Dr Lewinn’s Renunail Update: Lost Track of Where I Am At

Well, I know I haven’t been bathing my cuticles, so hang on a sec, I’ll take a moment to do that now —

Hey, what is the point of cuticles?!? I’m going to go a’Googlin, wait —

In human anatomy, cuticles or eponychia are the small folds of thickened skin at the base of each of the nails. Their purpose is to protect the area between the skin and the nail from infection.

Thanks, Wise Geek! Ooh, there are answers for everything over there —

Sorry, went on a bit of a wander. So, I lost track of what week it was in my Dr Lewinn’s Renunail Nail Strengthener treatment, overcome with ennui, maybe, because all I had to do was check the blog. Duh. I remember removing it, and leaving the nails, and then going Whoops! Gotta put some more on! and then doing that.

The problem is, my troublesome left ring fingernail is at it again. It is seriously split, so much so that I had to trim it waaaay down. And then file the others down to suit. This is too bad, because my right hand nails were looking so spectacular, I was about to polish them. But on the upside: my nails were actually strong enough to file!

Drat! So now I am chasing the cart with the horse, and layering on the Renunail, especially in that splitty fingernail, because it’s all I can do, isn’t it? I mean, the nail has to grow out of its split, right?

Here’s Auld Schplitty herself:

You can see that, yeah? Want to borrow my specs?

Right. So, I’ve anointed my cuticles in the Nourishing Oil, because it really does make a difference, and applying more strengthener, and hoping for the best…

Haiku Review: Phyt’s Radiance Facial

Oh my God! Oh, my!
God! Nothing like a facial
To soothe your whole self.

Phyt’s is a French brand, and first came to Ireland in 2007. It’s chemical-free, paraben-free, not tested on animals, and the packaging is 100% recyclable. I’ve had a few of the products cross my desk over the last few years, and wasn’t terribly interested in them. More recently, I got a sample of the Ativ’ Peel, a facial exfoliant, and that, I liked loads: it foams up nicely, which allows the granules to distribute gently but thoroughly, and it has a lovely lemon-y scent. So when news of the Virginie Claire Beauty Centre’s Bastille Day special, running from 9-14 July came in the email, and a voucher for the 60 minute Radiance Facial came in the post, I duly followed through.

Oh, sure, I said to myself, ‘Radiance’ Facial, uh huh. I think I cultivate my cynicism because I am perversely delighted to be proven wrong. After all these years, I tell myself that I am inured to the all the bells and whistles that accompany beauty marketing — I suppose I am, superficially, but deep down, I am ready and willing to be shocked and awed.

I was entirely all of the latter following my treatment. Is this an outcome specific to the quality of Phyt’s products? Is it the wholly down to the prowess of Virginie Claire, the proprietress herself? Or, is it my willingness to give myself over to the process?

It’s probably all three, and that last one interests me, because it is in direct contradiction to the whole cynicism thing. So maybe I am not really cynical.

Long story short: at the end of the facial, I sat up and looked at my face in the mirror and laughed because it was like I was standing centre stage in Carnegie Hall under a spotlight, my face looked that clear and bright and lit up. In a word… radiant.


There really is nothing like wrapping up in a terry-cloth tube-top and lying down on a massage table. Every synapse in my brain takes this as a cue to to just relaaaaax, and my whole body follows suit. It’s amazing how much of the tension we feel ends up in our faces. As Virginie began the treatment with a comprehensive cleanse, tone, and exfoliation, I could feel the boulders that had been collecting in my jaw begin to disintegrate. As a result, the clenching in my forehead released — and I felt that release all the way down to my neck. Wild.

Next came a real highpoint: application of Serum Capyl-Rose, massage-style. This was perfection, and Virginie paid particular attention to the area around the eyes. I’m not entirely sure what happened next, because then I got a shoulder/arm/upper back massage, and I went away to my happy place.

Highest highpoint? The Aqua Peel-Off Mask, which is it bit pongy with rosemary, but otherwise feels like it is coolly and soothingly getting right down to the bottom of your pores and cleaning them out. And: oh! The sensation when it is peeled off your face, in one piece! So satisfying! Unfortunately, kids, you can’t try this one at home; I asked as soon as I was able to form thoughts again, and Virginie said it’s too messy — she tried it herself and even she, a professional, found it too fiddly to do on one’s own.

In other details: the salon is super quiet for a day-spa-type place, certainly the quietest I have encountered yet; Virginie is supremely well-informed and up-front about things, as well as being knowledgeable and personable and adept; I took the 16 bus from Camden Street as was at the centre in ten minutes.

Did you realise that both American and French Independence days are in the summer? We had a laugh about that: if either revolution had failed, at least they could have fecked off to the beach.

Is that cynical? Nah, just practical, right? Anyway: yet another failure to be disenchanted! Success!


Special offer Radiance Facial: €45; good until 14 July.

Virginie Claire is located at 255 Harold’s Cross Road, Dublin 6;  01 4978833

Dr Lewinn’s Renunail Update: A Bit of Perspective

I am in the middle of the third week of Dr Lewinn’s Renunail Nail Strengthener application. This is the fifth week of the whole process. I was only admiring my nails, my historically manky nails, earlier yesterday, thinking about how I was going to post another picture of their new and improved-ness.

They are not only whiter, and less ridge-y, but also stronger. I have been growing them without thinking twice. Until last night, when I removed my left riding glove and realised that my ring fingernail felt funny.

It had split all the way down the center.

Argh! Okay, so, in all the admiration yesterday, I had forgotten to apply the strengthener. Was that what happened? Or had I tempted the fates by letting the nail grow and grow? The riding gloves don’t help matters in any respect, so I am guessing that the confluence of elements — gloves tugging on too-long nail, too-long nail that had not been coated with supernatural strength — resulted in the split.

Dammit. Ah, well, time to file the nails down, and to keep strengthening.

Look, they are not even that long! I bet it is an aging thing…

Well, I am learning the limitations of the product as it conjuncts with the limitations of my own raw material. Still! The improvement is amazeballs.

The Scrub of a Lifetime: VOYA Organic Lavender & Seaweed Sugar Glow

I exfoliate a lot. Like, I am pretty sure that I have exfoliated all the hairs off my arms. Plus, I use the gloves along with the exfoliant, which is cray-zay, I know, and I’m surprised I haven’t scrubbed myself down to the bone.

Exfoliant and me, yeah, nothing new there. But you know what? There is absolutely something to be said for getting a professional treatment.

I very happily found myself once more at Therese R Wellness and Beauty in Rochestown Lodge Hotel, Killiney. I had forgotten my togs — clients of the spa may avail of the leisure centre, which includes jacuzzi and sauna and steam room, oh, my — so I stripped down, bundled up into a beautiful spa robe, headed into one of the well-kitted-out treatment rooms* and lay myself on the plinth.

Okay: did you know that when you exfoliate, it doesn’t have to be like you are keelhauling a ship? It’s no surprise that I’ve scoured all the hair off my arms {if only it would work on my legs!} I lash away with the stuff like I am scraping barnacles. Susie, my massage aesthetician, applied VOYA’s amazing concoction with all the gentleness that one would bring to tending a little baby.

At right is not me, but that is a true representation of the colour and texture of the scrub. A combination of organic ingredients,with the main players being hand harvested seaweed, lavender buds, and cane sugar, there’s a bit of a pong off it at first because, hey, there’s no fake rubbish in this bad girl. Once you get used to it — if you have to, it mightn’t even register for you at all — it’s nothing but gentle application and the feeling that dead skin cells are going on to a better place.

After the scrub is showered off, Susie applied VOYA’s Softly Does It Body Moisturiser, again, in a professionally massaging manner, not in the slapdash way I would do it. I’ve used this moisturiser in the past and wasn’t crazy about it, but my mind has been changed: the combo of the scrub and this was excellent.

This is not a total, float-away-into-the-ether thing: it is relaxing, sure, but it is primarily a very functional treatment, and you come out with astonishingly smooth skin — I made my friends touch my arms the next day, and they were gobsmacked.

Pretty perfect! Although… if there had been a wee facial exfoliation to go along with it? Just something to think about, VOYA…


The VOYA Organic Lavender & Seaweed Sugar Glow treatment is €55 at Therese R Wellness & Beauty, Rochestown Lodge Hotel, Killiney, Dublin.

*OMG, remember the hydrotherm mattress?!?

Dr Lewinn’s Renunail Update: Uh. Wow!

The story thus far: I treated my nails for one week with Dr Lewinn’s Renunail Nail Strengthener, and also applied ‘his’ Nourishing Oil to my cuticles.

I took the layers of Strengthener off when the week was up, and gave the nails a rest, while faithfully keeping up with the Nourishing Oil.

I reapplied the Strengthener for another week, and removed it yesterday.

Now, if you are the type of person who starts a thing, a thing like this that is supposed to work miracles, and then the miracles are not happening in what you consider to be ‘miracle time’ which would be IMMEDIATELY and so you are like, Feck this, this is not a miracle and then you stop the thing — then you are me.

I complained and complained about my manky nails, and I tried things now and again to unmank-ify them, and gave up. Maybe it’s not all my fault — maybe the products weren’t very effective! The thing is: Dr Lewinn gave me, by the middle of the first week, an indication that this stuff might work. Since I began to have faith in the process, I was inspired to keep it up. And so, as we enter week four of the six week treatment… Continue reading

The Proof is in the Pudding: Dr Lewinn’s Renunail Update

There was that, on the left; there is now this, on the right.

In other idioms, a picture is a worth a thousand words.

I’ve given the nails a break from the Nail Strengthener for a week and a half now. I’ll begin that again on Saturday. I am loving the Nourishing Oil no end, and it is well worth living through the unattractive healing crisis in order to achieve such stunningly improved cuticles.

And if anyone else is curious, here’s the meaning of that colloquial, yet antiquated phrase.

Will continue to take it handy! { … }

End of Week One: Dr Lewinn’s Renunail

It is with great relief and disproportionate joy that I removed my first week’s worth of the Dr Lewinn Renunail Nail Strengthener treatment. Not that it has been bad, not by any means! It’s merely that in the last two days, my nails, which need no help in the looking-manky department, have really started looking crusty.

Now, they are clean and clear, and ready to rest. I’ve cut them all down to the bare minimum length, and will continue to bathe them in Renunail Nourishing Oil.

Actually, I have been lazy about the oil — and so if this programme doesn’t work, I can’t exactly blame the product, can I?!?

My cuticles are still peeling like bananas in a monkey cartoon. Actually, I think they are hangnails? Is that really a term, or did my mum make that up?

So: One week off, back to the nail strengthener for another week, one other week off, and the third and final week. I will have perfect fingernails by the end of June!

Manky Nails, Your Days are Numbered!

So, last Friday I had a friend’s wedding {OMG she looked gorgeous — like, magazine-bride stunning} and I thought about getting a manicure, and then I thought, Why bother, your nails are so manky. And I know that my nails are manky because I don’t take care of them, but I swear, they are so crap — they have started splitting down the middle! WTF?!? — that it seems like I should just keep them short, since they are so nasty and brutish.

Then, after the wedding, I attended a fabulous ladies lunch in aid of The Seachange Foundation, and the lovely lunching lady on my left had the most amazing natural nails I have ever seen in my life. She was talking about how her nails had been manky, too, but she uses this treatment stuff and it is amazing, and how she had to have her sister buy it up for her because it wasn’t available in Ireland, but now it was, and I gasped and asked, ‘Is it that Dr Lewinn’s stuff?’

And it was.

I’d heard of this stuff, and in fact, had put in a request to try and test some last week. It arrived yesterday, and you can’t help but feel that the stars just fall into glorious alignment every now and then.

I am determined! I am going to do this! I’ve seen how good the Dr Lewinn’s Renunail Nail Strengthener is, in real life  — the evidence of its efficacy was right there at the tips of that lady’s fingers.

How it works is:
> You apply two coats on the first day, then a coat a day for the next five, and then remove it on the seventh day.
> Then you rest for 1-2 weeks.
> Then you do it twice more.

In the 1-2 week rest period, you use the Nourishing Oil, which I checked out really quickly yesterday, and it is oily, and hopefully nourishing.

Okay: I just applied my first coat. It’s very thick, and it is milky in appearance. It feels really cold on application, which is weird; it dries clear. I was curious as to why it works, and didn’t really find much info, except that the Strengthener has diamonds and pearls in it? I will say, though, that the internet contains predominantly glowing reviews, and I hope to have proof of that myself in six weeks.

Here’s a picture of my Manky Nails, in all of their shock and horror. I must say, they are looking nice and shiny with my duly applied two coats, and I am preparing to bathe them in the nourishing oil. The middle finger one is so short because that is the one that has started splitting. Only the one! That is weird, right? Although, I absolutely do not want anymore of my nails to start doing the same.

I know I have said, in the past, that I was going to mind my manicure, and didn’t, but this time is for real! I am going to have healthy, strong nails!

Nail Strengthener, 30mls: €31/£21; Nourishing Oil, 14mls: €15/£11
Irish prices are approximate; Debenhams are having a discount deal, which may just be online, I’m not sure. Go check it out on debenhams.ie.

Catching Up as Regards Avon ANEW Clinical Resurfacing Expert Smoothing Fluid

Okay! Posting like the wind, as I have a wedding {just the ceremony} and then a fancy ladies lunch {for a worthy cause: go here to read all about the Seachange Foundation’s microcredit scheme}, but I have not only been using the Avon ANEW Clinical Etc Etc {tired of typing that out!} but I have also been paying attention to what it is doing.

So, I used twice this week. Each time, I noticed two things:

A} I went into the loo to start the macquillage, and thought, Hmmm, my face is really red. Now, it could have been from the way I blow dry The Hair, which is, of course, upside down like a normal person. It could also be from the Avon Etc Etc. I’m going to use this once more time during the day, and if this ruddiness continues, I may switch to the night.

My face didn’t feel sore, or tingly, or like it was having a reaction that I could feel. It was just noticeable. But!

B} My face looks brighter. I found that I needed less foundation primer, because my skin was smoother, so what I was using was suddenly getting better coverage. Ditto the foundation itself. Since this is the way my face acts after its gotten a fancy facial, I am quite impressed.

I am finding the dropper to be awkward. It’s a sexy design, with the flat button on top, but it isn’t the best for drawing up the ever-so-slightly thick product.

Okay, gotta run! Have a great weekend! x