Tough Cookie – Treatment Review

I’ve been looking for a product that will help my weak nails get stronger.  Ever since I was young, my nails have been paper-thin, soft, they peel, and bend backwards.  I have realistic expectations for any strengthening product; due to genetics, I know my nails will never be iron strong.  Orly is a brand I trust, so I browsed their offering and came home one day with Tough Cookie.  Tough Cookie by Orly contains extracts from the African Okoume tree; it claims to strengthen nails and help them grow within 2 weeks!  Just apply one coat on clean nails (can be used as a basecoat for color), and one coat on top each day for 5 days; remove and repeat after 5 days.  Easy enough, right?

I applied Tough Cookie as a basecoat, and waited for it to dry (it doesn’t dry smooth, more of a tacky, rubbery feeling).  I applied my first coat of nail color and it bubbled within minutes.  I removed it all and started over with a thinner basecoat of Tough Cookie.  After that dried to a tacky finish, I applied my nail color, waiting for it to dry fully between each coat, and finished off with another coat of Tough Cookie.  The darn stuff bubbled within minutes!  Frustrated, I just left it and wore a bubbled, tacky feeling manicure for the first day.  The following day, I applied another coat of Tough Cookie as directed.  Three hours later, it began to peel off of my nails.  Not chips mind you, whole fingernail-sized sheets.  And repeat… I went through this routine for four days, re-doing my manicure each day only to have it peel off the next.

I was done, too frustrated to try again.  I don’t have hours to baby my nails, and I certainly don’t want to re-do my manicure daily.  I can’t comment on how well this strengthens or assists growth, because it wouldn’t stay on my nails longer than a day.  I wouldn’t recommend this product to anyone at this time.  I may try this routine out again in the winter time, maybe humidity had something to do with the results I had.




6 thoughts on “Tough Cookie – Treatment Review

  1. Hi, Valerie! I love your blog, you post some great polishes! Have you ever tried NailTek Foundation II for a base coat that also helps strengthen and repair nails? I don’t have any issues with weak nails, but my sister does and after doing a bit of research, I told her to try it and she loves it so far (it’s been about 3 weeks). Keep up the great work on your blog 🙂

    • nailfiles says:

      Thanks! I actually picked up Nail Tek III, and have been using it for a couple of days. So far so good, I’m going to review it in a couple of weeks and see how it goes!

  2. Hey Valerie,
    Your nails sound like mine! I used to have nails like that. Like Mary said above Nail Tek II does really help, but you have to use the foundation (the matte milky basecoat) and the Intensive repair (clear topcoat) I think I got those right- I don’t have them in front of me right now.
    I also take Biotin daily that has really helped.
    Good luck!

  3. Lucy says:

    I’m glad I didn’t try that mess. What a shame. I have the same problem with nails that you have. I just read on another blog about a Sally Hansen strengthening treatment.

    • nailfiles says:

      I’m glad my experience helped you! I’ve been trying a couple different treatments since; keep an eye out for the reviews in the next couple of weeks.

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