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Mar 01

Gel Manicures at Home=Huge Money Saver

gel nails at home

What’s a gel manicure? Gel manicures are regular manicures done with special gel polishes that cure under an LED light. You paint on a base coat, then the polish, then a top coat just like you would with regular polish. Between each step you cure the polish with the LED lamp.

How long does it last? Mine typically last 2-3 weeks (I actually have to take the polish off after that because my nails have grown too much and there’s a space between the polish and my cuticles-otherwise the polish is still holding strong)

What the big deal about gel manicures? Well, they don’t chip, last forever, and are smudge proof immediately after you cure them under the light. That means I can paint them at midnight and hop into bed without worrying about dents or creases (love that).

Why would I want to do gel manicures at home? Gel manicures at the salon are expensive! At $30-$40 a manicure, gel manicures aren’t cheap. The cost of the Sensationail kit I use (which includes the lamp) is about $50. I bought mine with a coupon at CVS and paid $40. So basically doing two manicures at home has already paid for the cost of the kit. The polishes run about 10 bucks a bottle and come in a bunch of fun colors (you’ll see I did a teal-ish blue above).

But don’t the pros do it better? Honestly, you don’t have to have any special training to do gel manicures at home. If you can paint your nails with regular polish, you can do a gel manicure (do I sound like an infomercial yet?, I swear I don’t work for the company!).

What about the dangers? Didn’t Dr. Oz do a show about that? He sure did. Are there dangers with gel nails, probably. I’m not an MD. But what I do know is, the lamp I’m using is an LED lamp, not a UV lamp. Are there chemicals in the polish. Yes. Is that a risk I’m willing to take given the fact that most polishes on the market also have chemicals, yes.

Shouldn’t I use organic polish?- Yes, please do. But if you must use gel polish, wouldn’t you rather do it at home with your own instruments and tools? Plus think about how much you save each month. At $30, twice a month you’d be paying $720 per year on manicures. Maybe that sounds a little nuts to you (I don’t polish my nails that often, but I know many people who do get manicures bi-monthly-and even weekly). If you’re one of them you might want to consider polishing at home.

Do you polish at home to save money? Have other money saving beauty tips? Please Share!

*In case you were curious this is the kit I have. It’s the SensatioNail by Nailene. It comes with everything you need to do gel nails at home. If you click that picture it will take you to amazon. Please buy at least 100, that’s my referral link.

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  1. Budget and the Beach

    I don’t really do manicures anymore, but I love pedicures. I try to do them at home as much as possible, and have gotten quite good at it. But since I spend a lot of time on the beach, my heels get really rough and after awhile I really need someone “professional” to make my feet look soft and pretty again. :)

    1. studentdebtsurvivor.com

      I wish I had a local beach to make my feet rough ;-) I much prefer having someone do my pedicures, instead of trying to do them myself. Fingers I can do myself easily, feet, not so much.

  2. Tackling Our Debt

    I love manicures but do not really do them much anymore. Years ago I use to get my nails done professionally. I didn’t get fake nails, but more like extensions, but then inevitably one would break so after about a year of that I had them taken off.

    1. studentdebtsurvivor.com

      I used to do them in college all the time, now I guess I think I’m too busy, but It’s probably just a priorities thing. I could make time, I just would rather do other things.

  3. Janine @ My Pennies, My Thoughts

    I too have this kit and love it! Did you know you can add glitter on top of the last coat (right before it tells you to wipe the excess off with the cleanser. Then do one more clear coat!

    1. studentdebtsurvivor.com

      I didn’t, I don’t have any glitter on hand, but might just have to get some so I can try it. I’ve heard of people using stickers and whatnot, so I suppose you could put almost anything under the top coat. Pretty neat.

  4. Michelle

    I have been thinking about buying one of these kits! Thanks for doing the review.

    1. studentdebtsurvivor.com

      No problem. I’ve really enjoyed it so far. The fact that I can do my nails then not worry about them for 2 weeks makes the process so worth it for me.

  5. Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter

    I used to have manicures more but they never last. I can’t be bothered now most of the time. I do like to keep nice feet though which I do myself most of the time.

    1. studentdebtsurvivor.com

      Summer I try to keep my feet done, but when nobody sees them in the middle of the winter I don’t really bother. I haven’t tried gel nails on the toes yet, but likely will once it warms up a little.

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