Getting Longer, Stronger Nails

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One of my earliest beauty memories was looking at my sisters incredibly long, strong finger nails and wishing my nails looked the same. My sister’s not really into beauty much (or at least not on the same level as me!) but since the age of 15 she has religiously painted her nails with Sally Hansen Hard as Nails, and as a result has always had the most amazing nails… those that truly deserve to be called talons (they never break).

Since then I’ve always fallen back on Sally Hansen when it comes to nail treatments (although I have to say my nails have never been quite as spectacular as my sisters – she’s still using Hard as Nails FYI) so when they asked me to talk about some of my favourite products this week, I jumped at the chance. To be honest, I go back and forth between painting my nails myself with regular nail polish, using gel polish at home and professional gel manicures. It’s usually something of a vicious cycle, as while I love the look and practicality of gel, after a few applications it often leaves my nails in a pretty bad way… dehydrated, thin and weak. I’m currently on one of my longest gel ‘phases’ due to the amount of travelling I’ve been doing, so looking after my nails in between gel treatments has taken a front seat and I try to have at least a day (preferably more) between taking off one set of gels and having another applied. When I’m wearing regular nail polish I tend to use treatments either as base coats, or under base coats, so either way they weave their way into my nail care routine on a regular basis.

My first favourite is my newest discovery from the range, the Cuticle Rehab brush-on oil. I don’t have the worst cuticles, but I have found over the years that using cuticle oil helps to keep my cuticles from getting too dry, and also helps to keep my nail bed hydrated as well (as I said before – often a problem if you use gel polish a lot) I’ve had a few favourites, but I fell in love with this the moment I tried it due to the texture. It’s a brush-on gel oil so not only convenient as you can throw it in your bag without worrying about it leaking, but it also doesn’t migrate onto your fingertips – a personal pet peeve of mine (I can’t handle oil on my fingertips… kind of like my personal nails on a blackboard feeling!) It’s formulated with Vitamin E, jasmine, rose water, avocado, sunflower and sesame seed oils so it’s really moisturising and smoothing for your cuticle skin and nails. I know it’s not the be-all and end-all factor when it comes to nail products, but this stuff also smells amazing! Who’s going to say no to cucumber-melon scented cuticles?! (not me)

My second favourite is a golden oldie in my collection, the Miracle Cure strengthening treatment. I’ve used this for years as a base coat to avoid breakage. It really helps to keep them in good condition when they get dry and start to flake (so gross, but my nails are really prone to flaking!) As much as my sister loves Hard As Nails, I only tend to use that if I’m not using a colour over the top, as it can be quite thick and is slightly pink-toned (it’s great to use as the base colour for a french manicure). I’ve found Miracle Cure a better option as a replacement for my base coat when I’m using regular polish to help my nails stay strong and not chip and break quite as much. It makes a nice smooth base and is formulated with natural proteins and a blend of antioxidants to help improve the strength of your nails.

Last but not least, Another treatment I like to use as an in-between treatment when I’m having gel is the NailGrowth Miracle. I find that, even though gel polish can weaken my nails, it’s about the only time I am able to grow them beyond a certain length, so I like to use this to encourage growth on my bare nail days. It contains a concentrated peptide formula enriched with biotin to help encourage nail growth.

All of my favourites are available now in Boots, or online here. What are your favourite nail treatments?

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* This post is sponsored by Sally Hansen