Saturday, April 6, 2013

A to Z Challenge: Fingernails

For the past year or so, I have been enamored with nail polish. This is a shocking development to a lot of the people who know me, because I'm not considered what many might call a "girly girl." I enjoy wearing skirts, but not too often. I like to wear makeup, but I don't collect it. But nail polish? Let's just say I have an unhealthy addiction to nail polish.

This particular post isn't about nail polish itself, though, because if I did everything I know and love about nails at once I would be typing for hours, and I'm only slightly exaggerating. So this particular post will cover what I like to call the meat and potatoes of painting your nails: your cuticles.

Without your cuticles in good shape, a good base coat and a decent top coat, even the best manicure is liable to go haywire on your fingertips. Cuticle maintenance is crucial to keeping the polish from flooding into the skin around your nails, and if your cuticles get raggedy, it will throw off even the most professionally-painted manicure.

I have never been a fan of anything-oil on my fingers. I type a lot as part of my job, and I don't like feeling oily, sticky or any sort of residue: I can barely tolerate lotions! So when I went to Sally Beauty in search of something to keep my cuticles soft, I was surprised to discover that something for cuticles existed that wasn't even in the form of an oil.

Ain't she a beaut?
The "All Season Professional Cuticle Conditioning Stick" took me by surprise. The good folks at Sally keep them in a small rack by the register, so they are understandably easy to miss. But they were the only thing there that was for cuticles and not A) in a giant package/bottle or B) a liquid. Clocking in at $5.45, it wasn't a cheap choice, but it wasn't an expensive one either. I decided to take a chance (it helps that I was able to use my $10 off birthday coupon that day!) and see what unfolded.

This product truly blew me away. It smells divine, for starters - I purchased the vanilla version, but it also comes in a pomegranate. Additionally, it's about as big a tube of Soft Lips lip balm, so you can throw it in your bag and carry it anywhere. I don't know about you, but the notion of carrying around a bottle of slick, slippery cuticle oil in my bag makes me too nervous to even fathom it. I keep it in my purse, on my keyboard at my desk, and everywhere in between. It makes it easy and downright fun to soften up your cuticles, with hardly any effort on your part!

Cuticle care is often overlooked because it's a discouraging process that tends to make people moan that they don't have time for it. The ability to care for my cuticles while typing at my desk at work has increased my ability to look after them tenfold: I'm much more cuticle-conscious than I ever was before, now! The tube will go a long way, of course, as you're using barely any each time you use it. The only thing I would say is be careful of using it in the summer months, when it gets very hot: like all balmy substances, it might melt a bit in the tube if you leave it in the heat for too long. Go ahead, get conditioning!


  1. Oh I couldn't agree more!! I have a really bad habit of picking at my cuticles so they have a tendency to always look ratty! But I stopped biting my nails! I mean there's got to be a trade off somewhere, right?

    But, the silver lining? If I keep my nails painted then I don't pick at my cuticles!

  2. Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream is great too! I got mine at Walgreens for $5.99. I really like it! It's not heavy, not oily, and has a summery smell to it!