Cuticle Care

e.l.f. Essentials Nourishing Cuticle PenParents always bestow valuable advice more often than not on deaf ears. My mother told me time and time again that the neck and hands age the fastest and the signs are hardest to reverse. It took a quarter of a century of hearing the advice for me to start listening. Take a quick look at a passerby older than you. You can definitely tell a woman in her fifties from a woman in her twenties by looking at their hands, despite how good the face or figure.

Taking care of the neck is still much of a secret to me (where is that magical pillow that will prevent creases on my neck and face when I sleep?), but taking care of the hands has been proven to be an easier task. Lotion often, keep the digits warm, and take good care of your cuticles.

MyOwnJudge
A recent run to the dollar store in Manhattan (Jack's 99 cent store) brought me face to face with a plethora of e.l.f. jewels (and yes they were all a dollar). I had tried a lot of the products before, so I took a gander at the nail category. Say hello to the e.l.f. Essentials Nourishing Cuticle Pen!
MyOwnJudge
I'm used to cuticle pens coming with a brush applicator where you click the product out, like a lip gloss. Once the brush is full, you can apply it to several nails at a time before it runs out (your cuticle area isn't that big surface area wise). The more rigid pen applicator on this one allows for it to be a cuticle pusher as well. This is a cool trick to get the oils to all parts of the cuticle as well - when you push, it will seep in a bit under the nail.
MyOwnJudge
I have found that moisturizing the cuticles is the most optimal way to keep your nails looking great, prolonging your manicure, and keeping hangnails at bay. Cuticle care also prevents the hidden sting of wiping antibacterial lotion or alcohol on your hands (or nail polish remover when a manicure change is necessary).

On a side note: Remember that keeping hands at one warm temperature is best because of many reasons. First, it keeps the skin soft and supple. The varying temperatures may cause skin to crack, or worse, the blood vessels underneath to overreact (think about when your hands are freezing and turn splotchy when washing with warm water when inside). Also, when dry (can be from no moisturizing, but also very probable with cold) skin can crack and cause bleeding (then you have start the bacteria and germ worries). Preventing the skin from going back and forth between different stages is what also prevents wrinkles and aging - and you want to keep 'em guessing, don't ya?

Back to the cuticle pen. There are no vices to think of.
-It costs a dollar.
-It's great for travel and doesn't take up much space otherwise (stick it in your pen cup so that you can soften up after writing!).
-It has four natural oils to keep the cuticles soft.
-The pen doubles as a cuticle pusher.
-The applicator pen versus brush allows for less mess opportunity.

The only question now is how long it lasts, and if the applicator dries up after a time.

When moisturizing cuticles, my favorite times to do so are before going to sleep - wash your face, remove makeup (and contact lenses if you're a wearer like me!), apply lotions and creams, then right before you hit the pillow, brush on some cuticle magic. By the time you start thrashing around, it'll seep in. Another good time? Before you start a self manicure (when you go to a salon, they should apply it all the time). Brush it on and give it five minutes or so to completely dry. If not dry, the oils may keep the polish from adhering all the way at the area by the cuticle.

Check out this video from e.l.f. about the pen:

What do you use for your cuticles?

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