When it comes to looking your best, upkeep costs like makeup, hair care, skin care and spa treatments can cost a pretty penny. American women spend an average of $7 billion a year on cosmetics and services each year, according to a 2008 study by the YWCA. Luckily, the price of beauty can be trimmed when you replace salon treatments for do-it-yourself solutions that cost less than $10.
Salon manicures and pedicures can range from $20 to $50 once you include artificial enhancements such as acrylics, UV gels and fabric wraps.
“They look beautiful when done, but need to be maintained regularly,” said nail care expert Michele Pierno, a product developer for Kiss Products. To avoid high-priced salon treatments, follow some inexpensive nail care tips using products from your own kitchen.
“Your nails reflect your overall well-being, so take vitamins, drink plenty of water, and always moisturize hands after washing,” Pierno said.
Warm olive oil is Pierno’s solution to soften cuticles. “Applying oil or balm to nails and surrounding skin will tame ragged cuticles and prevent shredding,” she said. Use a manicure stick to gently push back cuticles, and buy a good cuticle nipper to properly remove any excess skin that you might otherwise tug at.
To reduce trips to the salon — and save money — Pierno suggested applying a top coat every other day to polished nails to refresh the shine and seal the edges. Use a topcoat whenever your nails will be exposed to water for extended periods of time. “Nails will absorb water and naturally bend [and] polish will not, and this is why polish chips,” Pierno said.
Olive Oil $1.50 at most dollar discount stores
Top coat $2.79