The thing about setting goals for yourself is that even the simplest ones end up requiring more work than you initially expect. I submit my ridiculously simple goal of painting my nails black as an example.
My hands currently have the texture of sandpaper -- it goes with the territory when you live with forced air heating and you have dishes to wash ALL FREAKIN' DAY (thanks a lot, kids!) -- so I diligently slather them with hand cream when I can.
But whenever I sat down to paint my nails (I mean, come on, it's not rocket science we're talking about here) it came out looking terribly, even tragically, wrong. I couldn't figure out why.
Eventually I realized that the problem was that my cuticles were ragged things and that no self-respecting manicurist would even attempt to paint nails in that sorry condition.
(I did not take pictures of my cuticles. You are welcome.)
So I did a little research online and found that there are two types of people in the world...of people who do their own nails: Lemony Flutter people and Sally Hansen people.
What camp would I fall in? I wanted to find out for myself, so I went shopping.
The contenders: Lush Lemony Flutter ($14.95) and Sally Hansen Cuticle Massage Cream ($5.49)
Lemony Flutter: The smell is very lemony, almost overwhelmingly so. It reminds me of dish soap. In fact, I was worried that it would hurt when I applied it -- like when you cut lemons and you have a hangnail. Ouch.
Sally Hansen: It has a very pleasant but plasticky apricot scent. It looks shiny in the tub, like those fingertip moisturizers that secretaries used when they had to sort paper, remember those?
Lemony Flutter: Easy to spread and very creamy. A little goes a long way, so you end up using it on dry spots everywhere -- on your elbows, heels -- anywhere you have awfully dry skin. Very nice. It's a little greasy at first, but it absorbs rather quickly.
Sally Hansen: When I first tried to take some out of the tub it wouldn't come out. It was like a solid mass of plastic! I don't know if it's too cold at my house (unlikely) or if I have old product (more likely) but I had to scrape some out and then really work it in. Not the end of the world, but annoying. And you end up with a solid piece when you're done, so I threw it out. It felt wasteful. However, I must say that once you have it on it's not as greasy as the Lush product and it feels very nice.
I wore both products overnight (on different hands) and both made my cuticles smooth and healthy looking overnight. So in that sense they are both winners. Yay!
However, how lame is a battle that lacks a winner? So I'm giving it to the Lemony Flutter because it's a better value (it costs less per ounce than the Sally Hansen and you can use it all over) and a more luxurious experience (it's made out of natural ingredients) -- whenever you have luxury and a bargain you have a winner. Good work, Lush.