Monday, March 4, 2013

Money Smart Nail Art

On a journalist/editor's salary, every penny counts. Unfortunately for me, a love for nail polish can be an expensive hobby. That being said, I do everything I can to cut corners and take the motto "reduce, reuse, recycle" to heart when it comes to my nail polish habits. Money Supermarket is hosting a contest right now on the best tips for "money smart nail art," so here are just a few tips for other polishaholics looking to save a few dollars.

1. Beauty supply stores are your best friends. 
Why pay retail at a salon or Ulta when you can go straight to the source? Since I live in Orange County, where it seems like there's an Asian-run nail salon every other block, it makes sense that there's also a booming population of beauty supply stores. Every so often (usually when a new OPI collection hits salons), I'll make a trip over to the Little Saigon area in Garden Grove. There's a treasure trove of beauty supply shops selling everything from premium lacquers to brushes, acetone and acrylics. I can usually pick up just-released bottles of OPI, China Glaze and Essie at stores in this area at a steep discount (with extra money off when you buy in bulk). Additionally, nail polish remover and acetone range in price from $1 to $3, and I save more than 60 percent on my favorite top coat, Seche Vite, compared to Ulta and drugstores.

2. Bargain brands will save you a bundle. 
As everyone knows, I'm an OPI girl and swear by the stuff ... but that doesn't mean I forego other polish brands completely. While OPI, Deborah Lippman, Butter London and Essie usually have fantastic formulas, the dollars can really add up (even when you buy the discounted bottles). One of my favorite "off-brand" polishes is Sinful Colors—I don't use these in my more intricate, detailed manicures that I want to last, but for quick, easy nail art, they're perfect for a base. With a big selection of colors and a price tag of only $1.99, they're a steal, especially if you change your polish frequently like I do. I recommend stocking up on brands like Sinful Colors and Wet 'n' Wild in lieu of squandering your expensive polishes on one-day manicures.

3. Reuse old eye makeup brushes. 
I'm one of those people who absolutely hates throwing things away. I still have makeup from almost ten years ago, despite the fact that I will never again use the eye shadows, lipsticks and mascaras that have been gathering dust in my closet. If you're like I am and don't want to throw anything out, grab your collection of old, gross make-up brushes and wash them using this tutorial. I find that after so many washes, brushes just don't work the same anymore for eye or face makeup application, so at that point I'll add them to my nail polish stash to use for cuticle clean-up. Acetone eats through the glue on a lot of my brushes, so I go through them pretty frequently. Recycling old brushes helps cut down on my cost and allows me to get two different uses out of each one.


4. Use household products in place of professional tools. 
I'll admit that I personally prefer my set of dotting tools and striping brushes, but before I got started blogging, I used to use items around the house to create my nail art. Before I discovered dotting tools, I used to use bobby pins, toothpicks, straws and Q-tips (cut in half) to create dotting effects of different sizes. Toothpicks were actually my "brush" of choice for striping brush replacements—. You can also use Scotch tape and scissors to create cool geometric designs on your nails rather than purchasing the expensive nail wraps at the store.

5. Cut cotton pads in quarters when removing polish. 
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it really helps to cut down on cotton pad expenses. I've said before that it's bad to use the same cotton pad more than once on each nail, since it spreads old polish around on your cuticles (and I stand by that), but by quartering each round you can use a fresh piece of cotton for each finger while saving money.

6. Try an easy, DIY home manicure that doesn't require art skills.
I'm not an artist and I know a lot of people out there aren't either. Water marbling and Saran Wrap manicures are two ways to achieve some sweet nail art effects at home without breaking the bank on nail wraps or nail art pens/brushes. Water marbling is essentially cost-free but you can create some very cool patterns and designs with just water and a toothpick; Saran Wrap manis use a little bit of cling wrap, but if you're conservative and get as many uses as possible out of each piece

A good manicure should make your hands look and feel great, but doesn't need to be a burden on your wallet. Try out these tips and see how much you can save—good luck! 

1 comment:

  1. This beauty ideas keep the pocket safe!!
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