Even though everything is mostly opened up, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe. Plus, let’s be real, an average trip to the nail salon, if you got both your nails and feet done, could set you back around $100. So, in a way, if you decide to go DYI with your mani, you’ll be saving some big cash in the long run!
Now, there are different kinds of manicures, but for simplicity’s sake, I focused on non-acrylics because y’all know those techniques are hard to follow through on if you’re not an actual nail technician. So, with that being said, let’s get into the fun stuff!
Everyone knows the best way to get a great manicure is to soften the cuticle around it so everything looks fresh and clean. Plus, if you soak your fingers in water, it’ll get rid of the dirt underneath your nails so they can be as clean as possible. Hygiene is important. Plus, this baby actually bubbles. How relaxing!
So you’ve soaked your nails and your cuticles, what’s next? Actually clipping your nails and ... cuticles. I may be a little obsessed with cuticles. This $17 set is made of stainless steel and has about 12 different pieces you’ll need, from a nail and tow clipper, cuticle cutter, and a nail file to really even out your circle or square shape.
UV Gel nail sets are fairly new and will save you a bunch of cash in the longterm. Anyone who used to be a regular at the salon knows you’ll pay about $40 on average every two weeks for a regular gel nail set, and about $80 for acrylics. This kit comes with gel nail polishes so you don’t have to spend a fortune on it if this is the route you’d like to go down. Pro-tip: gel nail polish doesn’t set without UV light. I learned this the hard way. If you already have gel polish, check out the second lamp pick I’ve listed down below. It’ll save you about $20.
Traditional Nail Polish + Top Coat
So you’ve soaked, filed, and cut your nails to the shape you want. Now it’s time to polish. Personally, I prefer three coats and a clear coat to really get my nails to shine for two to three weeks. With gel polish, you’ll get a bit more time, but I mentioned that already. You can also use the UV light to dry traditional nail polish in half the time, which also means fewer opportunities to dent the polish.