I have always loved reading/watching other people’s empties posts. After finishing a product, especially a full-size product, you really have a sense of how the stuff works and, perhaps more importantly, how it works over time. Since I have not really talked about hand and nail care here before, I decided this would be the way I do it. I know that there are a few things I forgot to save for this post, like empty bottles of my standard nail polish remover, and some things that are missing, like the empty tin of the cuticle balm I make myself, but other than that this is a fairly complete list.
Color4Nails Rejuvenating Cuticle Oil in Mango Pomegranate
I really enjoyed this cuticle oil! It absorbed fairly quickly and with regular use I was hangnail and crusty, dusty cuticle-free. A note about absorption: I do not use a ton of cuticle oil per application. I use one, maybe two clicks for my ten nails and apply a little light swipe to the base of each nail and rub it in. I have seen nail care videos where people really slather it on; I’m sure it’s nice for your nails, but I can’t live like that and for me it has been effective enough to just use a tad. More cost-effective too! The scent was more mango than pomegranate, which was fine by me because I love mango-scented things. The only thing that really annoyed me about this cuticle pen was that the ingredients are not listed anywhere on the label, you have to go online to find the complete list.
The Body Shop Vanilla Chai hand cream
I am not a huge lover of this line of The Body Shop’s hand creams. They feel almost like using a regular lotion and need to be reapplied after every handwashing. I prefer hand creams with a little more staying power; ones that seem to “heal” my hands and do not require ten applications a day to work. The Vanilla Chai scent was weird, some days I liked it and most days I did not. It had this almost menthol-like quality to it and was stronger that I want a scented hand cream to be. I will not be repurchasing any more of these style of hand creams and would not buy anything in the Vanilla Chai scent if it comes back.
The Body Shop Sweet Almond Oil Nail Varnish Remover
This ridiculously expensive little bottle contains (well, contained) my favorite nail polish remover of all time! It works just as quickly as acetone but is acetone-free and it does not leave your nails and cuticles dried out! When I use regular polish remover I coat my cuticles and sides of my nails with sweet almond oil, but that does not prevent all the drying. This stuff does and I love it and I wish it was not being discontinued in the US (why does all the good stuff keep leaving us???). I scored a few remaining bottles recently and am going to be using them sparingly.
Nailtiques Formula 2
Everyone talks about this stuff and for me, it really worked. I used Nailtiques Formula 2 as a base coat for about a month straight and after used it every other manicure. My nails rarely peel now (they used to at least once a week) and when they do, it is the same three nails over and over again. I am seriously impressed! The bad thing about it for me is that it is a rather thin treatment and I have ridgy nails, so it did not always provide the smoothest surface as a base coat.
Soap and Glory Hand Food in scent Sugar Crush
Hand Food is one of my new favorite hand creams; it is rich and moisturizing, but absorbs fairly quickly. I only have to use it a couple times a day to keep my hands nice and soft. The Sugar Crush scent is a delicious sweet lime smell that is not overpowering at all; I could mostly just smell it while applying it. I have a couple more tubes of hand food and will probably repurchase this stuff in the future because it’s awesome and there are often good Soap and Glory sales.
Zoya Get Even Ridge Filling Basecoat
I used Zoya Get Even for a lot of my swatches, but I am not overly impressed with it. The brush is impeccable and the formula applies nicely, but it does not really self-level all that well. It was thick so it did not settle in my ridges, but it still never dried completely smooth. It also was a bit stubborn during removal, often I would be scrubbing long after my polish came off to remove all traces of base coat from my nails. This would be a good one to use under polishes you think might stain. I won’t be buying it again.
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat
I liked Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat at first because it does indeed dry your polish quickly. The consistency is thinner so you cannot use it over glitters or to mask a polish that dries more unevenly. Wear time was average, I mostly got chipping by the third day of wear which is what I get with pretty much everything (since I usually only wear a polish for 3-4 days I am not that good of keeping track of how long things last on my nails). One thing I hated about this was how quickly it thickened on me! No amount of polish thinner seemed able to save it either. There is still a significant amount of top coat left in the bottle but I completely gave up after putting in what seemed like half a bottle of thinner. I won’t be repurchasing, there are too many other quick-dry top coats to try and if this turns out to be the best of them, it will be a sad day.
Have you ever used any of these products? Would love to know what you think!