January 18, 2024 3 min read

When was the last time you went to get your nails done at the salon? If it was recently, you’ve probably noticed the prices are getting incrementally higher.

Of course, there’s always inflation, but the prices are higher today than they’ve been in years.

Today, you can end up paying $30 for a manicure and up to $90 or more if you get a full set of acrylic nails. Then, you have to add a 15% to 20% tip on top of that.


With manicures and nail art services getting more expensive by the day, it’s no wonder so many people are looking for ways to do their own nails at home.

Luckily, there are several ways to save money and still have beautiful nails.


  1. Buy your own nail polish


You probably have some nail polish lying around the house, but if it’s not what you prefer, go out and buy what you really want. Nail polish is extremely affordable, and you can get just about anything you might want online. For example, if you want something simple, like  sheer pink nails, you can get gel nail polish online in a variety of shades and textures, including sparkling polish.


Another good source for nail polish is your salon. Just because you’re not going in all the time to get your nails done doesn’t mean you can’t buy some polish. Nail salons usually have an entire wall full of polish and you can buy what you need in person.


You’ll spend far less by painting your own nails at home than you will by getting them professionally done. If you’re not used to painting your own nails, it will take time to get used to, especially when you have to paint with your non-dominant hand. However, it really does get easy pretty fast and after a while it will be routine.


  1. Look for coupons and deals for spas


The spa experience is usually high-end and priced accordingly. The good news is you can sometimes find deals for first-time customers online through coupon and discount sites. Look for deals in your area so you can get a fancy manicure for the price of a basic one.


This probably won’t work long-term, but it will give you a few visits to new nail salons for far less than you’d normally spend. You may even be able to pick up some tips and tricks while you’re there.


  1. Do your nails with a friend


Chances are, you’ve got a friend who also wants to save money on nail salon visits. Find out if they’d like to do manicures at home with you. It might be a fun experience in addition to a money-saver. You can make it a movie night where you just spend quality time with your friend, and have a good meal before doing your nails.


  1. Bring your own polish to the salon


One way to save a few bucks at the salon is to  bring your own bottle of nail polish. If you don’t have one you like, just buy the one you want from the salon when you get there and ask them to use yours.


In addition to saving money, another benefit of bringing your own nail polish is knowing it hasn’t been thinned out. Additionally, you can touch up your own nails at home if needed.


  1. Remove polish at home first


A big part of your manicures is the polish removal process. If you just skip this part of your manicure at the salon, you’ll see a significant savings over time.


Instead of having your nail tech do this, remove your polish at home. If you can’t use regular polish remover, there are misting devices that will remove gel polish easily without making a mess.


  1. Extend the life of your manicures


Making your manicures last longer is always an option. You can do this by getting gel nail polish instead of regular polish, or using an acrylic overlay. It will cost you more upfront, but it will last up to a month. Even if the cost is about the same compared to getting regular polish every week,  you’ll be saving time, gas, and effort.


Don’t feel obligated to visit the salon


When you make friends with your nail artist, you’ll want to go back to chat and support them by giving them your business. However, don’t feel obligated to keep going back every few weeks just because you’ve made a connection with someone. They’ll understand when you tell them you need to save money and make appointments less frequently.

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