By CATHI AYCOCK

That annoying tapping on the microphone followed by the phrase “testing, one, two, three”? I am eliminating that from your life.

At least from your beauty life.

I’m testing some of the newest beauty products and treatments and reporting back. (So you’ll know if said products and treatments will work for you.)

First up, a concealer and treatment to repair nails and hide nail damage.

Cutex BB Nail Concealer

It is a vicious cycle. I indulge in a gel manicure. After a week or so, I absentmindedly peel off gel. Peeling the gel lifts a portion of my nail. My nails are wrecked. I nix getting a manicure and endure ugly nails while waiting for the wrecked nails to grow out. Nails grow out and I indulge in gel manicure.

Cutex BB Nail Concealer helps strengthen nails and gives a concealer like coverage to cover–not highlight–wrecked nails. At drugstores everywhere.

I’m not sure I can stop the cycle, but there is a product that promises to hide the nail damage while healing and strengthening nails.

Cutex, a long time brand in the nail industry, is taking a page from other cosmetic products (undereye concealer and BB cream) to create a new nail product.

Called a BB (short for Beauty Balm) Nail Concealer, the promotional blurb claims the product helps heal nails and gives a wash of nude color that looks like a healthy nail bed.

Since my nails are micro-short and look like I manhandled a cactus without gloves, I want them to grow. But I also want them as inconspicuous as possible.

I apply one coat of the BB concealer on bare nails. (This product is meant to be worn sans basecoat or any other polish.)

The optics are good. My nails look clean and healthy. Not like a shiny French manicure, just like a natural nail.

Cutex says the nail version of a BB Cream has silk polymers infused in the product to provide an extra layer of strength while fragile nails grow. Necessary in my case since my nails are paper thin.

After a week of using the BB Nail Concealer (it chipped on a few nails and I touched up mid-week) my nails were on their way to growth.

I don’t think the product had any magical grow-grow juice, but I do think it helped bulk up my weak nails so they didn’t break as easily. And the nude color was a bonus since I pretty much had my ugly fingertips in witness protection and they were much less scary looking.

Cutex BB Nail Concealer is a good product if you need coverage and protection for your nails while growing them out. It doesn’t speed up the growing out process–it just makes it more bearable.