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Pretty Serious Rock On and Harden Up Review

16/10/2016

If you have weak or peeling nails then you need to pay attention to this review today as I have finally found a product that actually helps my fragile nails. I have tried just about every nail hardener on the market as my nails used to break the second they got any length to them. Most hardeners didn’t work, and the ones that did had ingredients like formaldehyde in them, which I want to avoid. Thankfully, Pretty Serious Cosmetics launched two nail hardeners that are now a staple part of my nail care routine. Pretty Serious Rock On and Harden Up help to reduce my nail peeling and make my nails a lot stronger, plus they’re 5 free (no Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Toluene, Camphor or Formaldehyde Resin). These two products are well known in the Australian indie community because they work so well, but everyone should know about them because they have saved my nails. Pretty Serious Cosmetics are an Australian, cruelty free and vegan friendly company with an American distributor and various worldwide stockists – so everyone can get their hands on these hardeners.

Pretty Serious Harden Up nail hardener - Polish and Paws
Pretty Serious Harden Up

I am a reformed nail biter, have a lot of health conditions and take various medications which means my nails are naturally very thin, weak and often peel. Without a nail hardener, my nails won’t grow past the tip of my finger as they break straight away. I have tried hardeners from many brands (including many before I became cruelty free) like OPI Nail Envy (both the original and sensitive and peeling formulas), Essie, Duri Rejuvacote (1 and 2), Revitanail and Sally Hansen. The vast majority didn’t help my nails at all, and many made them worse. There was only one that I saw any improvement with but it contained formaldehyde, and that is an ingredient I really don’t want to use. I gave up on using hardeners for a while as I hadn’t found the right one, but a good cuticle oil can only do some much for very weak nails. I had heard great things about the Pretty Serious nail hardeners, so I bought them, but I must admit I wasn’t expecting much because of my previous hardener experience, I was however pleasantly surprised with the results.

Pretty Serious Rock On and Harden Up - Polish and Paws
Pretty Serious Rock On and Harden Up

The Pretty Serious Rock On! Nail Strengthener helps to ‘revitalise weak, peeling and break prone nails’. This hardener will not make your nails brittle as the formula strengthens without hardening to allow for flexibility and therefore less breakage. Many formaldehyde based hardeners will make nails brittle if you use them too often, and I have also found that they create a stronger c-curve which then changes the smile line on my nail too – you won’t have these problems with the Pretty Serious hardeners. Rock On is the better known of the Pretty Serious hardeners and has many fans. This hardener certainly works, I noticed a difference in the strength of my nails within a few weeks of use. The one problem I have with Rock On is that it can exacerbate my peelies if I leave it on for 2 or more days. I have spoken to lots of other people who use this hardener and I am the only one with this problem, so it must be unique to my nail chemistry. I avoid this problem by taking the hardener off and reapplying it every day or by using a coat of Harden Up on top of Rock On. When I use it like that, my nail peeling is reduced and my nails are much stronger.

The Pretty Serious Harden Up Nail Strengthener ‘helps thin and overly flexible nails find their inner strength’. Harden Up is my favourite nail strengthener, I have gone through so many bottles of this. Harden Up has a slight yellow-ish tint to it when in the bottle but it is completely clear when on the nails. Once dry, Harden Up gives my nails an instant protection that Rock On doesn’t. I think it must be the Harden Up dries harder than Rock On but I’m not entirely sure, I just know that my nails are less likely to break with a coat of Harden Up on them. I notice the my nails do feel stronger after using Harden Up for a few weeks continuously and I can maintain them by only needing to use Harden Up once a week – I usually use it twice a week though as I take it off whenever I do a new manicure.

No nail hardener
No hardener (naked nails) at my preferred nail length

Pretty Serious have kindly sent me a list of ingredients in each hardener, I don’t know a lot about ingredients, other than what to avoid, but I am including them for those who are interested (I would have paid more attention in chemistry if I knew I could use it for cosmetics in future).

Rock On ingredients:
Butyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Adipic Acid / Neopentyl Glycol / Trimellitic Anhydride Copolymer, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Benzophenone-3, Alumina, Trimethylpentanediyl Dibenzoate, Hexanal, Polyvinyl Butyral, Silica, N-Butyl Alcohol, Barium Sulphate, Diamond Powder, Titanium Dioxide, D&C Violet #2.

Harden Up ingredients:
Ethyl Acetate, Butyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Adipic Acid / Neopentyl Glycol / Trimellitic Anhydride Copolymer, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Styrene Acrylates Copolymer, Stearalkonium Bentonite, N-Butyl Alcohol, Acrylates Copolymer, Benzophenone-3, Polyvinyl Butyral, Trimethyl Pentanediyl Dibenzoate, Silica, Phosporic Acid.

Many people use these hardeners as a base coat in a typical manicure, but I don’t. I use one of the hardeners (or both) and then use the Pretty Serious All Your Base Ridge Filling Base Coat before I apply any colour to my nails, to ensure I have extra protection against staining. I do frequently wear the hardeners by themselves as I love the look of healthy natural nails. The majority of the time, you will find my nails just wearing one coat of Rock On with one coat of Harden Up on top. They just look like naked nails, but with a shiny finish. I do some extra things to try and stop my nails breaking like using a good quality cuticle oil and ensuring I always have something on my nails (usually one of these hardeners) whenever I shower or expose my nails to water for a long period of time.

Two coats of Pretty Serious Harden Up - Polish and Paws
Two coats of Pretty Serious Harden Up

My nails aren’t looking their best right now, but I wanted to include photos of them looking average so that you can see that I still get some length even when my health has badly affected them. You will see that my smile lines are all over the place and not well defined which can make my nails look dirty even though they’re clean, but that is such a huge improvement on what I used to have. My nails don’t grow long enough to even have a smile line without these Pretty Serious nail hardeners, so I highly recommend you try them. The peeling problem with Rock On seems to be isolated to just my nails, as Rock On helps a lot of other people with their nail peeling. I do however prefer Harden Up as I love having that little bit of extra strength and protection that it gives when it dries down. The majority of the time, you will find me wearing both of them as they work really well together. Both hardeners come in a normal 11ml nail polish bottle, so you just apply it like you would any nail polish. They won’t break the bank as Rock On is $10.95 and Harden Up is $9.95. Will you be trying them in the future?

See posts from other beauty bloggers at the Fabulous and Fun Life link up.

Love, Alinta

2 Comments

  • Bridgette 17/10/2016 at 11:58 pm

    This is such a great post. I have been meaning to try the Pretty Serious nail care line, these products in particular after reading so mani great reviews, but I always got sidetracked by their polish. Next sale I will grab Rock on and the basecoat. 🙂

    • Alinta McMurdo 23/10/2016 at 11:18 pm

      Thanks lovely, you’re the sweetest. I may have an extra rock on I can put in your box, I’ll check 🙂

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Also tomorrow is my birthday and a present I would love is photos of people attending the reproductive rights rally in Melbourne. Please go tomorrow, wear a mask, and take a photo of yourself and send it to me 😉 best birthday present ever. 
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    6/9
    Here’s a video of Bonsai’s recovery from cruciate ligament surgery this year. He ruptured his cruciate just before my wedding, and then had surgery shortly after.  As well as repairing the ligament, the vet also created a deeper groove in his knee so to give his knee more stability. This is his second knee surgery as he had his other one done a year earlier. It’s very common for the second knee to be injured within a year of the first. His surgery and recovery were complicated by his IBD and heart failure, but as you can see his leg is doing really well now. I’ve been updating you in my stories about his heart failure. He doesn’t have much much time left with us, so I thought I would upload this so you can see that knee surgery is worth doing. I know lots of people are scared of the recovery period because crating can be demanding on your time and stressful for the dog, but giving them proper use of their leg back is worth it. I’ve seen dogs in rescue that are forced to go years without this surgery and the results are heartbreaking. The recovery can be hard, especially if there are other medical issues at play, like with Bonsai, but a good vet will try to make the dog as comfortable as possible for the recovery period. Humans get help when they rupture their ACL so please do the same for your dog. If you’re wondering how Bons is going today, he’s recovered from yesterdays sedation and is happily sitting on my shoulder - as per usual. There’s no way of knowing when his time will be up, so he’s being spoilt and loved until that day does come. He’s my little shadow who I love very much 🌒
#rescuedog #crutiate #crutiateligament #dogsofmelbourne #chihuahua
    Here’s a video of Bonsai’s recovery from cruciate ligament surgery this year. He ruptured his cruciate just before my wedding, and then had surgery shortly after. As well as repairing the ligament, the vet also created a deeper groove in his knee so to give his knee more stability. This is his second knee surgery as he had his other one done a year earlier. It’s very common for the second knee to be injured within a year of the first. His surgery and recovery were complicated by his IBD and heart failure, but as you can see his leg is doing really well now. I’ve been updating you in my stories about his heart failure. He doesn’t have much much time left with us, so I thought I would upload this so you can see that knee surgery is worth doing. I know lots of people are scared of the recovery period because crating can be demanding on your time and stressful for the dog, but giving them proper use of their leg back is worth it. I’ve seen dogs in rescue that are forced to go years without this surgery and the results are heartbreaking. The recovery can be hard, especially if there are other medical issues at play, like with Bonsai, but a good vet will try to make the dog as comfortable as possible for the recovery period. Humans get help when they rupture their ACL so please do the same for your dog. If you’re wondering how Bons is going today, he’s recovered from yesterdays sedation and is happily sitting on my shoulder - as per usual. There’s no way of knowing when his time will be up, so he’s being spoilt and loved until that day does come. He’s my little shadow who I love very much 🌒 #rescuedog #crutiate #crutiateligament #dogsofmelbourne #chihuahua
    3 months ago
    View on Instagram |
    7/9
    With it being #pridemonth, we are going to talk about the A in LGBTQIA+ (while you look at some of my rainbow-ish nails from over the years). The A stands for Asexual, or Aromantic, or Agender,, but not Ally. Asexuals are people who don’t experience sexual attraction to others (or only do in certain circumstances, like those who are grey or demisexual). It’s a spectrum, we’re all different. Many aces still have relationships, whether romantic, sexual or queer-platonic. Asexuality is about attraction, not relationship status. Aces are frequently erased from the queer community. Last pride was particularly bad for ace erasure and hate. Aces belong in the queer community. Many aces have a hard time coming to terms with being ace in our hyper-sexualised society, and then they have to deal with erasure from their own community too. I personally would have been saved years of worrying that something was wrong with me if someone had just explained the difference between sexual and romantic attraction to me as a teen. There are so many amazing aces out there who deserve to be supported, especially by the queer community. So, don’t forget to include the A if you’re going to use the LGBTQIA+ acronym, and show for aces, whether you’re in the community or an ally. 
#pride #asexualpride #LGBTQIA #pridenails #rainbownails
    With it being #pridemonth, we are going to talk about the A in LGBTQIA+ (while you look at some of my rainbow-ish nails from over the years). The A stands for Asexual, or Aromantic, or Agender,, but not Ally. Asexuals are people who don’t experience sexual attraction to others (or only do in certain circumstances, like those who are grey or demisexual). It’s a spectrum, we’re all different. Many aces still have relationships, whether romantic, sexual or queer-platonic. Asexuality is about attraction, not relationship status. Aces are frequently erased from the queer community. Last pride was particularly bad for ace erasure and hate. Aces belong in the queer community. Many aces have a hard time coming to terms with being ace in our hyper-sexualised society, and then they have to deal with erasure from their own community too. I personally would have been saved years of worrying that something was wrong with me if someone had just explained the difference between sexual and romantic attraction to me as a teen. There are so many amazing aces out there who deserve to be supported, especially by the queer community. So, don’t forget to include the A if you’re going to use the LGBTQIA+ acronym, and show for aces, whether you’re in the community or an ally. 
#pride #asexualpride #LGBTQIA #pridenails #rainbownails
    With it being #pridemonth, we are going to talk about the A in LGBTQIA+ (while you look at some of my rainbow-ish nails from over the years). The A stands for Asexual, or Aromantic, or Agender,, but not Ally. Asexuals are people who don’t experience sexual attraction to others (or only do in certain circumstances, like those who are grey or demisexual). It’s a spectrum, we’re all different. Many aces still have relationships, whether romantic, sexual or queer-platonic. Asexuality is about attraction, not relationship status. Aces are frequently erased from the queer community. Last pride was particularly bad for ace erasure and hate. Aces belong in the queer community. Many aces have a hard time coming to terms with being ace in our hyper-sexualised society, and then they have to deal with erasure from their own community too. I personally would have been saved years of worrying that something was wrong with me if someone had just explained the difference between sexual and romantic attraction to me as a teen. There are so many amazing aces out there who deserve to be supported, especially by the queer community. So, don’t forget to include the A if you’re going to use the LGBTQIA+ acronym, and show for aces, whether you’re in the community or an ally. 
#pride #asexualpride #LGBTQIA #pridenails #rainbownails
    With it being #pridemonth, we are going to talk about the A in LGBTQIA+ (while you look at some of my rainbow-ish nails from over the years). The A stands for Asexual, or Aromantic, or Agender,, but not Ally. Asexuals are people who don’t experience sexual attraction to others (or only do in certain circumstances, like those who are grey or demisexual). It’s a spectrum, we’re all different. Many aces still have relationships, whether romantic, sexual or queer-platonic. Asexuality is about attraction, not relationship status. Aces are frequently erased from the queer community. Last pride was particularly bad for ace erasure and hate. Aces belong in the queer community. Many aces have a hard time coming to terms with being ace in our hyper-sexualised society, and then they have to deal with erasure from their own community too. I personally would have been saved years of worrying that something was wrong with me if someone had just explained the difference between sexual and romantic attraction to me as a teen. There are so many amazing aces out there who deserve to be supported, especially by the queer community. So, don’t forget to include the A if you’re going to use the LGBTQIA+ acronym, and show for aces, whether you’re in the community or an ally. #pride #asexualpride #LGBTQIA #pridenails #rainbownails
    3 months ago
    View on Instagram |
    8/9
    Plastic packaging and beauty products. What can one change do? When @trilogyproducts changed from plastic spatulas to bamboo ones, they stopped producing 208,000 plastic spatulas a year. For me, that means I now won’t be adding to my very large pile of plastic spatulas that I have accumulated over the years by using the Trilogy Replenishing Night Cream every day. No other night cream compares for me, so I’m glad I won’t add to that pile. I kept them all hoping that I would find a use for them but that has yet to happen 🤷‍♀️ A lot of beauty brands market that their plastic can be recycled, but many of those products can’t be put in curbside recycling. When they can go into the recycling bin it doesn’t mean customers are actually doing that, and even when the plastic does make it into the recycling bin, it doesn’t mean it’s actually recycled. There’s a huge amount of plastic in recycling centers that never gets made into something new. So I appreciate it when brands do make changes like this because I can see the result as a consumer. That doesn’t always mean the change is automatically better for the environment, because there’s no way of knowing if the brand uses more materials or greenhouse gases to make the new version. Beauty brands can be very cagey about their greenhouse gas emissions, particularly their scope 3 emissions. Therefore as consumers we can often only make best guesses as to which brands and products are the most sustainable choice. Changing plastic packaging is however a very obvious difference for customers, because we see the difference in where our waste goes. So as a customer I do like seeing brands moving to products that aren’t plastic, or at the very least using plastic that is easily curbside recycled. Many beauty brands have a long way to go before their products are easily recycled, but Trilogy is one of the brands who have made an effort to change this. So long story, short, I love Trilogy skincare products and appreciate that they are trying to make the brand more eco-friendly. What’s your opinion on this? Do you have a weird plastic spatula pile, or is it just me? 
#trilogy #trilogyskincare #discovertrilogy #lovealinta
    Plastic packaging and beauty products. What can one change do? When @trilogyproducts changed from plastic spatulas to bamboo ones, they stopped producing 208,000 plastic spatulas a year. For me, that means I now won’t be adding to my very large pile of plastic spatulas that I have accumulated over the years by using the Trilogy Replenishing Night Cream every day. No other night cream compares for me, so I’m glad I won’t add to that pile. I kept them all hoping that I would find a use for them but that has yet to happen 🤷‍♀️ A lot of beauty brands market that their plastic can be recycled, but many of those products can’t be put in curbside recycling. When they can go into the recycling bin it doesn’t mean customers are actually doing that, and even when the plastic does make it into the recycling bin, it doesn’t mean it’s actually recycled. There’s a huge amount of plastic in recycling centers that never gets made into something new. So I appreciate it when brands do make changes like this because I can see the result as a consumer. That doesn’t always mean the change is automatically better for the environment, because there’s no way of knowing if the brand uses more materials or greenhouse gases to make the new version. Beauty brands can be very cagey about their greenhouse gas emissions, particularly their scope 3 emissions. Therefore as consumers we can often only make best guesses as to which brands and products are the most sustainable choice. Changing plastic packaging is however a very obvious difference for customers, because we see the difference in where our waste goes. So as a customer I do like seeing brands moving to products that aren’t plastic, or at the very least using plastic that is easily curbside recycled. Many beauty brands have a long way to go before their products are easily recycled, but Trilogy is one of the brands who have made an effort to change this. So long story, short, I love Trilogy skincare products and appreciate that they are trying to make the brand more eco-friendly. What’s your opinion on this? Do you have a weird plastic spatula pile, or is it just me? #trilogy #trilogyskincare #discovertrilogy #lovealinta
    4 months ago
    View on Instagram |
    9/9

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