Beautiful Nails on a Budget

These days I’m on a budget, and D.I.Y. is becoming my best friend. One of my money-saving projects has been skipping my usual manicure/pedicure and doing the deed myself at home. For a perfect French manicure and pedicure, I tried Nailene’s French Tip Pen Set.

Nailene’s French Tip Pen Set The kit comes with either pink or beige base color (your choice) along with sticky nail guides to allow for an even line, and a clear, strengthening top coat. The best thing about this kit is the white, flat felt-tipped pen. Once you pump the top a couple of times, a thin paint is delivered to the tip allowing you to draw the line, rather than paint it. I really had doubts of my capabilities, especially when it comes to painting those teeny tiny toes. However, I found the kit easy to use and on my first attempt I was left with a very professional-looking French manicure and pedicure at a fraction of what it would have cost to have it done at a salon. The French Tip Pen Set by Nailene is available in most drugstores for about $9.

A Royal Color

Brucci Nail Polish White nail polish has been declared by beauty mags everywhere as the chic alternative to last season’s dark vampy colors. I have been on a quest for the perfect color ever since I read the first blip in Glamour. I have tried just about every shade of white or pale pink across the spectrum, ranging from $2-$20 a bottle. Most of them were deemed unfavorable – they were too chalky, too white, too pink, too pearly, and almost all of them were too sheer. Luckily I found the perfect shade in Brucci’s Princess Di nail polish. Two coats deliver a very flattering, opaque color without any streaks. It looks so fresh on tanned toes. I am addicted to this color and trying to make the most of it before summer disappears.

Cuticle Cure

Cuticles are the one area of my body that I hesitate to mess around with. Aside from all the warnings against cutting your own cuticles that pop up in magazine articles, I’ve just never trusted myself to trim or groom them. Yet, when it’s been over two months since my nails have seen the inside of a nail salon, some thing’s got to be done about those thick, dry cuticles!

Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover did the trick, minus any scissors or scary-looking tools. The bottle’s nozzle dispenses a thin application of the clear liquid which I spread around the bottom of my nail bed. The product smelled vaguely of acetone, but no worse than nail polish. Within 15 seconds, the dry cuticles had broken down. After a quick wipe of the nail, I had smooth, moisturized fingers. It was absolutely magic!

This quick- working formula also breaks down calluses and other dry spots of skin. Be sure to follow the directions and remove the product from skin after no longer than one minute; I left some on for a minute and a half (just to see what would happen) and experienced a slight burning. Nothing too terrible, though, and no redness. For under $4 at the local drugstore, you can bet this will become a permanent part of my manicure kit.