Thursday, January 31, 2013

The NAIL Files: Julep's Beauty Resolution Campaign: Stronger & Healthier Nails!


As you all know, I am a huge fan of Julep! I love featuring my monthly Julep Maven "box openings" and my NOTDs with Julep polishes! :)  I have both a Julep Maven subscription (which I pay for myself) and I am also a Julep VIP Blogger. To kick of 2013, Julep is challenging its VIP Bloggers with a Beauty Resolution Campaign for Stronger & Healthier Nails. I am *so on board* with this challenge as it is exactly what I need!!!

This challenge absoultely couldn't have come at a better time! My nails are in rough shape and need all the help they can get! As a Stay-at-Home Mommy, I find that I am washing my hands all the time (diaper duty! lol!). This combined with the dry winter weather has caused my cuticles to dry out, my polish to chip, and my nails to peel. I was never blessed with naturally strong nails. When my nails get in bad shape, I completely rely on good nail products to bring my nails back to good health.

I am often even hesitant to post NOTD photos lately because of the terrible condition of my cuticles! However, I realize that many of you out there might be just like me! I know that others must struggle to keep their nails strong and their cuticles conditioned. I have such admiration for all the nail bloggers out there with their beautiful NOTD photos and their perfect cuticles! Sigh. I have nail envy! No, my nails and cuticles are not perfect. However, I still love to feature nail polish photos as I am such a fan and enthusiast for nail color!!! Actually, it might even be interesting to see, over time, how my nails and cuticles improve with this Beauty Resolution Campaign. So, think of this post as my "beauty base 1" or "ground zero" for my nails. It can only get better from here, right? Not to mention, knowing that I will be continuing to post pictures in my ongoing "the NAIL files: Beauty Resolution" blog series gives me accountability for taking good care of my nails and cuticles. Word.

I can't wait to get started with this challenge! This post will give you a little bit of background on the anatomy and make-up of nails and tell you a little more about the products that I have just started using. To hear more, please keep reading!


source: Julep PR
Anatomy of a Nail:
The nail plate cells are made of keratin which is a type of protein composed of amino acids.  A protein can be thought of as a long chain that can be tied together like the rungs on a ladder to form a 'cross-link'.  This cross linkage gives the nail plate strength, while the oils and moisture form the 'cement' that hold the nail plate cells together and keep them well lubricated, resulting in a strong, flexible nail.  

Julep Nail Growth Revitalizing Serum and Julep Nail Therapy: 
  • Julep Reveal Nail Growth Revitalizing Serum: Stimulate keratin genes and cell proliferation to boost the growth of stronger nails. This product seems to be a liquid/gel type serum. It is completely non-oily and it absorbs quickly.  I love that it is non-greasy! I can apply and then go about my business without waiting for any oil to absorb (previously I used a cuticle oil). It is packaged in a tube that looks much like a lipgloss. You apply it with the small applicator brush. Super easy!
  • Julep Nail Therapy: Strengthens and nourishes the nails with Vitamin E. You apply this product just as you would a base coat. Actually, lol, it is a base coat! You just paint it right on your nails.
  • The Julep Nail Growth Revitalizing System will give you dramatically stronger nails and cuticles.
From previous experience, I find that the key for me personally improving my nail condition is always using products that combine 2 things: increasing strength and increasing moisture. You really need both! So, don't skimp on the cuticle moisture step!!! Plus, often nail strengthening solutions are very drying. So, moisturize as much as possible. In addition to the Nail Therapy solution, I will continue to moisturize my hands throughout the day with lotion (especially after washing my hands) and will moisturize my cuticles as well with whatever moisture product is near by.


Use a Glass or Crystal Nail File!
In addition to using protein nail strengtheners and adding moisture to your cuticles, you must be gentle when filing your nails! My best tip: Use a glass or crystal nail file! A crystal file's ultra fine grade surface is much more gentle on your nails than a typical file. Even the most weak or peeling nails will improve after using a crystal file for a few weeks. The one that I currently use is from Nail Tek and I love it! Another bonus? They last forever and are washable.

Julep just sent me these products a week ago. So, I do not have any major results to post yet. This post is all about the "before" condition on my nails: Nail and Cuticle Beauty Base 1.

Nail and Cuticle Beauty Base 1: 
You know that I just couldn't resist borrowing that phrase from the Hunger Games! ;) Sorry, I digress! Right now my nails are short and somewhat weak. Before this challenge started with Julep, I used my beloved Nailtiques Formula 2 Nail Protein for a few weeks. It always works for me! So, my nail condition is somewhat improved from the Formula 2 (before use of that, my nails were terribly weak and peeling. I had run out and taken too long to repurchase. That is when you really know something is working: when you remove it from your rotation and you lose the results!). I believe that the Nail Growth Revitalizing Serum from Julep is very similar to the Nailtiques. So, I am discontinuing the Nailtiques and replacing it with the Julep products. 

How I use: 
You can apply the system with or without nail color.

While applying it without certainly would be easier and quicker, I just love nail color too much to be without it! ;) Rotating and changing my nail color just makes me happy. I know, it is the simple pleasures right? In winter, when I wear a lot of black, it is always fun to glance down at my nails and see a pretty color. Am I "such a girl" or what? lol! 

So, I apply the Julep Nail Therapy as a basecoat, then I apply a sticky coat (I personally like Orly's Bonder), next I apply my nail color (usually 2 coats), last I apply a fast dry top coat (Seche Vite is my favorite). After my nails are dry, I apply the Julep Reveal Nail Growth Revitalizing Serum to the cuticle area, the tips, and underneath of the nail. I am especially intrigued with this product!!! I think that using a serum instead of my usual cuticle oil will have a big impact on my nails! The Serum has interesting ingredients like lemon fruit extract and green tea leaf that work to condition and strengthen nails. The directions state to apply twice a day and results will be visible in 2-3 weeks. I can't wait!!!

I have just started using this system and I already am really pleased (or as pleased as you can be in only a week's time)! The products are easy to use and easy to add to my current nail care routine. I will be posting updates to this challenge to check in with you all about any improvements in my nail health!

Does anyone else struggle with weak or peeling nails? What do you to to strengthen your nails and improve their condition?

Are you a Julep Maven Subscriber? 
If not, you MUST check it out!!! Julep Maven is a Nail Polish monthly box subscription. That is right, a monthly beauty service just for nail lovers!!! No, this is not a "sample" service. The products in the monthly boxes are not only full-sized, but they are also fabulous!!! When you sign up, you get matched with a style profile. Mine is "Boho Chic". Each month, Julep emails you with the pre-selected box of nail color and a Julep spa products to go with your personal style. If you do not like the particular selection that month, you simply selected a different style box!!! It is that easy! Or, if you do not want to spend the $20 that month on nail polish, you can easily opt to skip the month. The polishes featured are always on trend! I haven gotten such a variety of beautiful polishes from Julep!!! Plus, having a monthly nail polish box gets you out of a "rut". You know, do you ever apply the same color over and over? My Julep subscription has really allowed me to branch out and try shades that I might not have glanced at otherwise. Many of those shades are now my favorites! Hey, even Oprah is a fan of Julep (she featured a Julep gift box as one of her "favorite things").

Sign Up:
If you haven't signed up yet, please click on my referral links in this post and here: Sign up for Julep's Maven Nail Polish Box Subscription. The subscription is $20 per month, but you are usually getting upwards of $40-50 of products in each box. What a deal!!! Plus, it is just *so much fun*!!!

Thanks for reading!
XOXO!!!

Julep Maven Referral Link in post
I can earn credits for referrals (you can too 
when you sign up!) :)

10 comments:

lola seicento said...

I have yet to try anything from Julep, but the Nail Growth Revitalizing Serum sounds worth a try!

lola seicento said...

This looks like something that I could definitely benefit from using since my nails could use a little help! Thanks!

Pammy (PammyBlogsBeauty) said...

@lola-It is nice to hear that I am not alone in needing to increase the strength of my nails. Thanks for stopping by! :)

Lisamarie and Christelle said...

I could so use this - every time I look at one of my nail swatches I realize just how crap they are! ;-) I'll be interested to see how this turns out for you!

Best, Lisamarie

Pammy (PammyBlogsBeauty) said...

@Lisamarie-Tell me about it! I have certainly had a few crap nail swatch photos myself. I delete so many! I will keep you posted! :)

Replica said...

These sound really good, my nails could really do with some help :) I'm not sure if you can get this brand in the UK, but will keep an eye out for it :)

Pammy (PammyBlogsBeauty) said...

@Replica-Good Question! I am not sure if Julep ships to the UK. Sephora just started selling Julep here as well. So, I think tney are expanding.

The Nail Files said...

I'm very curious to see/hear about your results after the 2-3 weeks. I've always watched to try to Growth Revitalizing Serum .. just can't bring myself to break the bank for it.

I'm on the fence with Julep nail care products. I hate their Oxygen Nail Treatment and Nail Therapy...but LOVE the Cuticle Oil.

Modesty Brown said...

I know what you mean about the constant washing making a mess of your nails and cuticles. My nails were never great but looking after three young children is no friend to manicures! I think the hardest thing is to stick to routine to sort them out, I look forward to hearing how it goes.

Pammy (PammyBlogsBeauty) said...

@The Nail Files-Be sure to check back in! :) I can already tell you that my nails are getting very strong! :)

@Modesty Brown-Yes, taking care of little ones sure wreaks havoc on nails!

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