Whenever I think of cuticle oils, a couple of things come to mind…
1. Co-dependency, in how I feel like I always have to have a bottle within reach.
2. And PPs (translation: Purse Problems).
I couldn’t even venture to guess how many times I’ve mistakenly ruined a purse and all of the products within it by forgetting to tighten a bottle of cuticle oil. Ah, the sweet, sweet pain of opening a clutch, only to discover that your favorite NARS blush has been irreparably smothered in mango-scented cuticle oil…
For a long while I’d been using these handy-dandy clickable cuticle pens from Sephora. No muss, no fuss. And they worked just fine, but you know how it is to be a beauty nerd. I got bit by the itch to try something new.
That led me and my cuticles to a brand called Julep. The company — an indie brand based in Seattle with their own line of polishes, nail care products, nail salons and an upscale, eco-friendly vibe — squeezed their Essential Cuticle Oil into a convenient roller-ball.
And it’s genius!
To apply, just unscrew the cap, and guide the roller-ball along your cuticles. It’s kinda like writing with a ballpoint pen, only instead of ink, it distributes an oil with a lovely lavender scent. Then, after covering the area, I use my thumb to massage the oil in.
Besides preventing a mess, the roller-ball also makes it easy to control how much oil I use, so my fingers aren’t left feeling like I’ve dipped them in grease.
I came across Essential Cuticle Oil through Julep’s holiday Glowing Hands Gift Set ($48 for a $102 value), which, along with the oil, includes two polishes (sheer pink Jennifer and creamy red Catherine), a Glycolic Hand Scrub, a makeup bag and a crystal nail file.
It’s one of several holiday gift sets available now on the company’s website.
The set is by no means cheap, but it represents quite a bargain, when a bottle of Julep’s Essential Cuticle Oil regularly costs $18 by itself (and the polishes sell for $14 each). Looking at it that way, I think it’s a pretty good deal.
Swatches of Catherine (left) and Jennifer (right)
Just a few quick thoughts on the products…
I haven’t worn the polishes long enough to gauge their wear time, but I like how they swatch, coating the nail smoothly with a great deal of pigment (they remind me of Essie). They’re also formaldehyde-, toluene- and DBP-free.
As for the gentle Glycolic Hand Scrub and the Crystal Nail File, I like the idea of the scrub and its light citrus scent, but I think I prefer the rougher action of my homemade sugar-and-olive oil scrub. The nail file, on the other hand, seems sturdy and great, smoothing out nail bumps and edges in no time flat.
As we enter the holiday home stretch, it might be a little tough to get your cuticles on this or one of the other sets by the end of the week, but if you (or the lucky recipient) can wait, I think you’re in for a treat.
AVAILABILITY: Available at Julep nail salons and also online
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATINGS: A-
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,