It's been a little over a month now, and so far the experiment is going well. First off, this is how my nails were before I began:
My camera doesn't take close-up pictures very well, but I think you can still tell how thin and weak they were.
For the first couple of weeks I used Nail Tek Xtra: For Difficult, Resistant Nails. It has both formaldehyde for strengthening and ingredients to keep the nail moisturized (to help stop peeling). It worked well on the strengthening front, however, possibly because of the moisturizing ingredients, it peeled off like crazy and took my nail polish with it. Seriously, after a day or less of wear my entire mani would peel off in one piece, like it was just a nail sticker or something. Sometimes it took a layer of my nail off, too, which went completely against the reason for the moisturizers (to STOP peeling), and defeated the entire purpose of using the Nail Tek in the first place.
So I switched to Nail Life Nail Revitalizer in Original, which has formaldehyde in it but no moisturizers. It adheres to my nails much better (not to mention, it costs half as much and the bottle contains twice as much product as Nail Tek) and I am much more happy with it. Here is what my nails look like now:
OMG they actually have a little bit of length! I don't know if you can tell from the second picture because it is so blurry, but they are noticeably thicker. They have almost doubled in thickness. When I clip them, they actually make a little "snick" noise! And I can tell when I am filing them that they are thicker. They are about halfway grown-out from when I started (like I said before, they grow FAST) and I can see a little hump that goes horizontally across my nail, where the new nail growing in is thicker than the old nail.
I will be continuing the experiment, but I will try to post more often in between. For now, here are some nail looks that I have sported since the last time I posted:
Cult Nails Iconic with OPI Sparke de Triomphe accent nail:
OPI Glacier Bay Blues, Konad Silver Stamping Polish, Bundle Monster and Konad images:
Half-moon Mani with Cult Nails Hypnotize Me over Awakening:
(this is one of my favorite manis ever!):
"Ruffian" mani with China Glaze Trendsetter and Midtown Magic:
A failed attempt at a sponged gradient using Julep Emilie and Sienna:
(If you are a cool-to-neutral skin-toned girl looking for a flattering gold,
Sienna is awesome! It has just enough silver to make it work on us,
but it is still obviously gold.)
Saint's Nails! Or, a much better sponging gradient
using China Glaze Liquid Leather and Julep Sienna
(also, I got an Ott Lite. Much better, no?):
Lastly, I hit Ulta for the Butter: London BOGO, and the first one I had to
try was No More Waity, Katie! I did a Princess Di/Duchess Kate ring accent nail with
Ulta Moody Blue and rhinestones from Born Pretty Store:
Here are all the lovelies I got at the sale:
Big Smoke; Blagger; Victoriana; No More Waity, Katie; Queen Vic; Primrose Hill Picnic.
I almost didn't get Victoriana, as in the store it looked like a dupe for Cult Nail's Let Me Fly, but upon getting it home and comparing the two I think they are different enough to warrant owning both, especially since blue is my favorite color! Maybe now that I have a good light that shows colors more accurately, I will post a comparison picture of the two.
Whew, that about does it for me! You are now up to date on what I've been doing, nail-wise. In non-nail-related news, I am thinking of selling my house (it is just too much of a PITA to keep up all by myself) and moving into an apartment. Moving is such an ordeal, though. Sigh. What to do? Oh, well, til next time...