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How to Save on Your Nails

9 ways to save big $$$ in one year

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How to Save on Your Nails

Dita Von Teese moon manicure

Amy Sussman // Getty Images
Yeah, this sucky economy is terribly sucky. But I have just the thing to improve your mood and your pocketbook (even if it won't improve the economy). I have a whole slew of information on how to save money on your nails.

Learn to Do It Yourself

This one is obvious. If you want to save money on nail care, simply start doing your nails yourself. Depending upon where you live, you could save yourself $100 or more a month by doing your own fingernails and tootsies. I live in NYC, where cheap nail salons reign supreme, so I like to think my time is better spent NOT doing my own nails and paying someone else to do them.

Here's all you need to know on DIY-manis and DIY-pedis:

Thin is Better Than Thick

When applying nail polish, thinner layers are better. Thick layers take longer to dry and are more apt to chip.

Get more tips in 30 of My Best Manicure/Pedicure Tips in One Spot

Skip the Fancy Salons, Try a Cheaper One

The discrepancy in prices among mani and pedi places amaze me. You pay twice as much at a fancy schmancy spa for a toe work-up than you would at any number of Korean salons in NYC. So why pay for the posh massage chairs and floating flower petals in your tub at the fancy places when you could be saving money at a cheaper place? There's no shame in strip mall salons, not when all the savings can buy you a Beamer or at least dessert next time you go out to eat. Yes?

Buffing: The Beauty Editor's Secret

My fingernails always chip quickly because I am a fidgety person by nature. And then because I'm also a busy person who can live with nasty chipped nail polish, I tend to go far too long between manicures. This is not cool when one is a beauty writer by trade.

Hence, my addiction and supreme love for buffing. Buffing is the beauty editor's secret. You get shiny, gorgeous nails without the hassle of nail polish (and let's face it, nail polish is full of nasty stuff that you may not want flowing into your blood system).

It can cost about $5 or more than getting polish, but buffing lasts a super long time and is a popular choice among my natural, organic-loving friends.

For a laugh and a cringe, check out my very popular (and controversial) article that has inspired hate mail, 5 Tacky Fingernail Trends: Are You Guilty of These?

Buy the Polish and Re-apply Weekly

I like to buy my own polish because I prefer polish that's free of chemicals (most polish contains formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin and camphor). If you buy your polish and keep it with you after a salon visit, you can reapply a coat after a week and save yourself a few days.

The Shorter, the Better

Short, rounded nails are less apt to chip than long nails or those cut into a square. "When a flat tip hits a hard surface, the polish is more likely to chip and crack," says NYC salon owner Jin Soon Choi in Allure Magazine.

It's All in the Topcoat

I like to pay $1 extra at the salon for a long-lasting topcoat. If you want your manicure to last longer, apply a coat of topcoat once every 3 days.

Also check out:

Skip the Full Mani, Ask for a Color Change Instead

Why pay for a full manicure every time your polish needs to be changed? Ask for a color change in between full manicures and pedicures. These can cost as little as $5. A big savings that adds up over time.

Protect Your Investment

When it comes to cleaning, opening up soda cans or removing price stickers from wine bottles, think twice before using your nails. Wear gloves when cleaning and use the pads of your fingers to open up cans.

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