Thursday, January 19, 2012

Nail Breaks break Hearts & how I recovered with Qtica NNGS

I wrote about Qtica Natural Nail Growth Stimulator (NNGS) in my Essentials list.  I've used this to help strengthen my nails and allowed me to grow them to the length you see in my swatches.

Mind you, my nails were far from perfect! I had weak thin peeling nubs for several years.  I made pact with myself to research the products and care routine to grow my nails out.  I will write more about how I ended peeling, breaking and overall nail SUCKAGE!

How I came about using Qtica requires a hilarious backstory:
(You can scroll down if you want to skip this)

O.o Navy Holo similar to the VHTF OPI DS Glamour. I mixed it from this franken recipe (not by me).

I wore this to a 3-day outdoor rock festival.  Beers and greasy food were involved.  I got to try such delicacies as white cheddar garlic mac n' cheese and the epic $10 churro.  Funny, cause it tasted like any $1 churro from Costco. I wonder what made it different?

Well, despite being very careful, I managed to break EVERY nail.  Here's the low down:

Nail tears here! Ouch!

  • Right Thumb: tear on side of nail bed, really low.
  • Right Index: tears on side way down on nail bed, both sides.
  • Right Middle: Break on both sides.
  • Right Ring: Broke
  • Right Pinkie: Broke
  • Left Index: tear on side way down on nail bed. 
  • Left Thumb: Broke

Lessons learned: 
  • I needed to hack my nails down BEFORE the rock concert!
  • Don't use OPI Nail Envy because it contains Toulene! I had been using Nail Envy for 2 months. I thought it was gentler and more moisturizing. It's not! 
  • Don't use strengtheners for an extended period of time. I had been using them for 9 months!
   What's a Lizard to do? Chop! 

Some nails I was able to clip down the breaks. The low down nail tears I had to wear silk/fiberglass wraps until they grew out.  In the meantime, I thought I'd give Qtica a try.

Description from the product box: 
Lengthen, strengthen and hydrate your nails all with one product. Active garlic enzymes stimulate new nail growth while amino acids keep the nail hydrated and strong. Up to 1/4 inch of growth in 14 days perfect for developing nails after artificial enhancements.  

I will post more information later on nail anatomy and chemical make up of strengtheners and how they help strengthen the nail.  Basically, I applied this as my base coat and changed my colors about once a week to limit weakening my patches.  I tried to take a photo every two weeks to document growth.  I'm wearing colors to cover the patches.  This is probably .2 mm of free edge.  My ideal length is .5 mm.

Zoya Tao and Zoya Kelly

Essie We Can do It Pink + ChG White Cap and SH White On

ChG Peachy Keen - photo not color accurate
Overall, I felt it took 6 wks to grow out the nail tears.  The photo of me holding Peachy Keen is post hack where I took down the length to where they were no longer patched.  Actually the patches failed and the tear re-broke but in a down ward direction.  One nail I had to clip down to a nub and wear a fake nail for a month.  I've become really good at disguising nail breaks with falsies. I have a pict. somewhere.

Lesson learned: 
  • File down nail tears once they grow out or they can re-break despite patching!
Did I reach that 1/4 inch of nail growth in 2 wks like the box says?  I don't think I did.  Most importantly, I felt Qtica NNGS helped me grow my tears out without causing new nail breaks.  I've used this for about 4 months but after reading more on strengtheners I decided to discontinue use. I learned that strengtheners can cause your nail to become too strong and inflexible leading to brittleness and breakage.  I'm not sure of any side effects to using Qtica on the long term could have.  I may still use this sparingly.  I was going to email Qtica's customer service to see what their thoughts were on using this for the long term.   

Here's a naked nails picture at my ideal length after approximately 3 months of using Qtica (please excuse the staining!): 

Again, I urge you to research if this type of product is right for you. It worked well for me but might not work for you. If you do try it, please give it time to work. You won't see results instantly. For more information, please check out their site, Also, if you want to now more about patching nail tears or using silk/fiberglass wraps, please let me know.

That's it! That's my long post on Qtica! Thanks for reading!

Ms. Lizard blog poll:

Have you ever bought over priced food at an event/concert because you were hungry? How much did you spend? What did you get? I want to know! Please add it in the comments!


  1. Im glad you are a fellow music festival attendee. I can not name the amount of times I have paid ridiculous amount of money for water ($5 for 600ml) and alcohol ($15 for a vodka slushie) at these things!

    Your nails look so healthy and strong now...thanks for sharing, as you say patience is the key!

    1. I think I paid $12 for a little plastic cup of beer @ one concert and it's not even nice beer! I didn't even get a buzz.

      As for nails, yeah when I had really bad peeling, it took about 6 months to grow out. You'll get there, I promise.

  2. I just broke off my middle finger nail this had a crack on the side...which I knew about, but was hoping I could just let it grow out. :( Sooo I cut things down and am using Orly Nailtrition. I have been having good luck with this making my nails grow, I have to trim them the test!! I am a new the blog.

    1. Thank you Jackie. I hope you like my posts! I've never heard of Orly Nailtrition. The selection of polishes in my area is limited at best. I order mostly online. I will continue my nail care series, please stay posted!

      BTW, sorry about the break. Don't they suck!?

  3. You have beautiful nails! A long time ago, I took my daughter, son, and a family friends daughter to a boy band concert. For a lemon shake-up it was something like $6.50 for each of us. I was really glad I had taken them out to eat prior to the afternoon concert because the cost of the food would have bankrupted me with three growing kids!