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This $5 Oil Treatment Grew Out My Stubby Nails So Long, People Ask If They're Fake

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After years of acrylics, I finally have naturally long nails.

Getty Images
Getty Images

I’ve always admired the look of long, polished nails, but for most of my life, there was only one way I could get them. In college, I started splurging on monthly sets of acrylics and endlessly filed down to the point where they could almost, sort of look like my natural nails (if you had no idea what my actual natural nails looked like). A few years ago, that all changed with the help of one powerhouse nail treatment and some sage advice on how to use it.

At one fateful Paintbox appointment years ago, my manicurist examined my stubby, weak nails and recommended Sally Hansen’s Vitamin E Nail and Cuticle Oil, with stern instructions to apply it at least three times a day, and to stash a bottle everywhere I could: At home, at work, and basically anywhere I spent a lot of time. At the time, I thought it would just help heal my dry, ragged cuticles, but following this advice gave me something I never thought was possible — long, strong nails that regularly provoke the question, “Are those real?”



Shop now: $5 (Originally $6);

The nail and cuticle oil is made with hydrating and nourishing ingredients like vitamin E, apricot kernel, wheat germ, and aloe, and is formulated to both soothe dry cuticles and strengthen weak or brittle nails. My manicurist was right (and reviewers agree) — the more often you use the oil, massaging into each nail bed each time you apply, the better results you’ll see. After just a few months, my nails were longer than they’d ever been in my life; long enough that I wasn’t embarrassed of my bare nails in public, and long enough that manicurists no longer sighed in frustration when I sat down. Even painting them myself became easier since my canvas was suddenly so much larger.

:This $13 Basecoat Enhances and Conceals My Natural Nails So Well, I Skip Polish Altogether

Now, when I’m using the oil as often as I should, my nails grow out so long that I can clip them down and still file them into long, Insta-worthy ovals, clacking away at my iPhone like a Kardashian with a fresh set. On Amazon, where the Sally Hansen Vitamin E Oil has over 10,000 five-star ratings, reviewers similarly describe the oil transforming dry and damaged nails, with multiple people swearing it “works wonders,” and one shopper even saying her nails “are the best they’ve ever been” after six months of use.

The Sally Hansen Vitamin E Oil is my number one beauty recommendation for a reason: It really works, and it’s brought more friends’ nails back from the dead than I can count. Shop the nail and cuticle oil for just $5 at Amazon

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