Are you a Christina or an Emma?

“Christina waved a hand-her nails were perfect, shining ovals, where Emma’s were ragged from sparring and training.”

The Dark Artifices, Lady Midnight

I have a confession to make… I have been slightly obsessed with my nails since September 2017. My nails suck; they are thin, weak and peeling. I do remember them not sucking quite so much when I was in high school but alas, years of abuse have caught up with me. We can’t all fight demons and still, have extraordinary nails like Christina in The Dark Artifices. I suppose I’m more of an Emma in that aspect. 

I didn’t care all that much about nails while I was in high school. I actually did my own manicures for all five proms I attended. My go-to polish was always Essie Sugar Daddy polish, a sheer pink. As I’ve gotten older I associate nails as a direct correlation to how well we take care of ourselves. Not all of us have beautifully manicured talons but that doesn’t mean we should proudly parade around with dirt underneath our nails and bloody, torn cuticles. Putting the unsightliness aside, it is just plain unsanitary. My day job is in an inner city ER so I wash my hands with soap and hot water upwards of 25x a day. If I can find the time to moisturize between patients and clean the dirt out from my fingernails at the end of each day I don’t see why more people cannot.

My nails can be especially frustrating when I want to indulge in a manicure. The polish chips only a few hours afterward because of the peeling. Even the rare gel manicure chip within a week of having them done. The peeling is the biggest hurdle in my desire for natural, long and strong nails.

I’ve avoided gels for the last six years after they destroyed my natural nails. I also avoid water and moisturize hands/cuticles regularly. I go through a lot of hand cream. All the women at the Crabtree & Evelyn store know me. Seriously.

I had finally said enough was enough so I promised myself I would do everything I could to take care of my nails.

After 7 months of regular manicures at the salon, they are pretty much the same with the only exception being my hangnails; they are virtually nonexistent. It’s really quite sad considering all of the time I put aside to meticulously rub oil onto my cuticles.

I thought that these were my nails and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. Everything changed when I had emergency surgery on May 9, 2017. My priorities shifted and since I didn’t see results with my previous nail care plan I stopped caring so much. I stopped going to the salon, I taught myself how to push back the cuticles and cut the excess skin away. I generously applied hand cream and cuticle oil to make them appear healthier.

Around October I began taking Hum Nutrition’s Killer Nails. I’ve always had a problem taking vitamins consistently. I’ve vowed that this time I would take the nail supplement, fish oil, and multi-vitamin consistently.

Four months later, I can honestly say I kept that vow and that this biotin supplement has been nothing short of amazing. My nails have grown, gotten stronger and peel very little. They aren’t 100% better but they are absolutely getting there. I am pleasantly surprised by the results. I hadn’t even realized it had helped until I looked down at my bare nails.

I must say though, I’ve become quite skeptical of nail salons since I’ve been on this journey. I think they’ve done more harm than good. Somehow they always manage to cut me every single time. I haven’t actually had a professional manicure since July and my nails have never looked better. Coincidence?

By no means am I finished with my long, strong nail care journey and I’d like to take all of you along with me as we embark on a  journey of obtaining “perfect” natural Christina nails.

Amanda

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