Photo: Flickr / Kory C.
When I first moved to New York City, my friends and I loved splurging on manicures every week.My nails looked great, but I quickly realised this was not a good look for my budget.
Think about it: Every $30 mani/pedi special plus 20% tip meant each outing cost $36.
In just a month, I was out $144. And because I was earning minimum wage in New York City ($7.25/hr) at the time, since I was working 40 hours/week, I was dropping nearly 13% of my income on my nails!
I decided to take matters into my own hands, literally.
I quickly learned the key to a quality at-home manicure that lasts is a good base coat and top coat. Giving a good foundation and finish to your nail colour can extend it for a week, if not more, no matter how cheap or expensive the nail colour is.
I decided to try a professional grade top coat called Out the Door ($4.99 at sallybeauty.com) that extends the life of my at-home manicures for at least a week. Just one bottle lasted over six months, which meant the cost per application came to about $0.21 if I was giving myself weekly manicures. Bonus: Out the Door dried and hardened my nails in less than a minute.
For a base coat, I picked Wet n Wild’s Wild Shine Nail Protector ($0.99 at most drugstores). I’ve had the same bottle for nearly as long as my Out the Door bottle. This prevented the nail colour from staining my nails and gave the paint something to grab onto. Cost per application: about $0.04 over six months.
Let’s say you go DIY and try a new $8 nail colour every week (about the price of an essie bottle) and use Out the Door and Wet n Wild’s Wild Shine Nail Protector like I have been. The total for your weekly manicure would come to $8 + $0.21 +$0.04 = $8.25. That’s 22 per cent of what you’d pay at a nail salon!