E: M, I desperately need your help. See, I have sneaked off and bought the nail varnish of my dreams which is the pretty, berry, Chanel April. I have waited. Lusted. Saved. And now I have it.

M: Good. HURRAH! Put some on, quick.

E: Yeah, see. There is a problem. And not just with HSBC. The problem is my nails. Are. FUCKED. The winter has killed them. They are split, cracked, weak and generally shit.

M: How fucked are we talking about here? Fucked as in ‘had a quick fumble on the sofa’?

E: No. Fucked like .. oh god. Don’t make me use pornographic analogies M, I’m waaaay too british for that. Fucked like … my garden after Satan has been for his morning stroll.

M: I see. Are your fingers aye-aye esque, E?

E: Worse, M. I can’t even use them to find grubs.

E: WHAT TO DO? Do you have any thoughts?

M: Yes, but you’re not going to like it, E.

E: Uh oh.

M: Yes. You know what’s coming. You need to…




M¨: Yes. Leafy green vegetables, shit with vitamin in it, calcium, that sort of thing.

E: Ok, I have an idea. How about I take those tablet things, what are they called? You know, the expensive skin ones that I bought and never used? Not Immodium. Something similar.

M¨: Imaaifhodiufaoidusiud. Beautiful skin, in a tablet.

E: Yeah, those.

M: I had some too.

E: Any good?

M: I lost them somewhere between Jakarta and Siem Reap. So WHO KNOWS.

E: I think mine are in my bedside table, but they might be expired shark cartilage.

M: Delicious, delicious shark cartilage. There’s another fabulous thing I want to recommend.

E: Oooh tell me. It better not be motherfucking rainbow chard, M.

M: Nope, no chard. It’s Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Instant Nail Hardener. It’s like coating your nails in ground up unicorn horn.

E: Oh, excellent. A product based solution: always the best.

M: That shit. Does not chip. And it turns your mails into fingerclaws. In a good way.

E: COOL. I long for claws.

M: So.

Step 1: eat healthily


M: Step 2: switch to a gentle nail polish remover and the toughness of diamonds

E: Meh, ok, I suppose.

M: Step 3: feed them oil. Rosehip maybe? I clearly don’t know what I’m talking about.

E: Yeah, there must be some other unguent I can use. We should ask the Goopists. They might know. Please Goopists, is there anything you can save me from healthy eating and – sign of the cross – WATER? Help! I promise to try out and report back on whatever you recommend.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

M likes bright powders in tiny pots and anything that will make her hair more Jen Brill and less Shaun the Sheep.


  • March 20, 2012


    Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let’s all calm down here. There is NO need to turn to healthy eating or water to fix your fingernails. I’ve been drinking all water all the time and eating tons of salad and fruit and other nutrient-rich shit for some time now and my nails are still about the same quality as yours, based on those horrifying pictures. Buy the Sally Hansen, like a reasonable person, and ignore the salad-pushers!!

  • March 21, 2012

    Anna Belsham

    Can also recommend Solar Oil and also Nailtiques no 2 which have meant that my nails do not flake or break evarrr.

  • March 21, 2012

    Anne Billson

    I recommend a professional manicure, if only as a one-off – just to prove to yourself that your nails CAN look nice.

    Don’t be shy about showing your nails to the manicurist – SHE WILL HAVE SEEN WORSE! Mine, for example, which are pitted with psoriasis. Yours look basically sound, just in need of a soak & a trim & a shape – all the stuff that manicurists do.

    But after a manicure they WILL come out looking fab, and you won’t be able to stop admiring them and flashing them around. (Also, nail laquer applied in a salon always seems to last longer than when you apply it yourself at home)

  • March 21, 2012


    OPI do lots of excellent nail goop – the much loved Nail Envy isn’t hugely helpful to me because my nails are sooooo very soft, it doesn’t matter what you paint on, it starts chipping superfast as the tips bend. Might work for you though – looking at your nails I think brittle, rather than bendy soft. But what I really wanted to recommend was the Avoplex oil: ostensibly for cuticles, it’s really, really good for general nail conditioning. Will take care of splitty/flaky/cruddiness. Avoplex hand cream lovely also.

  • March 21, 2012


    Woollythinker – That is EXACTLY what I am using at the moment, the Avoplex oil. I really really like it, tiny brush, nice smell, general pleasingness. However so far, the results are disappointing. I will persist though.

    Erin – I love you.

    Anna – Thank you for advice, will investigate these…..

  • March 21, 2012


    True; I’ve been using the oil a long time and at first I didn’t think it was doing anything very much. Only gradually did I realise how much my nails had improved. So, not a quick fix, but worth continuing. And as you say, pleasing!

  • March 21, 2012

    Musing on Beauty

    Girl, seriously, cut them short. Anyway, April looks fab on short nails. I know better, I have it on my own short nails as I’m typing right now.
    And then do what M said.

  • March 21, 2012



  • March 21, 2012


    Seconding the Nailtiques recommendation (I think #2 is what I use as well). My usual approach if my nails have gotten raggedy is to cut them super-short, apply Nailtiques, and keep applying it as they grow out. Throw some kind of cuticle cream or oil in there and you should be golden. (Or maybe “Bob’s your uncle”? I never get to say that.)

  • March 21, 2012


    YEAH you’re back! My RSS feed is complete again.

    File that shit right down and use Dr Lewinn Renunail Natural as your basecoat until further notice.

    So happy you’re posting again.

  • March 22, 2012


    Water is your enemy. Get an undercoat, I like Essie’s. Apply the April. Admire your nails, the varnish will protect them. Fin.

  • March 22, 2012


    Vaseline hand cream combined with Nails Inc Caviar basecoat. I know, I know, the caviar thing sounds like BS, but it actually worked for me. This is saying something, as my nails haven’t been polish-free for more than 10 minutes since I was 14. They used to peel. As in actually peel and flake like sunburned skin.

    Pretty sure the Vaseline helped too. Just be sure not to try to hold anything you treasure (priceless family crystal, KitKat Peanut Butter Chunky, a small child) immediately after applying it. That sucka’s greasy, yo.

  • March 29, 2012


    Well, now you’ve got me to de-lurk.

    Having entered a serious nail varnish phase a couple of years ago, my nails started flaking. (Previously they’d been untended but for trims and filing.) I went the Nail Envy route, which was slightly helpful but not enough. Then I read around and started on Avoplex, which was a slow, gradual improvement, but veeeeeeery slow and gradual.

    So, late last year I decided to give ‘Go Nails’ Nail growth treatment a go. (Money off code from Beauty Bay helped.) The nail varnish was put aside for six weeks, the goop was applied every night and most mornings. And dammit, it worked. Like Avoplex on steroids. The flaking hasn’t stopped completely, but my nails are growing a lot longer before I need to trim them down, and it’s almost to the point where I need to cut them back for comprehensible typing anyway. Still using the Go Nails intermittently, with Nail Envy as extra armour.

    To be had from here –

    ‘Spensive, but I thought it was worth it for the results.

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