My Gel-Wrecked Nails Are Getting a Major Makeover Thanks to These On-Sale Strengthening Solutions

Smooth, ridge-free nails are ahead.

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Dermalect sale

Dermalect/ InStyle

I’ve put my nails through hell, and it’s starting to show. My penchant for polish-picking, which rears its ugly head the moment my gel manicure begins to grow out, has rendered my formerly steely nails Gumby-like in their bendiness. My predilection for press-ons — which I cement with adhesive, often on impulse to match my outfit du jour — proves problematic once I pry them off with steel tools. Subsequently, I sand my nails using the grittiest file I can find to remove glue residue. My cuticles? I’ll spare you the gory details… 

…but I will share this: The Dermelect Presidents’ Day Sale is happening now. ICYMI: The brand makes some of the best nail-strengthening treatments, plus more solutions for virtually any nail woe. The details: Take 20 percent off of any Dermalect product when you spend $50 or more and use the code PRESDAY at checkout.



Shop now: $23 with code PRESDAY (Originally $34); 

The protein shake of the nail world, this twosome transforms thin, weak nails into strong, capable ones. (I can’t wait to open La Croix without my nails bending in the process.) Dubbed the Phyto Strong Nail Kit, its components are formulated specifically to fortify flimsy nails — whether from gel, acrylic, or age — the first of the two products is included with soy keratin peptide (ICYMI: natural nails are made from keratin) and squalane to restore smoothness and prevent breakage. The second of the two, the Manicure Extender, seals all the goodness in with a gleaming, shiny finish. One shopper says “my nails have never been stronger.”

HIGH MAINTENANCE Instant Nail Thickener Top Coat


Shop now: $13 with code PRESDAY (Originally $16); 

Another protein-packed product, the High Maintenance Instant Nail Thickener top coat builds up what you may have filed down, in turn restoring strength. As a topcoat, the high-shine formula is a fantastic finish to any traditional manicure — particularly if you like the plump appearance of a gel polish. My favorite feature, however, is the UV-absorber infused into the formula, which prevents manicures from fading or yellowing over time.

LAUNCHPAD Bonding Nail Strengthener


Shop now: $14 with code PRESDAY (Originally $18); 

If you paint your nails, you’re already using a base coat; why not upgrade to this bolstering, biotin-enriched formula? The Launchpad Bonding Nail Strengthener tightly grips subsequent layers of polish for a longer-lasting manicure, while babying overworked nails to a healthier state in light of nourishing ingredients.



Shop now: $47 with code PRESDAY (Originally $70);

Perfect for the indecisive among us, the Nail Recovery System contains each of the three aforementioned products, plus a nourishing nail cream. The nail-strengthening trio, consisting of the base, concealer, and topcoat listed above, combines the power of three — with a side of instant, high-gloss shine. The nourishing nail cream — which my shredded cuticles absolutely need — is spiked with skincare-worthy ingredients. Shea butter, hyaluronic acid, vitamins, and, of course, protein, plump parched skin and restore even the roughest of nail beds to softness.

TIMELESS Anti-Aging Daily Hand Treatment


Shop now: $18 with code PRESDAY (Originally $22);

My hands are lizard-like in texture (which, an esthetician once remarked, is why my partner of six years has yet to propose). There’s hope for me yet in this hand cream. Hydrating hyaluronic acid, plumping collagen, and an antioxidant-rich species of gooseberry hydrate, soften, and preserve smooth, youthful hand-skin — which, incidentally, is among the first places to show aging. One shopper, who is over 65, calls it “the best hand cream” they’ve ever tried.



Shop now: $23 with code PRESDAY (Originally $36);

The Camo Makeover Duo set contains the InStyle-approved Makeover Peptide-infused Treatment plus the Camo Nude Peptide-infused Concealer. My coworker, Tamim Alnuweiri, swears by the brand’s strengthening, ridge-filling nail concealer. One look at her glossy, healthy talons is all the evidence I need to try it myself. The latter wears like a tinted moisturizer for nails, masking imperfections, including nicks and discoloration from nail damage. If you have nail ridges, consider both polishes akin to a wrinkle-smoothing makeup primer. One coat of each, used in tandem, noticeably smooths ridges for a smooth, light-reflecting surface.

Shop the strengthening nail solutions InStyle editors and shoppers swear by — for 20 percent off — via the Dermelect Presidents’ Day Sale until February 21.

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