When I was a kid I really wasn't enthusiastic about mangoes. In fact, they kind of repulsed me. I didn't like the smell, the texture, the fibers getting caught in my teeth. I also didn't like how high maintenance they were to eat. I mean, what a thin layer to peel. Come on, now! The Grrl, on the other hand, was obsessed with them. I never understood it.
Then, more than 15 years later, I got pregnant. When I found out I was pregnant, I anticipated the stereotypical cravings like pickles (I craved olives instead. In fact, one day I drank straight up olive juice. ewww.), marshmallows with potato chips, and ice cream with cheese. Instead, I craved oatmeal, which I loathe, and...MANGOES! Can you believe it?! Out of all the things I could crave, I wanted the fruit that made me gag. Actually, now that I think about it, it could have been worse: I could have craved PAPAYA, ewww. Anyway, ladies and gentlemen, I could not get enough mangoes to satisfy my hankering. I would eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While passing through the kitchen, I would pick a mango up and caress and smell the skin. I would warn the mango of what I plotted to do with it. Seriously, my lust for mangoes was outrageous. Every time Queen Fierce visited me, I would put in an order for a box of mangoes, and she would graciously satisfy my demands. When I succumbed to the temptation to eat one, I would go barbaric on the fruit. I would savagely take a knife to the tender skin, and brutishly peel the thin skin away. When a piece of skin took some mango meat with it, I would stop what I was doing and rip the meat away with my teeth until I got all of the juicy goodness. The juice would drip down my hands, wrists, elbows, and I would lick my entire arm so that nothing went to waste. It was really not attractive, but definitely orgasmic. Mmm, mangoes.
Interestingly, unlike my craving for oatmeal (The minute I had Cheeks, my aversion to oatmeal returned.), my love for mangoes stayed with me. Now, if anything says "mango" I immediately perk up, pay attention, and salivate. So, when I read Vanessa's, from NessasaryMakeup, review on California Mango Mango Mend, my eyes twitched. The next time I was at Sally's beauty supply, I immediately grabbed it and put it in my basket.
California Mango Mango Mend is a "skin, cuticle, and nail treatment balm" (from the jar). It provides immediate moisture, shine, and smoothness. I really do like this balm for my feet. Not so much for my hands. This balm is not heavy, but it is greasy. I would describe it as a solid, gel-like petroleum jelly (petroleum jelly is in the ingredients, but it isn't at the tippy top). When I opened the jar, the consistency immediately reminded me of a water-based, clear hair shine pomade. However, it is much softer in density. A little goes a long way for this balm, and the smell is powerful. Unfortunately for me, the smell reminds me more of papaya (ewww) than of mango, but, again, I do like what it does for my feet so I overlook the misnomer.
So after my showers, I sit down, dip my index finger in the jar and take out a dollop of balm. Then, I smear it all over the sole of my feet and proceed to massage it in. My feet instantly feel a lot softer, and the bothersome dry spots cease to exist until I put my feet in a pair of sandals that causes a lot of friction. When I put this balm on at night, regardless of shower or not, the smoothness and moisture last until the next day, and this is without socks. It is such a relief to not hear my feet rubbing against each other or getting caught on my sheets. Now, my feet aren't super bad. I exfoliate them regularly and I moisturize every day. So I don't know how this would be with severely dry feet. However, this balm is excellent at providing quick moisture and maintaining soft and smooth feet.
As far as cuticles are concerned, it provides the necessary moisture, but I find that the balm is a bit much on the hands simply because it doesn't absorb quickly and the smell is quite strong. What I do is that I just rub in the remaining amount of balm into my cuticle and hands after moisturizing my feet, which doesn't last long because then I wash my hands to handle Cheeks. I do notice that if I use it regularly on my hands, I get less hang nails. However, I just can't get over the greasy feeling.
So, would I recommend this balm? Well, if you are happy with the creams and things that you already have for your cuticles and feet, than stick with that. If you are ready to try something to soothe your light to medium dry feet, then by all means try this product out. Just make sure you put some slippers on after putting this on your feet so that you don't leave greasy footprints all over the floor. Really, this is perfect for the nights when you want to moisturize and sock up your feet. The next morning, your feet will be like butter. In other words, this product is a "fun to have" as opposed to a "have to have" product.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (The smell is overwhelming, and it is greasy. However, it does work excellently well at smoothing, softening, and moisturizing your feet. The price is a little steep for what it is.)
Price: $7.99, 4 oz (a little goes a long, long way)
Where: Sally's beauty