Saturday, April 7, 2012

Red Flag

I am a big advocate in research, education and knowledge of all things nails. Actually all beauty products. I've never been one to buy things on a whim. I think this is a consequence of my own frugalness, skepticism, and curiosity. I want to know how and why products work. Would they work in my circumstance?  Are they worth my hard earned money?

Frugalness:
I grew up kind of poor, so although I find it much easier to splurge now, when it comes to most things I can wait months if not years before caving. I am the master of denying myself things. As with most people, I have ideas in my mind about whether things are worth it, so perhaps I'm not denying myself at all.

Skepticism:
I would say with most things in life I am pretty optimistic. Beauty products are not one of those things. Part of the problem with nail products (and beauty product too) is that companies can make pretty much any claim they want without too much repercussion. The thing that bothers me most is that at times companies either consciously or unconsciously prey on what people don't know. I guess that is why advertising is such a big business.

Curiosity:
My love for chemistry started when I was a kid. I was a label reader. Perhaps a weird thing for a 12 year old to do, but I couldn't help it. What is that, what does it do? What purpose does it serve in the formulation? What other products contain this ingredient? How does price and efficacy compare in products containing similar ingredients?

These three things often govern my shopping habits and more times than not throw up a red flags. This is not a bashing post, but rather a conversation with myself.  These are the kinds of things that cross my mind when I research products before I buy.  On to the products...

Knockout nails (Link)
On occasion I receive emails asking for my opinion on certain products from fellow readers.  One that has popped up on more than one occasion is "Knockout nails".

I had not heard of "Knockout nails" before, but after doing some research I can say I'm pissed off. With the popularity of soak of gels, it's no surprise so many gel products are popping up so frequently.  One important thing the normal consumer may not know is that soak of gels are different from traditional gel systems. Traditional gel systems cannot be soaked off. The product has to be filed off.  This opens the door for potential nail damage. The company portrays the product as a nonchalant way to do your nails and in my eyes tries to ride on the coattails of soak off gel success without making this important distinction. Had they made this product for "professional use only" (as most traditional gel systems do) I would not have batted an eyelash, as nail professionals would know this distinction, but their target consumer seems to be the everyday woman. NO BUENO.

Flexinail (Link)
Holy hell! The whole selling angle seems so shady, very miracle in a bottle. Guess what, it's just oil ... and a jacked up price for standard ingredient cuticle oil. RAGE. There are a lot of expensive cuticle oils, but this one takes the cake. If I'm going to pay $80 for cuticle oil it better have DNA changing ingredients that permanently transform my nails in 3 hours.  

The truth is the use of a basic cuticle oil (or cream/balm/whatever you like) consistently and frequently is what makes a difference. It will not be a miracle. Unless you were born with amazing nails already, it will take hard work and dedication. I was not blessed, so I'll stick to using the basics on an everyday basis. I preach this all the time ... see moisturizer tag.

If I come across any other delusional products/companies I will pass along the information.   

Oh and a few pictures just because...
DC Cherry Blossoms 2012

China Glaze - Agent Lavender topped with Prisma Luminous Color glitter

36 comments:

  1. I love you Loodie! I'm glad someone is out there trying to help the general nail consumer! I hope no one was duped into to buying these products in hopes of a quick fix! (Y'know someone was!) That Flexinail vid scared the $h!T out of me!!!! Don't use your nails as tools!

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  2. We're label readers too in our house... Lots of times it goes like this: Oh look how much fat is in these cookies! and proceed to pop 2-3 in my mouth lol.
    But I totally agree with you, companies will tell half truths and ommit information just to trick you into buying their stuff. Once they have your money they don't give a crap what you actually do with the product.

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    1. LOL. How true. I don't like being duped, so if I am or feel like it will, I feel obligated ...

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  3. Truth. It sucks that a lot of peoples' purchasing decisions are based on their "education" from the fact-adjacent advertising blurbs companies release with their products. It would be nice if we really could trust them, but obviously that ain't the case, and it's great when someone like yourself tries to help people realize that.

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    1. That is why the web is a wonderful place! Keep our minds open and explore ...

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  4. Wonderful and informative post!! :D This reminds me of the book Not Just a Pretty Face (awesome read). Oh, and those photos are stunning!!

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  5. 80$ :O outrageous it should get me practically a lifetime supply of cuticle oil

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    1. Amen sista! Hence its place in this post 0.o

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  6. I love that layering with the Agent Lavender. It looks so delicate and pretty!

    And about those products, companies have no shame or consicence these days. They just try to take advantage of consumers' nail dreams. It's so awesome to have a super-genius chemist in the nail community who can tell us this stuff.

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    1. Sadly so true. I had nail dreams indeed. I finally realized most things in life are never as easy as people make them out to be when they are trying to make a profit.

      This is why I would suck as a sales person. "Here buy this product, let me tell you why it won't work for you." hahaha

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  7. I really appreciate your blog and the work you do. A couple of months ago my sister, Tracey Arredondo (another blog follower) told me about your blog. I have always had sad little nubbin nails and am extremely skeptical of nail products. I liked your tone and the explanations you gave so I decided to try a couple of the products you recommended. I use OPI Nail Envy and Dermanail plus any type of nail goo I can get my hands on and am moisturizing like a mad woman. And - the nails are beginning to grow out the peels and chips. I knew it would take awhile but I am being conscientious and it IS working. So thank you - for helping me have teeeeny (but growing) real nails for the first time ever. And I am passing your name on to all my other nubbin sufferers.

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    1. Freaking awesome Jennie!!! I am so excited for you. I know exactly how you feel. I know it may seem silly to some but having some nail progress makes you (and me) feel like a million bucks. Keep at it! :D

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  8. Thank you very much for the honest tips you give on nail care, I turn to you for good nail advice. I too have been moisturing much more & using cuticle oil...thank you so much for your tips you share on your blog it's very appreciated.

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  9. Tyyy for this post.. and ty for that amazing picture of those cherry blossoms. I want to be there!!

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  10. Great post! I hate dishonest marketing too, I can think of a few lash products that claim to strengthen and grow your eyelashes for ludicrous prices, riding on the success of Latisse, but just contain "nutrition"...

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    1. Oh boy, lash products.... don't even get me started.

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  11. this is exactly how i feel about all cosmetics, and why chemistry is awesome! it helps me cut through company BS and view the product according to what it can actually accomplish, not the outlandish claims.

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    1. YES, Chemistry ... the bullshit cutter! (Ewww I just got a visual.)

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  12. This post gets two thumbs up!

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  13. Great post as always! Yes I am a bit immature sometimes but this cracked me up... Lololol

    How FlexiNail Works - PENETRATION IS KEY!

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  14. Wow the 12 year old you was a big giant geek from hell! Hahahahaha! I just love that people fall for the "if it costs more it must be good". People are always looking for a quick fix. Those cherry blossoms are gorgeous! I should really get off my lazy ass and go see the, in person since I'm like 90 miles away! Oh well such is life. I'll stick with my couch and my blankie! Xoxo

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  15. I LOVE this post!!!

    I bought Knockout Nails... went to great lengths to do so (I live in Australia and they don't post here) so I had to find someone in the US to get it delivered to them and then have them post it to me).. and it SUCKS!!!! Mine went YELLOW and has stained my nails. The "remove" file they give you with it is PATHETIC and my nails were ruined afterwards! What an incredible waste of money!

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    1. OH man, see, this is exactly what I'm talking about. I am so sorry (actually knockout nails should be apologizing).

      No worries though, just take good care of them from here on out with lots of love, moisture and gorgeous polish!

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  16. I never heard about Knockout Nails and when I read "instructions" I thought they are quite deceitful. At home removing = filing...my nails were screaming! Even a professional removal might leave weak and damaged nails (in fact I never had gel on my nails and never will), I can't think about people doing randomly at home.
    BTW I think that a lot of precious "cuticle oils" out there are not better than my super cheap recipe: olive oil + lemon essential oil.
    BTW #2 :* Great post!!

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    1. Yes, to everything you said!

      Totally, olive oil ... can never go wrong.

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  17. I wish I could have you around when I make purchases Anna, you'd save me so much hassle and disappointment! I love your curious brain, you're incredibly helpful and you truly help us clueless bunch make better informed decisions on things. Keep up the awesome work - you're one of a kind and we love you for your knowledge!!!

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  18. I love your blog. I've learned so much from you. I've just ordered dermanail hoping it will help with my nail ridges. What do you think of T.I.P.S. by Ask Cosmetics. I'm wondering if it too is just expensive nail oil too as I haven't seen any miracles with this either. I really value your opinion! many thanks and you rock!

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  19. I know I am WAY late in the convo... But this post reminds me of the Cosmetics Cop, Paula Begoun. Have you heard of her and her HUGE online database Beautypedia? She reviews thousands of makeup and skincare products to let you know how they perform, and if they really do what they claim. Her reviews are heavily weighed on the ingredients in each product. I look to Beautypedia before buying any of my skin care now. Very helpful!

    Anne

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  20. TIPS is just oil; they tout 'lipids" in advertising and QVC, but lipids is oil/fat. Jojoba oil is closest to our natural skin oils; i mix it with a little lavender oil which has good antiseptic properties, as does tea tree and coconut oils. As brave leader says, moisturize daily several times to get flexible nails. I had severe peeling, which DermaNail helps, and Nailtiques2.

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