Completely frustrated with nail care!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-23-2014
Completely frustrated with nail care!
Fri, 05-23-2014 - 8:23am

Anyone else just fed up with nail care??  I've tried it all...when I was younger I went for the acrylics only to go back to my own natral nails once I realized that they're nicer. Tried gel when it came out but who can afford that! And once again, I actually like my natural nails. Recently I tried the Sally Hanson gel polish only to find that the harsh acetone nail polish remover that you had to SOAK your nails in was destroying my natural nail.  I am just at a loss because I find the following 3 things so freakin' frustrating:

#1 I haven't found a nail polish that doesn't chip by the next day

#2 I haven't found a product that really makes my nails stronger

#3 Always have an issue with very stubborn, overgrown cuticles. And I can't cut them myself so even when the cuticle cream does work to push them back I'm left with the nasty pushed back stuff that doesn't come off.

PLEASE if you've found products that work please let me know.  Even if they're on the pricier side because it will still be cheaper than the salon. I just don't want to spend the money on the pricier stuff without some sort of recommendation that it really works!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 05-25-2014 - 12:01pm

I would just go to a salon.  It only costs $10 in my area for a manicure only ($35 for mani-pedi) if you don't have gel.  My manicure usually lasts at least a week and more likely 2 weeks.  I have never had chips in one day even when I do my own nails.  The key is that you have to use 2 coats of polish and a top coat.  Plus you have to make sure your nails are totally dry before you do anything.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-25-2014
Sun, 05-25-2014 - 8:01pm

I've primarily cared for just my natural nails over the last 9 years. There can definitely be a learning curve if you want to care for your nails on your own, rather than trusting a nail tech who might not even being a good job his/herself.

#1 I have not personally found this wonder-polish either, but it doesn't bother me because I like to change my nail color often or else leave them bare. However, what's key to making polish last is a good base AND topcoat. The best that I am aware of is Seche Vite. Musiclover is also right about making sure your nails are completely clean before applying polish, and letting them dry thoroughly. If you can, try to apply the day before you need them to be presentable so they have 30 minutes to an hour between each coat to allow each to dry thoroughly. Start with a thin, even layer of basecoat, followed by 1-3 thin coats of polish depending on desired opacity, and finish with a thin, even layer of topcoat. For added durability, you could use a UV curable topcoat, like Seche Ultra-V. If you want something faster, I've also heard wonderful things about the Haute Polish system that's advertised on television.

#2 Seche Vite also makes a line of nail treatments, as well as a strengthening base coat. I've heard good things about Sally Hansen nail treatments also. Ultimately, though, nothing you put ON your nails is going to be as good as what you put IN your nails. If you're not taking one already, consider taking a multivitamin (especially a prenatal) daily. A healthy, well-nourished body will produce much better hair, skin, and nails. You can also supplement with biotin and gelatin/collagen. In fact, Spring Valley (I see this brand in every pharmacy) makes a Hair, Skin & Nails vitamin which contains both in addition to antioxidants. You can take one per day in addition to a multivitamin, or 2-3 daily in leiu of a multivit. Just don't expect results overnight. It may take a couple weeks to a couple of months to notice a difference in your skin, about three months in your nails, and potentially longer to see a difference in hair growth.

#3 This is a subject of a LOT of debate, and for good reason. Obviously, you should NOT cut them yourself with nippers unless you are ambidextrous and have training in how to properly cut them. I choose to push them back some and then use a stick cuticle trimmer to cut them. The key is to be gentle and use only enough pressure to cut the dead tissue off. If you can actually feel it cutting or experience any discomfort with the process, you're going too deep!