Friday, August 26, 2011

My First Nail Art on Someone Else!

Several friends have been asking me to do their nails, and I finally found the time to oblige one of them!  My friend Ashley has nails that I would kill to have.  They are strong and healthy, with nice long nail beds and nicely parallel sides (as opposed to mine, which are kind of v-shaped, which I hate).  I have really been wanting to get my hands on her nails!

She wanted something involving french tips, cherries, and light blue.  I found this picture of a really cute mani, but I altered it a bit for her, leaving out the bows and doing the cherries in red crystals on her ring fingers.

The pictures came out unfortunate and blurry due to my cell phone camera and the crappy lighting in the break room at work, so you'll just have to trust me that it came out really cute! : )

Re: my nails: I am currently at the beginning of an experiment to see if I can make them grow any stronger.  As I've mentioned before, I have very weak, thin, peely nails.  In the past I have tried EVERYTHING to get them to grow thicker and stronger, but nothing ever worked.  However, that was all before I really got into nails like I have recently.  Now that I feel that I know more about the biology of nails, I am going to try again.

In the past, I think I maybe didn't give any of the treatments I tried enough time to work.  I pretty much expected instant results, and when I didn't get them, I gave up and tried something else.  This time, I am going to hang in there and be patient (so not my strong suit!) with my treatment plan.  This is the plan:

Step one: Biotin.  I have been taking Biotin supplements for over a year now, but all they've done is make my hair and nails, which already grew really fast, grow even faster.  It has done nothing to thicken or strengthen my nails.  I'm going to continue taking Biotin, however, because I really like how fast my hair has been growing.  I get bored with my hairstyles very quickly!  Also, the faster my nails grow, the faster I can see results from the other two steps, hopefully.

Step two: Moisturize.  In the past I have been, shall we say, less than maniacal about moisturizing my cuticles. No more!  I have loaded up on vitamin E oil for home and pocket-sized cuticle oil pens for work, and I am going to be all oiled up all the time!

Step three: Nail treatments.  After reading Loodie's post and Konadlicious' post about the nail-strengthening benefits of formaldehyde, I went to Sally's and bought a nail treatment containing it. I had always avoided polishes and treatments containing formaldehyde in the past, because during my high school advanced biology class I got very sick from the solution in which our fetal pigs were preserved.  The teacher said they were preserved in formaldehyde, so I figured I must be allergic to it and have always tried to avoid it.  According to Loodie (who is a scientist and seems to know what she is talking about), even if that stuff was actually formaldehyde or formalin, it is unlikely that it is really the same thing as what is in polish.  I have been using the formaldehyde-containing treatment for a few days now, and I have not gotten sick or broken out, so I think it's going to be ok in that regard.  We'll see if it does anything to strengthen or thicken my nails.  I'm going to give it at least two months.  That's about how long it takes my nails to grow from the cuticle to the tip (I told you they grow fast!)  If I don't see any benefits after two months, I'll try something else.

I have been changing my polish every day or two, to make sure I'm getting the nail treatment directly on my nail.  I have some pictures of my past few manis, which I'll be sharing soon.  Since I have to change my polish so often during my experiment, I may do this challenge.  It looks fun.

Anyone have any other tips for toughening up thin, bendy, peely nails?

xoxo, Natalie

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