To start this off, my nails were in pretty sad shape about a month and a half ago. I had my hair professionally dyed purple (at the ends) and for whatever the reason, the color deposited itself heavily under my nails and all over the tops. So, after about a week, my nails were broken and fragile from all the chemicals.
So, I wandered into Sally's and asked for help... they had Nail Magic on special for $6.99 or so (about $6.50 with my Sally's card). The regular price is $8.49, $7.99 with your Sally's card.
According to the Sally's website, Nail Magic is a professional nail strengthener and conditioner designed to help your nails' overall look and strength, and also to help them grow. Unfortunately, I did not keep the box so I'm having to use a few different websites to get ingredients and the like. It does state that it contains natural ingredients, though I will admit that I do not think all of them are... it has quite a strong smell. More on that later.
I applied the product to clean, dry nails as recommended, using one thick coat. It provided a pretty gloss and shine. The next morning, I could feel that my nails were already thicker and less prone to bending. I continued to use the product nightly for about a week, and then I actually forgot to use it off and on and then returned to daily use. I'd say I've been using it steadily for three weeks, and off and on for two. Therefore, I got a good idea of whether or not the product is working.
Without a doubt, my nails are stronger. I love the look of them now, I have pretty, white, solid nails where before I had chipped, short, see through ones. As for growth, I definitely think it slightly enhances the speed at which the nails grow. I had a literal nub on my left pointer finger two weeks ago and it's now a decent short length (bit shorter than the sport cut fake nails, for reference). The nails on that same hand, when I had started using it unsteadily over a month ago, were all pretty short and now they are a nice length. I can see the improvements in them from this product, but I also have some major issues with Nail Magic as well.
1) Staining. The product states that you can use this as a base coat in place of your usual base coat -- I would not recommend this. I used this product for the first few weeks as a base coat under nail polish and removal was TERRIBLE. I can understand helping polish stick but this was ridiculous. It took me hours to remove. Even once I had removed the polish, I had disgusting stained, yellow nails. I used a mid-toned purple and my nails looked like I smeared grape jelly all over them.
Next, I used it under my usual base coat. This did admittedly seem to help. I normally use Gelous base coat and I think this is the way to go if you want to use this treatment under regular nail polish. To add to this, it states that it can be worn over nail polish, you just apply 2 thin coats (that way you don't have to go removing it every night before use). This is also a nice way to use it, as it refreshes the glossy look of the polish that sort of wears off after a day or so.
2) Absorbtion. To put it bluntly, my nails keep turning purple from my hair color. I bought this in order to prevent the staining... and while I can rub a cotton ball across my nail and remove it quicker than without the treatment on, looking like you have hypothermia is not cute. Also, if you don't remove it within a few hours, it starts to look really patchy and gross -- almost like you have bruises on your nails. Now, this could be my hair dye... I have half my hair dyed brown, the other half is purple, I only seem to get purple staining... not brown. (Purple is better, no? lol)
3) Smell. The smell is pretty strong... it's a general chemical smell mixed with a teeny tiny bit of garlic. Weird, I know. I use this at night so it's not an issue but if I keep using it while my boyfriend is here, I'm gonna have to find something to cover it with. That just isn't an attractive thing to get into bed smelling like. It does dissipate after an hour or so, and I found that using a scented hand soap helps to mask it.
4) Pain. It is very painful when applied the first few times you use it. It feels like your nail beds are swelling -- literally. It's hard to describe how it feels... it's a general burning/aching feeling. I did notice after a few weeks that my nails were desensitized and it definitely didn't hurt as badly. Also, do not get this product on your skin! It hurts horribly. If you do, I found that washing my hands gently in cold water and soap helped to calm it. I was usually okay by the following morning.
5) Chipping. And my last issue with this product. It does noticeably help growth, however, my thumb nails kept chipping off in chunks. The product states that this is normal in the beginning, but mine never really stopped doing it. As we speak, I have a little divet in my middle finger nail. But they grow back quick... lol. I guess it can be a little frustrating to have your nails all nice and done, only to look down a few hours later and be missing half of your visible thumb nail. Then you have to file and reapply polish alllllll over again. Luckily, I never felt it when it chipped off.
Overall, this product did do what it stated it would. I didn't feel like I wasted my money or like I was painting useless water on every night. However, I still haven't decided if the positives outweigh the negatives. I do love my new longer nails, but at the cost of not being able to have them naked or with pale polish on as I will have massive staining, it is a bit of a pain. If you wear dark polish all the time, go for it! Just use a good base coat after applying it.
What are your thoughts? Have you tried it? Do you want to try it? I'd love to hear others' results.