steps. I was sold and popped this little kit straight into my basket. At home that very same night, I got straight to work pampering my poor little nails.
First I slathered them in the Nailtiques Cuticle and Skin Gel, which is a rich, nourishing blend of goodness sent from heaven to save mistreated nails. It claims to soften cuticles and infuse essential vitamins into the nails, and oh my did it perform. After popping it on, I left it do its business and slowly absorb. This roughly translates into me sitting on the couch watching The Simpsons and trying not to touch anything with my slippery hands! After about half an hour, I wiped off the excess (which was really minimal as this stuff just soaked right in) and was pleased to note that my nails looked a bit perkier, certainly pinker and definitely softer, and my cuticles weren’t so jagged looking.
This glycerin and aloe vera enriched gel is more like a cream in texture, but is satisfyingly rich and pearly-white in colour. It’s so beneficial to skin that it can be used anywhere from knees to elbows, heels to feet; basically it’s perfect for all those areas you might suffer with dry skin. I’ve taken to carrying it around with me and using it sparingly on my embarrassingly dry elbows. Take note however, that a little of this stuff really goes a long way – you’ll need only the tiniest dollop per nail, or a small scoop for your hands to avoid ending up a greasy mess.
The next step in this 3-step treatment program (sounds a bit like I’ve been sent to nail rehab) was to liberally coat my poor nails in the Nailtiques Protein Formula 2 to give them a boost. This transparent wonder polish has a sort of a cult following. Created with a unique blend of proteins and conditioners, it seriously strengthen nails by tightly bonding their layers together to prevent peeling and splitting, improving strength and vitality within. When applied it felt quite refreshing on my tired nails with a sort of cooling feel. It had a faint smell, reminiscent of normal nail polish, but not so pungent. It went on smoothly, with a natural-looking, super glossy finish and thankfully dried really quickly. There’s nothing worse than waiting for nail polish to dry, knowing you’ve got a billion other things to be getting on with!
Nailtiques recommend applying one coat only, re-applying everyday and removing weekly for best results. If after that first week you think your nails could do with another week-long holiday, then crack on until you feel they’ve improved. My nails needed about 14 days of treatment for their amazing transformation from horrible, unsightly nails to nails that could grace the cover of a magazine with pride (well, at least I think so…). This part of the treatment process is pretty straightforward; literally just apply directly to nails, re-apply daily and let it work its magic! The only big rule is to not do jazz hands straight after applying, or get it in your cuticles as it can dry them out – so make sure you apply with a steady hand!
The last step in this quest for perfect nails is the Nailtiques Oil Therapy, a vitamin infused oil that you apply like a nail polish. It’s been concocted to soften cuticles by replenishing the natural oils that are lost through misuse (acetone nail varnish remover I’m looking at you). To my nose it has a faint peachy scent which I think smells delicious! Little wonder really though, as one of its main ingredients is Peach Kernel Oil, one of nature’s best remedies for restoring skin elasticity and moisture thanks to its rich infusion of Vitamin E and essential fatty acids.
This super-restoring oil can be used everyday too, on top of the Protein Formula or on its own for a boost once nails have returned to full health. I found it to be a really hydrating and a total pleasure to use. It left my nails lovely and fabulously shiny looking and my dry, cracking cuticles really felt the benefit. Plus, this is supposed to be amazing as quick-drying top coat over nail polish although I’ve yet to put that to the test. I imagine it’d also perform well as a base-coat, sealing in all that goodness before the varnish comes into play.
To wrap up this review, I’ll just say that this rather unassuming nail kit has changed my life, and that’s really not an exaggeration! It’s the bomb. Have a little look-see at the before and after photos (aren’t I brave for sharing those pitiful pictures with the world?) If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will. And best of all? It’s currently only £9.95, down from £22.00! Hurry, hurry and spoil your nails!