Saturday, May 26, 2012

Nail Fail with Shells

A lot of people have said they like this manicure, but to me it's still a nail fail to me. You know how you sometimes have this image in your mind of how you're expecting something to turn out, and then when something goes wrong, you just can't look at the results objectively? Yeah, that's where I am with this.

I had an image of doing a gradient (in shells) from black to pink, with the shells kind of mixed in the middle? Yeah, that didn't work. Also, you know how Seche Vite tends to layer over nail polish like a coat of plastic or resin? I had a mental picture of these shells sitting in that layer of resin...except that after two coats of Seche Vite, I was too scared to add more. I don't know what chemical reaction was going on here, but the SV dried up with the texture of fruit roll-ups. Seriously. Fruit leather on my fingers. Totally not the clear resin I expected to be encasing these pretty crushed shells.

I started with my standard two coats of Haken Nail Magic, two coats of China Glaze Sex on the Beach (appropriate for putting crushed seashells on, don't you think?) and then I dabbed SV on spots on the nail, added shells, added SV to the next spot, etc.

I don't remember if I mentioned it on the blog here or only on the Facebook polish group, but I wanted to report on how my latest base coat has been doing in strengthening my extremely thin, flexible, bendy, breaking nails. I also have a (usually mild) problem with flaking on the ends, but due to the flexibility of the nails, they usually break off before the flakes get serious.

When I started doing my nails seriously last winter, I picked up a bottle of Sally Hansen Miracle Cure. It did help slightly with the flakes, and my nails would get a millimeter or two past the end of my fingers before they broke, which was an improvement, but it didn't stop the flaking, and it didn't improve the strength or ridiculous bendy-ness of my nails. So when the bottle was getting low in March, I picked up a "strenghtening" base coat on a trip to Sally Beauty the first week in April. Nail Life Nail Revitalizer was the worst base coat I've ever had for my nails. A plain base coat is better for my body chemistry than that stuff. (I'm not dissing the product - I've heard other people say it works for them. But it does not work for me.)

I would've stopped using it sooner, except that I only get paid once a month, so I had to wait 'til the beginning of May to buy a new base coat. By that time, I had more serious flaking problems than I've ever had, even before I started "treating" my nails. So among my other nail purchases the first of May, I bought Haken Nail Magic. I immediately noticed a dropoff on the level of flaking, which was a good thing, but I wanted to wait a few weeks to give a more thorough report on how my nails are doing.

I've had one single nail break in nearly four weeks...and it was one where the flakes had started cracks before I started using HNM. I still have some thin areas where the flakes haven't grown all the way out yet (I was getting flakes in the middle of my nail with the Nail Life, not just on the tips like I normally get!) but I'm not getting any new flakes, and my nails are literally longer than they've ever been in my life.

Compare how long they are right now with how long they were five weeks ago:

And that thumbnail on my left hand is the one that broke three weeks ago, so it's my shortest nail. My nails have actually started clacking on the keys when I type! ^_^ 


  1. Hi this is the first time I'm checking your blog and had to laugh at the big disclairmer of "it's just a hobby!!!". Thanks for the tip on Hanken. If it fails in the future you may want to try Barielle. I have a problem with my nails splitting down the middle (due to carrying stuff around at work) and my friend suggested Barielle since she used to have the same problem and it worked for her. I know they have a Barielle for splitting nails in case you need to try something different in the future.

    1. Thanks for coming by! I will definitely keep this in mind - Barielle's strengthening base coat was also recommended on one of my polish groups.