Cutting Corners: Getting Your Nails Done

For my birthday last week, I wanted to get my nails done. I searched high and low for Groupons and Yelp reviews of places that did a good job and were inexpensive. I found a great Groupon (mani/pedi for $15) that ended up being ten years away— so far that the gas I’d have to pay to get there cost more than the savings I’d be getting. No deal.

So my search continued for a good nail salon. I finally found one in my neighborhood and was able to get my nails (hands and feet) painted for a whopping $14!

I am a cheapo  spendthrift. I like to save money and will cut corners any way I can to save a buck when going to get my nails done.

Here are some times on how to pamper yourself for less:

Skip the Scrub

One way is to bring down the price of your nail salon trip, is to skip the full pedicure. I opt to use my at-home pedicure kit prior to going to going to the nail salon. In the comfort of my own home I can scrub my feet with a pumice stone, clip and file my nails, push back my cuticles, and moisturize my feet. Yes, that’s a lot of elbow grease, but I save in the long-run. When I tell manicurist I want to skip the spa pedicure and scrub, she/he will see that I take care of my feet and  won’t pressure me to get a full pedicure.

Just Paint, please!

I love french tips on my toes. I think it’s a classic look that goes with any outfit and it gives off the impression that “I like to take care of myself.” Getting a full french mani or pedi can be a little pricey, but getting just the french tip paint (some refer to it as a “color change” charge) can be a cheaper alternative. The salon I went to only charged me $7 to get french tips painted on my toes (no feet scrubbing included) and another $7 for my hands ($14 total). Even though I only paid for the paint, the manicurist still cleaned up around my nails so everything would turn out neat.

Additionally, some places will give you a discount if you bring your own nail polish. You might want to call in and check for your specific location.

Press On Nails

I have been known to wear press-on nails (gasp!) and nobody was the wiser. Hey, even Beyonce admitted to doing it sometimes! My favorite press-ons are the Kiss Everlasting brand in pearl French. The pearl finish makes it look like (from a distance) you just your nails done. My nails don’t grow that quickly so the tips can last up to a week if I’m careful. I wear them in size “Real Short” and they look very natural. These cost about $7 and are a great alternative to a full-blown manicure. They’re easy to apply and easy to remove. I’ve run out a snagged these the night before interviews, weddings, trips, or if I didn’t have time (or money) to get a pedicure done. Another upside is that they don’t damage your nails as much as acrylic or solar nails.

Do It Yourself

As you have figured out by now, I am a DIY (do-it-yourself) kind of girl. I can paint my own nails and put a gloss on them by myself, so I have a hard time paying anyone to do them unless it’s a very special occasion. I usually just run over to Walgreens or CVS and grab a bottle of nail polish, sit down and paint away. They’re not always perfect, but at least they’re free!

Diagram of how to paint your nails in a perfect world

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