Stocked Up on T.I.P.S.

For the last year my nail situation has been dire. I have been pick, pick, picking at them and the cuticles so much that I am embarrassed to show my fingers in public let alone online in a photo. Nope, not showing you. You’ll have to take my word for it.

Last week I decided to restock my T.I.P.S nail conditioning product because I have been out for some time and have been putting it off waiting for a deal. I bought three bottles and two brushes. I ordered on the weekend and they arrived the following Tuesday. I was very excited when the box arrived.

I opened up a bottle and put it in the bathroom and then I opened up another bottle and put it in the livingroom next to my “TV chair”. So far I am feeling good about getting in at least one to two treatments a day. Either in the morning or at night during my wash up routine or when I am watching something on the tube.

I still have a long way to go but from past experience I am confident in the product that I will be taking pictures soon.

From Rounded to Square Nails

I’ve decided to try this square nail tips thing again. As you can see from a recent video they were getting quite long by my standards — accurate typing was becoming difficult and a week bit frustrating.

I find it easier and more productive to keep my nails rounded. I’m also less likely to scratch out an eyeball.

My nails with rounded tips

Anyway, I decided it was time to trim all the nails and since I was trimming and I was still using the Duri nail strengthener I thought I would try going square again. In the past the corners would break off within a few days and I’d end up trimming them short and going round again out of frustration.

My nails with square tips.

So far so good. It’s been just about a week maybe a bit longer and the corners are hanging in there. Not sure how much longer because I’ve started wrecking my kitchen (dismantling cupboards, sanding, painting).

How do you like your tips, rounded or square?

Duri Rejuvacote Review

Nail Polish Canada sent me a bottle of Duri’s Rejuvacote 1 to review on I have never heard of this product which is from a Brooklyn, New York based company. It is a nail growth system and according to the packaging Rejuvacote is the “Nail Doctor” that will “heal and cure your split, cracked and acrylic eaten nails.”

I am testing out a nail strengthener by Duri.

The nail polish bottle it comes in is actually quite large and holds .61 fl. oz of pink filmy treatment. It has a strong scent when you open it that reminds me of the wart remover I had to use when I was a kid. FYI: nails don’t smell after it dries.

The smell encouraged me to take a closer look at the ingredients and if you are a 3-free or 5-free proponent then this product is probably not for you. Here is the ingredient list on my bottle:

Ethyl Acetate, n-butyl acetate, nytrocellulose [sic], formaldehyde resin, isopropyl alcohol, camphor, calcium pantothenate, gelatin, hydrolyzed keratin protein, formaldehyde, vitamin a, vitamin e.

This bottle of Rejuvacote is not formaldehyde free.

Update: Duri’s Rejuvacote 2 is Toluene, formaldyhide, and DBP free.

In the first part of my test I started with one coat and let it go alone just to see what its longevity was like with no follow up coats and noticed it peels off quite easily within a few days.

Testing Duri Rejuvacoate nail strengthener.

I started over again with fresh nails and didn’t use any regular nail polish for seven days. I noticed some drying at the cuticle edge but not really any other changes. The formula has a nice consistency and applies nicely. It stings if you get it on a hangnail so precision is important.

Hard on cuticles and hang nails.

It does peel but instead of starting fresh again I scraped off loose edges and continued with the next day’s coat trying to keep with the directions of applying for seven days and then removing and starting again. I didn’t use any color polish this first week even though the directions said I could on the second day.

Week two something weird started happening. My nails split like crazy. I almost stopped using the Duri but decided to trim things up and keep going for the three weeks I had committed to using it. As the week continued I contributed the splitting to the nail buffer I used a few months back before using a chrome polish — I actually think this splitting was the outgrowth from that — only because I have had none happen since.

I tried a few color polishes with the Duri in weeks three and four and as far as top coats go, it’s super shiny. As someone who has been wearing a lot of polish the last year I really found myself enjoying the pink tint of the Duri but I was still happy to get back to using some bright colors like this Punch Drunk Pink:

My first polish to use with Duri was Sally Hansen's Punch Drunk.

Last week I jammed my pinky in the vent of the oven door when I was opening it and while I didn’t snap off the whole nail I did damage a few millimetres from the tip. It hung on for another day before I had to trim it back. Normally, when this happens it’s an immediate funeral for the whole tip. But at this point they are starting to grow out nicely and I like the pink glow it gives my nail beds and surprisingly it doesn’t discolor the white tips. Here they are without anything on them:

My nails look good without the Duri too.

Then the other day I jammed my middle finger into the vacuum and snapped off a chip. It’s quite a large chip but I think it would have broken or cracked right down to the nail bed had I not been using this top coat — a broken nail at some point is unavoidable in my opinion but it is always a bonus if you don’t have to trim all the way down to start from scratch.

Broken nails are bound to happen no matter what product you use.

And my favorite part, it dries soooo fast. Super fast. I can put a coat on and do anything within three minutes. This includes when using it as a top coat over nail polish — which really surprised me and made me quite happy. Up to this point I’ve been in love with Julep’s Freedom Polymer Topcoat because it dries so fast and is durable but it is such a small bottle compared to this.

A bottle of Duri costs $12.95 from Nail Polish Canada. I have been using it once a day for over four weeks and I am still not a quarter of the way through the bottle.

I hate how some products disappear like you are burning through them. Even on daily use this bottle will last a few months.

I thought my nails looked good before and while I definitely think they look better, I don’t feel like they are “nails to die for”. I will definitely continue to happily use this product until completion.

I will definitely keep this treatment as an ongoing part of my current nail regiment.

Recommendations: If you are going to try it, commit to it and use it every day for at least three weeks before you decide whether or not it is for you. Continue to condition your cuticles every night and you still need to file your nails regularly to keep rough edges at bay.

Update: I am about three quarters of the way through my Duri bottle and I noticed, like most nail polish, the formula is a bit sticky than when I started. I have emailed the company to ask if I can add a few drops of thinner without affecting the formula and am waiting to hear back. In the meantime, I posted a video on instagram the other day about a crack I suffered in my thumb nail but if you check out my nails they otherwise look pretty good and I’m quite happy with them.

Have you tried Duri Rejuvacote?

Topic Links
* Get your Rejuvacote from Nail Polish Canada

What I Have Learned About Nails

We all learn things about our nails with the passage of time but sometimes we forget the basics for whatever reason — drink, forgetfulness, excitement… who knows. With this in mind I decided to make a list of what I have learned about my nails over the years. These are not in any particular order.

  • Two coats dry better than three or four (and also better than one really thick coat) so I like to apply two coats of color (the first one thin and the second one a little thicker) then apply the top coat the next day depending on which top coat I am using.
  • A little nail/cuticle conditioner is better than no conditioner but daily conditioner works wonders.
  • Taking a break between manicures to give nails an allover conditioning keeps them looking healthier for when you want to go bare or almost bare.
  • Buffers are evil. Sure they are great for reducing ridges and adding a bit of sheen to your nail beds but in the end all they do is weaken the nail so when the buffed part grows into the tip area it either splits like shale rock or breaks all together. Only use if absolutely necessary but preferably not at all.
  • Don’t yank on a hang nail, it will always end badly. Or at least 99% of the time. You may get away with pulling on one but the next one won’t go the way you want it to. Wait and clip with the proper tools. Here is a visual reminder:

A hang nail I just couldn't resist yanking on.

  • When doing manicures the more light the better. I find the more light I have to work with the less likely I am to get polish all over my cuticles. The same holds true for working on the cuticles. If I can actually see them them clearly I am less like to over maintain them.
  • If cuticles need to be pushed back then it works better and there is less damage if I just had a shower.
  • My nails / cuticles are not going to look like the other bloggers. It is impossible. But for someone who washers their hands 25+ times a day and uses her nails as tools — well, they look pretty darn good.
  • I don’t paint my nails to make them look better than someone else’s. I paint them because I think it is fun.
  • Some days my nails / cuticles will look better than other days.
  • There will always be someone who thinks your nails / cuticles look like crap. But there will always be others who think they look awesome. (Focus on the positive juice, not negative snit!)

It’s a simple list but I plan to continue to add to it as the light bulbs go on. Do you have anything you have learned about your nails recently?

Avon Nail Tips

I recently developed an addiction for Avon nail polish (surprise, surprise) and they have a simple and straightforward tip list for making the most of your manicure: Fall colours from Avon's nail polish collection.

1. Clean your nails before applying polish, with polish remover (even if they were not polished) or with a fresh lemon. This will remove any oils and debris and produce a clean canvas for painting.
2. Add a basecoat. It will protect your nails and even out the ridges.
3. Polish a bit over the tip of the nail.
4. Two thin layers of polish are better than one thick layer.
5. Don’t forget your topcoat!
6. Add a fresh layer of topcoat 2-3 days after to add shine and further protect your polish.

I know with nail strips you are supposed to give your nails a quick once over with polish remover but I never considered it for nail polish but it makes sense.

I can’t live without a basecoat so that should be a given for everyone — especially with neon and deep colors.

I can’t seem to brush over the tip of the nail without making a mess. My nails are pretty short. I do try to do it with the base coat though.

I have to agree that two thin coats is way better than one thick one. It gives you more control of where to polish goes, you get less on the skin around the nails, and I find the manicure lasts longer. Especially if you let them dry for at least five minutes between coats.

I almost never go without a top coat but some polishes have a super gloss sheen that just cannot be copied by a top coat, a blue Jin Soon polish I have comes to mind.

I have to admit that my polishes are usually not on long enough for me to do a fresh topcoat every few days but it makes sense if you are trying to make it last seven to ten days; especially if you use your hands a lot.

How many of these tips from Avon do you already use and do you have any other suggestions for making a mani last?