DIY Cuticle Oil

Product Reviews

I refuse to buy this stuff pre-made. I went to a local health food store and found the oils I wanted to use and combined them in an old cuticle oil bottle I had from a previous purchase. My recipe is:
1 capsule Omega oil
3 drops tea tree oil
Olive oil (fill to half the bottle)
Grapeseed oil (fill to 1/4 of bottle)
Apricot Kernal Oil (fill the remaining 1/4 of bottle)

I use this stuff when I need quick hydration and can’t do an actual soak. If you want to try to make your own – take a look on YouTube, there are tons of recipes. This recipe isn’t as thick as some I have seen so I may add a little castor oil next time.

DIY Cuticle Oil

DIY Cuticle Oil

Vitagel Review: Peeling Nails

Product Reviews

When gel polish first came out, I was so psyched. The application – buffing, dehydrating, bonder – I knew it wouldn’t help my nails. The buffing alone would destroy them. I tried a Shellac manicure once, and while it was pretty, when it came time to remove the product – dear Lord. Pure acetone? Ugh. Forget it – might as well just take a grinder to them and be done with it. So I stayed away.

I have seen Gelish’s Vitagel all over the place on the internet – YouTube, blogs, forums. I still cannot find a definitive review on whether this stuff helps peeling nails or improves over all nail condition. From what I have seen, the jury is still out and for good reason. Some people couldn’t get the product to adhere for longer than a day or two, others experienced lifting, some complained that it made their nails worse than they were before application. There were reviews that gave it a huge thumbs up – said it made their nails awesome, stronger, more durable. The consistency is off-putting to some, as it is thick and is unlike other soak-off gel products in its consistency and application.

I decided to give it a whirl after my husband bought me the Gelish LED lamp for Mother’s Day. Also, in all honesty, I just get sick of feeling like I have to constantly coax my nails along – put this on, rub this in, use this product, sacrifice some chickens – ok, well maybe not that bad but you get my point. I love painting my nails and I love doing nail art. I cannot express just how much I WOULD LOVE to have longer nails and be able to keep them at a nice length during the winter. However, I just don’t think it is in the cards – at least while I live where I live. In short, I had nothing to lose by trying it.


Gelish LED Lamp and Vitagel

I took the Vitagel plunge… so if you have peeling nails, and you want to try Vitagel, here are my thoughts. When I looked up ways to apply to Vitagel I stumbled across Tracy’s blog and her YouTube channel – Simply Into my Nails. Tracy does not buff her nails nor use the bonder – rather, she has her own method and in my opinion, a better one. She also uses Gelish’s Structure gel which is also a soak-off, but it offers a little more strength than just the Vitagel. I would also like to mention that she is a licensed nail technician so I felt a little better about trying the product and using her method.

I purchased both products, Structure Gel and Vitagel (Strength Formula). So first things first – FOLLOW HER INSTRUCTIONS PRECISELY. I tried doing several variations and even tried using the pH bond on just the tips of the nail – if your nails peel don’t use the pH bond. If you follow Tracy’s instruction you won’t need to and I have found that the bonder really does cement lock the product to the nail which makes the removal a pain in the arse (takes a lot longer than when you don’t use it). DO NOT USE A SCRUBBING motion to apply Vitagel – I found that it caused air bubbles and in my opinion, it didn’t cure right. Use the products she uses to cleanse and degrease the nail – alcohol and acetone. Yes, they are dehydrating. Yes, your nails may look ashy prior to application – they won’t afterward so crack on. If you have any areas on your nails that are delaminating, I recommend either filing, trimming, or growing those areas out and then applying the Vitagel. The Vitagel will come off with the peeling section of the nail – no bueno. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT PICK at any lifting. Tracy also covers how she handles air bubbles and lifting and if you follow her instructions, it most likely won’t be an issue. If you vary from her instructions like I did, expect varying results. Also, for removal use a conditioning soak off remover. ASP and CND have one and they are a lot better than pure acetone – Tracy recommends using them as well.

ASP Soak off Remover

ASP Conditioning Soak Off Remover

Final thoughts? So far, so good. My nails are certainly more durable. I don’t think it necessarily does anything that makes my natural nails any different in that – they aren’t miraculously cured of their issues. However, I could say that of just about every treatment I have tried. I would classify Vitagel as an enhancement, but a far better one that acrylic or regular gels. I also think that it will allow my natural nails to get some length due to being reinforced. My nails are not damaged when I remove the product. I typically give them a couple of days in between applications, but get a steady three weeks of wear from the Vitagel. I still do the olive oil soaks every day for ten minutes. I also use my Burt’s Bees Lemon Cuticle Balm too. So, is it a cure for peeling nails? No. Is it a good enhancement that doesn’t damage your nails? Depends on how you apply it, the condition of your nails prior to application, and how you remove it. For me, it does offer some added protection. I will keep everyone posted on the progress but I give it a thumbs up thus far.

Ecrinal Vitamin Nail Strengthener

Product Reviews

Ecrinal Strengthener

Ecrinal by Asepta Laboratories

This is another soak in treatment and a great one. It doesn’t really do anything for my nails when they peel, which is mostly in the winter, but it does seem to help them become a bit more flexible and not break easily. Their site lists all the products they offer in this line, but I am specifically reviewing their liquid nail treatment in the blue bottle. I used it an entire summer per the instructions on use, and my nails looked great. Again, when the winter hit, it didn’t really do much for peeling, even with a heavy moisture routine. That does not mean it won’t work, or that it is a bad product. On the contrary, it is actually a good one. For those of you with nails that are brittle and break or split easily – you gotta try this stuff. It works wonders. I bought my bottle on Amazon and it was around $20.00 without shipping.

Nailtrition Review: Orly Nail Treatment

Product Reviews


Nailtrition by Orly

I purchased this product about four months ago after seeing it at Sally’s Beauty Supply. It is a daily application for one week, then remove and repeat. After week two, wait a week and re-apply. This product did offer some added protection and strength and didn’t seem to make any existing issues (peeling) worse. I didn’t really see a huge difference in my nails in terms of strength or length, but it does look nice if worn alone. I prefer to not use it as a base coat due to the way it lays, as I like to use ridge filling base coats. I have seen reviews of people using Nailtrition as a base coat with no problem, so it is up to the person. It is the Big three free and contains collagen, wheat protein, keratin and bamboo extract. I don’t believe the hype about vitamins being able to soak into the nail plate from nail varnish but I can appreciate the idea that I would feel better about using this product on bare nails than some others on the market. All in all, I think it is a decent product but I didn’t get stronger and longer nails from two months of use.

Dermanail Review: Nail Conditioner for peeling nails

Product Reviews

I had a page on my last blog about my nail issue and certain nail treatments I have tried, but I felt like doing some specific posts about treatments that had good results would be helpful to those with the same issue. I have peeling nails – in the winter it is worse, but in the summer they do well. I am pretty sure that I have tried nearly every brand of nail remedy, but this one is worth mentioning for peeling nail sufferers. I found Dermanail via a fellow blogger, Loodie Loodie Loodie. If you haven’t been to her blog – GO NOW. She’s a cosmetic chemist (I think I have botched that title somehow) and explains what’s in the stuff and what it does.


DermaNail by Summers Laboratories

Dermanail is a nail conditioner and is a soak in product. It works similar to Ecrinal (will do a separate review of the Ecrinal). I used a brush that I had in my Bundle Monster brush set; brushed the product on the entire nail two times a day. In addition, I amped up the moisture routine and they began to get pretty solid and no peeling. I bought mine on Amazon and purchased a pretty thick cuticle cream from the same company (again a Loodie Loodie Loodie referral) called Cutemol. The stuff is pretty thick and it does wonders for cuticles. It doesn’t smell good – no frills or thrills but it DOES moisturize and for east coast winters – it is a must. I’m almost out of my Cutemol and will no doubt buy another tube. The tube of Cutemol and the bottle of Dermanail have lasted a long time. I got both last year (I believe last fall) and I still have 3/4 of a bottle of Dermanail and 1/4 of a tube of the Cutemol.

I don’t have any before and after photos (sorry) but I can say that following the package instructions with consistent use will improve your nails if they peel. Moisture really is key though and for me, that is usually a warm olive oil soak for ten minutes each day (or every other) and Burt’s Bees Lemon Cuticle Cream here and there. Hope it helps anyone else who struggles with this and let me know if you try it and get good results.

Funky French Friday – #FFF@TNC!!!

French, Gel Polish, Nail Art

Might start doing this on Fridays when I can? If you like it, share it and tag it #FFF@TNC!!!

Polish Used:
Gelish Foundation
Finger Paints Gel Polish – Stay True to the Art
Finger Paints Gel Polish – Pink Glaze
Gelish – I’ll Make it Fit (on big toes)
Gelish – Top Coat
Nail art brush to form smile lines

Gel Pedicure - French with Glitter

Gel Pedicure – French with Glitter