How to Save Money on Manicures and Pedicures

Woman doing nails
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If you were to add up how much money you spend a year on manicures and pedicures you might be appalled. For some, the cost is totally worth it. If you live in New York City and your twice-monthly pedicures are so cheap, it makes better sense (and cents) to pay someone to do the job rather than spending the time doing a poor job yourself. That said, you can still find ways to save on your manis and pedis.

Here are some of our best secrets to saving money on manicures and pedicures.

Learn to Do It Yourself

This one is obvious. If you want to save money on nail care, simply start doing your nails yourself. Depending on where you live, you could save yourself $100 or more a month by doing your own fingers and tootsies.

Thin Is Better Than Thick

When applying nail polish, thinner layers are better. Thick layers take longer to dry and are more apt to chip. Two layers are all you need. 

Skip the Fancy Salons, Try a Cheaper One

The discrepancy in prices among mani and pedi places amazes me. You pay twice as much at a fancy schmancy spa for a toe workup than you would at any number of Korean salons in NYC. So why pay for the posh massage chairs and floating flower petals in your tub at the fancy places when you could be saving money at a cheaper place? There's no shame in strip mall salons.

Buffing: The Beauty Editor's Secret

Buffing is the beauty editor's secret. You get shiny, gorgeous nails without the hassle of nail polish (and let's face it, unless you opt for a "5-Free Polish," nail polish is full of nasty stuff that you may not want flowing into your blood system). 

It can cost about $5 or more than getting polish, but buffing lasts a super long time and is a popular choice among my natural, organic-loving friends.

Buy the Polish and Re-apply Weekly

You may like to buy your own polish because you prefer polish that's free of chemicals (most polish contains formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin and camphor). If you buy your polish and keep it with you after a salon visit, you can reapply a coat after a week and save yourself a few days.

The Shorter, the Better

Short, rounded nails are less apt to chip than long nails or those cut into a square. "When a flat tip hits a hard surface, the polish is more likely to chip and crack," says NYC salon owner Jin Soon Choi in Allure Magazine.

It's All in the Topcoat

You can pay $1 extra at the salon for a long-lasting top coat. If you want your manicure to last longer, apply a coat of topcoat once every 3 days. Seche Vite is an excellent top coat. 

Skip the Full Mani, Ask for a Color Change Instead

Why pay for a full manicure every time your polish needs to be changed? Ask for a color change in between full manicures and pedicures. These can cost as little as $5. A big savings that adds up over time.

Protect Your Investment

When it comes to cleaning, opening up soda cans or removing price stickers from wine bottles, think twice before using your nails. Wear gloves when cleaning and use the pads of your fingers to open up cans.