Thursday, September 20, 2012

Let's start at the tips...

Too many people have told me that I am frugal. AKA, I am cheap. That's OK, I call it smart shopping. I decided to start a blog and post about ways I like to save money. I won't go and post coupons and tell you how to get all "extreme coupon-er"  on me, but I will post ideas of how you can incorporate saving some $$  in your daily routines.

One of my favorite ways to save is doing my own nails at home. I can't even begin to calculate how much I wasted at the nail salon just to pay too much and wait too long to get my nails done. Now, don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the whole experience; especially when they massage my arms... mmmmm...,  but I would rather invest some money up front and save some dough long term. Plus how cool is it to show off a kick ass manicure to your girlfriends and brag that you did it yourself?

My first post is all about the too-hot-right-now gels. Yep the $35-$50 gel manicure you can get at the salon but do all by yourself at home. You do have to invest a little bit of money up front, but in the long run you will save so much and enjoy it much more. Also, for those of you who have never done gel nails, this manicure lasts chip free for up to two weeks! It's magic and it's awesome.

OK - here's what you will need and my recommendations on where to get the items.

A UV Nail light. I procured mine from amazon and got an amazing deal.

Picture courtesy of  Salon Edge
Salon Edge 36W Nail UV Lamp - This lamp runs about $30 with free shipping and it works great. If you are going to do the gel nails at home, this lamp is the first thing you need, because you have to cure the gel polish. This UV lamp is the way to go as it's large enough for one hand or foot, and it's lightweight and not clunky which is great for storage.

Side note: I love amazon, you may get tired of how much I reference I am in no way endorsed by them I just love that website. It's the best thing since toaster strudels. Oh but not quite as buttery and sweet... Mmm toaster strudels... OK anyway. So yeah I get a lot of my stuff on amazon and you should too because it's awesome. 

Picture courtesy of Harmony
Next, you will need the polish. Now in order to do gel nails you need the special gel polishes. If you are really nice to me I will tell you a secret in one of my other posts of how you can get away with using your OLD normal polishes with the gel system. But, regardless you will need the base gel and the top coat gel. I personally like the Harmony Gelish polishes. I have had great results with them and I love the color options.

Again I suggest getting your polishes on amazon, because last time I wen't to sally's they only had the mini's and they were the same price as the full one's on amazon. Here is a great deal on base gel's and top coat gels. They are about $28 for the set plus about $2 for shipping.

Now, you need a gel color. The gel polish is where this can get pricey. I suggest starting with one or two colors, and over time building up your color collection. is a great place to get the gel polish. You can also try ebay. They also have sites like Trade Design dedicated to gel polish and you can order from them but I find they are a little more expensive.

Lastly, all you need is a little bit of rubbing alcohol, and a nail buffer, and you can do all of this on your own. I have posted a separate blog on instructions of how to do the gel manicure here. For those of you who know how to already - I hopefully have given you some handy tips of where to find the supplies in an affordable manor for this magic manicure that lasts for weeks and does not chip!

                                                 Oh look at my pretty finished product...

This is after two weeks so ignore all the nail growth.
I used Ooba Ooba  blue and topped it with waterfield.
Instructions on how to do gel nails here

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