The No-Spend Mani: 5 Tips for Professional Looking Nails at Home
We all know that manicures and pedicures are not essential, but they sure make us feel better about ourselves. Plus they are fun to get, and relaxing too. When you are trying to cut back your budget, your trip to the salon may be one of the first things to go, but that doesn’t mean you have to give it up completely. There are plenty of great DIY tricks out there for your nails.
Start with a Sugar Scrub
With a few key ingredients from your pantry, you can have a great sugar scrub in no time. The basic recipe for a sugar scrub is 3 parts sugar to one part oil. For sugar, you can use white sugar, brown sugar or even raw sugar. White sugar is the least coarse of the three, while raw sugar is the most. A white or brown sugar scrub will work great on your hands and feet. For oil, you can use coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, or pretty much whatever you have in your pantry. If you want to make it fancy, add some essential oils, vitamin E, honey, spices or anything to give it a relaxing fragrance. Once all the ingredients are mixed together, take a small amount in your hands and rub it all around. After a few minutes, rinse your hands and feet and you’ll be amazed at how soft your skin will feel!
Looking for a simple look? Try the French manicure. Easy, and it looks great for any occasion. Pick up a bottle of white nail polish and a package of hole reinforcer stickers from your local office supply store. (You can also use price tag stickers, or any other small round stickers.) Put the stickers on each of your nails right under where you want the white polish to go. Paint the tips, wait for it to dry, and then peel off the sticker. Voila! Instant French manicure. Be sure to put on a top coat to make it last longer.
If you love the look of nail art but don’t want to spend a fortune on a trip to the salon, check out nail stickers. Jamberry is a company that designs nail art stickers that you just stick right on your nails. Simple, easy, quick, and no need to wait for your nails to dry. They just recently started a monthly box subscription service on their site. For $25 per month, plus free shipping, you’ll get at least $30 worth of Jamberry products, plus a nail file, an orange stick, and a monthly style guide. Or check their website to order them individually. A typical set will cost you about $15 and will last up to 2 weeks on your nails or up to 4 weeks on your toes.
Use a Base Coat
If you do go the polish route, use a good base coat. It may seem like a waste of time in the process, but it will help your polish to last longer and your nails to stay healthy. The base coat helps to give your nails a smooth appearance and helps the polish to stick. Some base coats offer extra protein or vitamin E and they will protect your nails from the damaging effects of the polish. Take the extra time to apply, and you’ll notice the difference when your polish lasts.
Dry Your Polish Quickly
A little known trick for drying nails quickly is to use a dry oil body spray. They can be found at most drug stores and places you can purchase beauty supply products. Suave has one for as little as $7 and it will last you for weeks of DIY paintings. Spray over freshly painted nails and it will seal the polish while it is drying. This means that your polish won’t smudge or smear while it is hardening. Plus, the oils will do wonders for your cuticles!
End your home manicure or pedicure with a little coconut oil massaged into your skin and you’ll never even know that you skipped the expensive salon treatment. And neither will your friends. Invest in a few key supplies up front and they will last you for weeks, if not months, saving you tons of money. Get creative and have fun!