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I absolutely love the smell of almonds and as I often neglect my nails somewhat I usually have one of the Body Shop Almond Nail and Cuticle oil in my handbag- for the occasions where I get a few minutes and my nails are in desperate need of some tlc. The Almond Nail and Cuticle oil is almost like a pen with a brush tip and the lip has one of the cuticle tools for gentle pushing back cuticles. To release the product you simply twist the end and it is then dispensed via the brush for you to apply to both nails and cuticles. The pen contains 1.8ml of product and currently is reduced to £5.25 on the Bodyshop website or you can purchase in one of the their stores. This smells absolutely heavenly and is a very natural almond scent, rather than smelling too perfumed or manufactured. The oil itself is quite thick for an oil but is very easily to apply it absorbs very quickly into both nails and cuticles. It really does provide my nails and cuticles with some much needed tlc. I find that the pen lasts for quite a long time, and many many uses. Its very easy to use on the go and the pen style is very easy to slip into your handbag. I highly recommend this, and one can always be found in my handbag. However at full price this is £7 so is quite expensive compared to some of the other products available, however for its ease of use, how quickly it is absorbed and the beautiful scent I do think it is worth this. This review also appears on CIAO under the same username.
I enjoy shopping at The Body Shop and always take advantage of the special offers and discounts that they have on regularly. That was how I came to purchase the Almond Nail and Cuticle Oil Pen. At full price it costs £7 but I paid, on estimate, £3-34 which I feel is much more reasonable! This pen is part of the Almond hand range which also includes a hand cream, a hand wash and an intensive hand butter. As the name suggests, it is pen-like in appearance with an angled lid that comes off to reveal a brush very like the concealer brush you get with Touche Eclat and similar products. The pen has the almond range colours of cream and light brown to fit in with the rest of the range. The pen is described as a two-in-one pen which "softens cuticles while caring for dry, brittle nails". It contains sweet almond oil, Vitamin A and Vitamin E, and Community Fair Trade soya oil, Community Fair Trade olive oil and Community Fair Trade beeswax. The soya oil comes from organic, non-GM soya beans grown in southern Brazil via traditional farming methods. This provides a regular income for the Capanema farmers of the area. It's good to know that The Body Shop are still maintaining an interest in their ethical heritage even though they are now owned by L'Oreal. The pen is supposed to be moisturising and is meant to tidy cuticles. To use, you are meant to twist the cap to dispense the oil and brush it onto your cuticles. You should then put the cap back on and using the tool gently push down your cuticles. It is described by The Body Shop as the second step in their Almond hand care regime: presumably the first step is washing and the third is moisturising. The oil has a pleasant almond scent, which however is very subtle and easily masked by a hand cream. The oil has the general texture and consistency of baby oil; it can be slightly greasy so I stuck to using the pen at night time. It was easy enough to apply the oil and rub it in. I then used the end of the lid to push my cuticles back. I found this quite difficult as the end was so big. Most cuticle tools I have come across have been much smaller. In the end I gave up doing this. I applied my regular hand cream (usually Body Shop's Hemp Hand Cream) after applying this oil. The pen lasted for around two months before suddenly running out. One bad thing about it is that there was no warning of this - there is no way to tell how much you have left. Ultimately, I found that this product didn't actually do anything. My cuticles and nails didn't seem to be more moisturised or in better condition. Maybe this was because I only used it once a day - perhaps I should have used it more often. However, I couldn't do this as it was slightly greasy. In addition, the lid didn't really work to push back my cuticles, as it was too big. I can't really recommend this product as it didn't do anything for me. I have read good reviews though so maybe it works for some people - just not for me! In fairness it isn't too expensive if you use a discount code or voucher so it might be worth a try.
I suffer from very dry and ragged cuticles on my fingernails, which I tend to pick at so much that I make them bleed. A horrible habit that I have had for years and find difficult to shake off. The answer is obviously to moisturise my hands more thoroughly to prevent the hangnails from forming in the first place. After trying a vast range of super rich hand moisturisers which made very little difference, I eventually tried the Body Shop Almond Nail and Cuticle treatment ... and found that most of my problems had been instantly solved. ~~The Applicator~~ The Almond oil that forms such a major part of this treatment is dispensed through a very neat applicator, which contains 1.8ml of the oil. The applicator is shaped much like a pen, measuring 12.5cm, with a soft rubber cuticle pusher at one end to gently push back cuticles once the oil has been applied. A click-on transparent plastic lid covers the brush part of the applicator and creates a very tight seal so that no excess oil can escape onto clothes, etc. The opposite end to the brush head carries the mechanism that dispenses the oil. The whole top of the pen twists around and clicks, and when it clicks the oil is dispensed through a small hole so that it lands directly on the brush. This system is initially quite difficult to use, and there are no instruction to go with the applicator. At first I didn't even realise that I had to twist the pen, and was dabbing away at my nails ineffectually with a clean brush. Eventually I started to twist the end, but it is not until at least three turns have been completed that a substantial blob of oil arrives on the brush. The oil is not at all runny and forms a stable blob so that it is possible to apply evenly to all nails without running or mess. Once I realised that three twists are needed, I got on with the applicator very well. ~~The Treatment~~ I soon learned that one blob of oil is more than enough for all of my nails. My technique is to put a little oil on each nail initially and then spread the oil over each nail with the brush, making sure that the cuticles are saturated. You then have the choice of letting the oil dry and soak into the nails, or to massage the oil into your cuticles - either with the cuticle pusher or your finger tips. I prefer to let the oil dry onto my nails as it gives them a very healthy shine. The oil itself contains Vitamins A and E to help protect and improve nail condition. Although it mainly contains sweet almond oil in high levels, it also contains soya oil to moisturise. The Almond oil is rich in essential fatty acids, which help to restore the nails and protect against splitting and breaking, and the whole product has a lovely fragrant sweet smell which is very feminine. The oil takes about 10 minutes to soak into my nails unaided - but when I massage them with the cuticle pusher, the oil is absorbed after a couple of minutes. ~~Effectiveness~~ From the very first use I found this product to be the most effective treatment for my hangnails and dry cuticles that I have ever tried. Almost immediately my cuticles looked healthier and less dry, and with continued use my hands transformed into the neat and well tended things they used to be before I became a mother with her hands constantly in warm soapy water! I have found that the condition of my nails has also improved - the ridging that was starting to occur with age has lessened, and they have a healthy shine. ~~Ingredients~~ As this product comes from the Body Shop, none of the ingredients are tested on animals. In addition they are fairly traded. The Body Shop still embodies the ethical ideas of its founder Anita Roddick, emphasising plant- and herbal-based ingredients rather than synthetics, and using minimal packaging. ~~ Prunus amygdalus dulcis (Emollient), Lanolin (Emollient), Glycine soja (Emollient/Skin Conditioner), Olea europaea (Emollient), Triticum vulgare (Emollient), Vitis vinifera (Skin Conditioner), C10-30 Cholesterol/Lanosterol Esters (Skin Conditioning Agent), Cera Alba (Emulsifier/Emollient), Silica Silylate (Skin Conditioning Agent), Cocoyl Hydrolyzed Oat Protein (Skin Conditioning Agent), Tocopheryl Acetate (Antioxidant), Parfum (Fragrance), Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (Skin Conditioning Agent), Carthamus tinctorius (Emollient), Hexyl Cinnamal (Fragrance Ingredient), Equisetum hiemale (Natural Additive), Panthenol (Skin/Hair Conditioning Agent), Retinyl Palmitate (Skin Conditioning Agent), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, 3-Hydroxybenzoic Acid (Skin Conditioning Agent), Linalool ~~Price~~ The Almond Nail and Cuticle Treatment that I bought cost £7 from my local Body Shop store, but it is also available to buy online from the Body Shop website.
I bought this a little while ago as I was on a rare trip into the body shop, and thought I'd deserved a bit of luxury. At the time this cost around £7, which is more than I'd usually spend on a beauty product. However, the sales lady was adamant that I would not regret it, so there I was. When I got home, I had some initial trouble getting the oil to flow out of the pen. The brush bit on the end just wasn't filling itself with oil, but after some effort, I finally got it to work. This was achieved by turning the end of the pen until a big drop of oil was seen in the brush. This was plenty for an application on nails of both hands. After use, the lid goes on, and the lid can also be used to push back cuticles and to rub oil into the nail. This is a really nice touch in my opinion, as you have everything you need right there. The treatment smells absolutely gorgeous: a strong, nutty scent (which I imagine is thanks to the almond oil). It fades quite a bit over time but it's a really nice scent to have while doing your nails. Being oily, it doesn't rub in very well, which is fine if you're just cutting nails and pushing back cuticles, but I wouldn't advise applying nail polish immediately afterwards, or even before hands have been thoroughly washed as I don't feel it'd work well given the oil. Of course, washing it off kind of defeats the point! This stuff does soften cuticles and make them look healthier. I find it works best when applied after a cuticle scrub, and before pushing cuticles back gently. Nails themselves look shinier and healthier too, although the effect only lasts a day or so for the shine. After that, though I tend to polish over the top anyway, as the treatment has done its work on the cuticles. I really have noticed a difference, and I would therefore recommend it despite the price.