Saturday, 6 July 2013

An unusual review in which I cut my nails off!

Yes, that's right, I'm cutting them off!!!

Last weekend posted a review of some polishes by SpaRitual which has since led to my offering to do this review of their nail strengthener by cutting my nails off and seeing how they grow!

My nails grow fairly quickly, but I do need a decent strengthener in order to keep them longer than absolute nubs, if I don't regularly use a strengthener I find that my nails will break at the slightest contact, eg catching them on a door handle, going in the cupboard, going into pocket on jeans or worst of them all: the unknown break where you just look down and a nail has broken with no idea why!  As well as a decent strengthener I also need regular moisture otherwise my nails will peel.   

Over the last couple of weeks I have broken a nail on my right hand doing not very much, then another on my left hand fighting the freezer at the weekend and before that they broke a couple of times too, at the end of May they were talons (I have short nail beds, so the tip length at that time was really long for me.)

I feel they need something new, a fresh start, so I offered to cut my nails right back and to replace my normal Nail Envy with a SpaRitual strengthener instead.

First up some details about the products I will be using...

The strengthener is Protein Boost Strengthening Treatment  "Strengthens nails by binding nail layers, preventing splitting and peeling. Protein Boost provides extra conditioning, reduces breakage and improves nail flexibility."  This retails at an RRP of £10.50.  The product applies really well and goes on super clear, the nail is left looking very shiny. I imagine with careful application you could wear this in a no nail polish work place: when I worked in retail, my managers preferred no polish but it wasn't in their rules, the only reference was that hands should be "clean and well manicured" so I used to sometimes push it and paint my nails under the well manicured rule;  my manager made a comment about an old deep purple OPI that it would be nice for a night out, her way of politely disapproving my choice.  The application of this strengthener is great because of the SpaRitual brush, the handle is ergonomic and the rubberized grip is fab. I am now torn between this and China Glaze for being my favourite brushes! The way to use this product is just like Nail Envy, two coats initially then a further coat every other day, after a week restart process. I am using this like I would my nail envy, one coat as a base (2 if polish risks staining) then an extra at if I wear mani for more than a day.

Alongside the Protein Boost I am going to also use Cuti Cocktail Pen & Pusher  "penetrates the nail matrix to condition cuticles and promote healthy nail growth. Formulated with a conditioning blend of Aloe Extract, Evening Primrose and Grapeseed Oils. Convenient pen with cuticle pusher for perfect on the go application."  This retails at £5.95. As the picture shows and name suggests this has a built in cuticle pusher on the lid, I love this pusher as it is firm, but not too much so and it is quite big compared to my normal hoof stick. I usually use a Leighton Denny cuticle stick, however when I have greasy fingers, the LD one sometimes does a twizzle then goes flying. The overall design of the Cuti Cocktail Pen and Pusher is so ergonomic (like the polish lids) that it fits perfectly in my hand and won't go anywhere.  This oil smells wonderful, I am going to look like I have some odd finger sniffing fetish whilst I use this. The brush itself is a twist and click dispense system, but the click isn't very loud which means I can use this whilst I am talking on the phone at work...... The oil is a lovely thick texture which means I don't have to worry about it running off, very very practical from an on the go perspective: no worrying  will drip on your clothing or anything you may be handling.  The cap has a very firm "click" so no worrying about it ending up all over the inside of my handbag.  Keeping my cuticles in order is very important especially when my nails are short of tip length, as any ragged cuticles are so much more obvious, also to maximise the overall appearance and keeping cuticles in check will help provide longer nail beds!

The packaging for both feels lovely, very luxurious. These are products which would make a great gift for someone wanting to improve their nails, a starter pack.  Also they are both being Vegan friendly.

Now onto my nails....

Yesterday I posted about my neons, I still had these on when this was decided, so for comparison, here is a before and after (I always shape my nails with polish on) at the time of taking these pictures I had worn these nails for three days.

Before filing

After filing

Before, tip length difference more obvious here

After, filed back so no tip left
This was just over a week ago

After filing off

And finally.... here's how long my nails can normally get to, this is usually 6-8 weeks growth and was taken at the end of May, at the end of March I had filed right back too so this is where I hope to be late August, early September.

This was from a review I did at the end of May, they've since been filed down a little on two occasions due to breaks.
Over the next few weeks I am going to post a progress update on a weekly basis.

On the day I filed my nails off we had to move a mattress, I was able to do it with no fear for my nails, and typing seems easier, I had forgotten how much I love having super shorties for practical reasons, but I do prefer the length I had visually!

Finally a little bit about SpaRitual.
The SpaRitual Story

Dedicated to the spa tradition, SpaRitual is committed to creating eco-friendly products and packaging perfectly crafted for the enlightened consumer. We use Vegan ingredients from around the world, including many specially sourced and selected plant essences that are wild crafted OR organic. The formulations are naturally coloured and free of synthetic dyes. SpaRitual is constantly monitoring sustainability issues and strives to be on the cutting edge of environmental awareness. Enlighten yourself. Be a SpaRitualist. Because we all deserve to live the good life.
SpaRitual can be bought online at

I was provided with these items for a review, any opinions expressed are my own based on my findings using these products.


  1. Currently,I use a Sally Hansen strengthener burts bees cuticle butter but I am always interested in seeing what other people do to prep and maintain their nails!

    Good luck!

  2. Thanks, I'm really excited by this!

  3. Ahhhh you're so brave! Hope the product is good! X

    1. It seems to be, I actually went for the big chop on Tuesday and so far, so good.... comparing now to the just done pix I think I can see a difference.

  4. I have this problem too!! My nails brake constantly and I don't even know why!! I will be watching your progress to see if this is something worth a try :)

    1. So far so good, this weekend saw another fight with the freezer and I caught one on the drawers in the bedroom opening them and no damage done :)

  5. I just saw your post in the Facebook blogger group and was intrigued! I just followed your blog, and am excited to see the progress of this post! :)

    1. Thanks Kristina. I've just changed my polish and my nails have got a free edge again (I filed down my nails on Tuesday ready for this experiment, today is Sunday, so we're 5 days in) they've definitely grown!


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