Essie Treat Love & Color : Review & Wear Test (Does it work?!)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 5 comments
My nails need some major TLC!

Ever since I heard about the new line of nail strengtheners by Essie called Treat Love & Color (TLC for short) I had been dying to try one out. I have always struggled with nails that are brittle and break easily and peel. I've tried base coats like Essie Millionails, OPI Nail Envy and Orly Nailtrition. None of them helped my nail situation at all. I wasn't sure if this new Treat Love & Color line would help or not, but I was willing to give it a shot.

I picked up this sheer white one called Treat Me Bright. It has some blue shimmer reflects in it that look really pretty. Essie says the reflects help to optically brighten. They also claim that you will "experience stronger nails: 60% less peeling and 35% less breakage in one week". That's quite the claim! While I've seen tons of swatches of this line on blogs, I haven't seen anyone report back to say if they actually work or not. Since Essie says I'll see a difference in one week, I'm going to test out this shade for a week on my nails and see what happens. 

Here are my nails without polish. They are slightly stained, very dry and brittle. The tip of my pointer isn't looking so great especially. Looks like I will start to get some peeling soon.

You can really see the peeling on my right hand. My thumb and middle finger are peeling but ESPECIALLY that pointer finger. It's peeled as long as I can remember (years maybe even). That top layer has never fused to the bottom layer and grown out normally.

Treat Me Bright

I loved applying this! It has the same wide curved brush as the gel coutures. I really hope Essie switches ALLL it's polishes to this brush. It's really quick to apply and dried quickly as well. It has a very sheer whitish tint with very fine purpley blue shimmer that reflects. It makes my nails looks nicer than when they are bare, so I'm really hoping it improves the dry, brittle texture.
This is 3 coats. Natural but shiny and healthy.


...a week later

During the week of wearing TLC my nails looked really dainty and pretty. I loved the look so much I included it in my February Favourites. Chips aren't noticeable because it isn't a strong colour, so you can get away with a few chips before you have to take it off and reapply. During the week, my nails went through a couple small breaks. One of them was while buckling a seatbelt, and I didn't even do anything to warrant it! Ugh, so annoying. That's how brittle and prone to breaking my nails are. I had only been wearing TLC for a few days, so I knew I couldn't expect it to magically make them stronger in that short of time. Luckily it was just the corner of my pointer finger, so I just rounded the nail out.

After a full week of wearing TLC, my nails definitely look and feel less dry.

You can still see the peeling on my right hand middle, pointer and thumb, but for that to go away the top layer would have to fuse to the other layers and grow back. Those nails have looked like that for years, so I think it will take a miracle to fix them!
While I think my nails look and feel better after one week, the only way for me to tell you if Treat Love & Color really works to strengthen and prevent peeling and breakage is to wear it another week.  I generally get at LEAST one break a week, so if there's none at all after another week of wear, I'd say this stuff does what it says it does. I'm also going to cross my fingers that they stop peeling but I'm not going to get my hopes up on that one.

...another week later

Ok guys. Truth time.

I've worn this polish for 2 weeks straight and I gotta really works! Normally when my nails get to this length, I'm guaranteed to get a pretty significant break. That's just what I've come to expect, but I have had NO breaks this week! Just a couple hours ago, I accidentally closed a drawer pretty hard on my fingers. I thought for sure I would have two broken nails but the one nail was completely fine and the other nail just had this tiny little itsy bitsy chip.
I filed that away in two seconds. If this was two weeks ago, that would have broken all the way across and I'd have had to file all my nails down short. I'm honestly shocked that my nails were strong enough to withstand a serious break.

Here's what my bare nails look like after 2 weeks of TLC:
On my right hand, there's still peeling on my pointer and thumb but my middle finger actually looks better! A week ago there was peeling on my middle finger and now...NONE! I did not expect TLC to fix my peeling in 2 weeks. I thought if it fixed it at all it would take months but I do see some improvement which is amazing.

My nails overall look and feel less dry. They are definitely healthier and I would say they are stronger too since I should've had a break by now!
left hand
If you look at the before of my left hand and think that the tips of my nails are just dirty, I will tell you they aren't. They are perfectly clean, they are just weak and stained and the parts where they are darker is where they are thin and see through. This stuff genuinely improved my nails.

My right hand is the most improved! I still can't believe I don't have peeling on my middle finger anymore. They overall look sooooo much better and healthier.
right hand
I told myself I wouldn't buy any more of these unless they worked, so I'm definitely picking up all of them now! I found the pink one "Sheers to You" and the purple one "Laven-Dearly" at my local Shopper's Drug Mart, but I saw a peach one called "Tinted Love" on I ordered it this morning. As soon as it gets here I will swatch them all and post it (hopefully later this week). I'm so excited about these results! My friend Olivia (@essiebuff) said she's been wearing her Treat Love & Color's as base coats under nail polish, so I will also be trying that out as well. I want to keep up these results!

Cheers to Essie for giving my nails the TLC they needed!


  • Mrs W said...

    Yes!! I'm so glad these are working out for you! I have three nails that are constantly peeling but I don't want to give up wearing colors so I just keep them short and use a ridge filler, but if these work as a base coat too, I'm going to have to pick them up. Thanks for your thorough reviews, they are much appreciated!! :)

  • Abbi Crutchfield said...

    Do you think maybe the secret to reduced splitting could have been using less acetone since you are conducting a wear test and not swatching over and over? Creating a false positive for the nourishing properties? Just wonderin'.

  • MFB said...

    oh thanks so much for this review. i was a nail biter and two and a half months ago i got gel nails and refiled them since then. Yesterday I got them of cause my nails were grown out but is still have weak nails so my nail studio had to cut off a lot and file them so the many layers go away. My nails are still very "lightly stained, very dry and brittle" and I bought the Essie Treat Love & Color tinted love (has a pink reflectit beautiful ) and wear it today. Good to know that TLC is working for you ( im a little skeptical about strengthener but I trust Essie ). Its going on a little bit patchy and you can see my nails and little cracks through the polish (should've ordered it in a other color?). I am wearing a base coat under it (is this wrong) and putting nail oil on the cuticles and nail every morning and nighttime. I really hope my nails improve and not breaking when i do sports ...
    Does anyone has tried my color and can say something about it
    I dont know if it is my nail or the color or if I'm applying it wrong :... so i am very exiting about your swatches :)
    Keep up the good work

  • Kindra said...

    Hi MFB,

    It's s sheer strengthened so you will see your nail through it. And don't use a base coat! The strengthened us in TLC and should be right on your nails. No top coat either. If you don't like the sheer look, Essie released some opaque TLC's in the U.S.

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