How I’ve Been Keeping My Nails Healthy Between Gel Manicures | OPI Nail Envy & Avoplex
If you’re a regular reader, you’ve probably cottoned on to the fact that I’m a little bit obsessed with the gel nail kit I got for Christmas: mostly because I just can’t seem to stop talking about it, dammit. I promise this will be my last word on the subject (well, for a little while, at least…), but in my previous posts on gel manicures, I talked a bit about the importance of looking after your nails, and giving them a rest in between manicures, so I thought today I’d show you how I’ve been doing that. I don’t find the polish itself to be damaging, but the removal process can be if you’re not careful, so when I got my kit, I also decided to invest in a couple of products – namely OPI Nail Envy and Avoplex Cuticle Oil – to try to keep my nails strong and healthy. Here’s what I’ve been using between my gel manicures…
My nails are pretty healthy, but my cuticles are an absolute mess, so I’m willing to pay a bit more for a product which claims to be able to fix them. So far, I haven’t found the perfect treatment, but I think Avoplex Cuticle oil this is probably the best I’ve tried: not only does it smell gorgeous, it also soaks in quickly, so you’re not left with that “greasy hand” feeling you get from some nail products. This hasn’t completely cured my dry cuticles (I think it would take a miracle to do that…), but given that I’ve been soaking my nails in acetone on the regular, they’re looking much better than I’d have expected, and I do notice an improvement from before I started using this.
As you can tell from the name, this is designed to treat the nail itself as well as the cuticle: I normally use it a few times a day on my cuticles, and will rub it into my nails too, any time I’m not wearing polish, to try to keep them healthy.
Along with this, I’ve also been using OPI Nail Envy: a gain, this is a lot more expensive than I’d normally be willing to pay for a nail product, but I’d read some great reviews, and figured it could be worth the investment, especially if I’m going to be continuing with the gel polishes.
There are various different OPI Nail Envy formulas available to treat different issues, but I decided to start off with the original, to see how I got on. This is a nail strengthener, and the main reason it appealed to me is that it can be used either on its own, or with nail polish (Regular nail polish, I mean: I don’t think it would be much use with gel polish!). One of the slightly surprising consequences of getting my gel nail kit has been a growing addiction to nail polish: I used to only wear it occasionally (and then only for a couple of days, maximum), but these days I find my nails feel very bare without at least a touch of colour, so I wanted to be able to continue painting them, even when I’m taking a break from the gels.
With this product, you paint a couple of coats of OPI Nail Envy on to start with, then add another coat every second day for a week, at which point you remove it all and start again. In between coats, you can apply nail polish as normal: I don’t wear it all the time, but it’s good to have the option if I want it!
One of the great things about this treatment is that it’s really fast-drying, so you don’t have to sit around for ages, wafting your hands in the air as you (I) do with nail polish. I didn’t see an “overnight improvement” in my nails, as some reviewers claimed, but as I said, my nails weren’t in bad condition to start with (it’s those cuticles that are the trouble-makers!), so I’m mostly using this is a preventative rather than as a cure. One thing I would say is that despite having a few gel manicures since the start of the year, I don’t see any damage to my nails at all – that could just be luck, but I think Nail Envy has probably helped too: I hope so, anyway, considering the price of the stuff!