Penny Pinching – How to save on your nails

Hello, hello!! How are you?? Fine and dandy I hope!! I’m slightly annoyed thanks for asking – why? Well I’ve just been chatting to a very dear friend of mine who I do adore and love, madly….I promise – but I’m slightly jealous of how much she can afford to go out and get done.  What I mean by that is nails, facials, waxing, eyebrow tinting, you name it she’ll probably be having it done.

Who doesn’t love a bit of pampering? I mean I do as much as the next girl (yes you!!) and on every pay day I think oh its only £30 I can afford that I’ll just put it to one side – but it never works out – I mean its £30!! Who can’t afford £30 on themselves every month for a spot of pampering? Perhaps if I budgeted further for it then yes it could happen – however we have a strict budget already in place in our household so a little freedom with the spends is nice…….sigh. Plus the trials, tribulations and demands of society today, as well as being in a recession means that even the best thought out plans often don’t come into fruition.

Enough of the doom and gloom though – following this thought process I have decided to take action! Over the next few weeks I am going to be bringing you my best hints and tips on how to pamper yourself but at a fraction of the price that the salons charge. I know, I know, I am good to you! But in these hard times who doesn’t want to save a few pennies? You all do?! Good, then get your mandatory brew and hob nob and we’ll begin!!


I went for a shellac manicure a few weeks ago and I have to admit it was amazing – not what I expected (I somehow thought the nails were stuck on or glued on so I cut all of mine really short in preparation – ooopsies!) and it lasted well over 2 weeks in all kinds of conditions but then I got really annoyed once they needed taking off – not a simple case of getting some nail varnish remover oh no!

It involved needing to buy some acetone and soaking them or finding time to get to a salon – neither of which I had! (Don’t worry, I’ve taken them off now, I bought some acetone!) I have a friend who won’t go back to anything else now and that’s fine if the money is there, but even as I type this I have nails that have been painted by me and I got asked yesterday 3 times where I had them done! (Yes, thats right – it was the ACTIVE Nail Varnish!)

Here are my top tips for preserving the pennies when it comes to nails :

1. 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 £50 or more a month by doing your own fingernails and tootsies. If you’re lucky enough to live where cheap nail salons reign supreme, then you could argue that time is better spent NOT doing your own nails and paying someone else to do them.

2. Thin is Better Than Thick

When applying Nail Polish, thinner layers are better. Thick layers take longer to dry and are more prone to chipping.

3. Skip the Fancy Salons, Try a Cheaper One

The discrepancy in prices among manicure and pedicure 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 smaller salons outside the city centre. 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 a trip to a smaller salon, not when all the savings can buy you a dessert next time you go out to eat. Yes?

4. 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. Buffing is a beauty editor’s secret. You get shiny, gorgeous nails without the hassle of nail polish.

5. The Shorter, the Better

Short, rounded nails are less prone to chipping 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.

6. It’s All in the Topcoat

Simple – If you want your manicure to last longer, apply a coat of Top Coat once every 3 days. I actually had this exact conversation with a friend of mine last night after complaining about my recent experience with an OPI nail varnish and she kindly pointed out that I hadn’t applied a top coat….tsk tsk!

7.  Protect Your Investment

When it comes to cleaning, opening up 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.


So there you are! I hope you liked that? I would love to see photos of your DIY mani and pedicures – if I get enough I’ll put up a little art gallery of our hard work!

Phew after all that, I think I deserve a glass of wine whilst I admire my shiny new nails! And I think you should do the same! Looking forward to reading what you think and seeing your piccies!

Lots of love, hugs and cheers!

Suzanne xXx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.