Monday, 7 January 2013

Essence Studio Nails Ultra Strong Nail Hardener Review

All my adolescent/adult life my nails have been horrific. They'ed crack and break constantly and bend really easily. When I took off nail polish it would hurt (surely nails are not meant to hurt?!) so I decided something must be done. I had heard great things about OPI Nail Envy on However being on the limited budget of a lady of the internet (unemployed) I really couldn't stretch to the €22.95 asking price. Instead I opted to try Essence Studio Nails Ultra Strong Nail Hardener thinking "it comes in a shiny silver bottle so it has to work, right?! - I mean it's implying my nails are going to be as hard as metal!" - (I am an advertisers dream).

The product blurb reads " this nail polish strengthens and builds up soft and brittle nails". It also says it contains formaldehyde and to see the warnings. The warnings are actually very hard to read as you have to peel back the bottle label and then peel back another layer in-between that to get the English warnings. Essence recommend you protect your cuticles with grease or oil, use as a max 3 week cure and after two days of application pause for one day which all sounds rather scary. Formaldehyde for those that don't know is a probable carcinogen (a cancer causing agent), therefore you should probably avoid contact with it as much as possible. Formaldehyde is the 9th ingredient in the hardener so we can take it that it's not full of the bad stuff (full ingredient list below). It's important to note though that many things are carcinogens such as burnt food - also (in my personal half-educated about cancer opinion) I would imagine that alcohol and cigarettes are much bigger causes of cancer than putting formaldehyde on your nails every now and then.

So keeping in mind this product contains a potentially dangerous chemical does it actually work? In a word, yes. I love this product, it has completely transformed my nails - they don't really break anymore, won't bend at all and are just all around amazing. I only use this product after I take off nail polish so I don't use it very regularly but I have really noticed a big difference. Despite the formaldehyde I would still recommend this and repurchase it, as long as it's used sparingly and with precautions I think it's worth it, especially for under €4.00...



  1. Thank you for this review, i was thinking of getting it but wanted to be sure about it! Thanks again for sharing your opinion!! :)

  2. I bought it today and started using it, I tend to bite my nails and they get really weak. Here (Portugal) it costed 2,49€ I will wait a month to see the effect :)

  3. I`m not sure that I understand how to use?
    I need to put and remove them every day?And make pauza after second day?

    1. I agree with you, the instructions aren't clear. How does one 'pause' the use of nail polish? Anyway, according to, this is what it means: "Use for a maximum of three weeks applying for two days, break for one day, and repeat." Hope this helps!

    2. I agree with you - the instructions aren't clear. How does one 'pause' the use of a nail polish? According to it means: Studio "Use for a maximum of three weeks applying for two days, break for one day, and repeat." Hope this helps.

  4. i love this product, apart from i cant find it in the uk :( if any knows where to get it then pleeease email me

  5. I have always had thin, soft nails that peel away and break a lot (actually they would kind of rip like fabric instead of breaking like something hard and dry would). This year, after wearing uv nail polish for 2 months, they finally got to such a poor state that I had to keep them trimmed all the time, and even trimmed they would keep peeling - a total mess I tell you. So about a month ago I finally decided to try yet another nail hardener, even though I have tried quite a few over the last 10 years or so and none worked.
    Enter Essence Studio Ultra Strong Nail Hardener. In ONE MONTH my nails have gotten from worst state ever to best state ever. They're long, hard, I have had no problems with peeling or breaking, they still bend (in a good way - they're flexible) and I'm amazed with this stuff! I would absolutely recommend it to someone with the same problem. That said, I hear formaldehyde based nail hardeners are not suitable for people with hard, dry, brittle nails as it will dry them out even more, causing them to break more - if this is your case choose oil and protein based treatments.
    Just to be on the safe side I have oiled my nails with castor and olive oils whenever I remove my polish or nail hardener - I don't want to go over to the other side and have them break for a whole different reason. And it has the added benefit of protecting the cuticles if you're reapplying the nail hardener so its a 2 hit combo =)
    Not too shabby for 2,49€! (I'm also Portuguese)

  6. Thanks so much for the opinion! I was actually looking for links to buy it but this gave me some great (and safe!!) tips that I might have skipped over! :)

  7. Has anyone else experienced this hurting on application? I have applied this twice and both times my nails have throbbed & been really hot! Are my nails too thin or is this normal?

  8. Still looking for a place to purchase this item. Overseas suppliers take too long to get to USA


Your comment makes my day :)