Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The cheap $4.29 manicure

Perhaps I'm a little late to the game, but I think I've stumbled upon something truly marvelous that I thought I'd share! A couple months ago I was perusing the beauty aisle at the drug store, when I decided spur of the moment that I craved a do-it-yourself french manicure.

All of a sudden, visions of home-manicure kits gone wrong stumbled in
to my memory. Spots of white polish dribbling past sticky tape pasted on my nails as "guides." Crooked lines of what should have been perfectly painted white tips. The endless amount of dollars I had spent through the years trying in vain to find the best manicure I could give myself minus the extra cost of going to a salon. Much to my dismay, it was all snake oil. I even remember one time when I bought a white manicure "pencil," but that, too, failed to give me any semblance of the perfectly polished, just-stepped-out-of-a-nail-salon result I was looking for.

That is, until two months ago, when I found myself aimlessly strolling down the beauty aisle that is this post's scene at hand and spotted the Sally Hansen French Manicure White Tip Pen (pictured above), cost: a mere $4.29.

Let me just say, this pen works marvels!! Through all those years of trying to strike home-manicure gold, when I wondered why no one just invented a pen (instead of bottle) of white nail polish to touch up tips, I can finally now say "Eureka!" Not only can I give myself a damn good five-minute manicure, but I always keep it in my purse in case any flecks or chips occur. Case in point: I often accidentally chip my nail polish when I'm at work editing all day on my computer, and before there was nothing I could really do about it. Okay, there was one thing I could do. I tended to spend the rest of the day idly chipping the rest of my polish off during meetings and the like, but now with the pen, I can touch any single chip up right away at my desk. How's that for work efficiency and beauty upkeep?

Each pen gives you about 50 manicures, which isn't too shabby at all. Of course, you need a clear bottom and topcoat, too, but those are only about a couple bucks each. The real magic is in the pen. And don't get me wrong: I love getting my nails done at a salon. But the routine upkeep it takes to keep going back can cost more than you think. A standard french manicure here in DC costs about $20. If you go in about every three weeks to have it redone and made to look immaculate, that's about 17 manicures per year, or about $340 annually! With the pen, you get more than double the amount of manicures for $4.29! From what I've found, the pen is sold at almost any drug store in the United States (and I'm sure overseas). If not, you can always order online.

For all you drugstore cowgirls out there, remember that just because you're on a budget doesn't mean you have to forego looking polished. Even if you're in the doldrums of debt, succumbing to feeling like a doldrum (wait, is that even possible?), sweat pants and uncoiffed hair won't pull you out of your current plight. Encourage yourself with the confidence it takes to save and pay down debts by looking the part of the confident financier. Trust me, it does marvelous things for your psyche. Although I may live in my stilettos daily, I can understand if on-the-mark, day-to-day upkeep may not be every woman's bag. But remember that if you find cost-cutting ways to take pride in your appearance, it more often than not will give you the confidence you need to tackle the big problems in your life (ahem, debt) and truly become financially savvy. What better place to start than with perfectly polished nails at a fabulous bargain? (Gives hair flick.)

Come to think of it, I'm off to do mine now!

Do you have any bargain beauty tips you want to share? We'd all love to hear!


JusFrugal said...

Great Blog! You've been nominated for an award here:

Crystal said...

Aww, thanks! :)

Totallyscrappy said...

What a great find! I've always loved the clean look of a French manicure.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin