Cuticle Oil & Pedicures

Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil

This is a legacy post that I’ve given a facelift. Content is the same but may have been edited for clarity, flow, and with some thoughts from 2017.

In retrospect, this seems really obvious. Maybe it already occurred to you, but it only occurred to me recently.

Good Riddance to the Remnants

I was removing the remnants of my last DIY pedicure (China Glaze I’m With the Lifeguard; a delightfully obnoxious shimmery lime green). I didn’t do a full pedicure with callus removal, but I did file the nails into a more respectable shape and length, gently bullied the cuticles back to where they ought to be, and cleaned up the errant bits of the eponychium.

Normally, at this point, I’d throw an AHA lotion on them (like Alpha Hydrox’s 10% lotion), some cotton socks, and go to bed.

2017 Update: I don’t bother with an AHA lotion for my feet anymore with my foot care routine. Instead, I just use any thick lotion I have lying around – right now, that’s this Hawaiian Tropic After Sun lotion. It smells like lime and coconuts and summer – which is great when October is in denial about what season it should be.

Cuticle Oil + Pedicure = No Brainer

This time, I skipped the lotion because (lazy moment) it wasn’t in arm’s reach. Instead, I slapped some of my Josie Maran Argan Oil Light on them, massaged it in, and went about my evening.

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Amope Pedi Perfect Wet and Dry

Amope Pedi Perfect Wet and DryAmope Pedi Perfect Wet and Dry

Do you feel like you have more disappointing nail salon memories than relaxing, majestic ones? I know I do! The natural solution, of course, is is to take matters into my own hands – literally. For me, the biggest parts of a pedicure are correcting my eponychium and cuticles and reducing my calluses. Over the years, I’ve used plenty of products: rasps, Ped-Egg-type solutions, those horribly scary Credo blades, pumice stones, Mr. Pumi bars (which are pretty nice for mild cases and daily upkeep). A few years ago, my husband got me a ridiculous powertool shockingly good, albeit occasionally awkward-to-use motorized callus buffer. It is FANTASTIC! (yeah, caps and exclamation points) at removing the bulk of thick, unwanted calluses, but it can leave things uneven in its wake. That’s where the Amope Pedi Perfect Wet and Dry comes in. 

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November 2015 Favorites

November 2015 FavoritesNovember 2015 Favorites
1. Les Mirages File, $1 / 2. Thera Tears Eye Drops, $9
3. Dr Scholls Paraffin Bath, $40 / 4. Ponds Luminous Finish BB+, $10

Honestly, I haven’t been too focused on my own beauty-related pursuits this month simply because my plate has been relatively full. Keep reading for details on my November 2015 Favorites!

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Tip2Toe Electric Callus Tool

I am a fan of flip-flops.

Seriously, you don’t know. I wore them in the winter until I moved somewhere Truly Snowy in the Winter (and have since wised up). I have a $50 pair of Rainbows and they are joy.

(I never claimed to be fashionable.)

Tip2Toe - Box

Anyway, as a result of being flip-flop-focused, I need to pay a little more attention to pedicures. Last Christmas, my husband got me a Tip2Toe Electric Callus tool (knowing my pedi-obsession) from Amazon. It is a high-powered (and I do mean high) electric rotary tool that you use to buff dead skin from your feet. I had actually considered just getting a dremel (not because my feet are atrocious, but because I’m lazy) – but I couldn’t figure out what grit(s) would be safe to use.

The Tip2Toe has a long cord with a GFI switch at the plug (like a hairdryer) to protect you – like I said, this sucker is high powered. You need to be very careful or you will hurt yourself. To use it, you attach its little, yellow, proprietary buffing discs (it comes with a few)…

Tip2Toe - Disc

After soaking your feet to soften them (or, you know, showering – that’s usually fine), you can go to work. It works. It smooths them, but for me, didn’t remove the excess like I so desired. I am anti-Credo blade, anti-grater. But then, I figured it out!

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June 2014 Favorites

Beauty Skeptic - June 2014 Favorites

June 2014 Favorites
Million Dollar Tan Cabana Tan $20 / bareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara $18
Aussie 3-Minute Miracle $4 / KMS Hair Play Makeover Spray $20 / Gena Callus Off $10


1. Because I don’t tan in beds or outside any longer, I need to fake it (especially because I’m not trying to look washed out in an ivory gown). I’m going to have a lot of pictures taken soon, so I needed it to be convincing and not a pain to deal with, either. I bought a bottle of Million Dollar Tan’s Cabana Tan and Cabana Tan Extreme lotions a while back after some recommendations were made to me. I’m pretty happy with it and plan to have a post up soon. In addition to their lotion products, Million Dollar Tan carries spray and mousse versions, which you can find here.

2. The original bareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara is my holy grail mascara (so far, anyway). I often go without because $18 for something that you need to replace so frequently is too much for me – but I snagged two (one regular, one waterproof) when Ulta had them half off as a part of 21 Days of Beauty event this spring. It does on sale on the bareMinerals website, too, every now and then, but if you don’t care about it being on sale you can get it there, Ulta, or Sephora.

3. The original 3-Minute Miracle (“Moist Deeeeep Conditioner”) is my favorite conditioner, period. More than I loved the Tigi Moisture Maniac conditioner, and this is a hell of a lot cheaper. They have new versions of it now, too, but I haven’t tried them yet. You can get it at drugstores, mass merchants, online – pretty much anywhere, this is very accessible.

4. Got a sample-size can of this Dry Shampoo with from a Gift with Purchase bag and it is easily the best dry shampoo I have ever tried. One or two short bursts takes care of my whole scalp, it is not strongly scented at all, it feels nice, ugh. So good. Alas, with a $20 price tag, I’ll be stretching my sample and ultimately sticking with Psssst! unless I can find it on sale. (You can get the travel size for $7, however). I could only find it at Ulta.

5. Credo blades aren’t safe and daily pumice stone use only get you so far. Despite my DIY pedicure efforts, sometimes you have to break out the big guns. This is also carried at Sally Beauty as well as a similar product that is slightly cheaper (haven’t tried this brand though). Be careful not to leave it on too long, and be both grossed out and amazed by what it does to stubborn calluses.

Disclosure: Hey! Some of the links in this June 2014 Favorites post are affiliate links (not all of them, of course) – this means I may get a very small percentage of the sale if you decide to buy something. I only recommend products I’ve tried and verified as awesome, which is kind of the point of a favorites post. Ethical blogging FTW.