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With the first few cold days of fall came cracked and brittle nails. I was putting off getting a professional manicure as long as possible, though I was convinced it would be the only thing to save my nail beds. In this mindset of procrastination, I decided to browse my local Sephora on a hunt for cuticle cream. That's when I came across the ultimate nail kit: Deborah Lippmann's Cuticle Lab – Nail Treatment Set.

The $45 kit was an investment but, with my hands looking like I'd been moonlighting as a dishwasher, I thought it was worth it. The kit came with four items: Cuticle Remover, The Pusher, Cuticle Oil, and The Cure.

When I got home I opened the kit and started following the step-by-step guide. First, I applied the Cuticle Remover liberally where the skin meets the nails. The cream loosened and softened my dry cuticles, all without harsh chemical smells (the entire kit is paraben and sulfate free). I then took The Pusher and, using the arched end, pushed back my cuticles. Because they were softened from the Cuticle Remover, this process was easy and pain free.

Then I moved onto the most important part for my dry, cracked cuticles: hydration. You'll only need a drop of the Cuticle Oil to instantly moisturize and soothe even the thirstiest digits. Once applied, I simply massaged the oil in thoroughly.

Finally, I applied The Cure. It is a super nourishing repair cream that takes hydrating seriously. It's packed with vitamins and nutrients made specifically for cuticles. The pros at Deborah Lippmann suggest using the cream as needed to maintain softness and prevent dryness.

After following this routine and applying The Cure daily for two weeks, my nails look like I just came from the nail salon. They have never looked so healthy and well maintained. Winter isn't going to wreck my nails this year.