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When I was a kid I bit my nails like it was my job. Doing manicures at sleepovers was a nightmare, and my habit only got worse the more I worried about it. I finally stopped when I got braces in fifth grade, but then I noticed my nails would peel and chip before I saw substantial growth.
My soft and brittle nails were something I started to accept and I eventually used acrylic nails and gels to cover them. But when I moved to New York City I ditched the fakes due to the expense of salon visits.
I was embarrassed by my natural nails and it was clear to me that my vitamins and diet weren't helping. So I did some research and found a solution called the Nailtek Nail Recovery Kit, which was affordable and had positive customer reviews.
Nailtek has four lines of products that align with specific nail needs: overall health, peeling, brittleness and damage. The kit I have targets soft and peeling nails and is formulated to strengthen nails, moisturize cuticles and repair damage caused by acrylics and gels.
The first bottle in the kit is the Ridge Filler, which you apply on clean, bare nails. Formulated to promote flexibility, it fills uneven ridges on the surface and strengthens the natural nail. In the bottle, it has a milky-white appearance but when I applied it, it looked like any other base coat I'd use before using a colored polish.
Following the base layer, I used the Strengthener. According to the brand, it has a unique protein that combats thin, soft and weak nails by sealing the layers of the nail together. Unlike the base coat, the strengthener can be applied daily if you want to maintain the shine for a longer period of time. Though I prefer to use the Ridge Filler as a base coat, the Strengthener can function as a base coat too.
The kit also comes with a cuticle oil that is designed to condition and protect. Even when my nails are in decent shape, my cuticles always look dry so this addition was a nice bonus. The only issue with the oil is that it doesn't dry quickly — and I wash my hands a lot so it comes right off. My solution is to rub it into my cuticles at night before bed.
I started seeing results in five days. And after a couple of weeks, my nails were visibly thicker and longer. Without the constant peeling I experienced before, the surface of my nails gradually got smoother.
Since I have a fairly busy schedule, I don’t always have time to sit down to do my nails at home. Thankfully, I don’t have to use the products every day to see continued results.
With other nail strengthening products, I notice that my nails begin to weaken the moment I stop using them. But when I stopped using the Nailtek kit for a couple of weeks, my nails maintained their strength and continue to grow without chipping. Other reviewers have also witnessed significant results with extended use.
"My nails are so hard and grow so fast that I actually have to trim them down at least every two to three weeks," said one verified buyer who went to a salon for years before buying the kit.
After seeing the incredible transformation of my nails in just five days, I can say with confidence that this kit has secured a spot in my regular self-care routine. Though the price of the polish is a bit higher than some drugstore brands, I've saved money on salon visits and it finally makes me proud to show off my nails.
This article was originally published on June 11, 2020.
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- How to do your nails at home according to Jennifer Lopez's manicurist
- These long-lasting nail polishes will give you a salon-worthy mani at home
- 7 tips for the perfect at-home manicure