Just Charlie G

As you may know, I’m a trained nail technician, although I don’t really work full time at the moment, but what you might not know though is that I’m a picker, particularly when it comes to my nails and skin around my nails. I was a nail biter for most of my life, managing to stop about eight years ago. Unfortunately I managed to swap one habit for another.

The most popular service I offer is gel polish, and I’ve been wearing it regularly for a couple of years myself. But gel polish and picking do not go well together and I’ve damaged my natural nails quite badly. As such, I’m giving myself a break from the gel and just opting for treatments and/or sheer polish to build up my nails strength again. What can I say? Do as I say, not as I do. Don’t pick!

Anyway, I was delighted to hear about the new No7 Nail Care and Treatments line of products and very grateful to receive a couple of the products to try out, particularly good for me while I’m taking a few months off the gel. I received the No7 Nail Cleanse and Prime* as well as the No7 Ridge Filling Base*.

No7 Nail Care

I’m really pleased to see the Nail Cleanse & Prime product.  As a nail tech, I’ve been using similar products on clients since I qualified. Essentially, this liquid paints on like water, it doesn’t leave a finish on your nails, but what it does do is cleanse the nail plate of oils, priming your nails for your manicure. It’s a fairly important step in the process, as it will really help with the longevity of your manicure. Oils can create a barrier between your nail plate and your polish, meaning it won’t adhere as well as it could.

I was also sent the No7 Ridge Filling Base Coat to try out. While my nails are not traditionally ridged, because of the damage I’ve done to them by peeling off gel, they are uneven and flaky. This base coat covers them all, smooths them and ensures no trace is visible at all.

I topped off both of these with a sheer colour, leaving off the top coat and I’m chip free on day three so far, which is more than I expected with my nails in this state. I’m imagining I’ll get another day or two, and if I’d worn top coat, who knows how much longer my manicure would have lasted.

Both products live on my desk for easy access and will be a must-have for the foreseeable future and I’m especially happy to see the Nail Cleanse & Prime available from a retailer consumers can purchase from (as opposed to Trade Only).

Each product in the range is £8 and also available is the Nail Strength and Glow Treatment to tackle weak nails and encourage growth, as well as a Cuticle Oil, an absolute essential for everyone, to keep nails and skin around your nails in tip top condition.

Good Job No7! The entire range is available here.

*Product received free of charge for review purposes.

27. 09. 2012
Dr Lewinn's Renunail

This is not the first time Dr Lewinn’s Renunail has featured on my blog, but the first time round it was my Mum’s review!

However, my nails over the last year or so my nails seem to have failed me. I am not sure what’s happened to them but no matter what I do to them, or don’t do, they never seem to improve so I thought it was time I tried out Renunail for myself.

Renunail is a heavy duty nail strengthener that works really effectively. You simply apply  two coats on day one, then another coat on top for the next five days, then you remove the lot on day 7. You follow this process three times. You must then let your nails rest fora week or two and you can then start again. It is also recommended that you use the Nourishing Oil daily, which you also continue during your breaks.

Now lets see how my nails were before and after.

Dr Lewinn's Renunail


Dr Lewinn's Renunail

It may not look obvious at first glance but they really were very much improved. I must confess, like my Mum, I found I didn’t get on with the nourishing oil which seemed to do very little for me, so I stuck to my own cuticle potions, but religiously stuck with the Renunail. I was very impressed I have to say, the strength of my nails was greatly improved. And indeed, these photographs were taken a long time ago, but they went on growing and being fantastic. I highly recommend.

Sadly, and what reminded me to do this post, was the house move undid all my good work. With all the box packing, carrying, unpacking, with all my nail products packed away and nowhere to be found things have rather ended up back at square one so I’m back on my Renunail and I know I can expect to have much stronger nails in about two weeks time. In fact things are already looking up. Thank you Dr Lewinn’s!

Renunail is available from http://www.drlewinns.co.uk/ and costs £17.50 for a very decent 30ml bottle!

*Disclosure – PR sample*

Tom Pellereau

You might remember Tom Pellereau. He won The Apprentice last year and the prize was going into business with Lord Sugar. I once had a dream about snogging Lord Sugar. That’s a bit weird isn’t it? It’s ok, I know it’s weird. It was one of those dreams that I couldn’t shake for days! Anyway, I digress.

Lets talk about the Stylfile. There are three in the range. The S-File, the S-Buffer and the Emergency File which is a combination of the file and buffer for on the go. I have both the S-File and the S-Buffer and have been having a play for a few weeks now. Before I tell you how I got on, lets take a look at what makes them different.



So yes, they are S shaped, that really is different. The theory is that they are easier to use obviously, otherwise there’d be no point in them I guess. So are they?

Okay starting with the S-file. It’s just not working for me, I think I’m far too set in my ways. I’ve tried and tried and it just feels clumsy in my hands and I can’t get the hang of it. The file itself is great, not too harsh and just fine, for me, the S-shape did’t work. lets talk about the S-Buffer though, that’s a whole other story. Love it! I’m not sure why its so different, but I think because you use the flat of the buffer on the flat of your nail it just works, ergonomically it’s comfortable and natural, it also produces a fab high shine.

Until very recently my nails were in awful condition and I often wore them naked except for buffing so this got a thorough testing. Very impressed! Now I’ve got acrylics on and I can get a great shine on those too.

So for me a mixed review, no for the file and yes yes yes for the buffer. There’s nothing wrong with the file, I just couldn’t really get to grips with it. Literally whereas the buffer feels completely natural in the hand and on the nail.

You can’t complain about the prices of these either. The S-File is £4.49 and the S-Buffer is £4.99 with the Emergency File retailing for £4.49. I particularly recommend the Buffer!

As for availability, the Stylfiles are available now in selected Sainsbury’s, Sally Beauty and Amazon and will be coming soon to  Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy and local Pharmacies.

*Disclosure – PR Sample*

I was recently given the opportunity to try out some of Dr Lewinn’s Renunail products, namely the Regular Strengthener, Renunail Sensitive Nude and the Nourishing Oil. At the time though my nails were looking great and would not have been a great subject for testing these out. Step forward my lovely Mum.

Mum has been having some problems with her nails for some time now, with breaking and flaking so the ideal candidate for the products.

Here’s a before picture:

Dr. Lewinn's Renunail

And here’s what Mum had to say about the products, followed by an “After” picture:

“I have used this product for four weeks, and generally speaking, I would say it is very good indeed.  My right hand is not as good as the left, as the nails on this hand, continued to split and snap and I found it very difficult to deal with this adequately. However, I have persevered and find that my nails have grown and are much stronger.  As the before photo will show, they were in quite a state. The after photo shows what a good improvement has been made, even though the right hand nails are much shorter.  I am now using the Renunail Sensitive over the next weeks, but didn’t find the nourishing oil particularly good at softening my cuticles.  I will certainly keep on using this product, and this week, will be applying a varnish for the full effect!”

Dr. Lewinn's Renunail

Looks fantastic!

All the products are available from www.drlewinns.co.uk and prices are as follows:

Renunail Regular Strengthener £17.50
Renunail Sensitive Nude £12.00
Renunail Nourishing Oil £11.00

*Disclosure – PR samples were sent to my Mum*

The BSQ. Natural Couture Fragrance Collection

Now this is lovely. Lovely products, a lovely idea and beautiful scents. A collaboration of art and fragrance.

The collection was inspired by the elegant photographic collection by John French (1906-1966). John French was a top fashion photographer during the sixties and after his death his archive was presented to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The Bsq. Natural Couture collection is a range of fragrances and body care products produced in collaboration with the V&A. No minerals oils, no SLES, no artificial colours, no synthetic ethanol perfume bases…

I tried out the White Amber range which is a warming fragrance with amber and sandalwood essential oils, with additional notes of vanilla, mandarin, jasmine, violet, ylang ylang amongst others. The other three fragrances in the range are White Bergamot and White Muguet, all of which sound lovely and for each fragrance there are three products, an Eau de Toilette, Shower Cream, Body Lotion and a Hand and Nail Cream.

The BSQ. Natural Couture Fragrance Collection
The BSQ. Natural Couture Fragrance Collection
The BSQ. Natural Couture Fragrance Collection
White Amber is a beautiful fragrance and I’ve worn it most days since I received it, it’s wonderful layering with the body lotion and the hand cream.
The perfume lasts well on me and isn’t too pungent but still strong, the body lotion is very light and none greasy, it wouldnt’ be enough for me in the winter but during the summer months it’s great, and the hand cream is quickly absorbed and moisturising. I like using it before I get into bed so my hands scent the area, it feels a bit decadent 🙂
Shower Cream 200ml – £14.00

Body Lotion 200ml – £16.00
Body Butter 150ml – £19.00
Hand & Nail Cream 100ml – £12.00
EDT 100ml – £35.00
Gift Set containing Body Lotion 200ml & EDT 30ml – £25.00

The range is available from http://www.houseoffraser.co.uk/ and is well worth a look next time you’re in there, its really different and beautiful.

Disclaimer – PR Samples

Revlon Crazy Shine Nail Buffer

Just a quick post about this fab buffer! Usual buffer style, use one side to refine the surface of your nail then the white side to polish for an absolutely superb shine! 400% more shine than your natural nail apparently, well I don’t now about that but its certainly impessive and I’ve been rocking the no polish look a lot more since I’ve had it. Very impressed, and the results last for days and days with no need to re-buff.

Revlon Crazy Shine Nail Buffer
Revlon Crazy Shine Nail BufferRevlon Crazy Shine Nail Buffer

You can also use to add shine back to your polish if it’s looking a bit dull.

I love this so much and highly recommend it. At the time of writing I don’t have a price but will update this post when I do.

Available from http://www.superdrug.com/ for a bargainous £2.99!.

*Disclosure – PR Sample

Do you remember this post? Back at the beginning of October I had to admit my nails were in a terrible state and serious action was needed to get them back to their former glory. Step forward the Mavala Heroes.

So the first product I was sent was Nailactan. It’s a moisturising creame you apply every evening and massage into your nail bed which helps to restore elasticity and thus prevent splitting. Easy to use, I just keep it on my bedside table and use it last thing at night. I have forgotten once or twice but you know, I think that doesn’t matter. You can use it over your polish, but it is recommended that at least once a week you make sure you apply massage it into bare nails.

Next is Mava-Flex. This is a serum to restore flexibility and improve structure of the nails. For flaking, brittle or splitting nails this addes a boost of hydration. You rub this into bare nails twice a week, again, I’ve been doing it last thing at night so it has plenty of time to absorb. Also, in more recent weeks I’ve only been doing this once a week rather than twice. This give you instant results. Put it on, go to sleep, when you wake up in the morning, your nails will be less flaky for sure.  So in conjuction with the daily use of Nailactan you’re ensuring plenty of moisture is added to your nails.

Finally, Scientifique. This is something of a cult product. Why? Because it works! The tip of your nail is the bit that gets the worst of any damage suffered. This hardens and strengthens the tip of your nails.And it really does. You paint onto the tip of your nail (and your nail only, it will harden your skin if you get it on your skin), leave for a minute to dry. Then paint as usual. Once your nails are up to strength you can just use a two or three times a month.

So in using all these products you’re ensuring your nail bed is nicely hydrated and moisturised whilst reinforcing the fragile tip. I must say the Scientifique is something of a marvel. A few of my nail tips were extremely soft and bendy as a result of all the layers that peeled. Amazingly, I didn’t lose them, they stayed firmly on until long enough for me to file down.

I’ve realised I forgotten to take a comparison photo so I’ll have to refer you to yesterday’s Konad post to see my healthy strong, growing nails.

Because I’ve been using these three products together, it’s hard for me to break it down and say you must try this one or that one, all I can say is that using the three products together has really worked like a charm for me. Very highly recommended indeed if flaking/peeling/weak nails are a problem for you. Oh and my cuticles have never been better.

Scientifique is a measly £6
Mava-flex is £14.50
Nailactan seems to vary in price but looks to be around the £16 mark.

10. 10. 2010

I’ve recently lost three nails due to flaking, peeling and general crap-ness. I don’t know what’s causing it, I have had a massive change of diet, but it’s for the better so I’d be surprised if it was that. I am left wondering if it’s either Seche Vite or just frequently using nail varnish remover. I am using a formula containing moisturisers but I’m no expert so have no idea really whats causing it.  I’ve been using my Nail Envy religiously but it’s just not cutting it this time. Time to face facts. My nails need help. So as of last Wednesday I have embarked on a  new regime to restore them to their former glory.

This time I’m bringing out the big guns. Some highly recommended Mavala products, as well as continuing on with the Nail Envy as a base coat.  The products I will be using over the next few weeks are Nailactan a cream to be massaged into the nail every night, Mava-flex a serum to be painted on and rubbed in twice a week and the cult item Maval Scientifique Nail Hardener which comes highly recommended by pretty much everyone. You use this twice a week too.

I have high hopes for this lot so am looking forward to seeing the results over the next few weeks and I will of course be updating here with my views on the products.

Has anyone else tried any of these products? What did you think? Any tips for me or anything you think I ought to know?

*Disclosure – PR Sample *

On the 29th December 2009 I removed my false nails and decided it was time to sort out my fingers. You can find my first post HERE

My nails were awful. truly awful. Look!

So I vowed that with regular filing, OPI Nail Envy and Lush Lemony Flutter I would fix them. And I have. I’m really pleased with them now. In photos, where your eye is drawn to the details you can see there is still more work needed. But now, when I loko at my hands I feel pleased and I think they look presentable.
Here they are today:

I think I can probably stop blogging about my progress now. 🙂

Lemony Flutter is great but if I stop using it my cuticles suffer immediately.
OPI Nail Envy, I’m sure it worked and helped strengthen my poor nails, but I stopped using it when I realised it was that causing all my China Glaze application problems. I’ve had no further issues since I switched to cheapy Boots 17 Strengthening Base Coat.
Yes I know my polish is streaky.

10. 02. 2010

Morning all, I need some help identifying a nail varnish please! It’s VERY old. Found it this morning, Its really beautiful and I need to know what it is. I remember the sticker dropping off the bottom a few years ago now so I just don’t know what it is.

You’ll be able to see immediately how old it is:



The swatch isnt accurate at all. It’s a rich vibrant dark purple with subtle frost.  What is it! Help!

Please forward this to anyone you think might be able to identify the polish! xx

EDIT: The answer was Grid, this is Mac Grid Nail Polish