2013 Best High-End Cuticle Treatment

Dior Abricot Fortifying Cream for Nails may be pricey, but it’s absolutely effective.  It has a creamy, almost tacky, consistency that makes it easy to spread across dry, cracking cuticles and nails.  You can start feeling your skin being lulled back into a state of smooth, hydrated bliss shortly after applying.

2013 Best Budget Cuticle Treatment

Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream is hydrating and soothing on dry cuticles and nails. It uses a combination of sweet almond oil, beeswax, vitamin E, and cocoa butter to do so. It smells like lemonade–sweet, lemony, but it’s not synthetic. There’s a little tartness still left, so it’s not cloyingly sweet. Because it doesn’t immediately dry down, it’s best used at night, which is what’s recommended, and I always wake up with hydrated, soothed cuticles (and wherever else I put it).  In a pinch, it can also help moisturize dry spots as well as smooth flyaways.

2013 Best High-End Quick Drying Coat

When I really need my polish to dry down in a hurry, Cult Nails Wicked Fast does a great of locking in my polish, giving me a shiny finish, and keep my polish from chipping.

2013 Best Budget Quick Drying Coat

Sally Hansen Insta-dri is a really nice quick-drying coat that cuts the drying time down quite a bit while also providing the added benefit of chip-resistance!  If there’s one brand that knows nail treatments and top/base coats, it’s Sally Hansen.

2013 Best High-End Top Coat

On a Clear Day dries quickly and leaves behind a beautiful, high-gloss shine.  It wears well and helps extend the life of my manicure!

2013 Best Budget Top Coat

If you want ultra-shine, Seche Vite is perfect. It gives nails a beautiful, fresh, and shiny look.  It’s a thicker top coat, so it also works well for evening out the surface of bumpy polishes (like when you’ve layered glitter over a base color).  It helps keep nails looking fresh and shiny, and it also helps prevent chipping.