Friday, May 27, 2011

Money Saving Tips From a Not-So-Money-Savvy Gal

I know I have talked about my bad money managing skills here before, but instead of wallow in self pity over the fact that want far exceeds my wallet, I thought I would share with y'all some tips on how to save a little extra cash on a daily basis. I am going to spread them out over several days, so the first tip is:
  1. Learn to do your own nails. I used to be a mani/pedi addict! I would go once a week, crazy right? Well I am proud to say that I haven't paid for a mani/pedi in over 6 months! And no my nails are not at all janky, I have learned to do them almost perfectly!
See? I did these last night! Color is Essie Secret Story
 There are several items you will need to "invest" in up front, but after that you will have lovely nails for free.99.

You will need:

A nail file: Shape your nails by only filing one way. It is better for them and makes them shape more evenly.

Clippers: If your nails are too long, cut 'em. I use fingernail clippers for my digits and tootsies, no need for those extra large pairs.

A sanding block: My nails tend to peel, so I find that using this on them after I have shaped them makes them smoother and the polish adheres better!

A cuticle pusher: I use a professional one from Sally's Beauty Supply like those they use at the nail place with the rounded end. It is called the spoon pusher. It works wonders! You can also buy cheapo wooden or plastic ones if you don't want to invest too much.

Cuticle remover: Essential! You must use this and the pusher to make your nails look neat and clean. I use the Be Natural Cuticle Eliminator and it works well and was pretty inexpensive for how much you get at Sally's.

Cuticle oil: Ever important to keep your cuticles from looking really dry and cracked. This is essential in giving you a neat manicure, because when you paint your nails after using it, the cuticles are still semi oiled (though you have to use rubbing alcohol to clean the nail before beginning to paint) and any mess ups will come off your cuticles really easily! I use CND Solar Oil, and it smells so good!

A pumice stone: Definitely necessary for an at home pedicure. I use the Mr. Pumice and it is really porous so it works well.

Callus remover: I don't use this if I am just changing my polish, but it makes your calluses soft  so you can pumice them away. A love this stuff, and I don't think an at home pedi would work without it! I use the Be Natural Callus Eliminator, which I also got from Sally's but for some reason it is not on their website

Nailtiques: Helps to strengthen your nails so they grow longer and stronger. I use it as my base coat.

Polish: I usually use wither Essie, Zoya, Barielle or OPI, but recently found Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure that is great for a quick polish change (but I still used topcoat to make it shiny) Chanel makes excellent polish, but it is too expensive! Also, Butter of London makes great polish and is free of all the formaldehyde, but is also expensive! My go to colors are Essie Ballet Slippers, Secret Story, St. Lucia Lilac. OPI Strawberry Margarita, Cajun Shrimp and Dim Sum Plum.

Seche Vite: A fast drying top coat that is super shiny just the way mama likes it!

So, to do your nails:
  1. Clip any that are too long and shape them how you like. I prefer square shape. Then use the sanding block to smooth out your nails, going in one direction several times.
  2. Put the cuticle remover along the cuticles and let sit for about a minute or two. If doing a pedicure, place feet back in warm water after putting the remover on because when it is heated it works faster. Use cuticle pusher to push back cuticles at the base of your nail bed and on the outsides. Do it gently, because your nails will develop horizontal ridges if you do it too hard.
  3. Use a nail brush to wash off your nails and remove any excess cuticle and remover.
  4. For pedicure only: whip out your pumice stone and callus remover (if desired) and let the callus remover sit for about 3 minutes on the bottom of your feet and heel. Once it has had time to "marinate" use the stone to buff away any gross excess skin/ junk. I do this for a while because I like my feet to feel really smooth, but you can do it for however long you want. Make sure you wash your feet off afterwards though.
  5. Put the cuticle oil all over your nail and in the cuticles. While letting that soak in, moisturize your hands and legs and feet. 
  6. Use rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball to remove oil from your nail, but don't rub so hard that you take all of the oil out of the cuticle.
  7. Start with 1 coat of nailtiques for the base coat, then 2 coats of the color of your choice, and 1 coat of the seche vite. And, voila, you have a mani/ pedi at home!
Sometimes I use cuticle clippers if mine are really unruly, but be careful because it is easy to clip too much and it hurts!

Moisturize often because it keeps your nails looking neat, even if it has been a while since your last mani/ pedi.

Give your nails a break sometimes! I know, I hate not having my nails polished just as much as the next girl, but they need a little air sometimes. You can use nailtiques alone if you want a little shine.

I use the top coat all over my nails and across the front to prevent chipping.

Ok, so if you made it through that extremely long tutorial, you will be a nail pro in no time! And saving money too!

Do y'all have any other tricks or products you use when doing you own nails? Please share!

Look forward to some more posts on money saving tips coming soon!


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