My 8th-grade teacher told us you can learn a lot about a person’s hygiene habits by looking at their nails.
The average trip to the nail salon cost between $30 to $50 after tips. This adds up anywhere from $800 to over $1,000 dollars on having perfect nails. Pampering is addicting! There are reasons why salons seem to do a “better” job and why salon jobs always seem to last longer. They follow a lot of minor protocols that actually does a lot in preserving the life of your perfect mani-pedi.
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1. Clean Your Nails With Alcohol
Before you apply nail polish, wipe your nail beds down with alcohol wipes to remove the natural oils on your nails. If these oils stay on the nail as the polish is being applied then oils might erode the grip of the polish.
2. Seal The Nail Tips
If you take one money saving tip from how to make your mani last, it should be this one, seal the tips of the nails.
Coating them in polish and a top coat will prevent the polish from chipping at the most vulnerable junctions.
3. Invest in a Base Coat
Base coat clear polishes seem like another thing to buy but it comes for a good price for what you get. Base coats protect your nail bed and make the actual nail polish adhere better to the nail bed. Having a bottom coat will also protect your nail bed from becoming stained.
4. Invest in Top Coat
When I first started doing my nails at home I skipped the top coat not knowing any better. It was a miracle if my nails lasted past a week without chipping. After I purchased the industry famous Seche Vite Base + Top Coat combo (the best price I found anywhere), my manicures lasted well past 2 weeks and my pedicures lasted nearly a month after using Seche Vite top and base coats. It was impressive!
For extra strength top coats that save time too, try OPI’s Rapid Dry top coat.
5. Push Your Cuticles
Nail technicians usually include cuticle care when you visit a professional salon. Cuticles are the layer of dead skin on your nail bed. Bad cuticles can make nail polish chip and wear much faster.
Little things like pushing with a cuticle pusher and moisturizing cuticles prolong the lifespan of your nails and can make the nail job look more clean and professional. For DIY nails, always remember to push your cuticles back beforehand.
6. Avoid Full Service Salons
Full-service salons come at a first service price, perks like mood lighting and warm towels that you might not necessarily need. Look into nail salons at the mall or Asian owned salons that might come at a better price without the frills.
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7. Look for Wearable Colors & Discounts
One bottle of Essie nail polish will set you back $10 before sales tax and the dollars adds up.
However, I cannot wholeheartedly recommend any girl to go out and just buy cheap nail polish.
Quality matters in a polish – especially the texture, application, durability of them.
The best thing to do is go to a discount general store like Grocery Outlet or Dollar Tree where they take in older inventory (like polishes) and sell them at a high discount.
For example, my visit to the local dollar store landed me 3 Revlon nail polishes for, yes, $1! Revlon polish sells for $8 per bottle at my local drug store.
8. Invest in Polish Thinner
Now you’re asking, should anyone buy nail polish that’s been sitting on the shelf too long? That’s why nail polish thinners (just $6) is the best investment for your beauty wallet.
Nail polish thinners can revive decades used polish and extend the life of your polish collection beyond. That means every nail polish you buy has a long shelf life and you can add on to your collection without feeling wasteful.
9. Ask for Color Changes
If you bring your own polish to professional nail salon then you can do a quick fix up at home since you have the materials and color.
The other option is asking for simply a color change instead of the full-service manicure. Color changes cost $5 compared to a full manicure from $30 and up.
10. Moisturize Your Cuticles
Dabs from your kitchen olive oil will moisture up nail beds naturally. Ignoring the health of your cuticles is the biggest reason why DIY manicures and pedicures don’t last. A healthy manicure is about having a healthy nail bed to lay the polish on.
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11. Take B Vitamins
Nails are made up of the same material (keratin) as your hair. Having healthy hair and nails is often a good indicator of health. If you are experiencing a lot of nail breakage then you could be missing important multi-vitamins. Remember to take daily vitamins meant especially for women such as Vitamins B, C, and Folic Acid as well. A few dollars for health beneficial vitamins will prevent breakage and save a lot more money at the nail salon.
12. Practice DIY at Home
Of course the last and
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