Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nailtiques Formula 2 Plus Review

You may have noticed a relative dearth of nail posts the past couple months here on BJB. My nails are naturally just terrible, weak and extremely prone to peeling, so I decided (after trying many, many treatments with less than stellar results*) to pull out the big guns and try Nailtiques. The Formula 2 Plus is recommended for people with "excessive, problem nails" who have used Formula 2 for 6 weeks with no results. I had no desire to waste my time further, since I'd already tried so many other treatments with marginal success, so I opted for the 2 Plus. It's the true heavy-hitter of the nail treatment world, with a price to match ($9.50 for 0.25 oz, oy), but I was willing to try anything. And, since it cost so much, I was really inspired to follow the directions to the letter, something I hadn't necessarily done with other treatments! So, I applied it to my nails once a day, removing every few days to start over, and kept my nails otherwise polish-free. After a month or so, I downgraded to once every couple days, as they recommend. I know you're wondering: did my amazing feat of nail self-restraint and dedication pay off?
Pretty much, yeah. It's definitely not a quick fix, but after using it as instructed for 6+ weeks, my nails are in the best shape I can ever remember them being. With the exception of my right middle finger, they haven't peeled or split in weeks (and I don't know why that one is being such a little poophead). They're much less prone to breaking, and I can actually use my fingernails to do things (like open cans, or scratch an itch) without them splitting, peeling, or tearing. Huge progress from before!
Look how tiny the bottle is! So cute! And how not splitty-peely my nails are! I don't have a before picture. Count your blessings.

Downsides: it takes awhile to work. And, since you're supposed to apply it once a day at first, it's not really practical to wear any polish (and they actually recommend against it). For someone with a lot of polish, this can be a bummer. It also requires dedication, since you have to remember to put it on every day. It contains formaldehyde, which is a carcinogenic, and though the amount that's applied to your nails is unlikely to have any ill-effects, it's still a concern for some people; it also yellows nails, so you won't have gorgeously white tips. The instructions are very explicit in saying that you should not apply it more than once a day, and you should take care to prevent it from coming into contact with your cuticles, since it will make them hard and strong, also. To do such, they recommend not moving your hand for 30 seconds after applying the treatment so it doesn't run into your cuticles. And, lastly, it has a tendency to get thick over time. I've had my bottle for a couple of months, and it is definitely thicker than it was initially, and I imagine in a couple weeks it may well be too thick to be practical. On the upside, the small bottle size (it also comes in 0.50 oz) means that you can use up most of the treatment before thickening is really an issue, especially if you're careful to store it upright and wipe down the edge of the bottle before tightly attaching the lid (something I was not vigilant about doing). A 0.25 oz bottle, barring thickening, should last ~3 months with daily use (I have a bit more than half my bottle left).

If you have really problematic nails, have had no luck with other treatments, and are willing to be kind of OCDly dedicated to your nails, Nailtiques Formula 2 Plus may be worth a shot. I've also heard good things about biotin (vitamin supplement), so I'm going to pick some of that up and give it a try and see if it's as effective as Nailtiques. I'll let you know how it goes!
$9.50 for 0.25 oz, available from Amazon,, WalgreensUlta, and Fred Meyer (in store, which is where I got mine)
*Orly Nail Defense made my nails worse, Brucci Miracle Nail Hardener had no effect, Sally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle made my nails grow faster, but they were still prone to peeling and breaking, Orly Nailtrition gave a nice pretty pink sheen but didn't improve the strength of my nails, Sally Hansen Hard as Nails helped, but still tended to peel...I have Seche Rebuild, a strengthening basecoat, which I will review after I've had the chance to use it.

Have you tried Nailtiques? Or any other nail treatment? What's worked for you?
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