Okay ladies, first things first: i have always had thin, peely, flaky nails that would grow out only the slightest bit only to flake apart and finally tear off completely. I started keeping my nails painted for added strength and that would work for awhile but at a certain point, my nails aould flake apart at the edges and thin layers would peel off, leaving me withc chipped polish and uneven nail lengths; the only option left was to file them down again and start over. my whole life. short, weak nails. I started using cuticle creme, barielle, hard as hoof, etc., & that helped, a bit. Then i discovered glass files and the proper way to file my nails (in one direction only) and that really helped keep the edges from splitting but my nails still peeled after a certain length.... in desperation i purchased nailteques nail strengthener formula 2 plus and that helped, but i found that it soon peeled off of my nails at the edges by the end of every day (even when i tried to baby my hands) where i needed protectiion the most! Finally came across a review of mavala nail hardener on a flamenco guitar players forum that seemed to work wonders for guitar players (who put their nails through total abuse) and went to my local ulta and purchased the only bottle they had left in the store. Been using it for two weeks now and definately noticed a difference! My nails are much stronger and although i've had a few instances of bashing them into door handles & such, no breaks or splitting or peeling yet!! i'm applying it to the tips of my nails every 4 days or so & to the whole nail when i change polish weekly and can feel the difference. its like magic! i do try to keep my nails moisturized with lotion at all times & i wear gloves when cleaning & doing dishes so the drying effect others have mentioned here isn't a problem for me at all. As a matter of fact, i'm a dog groomer and my hands are constantly in water and dog shampoo & disinfecting chemicals and no dryness / breakage noted while at work. Although i do wear playtex gloves for bathing & cleaning while at work, i feel that if i wasn't applying lotion constantly my nails would get extremely dry and start to break so i avoid that at all costs. I'm actually going to remove my polish now and start over with whole nail application, filing to shape my favorite (but before now impossible to maintain past an hour) square tips for french manicure!! I have never before been able to do this! If you want strong nails that you can show off your polish collection with, THIS is the only product you should be spending your money on. Well, this and the hard as hoof nail strengthing creme. My goodness, those two products are HG nail care items and now i'll never be without either of them. As for the cost of mavala, I think its totally worth it. I used a coupon at ulta, which brought the total down from $20 to $17.50 plus tax (which is the same on amazon w/o shipping so its probably the cheapest you can get it in the USA) and by the looks of it, this bottle is going to last me for about two years! Possibly more! If you think about it, that's an incredible bargain when the product lasts forever compared to nailteques / orly nail envy / sall hansen nail strenghteners / barielle products / etc.... that didn't help..... compared to all the money i've spent over the years on those , this is an absolute steal.
I like that the packaging is minimal that's why I rated it 5 lipsticks, as it's really neither here nor there in this instance.
As per the directions: apply weekly until nails are strong, then only once a month. Other reviewers have been slightly altering their application as necessary and so have I, without harmful effect. It seems that the only way to guarantee success is to keep your nails & cuticles moisturized at all times or they will dry out. If you have a weak nail problem like mine, please give this product a try & you won't regret it!!!
I did notice a little muted stinging/burning sensation when i applied mavala under my nail tips (where it touched my skin) only on the first, heavy-handed application which i washed off immediately. Now when i apply it i still put it under my nail tips and haven't noticed any weird sensations. I'm careful to watch out for "skin hardening" that others have mentioned but haven't seen any evidence of it so far. I think you have to be careful where you apply it & if you are, then you have nothing to worry about. Hope this review helps someone here, I've been a lurker on MUA for years and this is the product that convinced me to leave my first review! Thanks MUA for giving me such good advice over the years on what to spend my hard earned money on wisely when it comes to makeup!
One last thing, my coworkers all marvel at the length of my nails and openly wonder how i possibly can keep them this long! LOL my polish lasts much longer without chips at the tips now that i'm using mavala so they wonder about my polish staying power as well! I tell them I use seche vite and thats it! HA!