I'm a recovering addict, from the deep, dark (but wonderful) realms of acrylic nails. For what seems like all my life I've never managed to successfully crack the habit and have been a fully fledged nail biter. This is why (my bank account weeps with horror) I then began a long obsession with acrylics. At just under £20 a pop every 3 weeks, it became my little luxury.  Alas, student funds can no longer allow.

I am now a plain jane. Nails are naked. It's time to get them in good shape and become the real-nail obsessive I long to be. Ambitious, perhaps, but I have made sure I am fully equipped to conquer my demons (all getting a bit dramatic isn't it?).

In all seriousness I've found two little gems that truly help the process of rebuilding weak, post-acrylic, prone-to-be-bitten nails. The first is the Leighton Denny crystal nail file; sounds a tad overkill when we're just talking about a nail file, right? Wrong. Whilst it is an investment at £12.50, it sure is a good one. This nail file primarily eliminates the fear of that cringey filing noise and feeling and replaces it with a smooth, buffed effect. Who wouldn't want to remove a crystal nail file from it's own protective box to perform such a laborious task? Files à la sandpaper are no more.

Next is Jessica Restoration Basecoat for post-acrylic or damaged nails (£17.50). Anyone who has once succumbed to such fakery, such as I, will know that afterwards your nails are left in a pretty sorry state; dry, bendy and suffering lumps, bumps and ridges. This Jessica Basecoat dries so quickly and has visible results only a couple of hours later. My nails have currently had about a week to breathe, I've popped this on every evening with some hand cream and already noticed a huge change. The fact they look better and better every day has certainly made me resist the urge to nibble them when anxious or bored.

So here's hoping I'll have perfectly preened paws in no time.

*photos used above are my own

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