If you’ve read any of my previous nail-related posts here, you’ll probably know that my cuticles are the bane of my life. OK, that’s not totally true: The Others are the REAL bane of my life. My cuticles are almost as annoying, though. They are long. They are dry. They are ragged. They grow so quickly that I can push them back one day, and they’ll be threatening to take over my hands two days later. They’re the reason you’ll rarely see any of those “hands clutching a bottle of nail polish” shots on this blog, because my cuticles are such an embarrassment to me that I rarely ever WEAR nail polish, let alone take close-up photos of the stuff. I mean, perish the thought!
I did, however, post one such shot on Instagram last weekend, and if you’re looking for someone to blame for that, you can blame the folks at Butter London, whose Cuticle Miracle Kit allowed me to feel la little bit better about the state of my nails. Not so much better that I’m going to take up nail art or anything like that, of course, but enough that I didn’t feel the need to walk around with my nails curled into my palms, like I normally do, because yes, my cuticles are THAT bad, seriously.
Now, as you can see, this little kit cost me £16. This was kind of a big deal for me, because despite the fact that it was described as a “miracle”, I had very little faith at all that it would actually work. Well, nothing else has, so why would this be any different? I decided to press ahead with the purchase anyway, though, because honestly, I was desperate. I’d also read a number of reviews from people who absolutely RAVED about Melt Away, claiming that it really was an OMGMIRACLE. “You brush it on,” the reviews all said breathlessly, “and the next thing you know, the cuticles are gone, AS IF BY MAGIC!”
Look, I’m not proud of this, but I’m a complete and utter sucker for claims like that. You know all those weird products you see on infomercials, that you look at and think, “Who on earth buys this crap?” THIS GIRL, that’s who. And even although I don’t actually believe in any of the claims, there’s always a tiny little part of my tiny little brain which secretly thinks I’ll look like Keira Knightley if I just buy the right face cream. It’s a life of constant disappointment, seriously.
Anyway, I ordered the kit and started using it as soon as I’d freed it from its cardboard prison. First I tried the Melt Away Cuticle Eliminator, of “brush it on, wait for miracle to happen,” fame. The deal here is that you apply it to your cuticles, wait a couple of minutes, then gently push them back with an orange stick or similar, and POOF! Cuticles be gone!
Yeah, not so much.
This product DID work, but I’ll be honest: it took multiple applications – at least half a dozen, I’d say – for the cuticles to be “eliminated” (Which sounds so sinister, don’t you think?), and in the meantime they looked pretty rough. Rougher than usual, I mean. After each application, I’d diligently push them back, and sure enough, SOME of the cuticles would come away with the product itself, but not enough for me to fall to my knees and proclaim that a miracle had taken place. In other words, the cuticles didn’t so much MELT away as they grudgingly were FORCED away, muttering as they went about how this was SO UNFAIR and how they would NEVER FORGIVE ME. In defence of the product, however, I can’t stress enough that mine are not your average cuticles. They’re super-stubborn, and were in a really terrible state to begin with, so I would imagine that if you were a normal person, with nice, normal nails, you’d probably have much better luck with this.
After each application of Melt Away, I would follow up with a dose of the Handbag Holiday Cuticle Oil, which is basically the Good Twin to Melt Away‘s Evil Twin:
I have no idea what this has to do with handbags, or, indeed, holidays, because it’s actually a cuticle oil (Is it hard to think about holidays/handbags without thinking about cuticle oil? You tell me…), and a pretty good one at that. Once Melt Away has done the dirty work, and the cuticles are cowering in the corner, shaken and terrified, Handbag Holiday steps in to make reassuring noises and sooth them with a nice, nourishing oil treatment. I loved Handbag Holiday: it smells a bit like sun oil (Aaaah! All becomes clear!) and it leaves the cuticles looking smoother and healthier, which is exactly what it claims to do.
As for Melt Away : well, despite the fact that it took me quite a few applications to notice any real difference, the difference I DO notice at the end of that process is enough that I would probably re-purchase it once this bottle runs out. The good thing about that, however, is that I actually can’t imagine it ever actually running out: the photos on this post were taken after I’d used both of these products multiple times (And, in the case of Handbag Holiday, multiple times PER DAY), but as you can see, I’ve barely made a dent in them. So they’re expensive, yes, but I can’t see me having to purchase them all that often, which makes it easier for me to justify the cost. My cuticles are still far from perfect, but they’re MUCH better than they were before I started using this, and it’s definitely the best cuticle product I’ve tried (I speak here as the veteran of many, many failed attacks on my cuticles, with many different products), so I’m considering it a success, if not a bona fide miracle.
These two products are normally around £13 – £16 each, but if you buy them together as part of this kit, you effectively get two for (almost) the price of one: I got mine here.