This is such an awesome idea and it worked just as well. We painted our toes yesterday and we did one set without and one set with aquaphor and it worked so good. I have to say though, aquaphor is not cheap. I know you can buy a small bottle that would be cheaper and you do not need a lot, it goes a long ways. We are lucky because we have dry skin in our home so we have a large thing around all of the time. The only other downside is that it leaves your toes kind of slimy but you could let it soak in or wash it off. Either way this worked perfect. I love when something works the way it says it will!! I am sure you could use vaseline as a cheap alternative but it would leave more of a mess on your toes.