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Grape Cuticle Treatment

I read this in an old copy of Fitness magazine (April 2009), and I can’t wait to try it! It’s a simple homemade recipe for a nail and cuticle treatment:

Ingredients:
5 grapes (red ones are packed with more antioxidants than green)
1 tablespoon sugar
Grapeseed oil or hand cream

Directions:
1. Slice grapes in half widthwise
2. Dip the fleshy side into the sugar and use it to massage the skin around each nail (one halved grape per finger) for about 30 seconds each.
3. Brush away excess sugar with a soft towel and rub a dot of grapeseed oil or hand cream onto hands and cuticles.

The sugar crystals remove dead skin and hangnails, and the gentle fruit acids help exfoliate remaining raggedness.

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Sally Hansen Dry Kwik Nail Color Dryer

I love the look of well-manicured nails, but I hate all that sitting around waiting for the polish to dry. I decided to try out Sally Hansen Dry Kwik Nail Color Dryer, which promises to make “nails dry to the touch in just one minute”.

After applying nail polish, I let the polish dry for one minute, as instructed, then brushed Dry Kwik over the nail color and my cuticles.

True enough, the nail polish is dry to the touch very quickly, but definitely not smudge-proof. I wouldn’t recommend doing anything with your hands, even after using this product, but it does dry the top of the nail color just enough to let you move around and not worry about rubbing the polish off or destroying your manicure by accidentally bumping into something.

If you are in a hurry, this is a great product, and I will give it 4 stars out of 5 for doing exactly what it says it does. However, it does not protect your manicure, can give nail color a dull film instead of the shine of a top coat, and shortens the life span of a manicure by letting it chip easily.

When I want a manicure to last longer than a day or so, I’ll stick with a good top coat and find a good book until it is dry. When I want pretty color, fast, without sitting around waiting for it to dry enough for me to move around, then Dry Kwik is great.

Hands

After a week or two of manual labor in the yard and packing box upon box, as well as moving furniture around, today’s topic is more than relevant to me: taking care of your hands. Your hands will be one of the first parts of your body to show your age if you don’t take care of them. Here are some tips I stole from About.com:

* Wear a high SPF sunscreen on the backs of your hands every day, even in winter and on cloudy days.

* Wear gloves every time you wash dishes or handwash clothing.

* Use a mild pH soap when washing your hands.

* Put lotion on your hands after you wash them, every time!

* Always wear gloves when you garden or do heavy housework.

* Wear gloves to protect your hands from cold weather.

* Get manicures from reputable spas or nail salons that practice good sanitation.

One very easy and quick thing I do is, after applying facial moisturizer (with SPF, of course), I rub the excess onto the backs of my hands. I keep hand cream in my desk drawer at work and under the sink next to the dishwashing soap. The spa manicure will have to wait until after the move is finished, but I assure you, it’s on the to-do list!