Friday, March 26, 2010

Daydream222's Treatment Regimen and Routine

At the risk of sounding conceited, I've been getting oodles of compliments on my nails lately from all kinds of people, including friends, coworkers, strangers at the store, etc. I started to wonder what had changed to warrant such attention. Was I using hand gestures more? Was I wearing brighter, more noticeable colors? The answer is no. My nails, simply put, are in the best shape they've ever been in my entire life (and I used to be a serious biter) and I owe it all to my treatment regimen! So I wanted to share with PoP's fantastic, super awesome readers my favorite treatments that really work.*

Let's start with the stars of my routine.

L-R: Barielle Hydrating Ridge Filler, Growth Activator for Natural Nails, Nail Rebuilding Protein, and Natural Nail Camouflage.

I found ALL of these at either TJ Maxx or Marshall's for $3.99 each. If you never see Barielles at either of your TJ Maxx or Marshall's, stay vigilant and keep checking. None of my stores ever had Barielles until the holiday season and now it's hit-or-miss. I stock up every time I see a box. You can also purchase Barielle products from Barielle's website, though they are considerably more expensive.

Hydrating Ridge Filler: This was seriously a godsend. I finally scored a bottle of this back in October and immediately started using it with Growth Activator (I will get to that in a minute). At the time I started using it, my nails were constantly breaking and peeling. After a month there was a significant difference that continues to this day. I used it alone or paired with Growth Activator, followed by my usual polish routine.

Growth Activator for Natural Nails: The directions say that this is NOT a regular basecoat and to use it over something else, so I used it over Hydrating Ridge Filler, followed by my usual polish routine. I believe you can also use it as a topcoat of sorts (not quick dry). My nails grew like WEEDS with this.

Nail Rebuilding Protein: Be careful with this one. I found out from the Nail Board that too much protein on your nails can make them brittle, which I think may have been the problem with Nubar Nu Nails for me. Anyway, I use this one once and awhile when my nails feel/look weak, followed by my usual polish routine.

Natural Nail Camouflage: I think this is my favorite out of all of these. After Hydrating Ridge Filler and Growth Activator did their jobs successfully and my nails are strong and healthy, I switched over to using Natural Nail Camouflage as my typical basecoat, followed by my usual polish routine.

*These treatments work for me, but that does not necessarily mean that they'll work for you. Body chemistry varies from person to person, rendering some products helpful for some and damaging or useless to others.

I did not "go naked" at any point during this change in my basecoats/treatments. I don't believe in it and it gives me the urge to bite. Not only did these treatments significantly change my nail health, they also changed the longevity of my polish wear. I used to get chips within 12 hours, but now it's closer to 48 hours, which is incredible for me since I am a huge klutz. In fact, my nails are so strong that they did not break in two potentially tragic incidences last week. In the first, I was trying to clamp one of those "chip clips" on my kittehs' food bag to hold it shut and it accidentally clamped on my index finger and nail! My nail was really sore after that for a few days but it did not break or peel! In the second incident I grabbed the door handle of my car and my hand slipped, which caused my nail to catch on the door handle - but it didn't break or chip!

Next up, my favorite moisturizers.

L-R: Vaseline Hand & Nail, Neutrogena Norwegian Formula, Barielle Intensive Nail Renewal Oil, CND Cuticle Eraser, and Qtica Cuticle Repair.

My typical routine involves using CND Cuticle Eraser, followed by Barielle Intensive Nail Renewal Oil, and then either the Neutrogena or Vaseline moisturizer. I try to do this routine 1-2X per day. I use the Qtica before bed every night. You can purchase the Barielle from TJ Maxx/Marshall's or Barielle's website, the CND from any of the e-tailers, the Qtica from Victoria Nail Supply or Art of Beauty, and the Neutrogena and Vaseline from any stores like Target, Wal-Mart, etc.

Next, my favorite nail polish removal process.

L-R: Felt and Zoya Remove +.

Zoya Remove + is by far my favorite remover so far, though I have not tried OPI's or Barielle's. I still use pure acetone and acetone from Sally's for glitter removal or cleanup but I try to use Remove + the most. I purchase very cheap felt sheets from Wal-Mart and cut them into 3X3 inch squares. I used to buy black felt but I like white felt much more. It's personal preference, though. Use what color you like! You can purchase Remove + from Art of Beauty (link above). It's pricey, but worth it in my opinion.

Next, my OPI crystal file.

I purchased this from Transdesign but you can pick it up in some stores like Ulta too. I used to have an Essie until I broke it and I loved that one too. That's pretty much it! It's great - get a cystal file - it's a necessity!

Last, but not least, Biotin supplements.

I want to be clear about this - anytime you decide to take supplements, check with your doctor first. Supplements can affect other medications and even potentially harm you if you have certain pre-existing conditions. I started out taking 1 1000mcg capsule of Biotin daily and when I had no side effects, I started using the 5000mcg. I take 1 capsule per day. This bottle advises not to take it within 2 hours of any other medication, so I follow that guideline. I purchased this bottle at my grocery store and you can find Biotin at most stores. Some women on the Nail Board mentioned experiencing cystic acne or acne breakouts when on Biotin, so be aware. I have not had these effects but I have never had any issues with acne so maybe that's why.

Well, that's my treatment routine! I hope this may help some of you in choosing a treatment regimen!!!!! I need to go work out - one side effect of graduate school for me has been weight gain! Ick. :(

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kittytokaren said...

Haha this is awesome! I use a lot of the same stuff! All the Barielle treatments/base coats are amazing and I have a small stock in my bathroom! I use Camo under sheers especially because I feel like they apply better over it. :)

WizardsOfBling said...

What a great and in depth post! I use and love a lot of Barielle!

amusedPolish said...

too bad they don't sell barielle here (still experimenting with a basecoat that works best for me)

on the felt: if you're using coloured felt with nail polish remover the colour may start to bleed/fade onto your nails, so maybe white is the best option...

Sweetea said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I'm always so curious about the nail care of the bloggers I read!!

NY*NAIL*DIVA said...

very nice! Be careful with Biotin, it can cause acne!

Jen said...

Why have I never heard about using FELT before? OMG - Lightbulb moment!!!
Thank you!

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