Some of the best compliments come from your gay bestie. In this case, it was the gay barista at the local Starbucks (pre COVID-19 quarantine of course). I was on my way to the office and getting my cash out of my wallet like a diva because my nails were still wet. I apologized for being a little slow, and said I just did my nails. He looked at them and said, wow, they look like you got them done. Best. Compliment. Ever. To be fair, I’ve been doing my nails since I was 16.
How DIY Manicures Save Time And Money.
I’ve been on the DIY nail train for nearly two decades. Before white nail polish was cool, I’d wear white out on my nails every summer. It wasn’t as easy to remove. But, it gave me that pop I was going for. I never really paid attention to rules, or trends. So, to me I didn’t think anything of it when they looked at me side-eyed and said, “you use white out on your nails?” I’d always say, why not? Back then I only wore two nail colors. Any shade of pink, and white all summer long. No rhyme or reason. It was just my thing. I think I just started doing my own nails because going to the nail salon was never a thought. We didn’t have that kind of disposable income growing up. I watched my resourceful momma DIY things and stretch our resources to make the best of what we had. Guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
While it feels good to go to the nail salon and get pampered, now due to COVID-19, we have no choice but to stay home. Now is a good time to start doing your own nails. Every Sunday, I partake in “operation clean-up” which is my weekly self-care and cleansing routine. I deep clean my hair with clarifying shampoo, use face masks, iron, steam, do laundry, take salt baths, meal prep and give myself a good blowout. I spend the whole day make-up free relaxing at home. It feels good to have me time. And, I actually prefer doing these things myself instead of outsourcing them because it saves me so much time and money.
Time is our most valuable resource. How we spend it determines our future, and the quality of our lives. You can always make more money, but you can’t get time back. I’d rather have a nice collection of nail polish colors on hand so I can give myself a DIY mani/pedi at any given moment, so I can spend more time with my loved ones. Plus, you save money. I usually got a polish change for $10, and a pedicure for $36. Now, I’m saving $130 a month that was spent on nail services and gratuity by doing it myself. One bottle of nail polish costs anywhere between $9-$18. That’s over 7 bottles of nail polish for the same price. That’s a lot of manis and pedis!
Why Lauren B. Beauty Is The Best Nail Polish.
I tried many nail polishes over the years. I learned which brands gave you the best results. In my opinion, Lauren B. Beauty is the best nail polish on the market. The keys to a great, professional DIY manicure is the quality of your nail polish and the tools you have at home. Here’s why this nail polish is the best:
- Chip Resistant, Quick-drying Nail Enamel: Like all natural nail polish, it eventually chips. But, this polish dries quickly, and keeps your nails looking nice into week two, if you’re careful. It doesn’t chip as easy as a lot of other polishes; even the ones at the nail salons!
- Longevity: I’ve had my first bottle of Lauren B. Beauty polish for four years. It’s a bit clumpy now, but I might strategically get 1-2 more manicures out of it. That’s a great expiration date.
- 7-Free, Vegan and Cruelty-free Formula. Each Lauren B. Beauty formula is, “7-free, always vegan with no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, DBP, toluene or camphor, xylene, and TPHP free, and proudly made in the USA (California).”
- Mirror-like Finish and Polish Control. The bristles on the brush makes it so easy to paint your nails! I read on their website it’s because the brush is, “packed with twice the standard amount of bristles, and all pre-lacquered so the polish glides on smoothly and streak-free. The bottle has a special over-cap, so you can use a square or cylindrical handle for more control.”
Lastly, I love nail polish that goes on thick. I don’t like thin, streaky, translucent looking polish. I think my nails look like they’ve been professionally done because my polish is always opaque. Now, time to talk about the tools you need to do a great job.
DIY Tools For A Professional Manicure At Home.
Having high quality nail polish at home is half the battle. The other half is making sure you’ve got the right tools on hand so you can make your manicure look clean, neat and professional. Here are the tools I use, and recommend, for a giving yourself a great manicure at-home:
- Top Care Manicure Sticks: you can get these at CVS or Wegmans for less than $2.00. I use them to wipe off the excess polish around my nail bed to keep my nails neat. This way, I don’t have to use my own nails for clean-ups.
- Top and Base Coat: I honestly found that a lot of base and top coats work the same. Feel free to use your own preferred polish.
- Lauren B. Beauty Nail Polish: They have a ton of colors, a great nude polish set, and a bridal set for your special wedding day. Their polishes range from $12-$18 per bottle, which is $3 more than what Essie and OPI run in the grocery store. The quality is ten times better, and the polish lasts longer, so it’s worth it in my opinion.
- Nail Polish Remover, cotton balls, nail file, and a nail buffer (optional): Again, while I love Lauren B. Beauty nail polish, you don’t have to get everything from there. But they do have this super cute DIY AT HOME MANICURE ESSENTIALS KIT so you have everything you need if you wanted to get started with this kit.
What To Do Next.
Test out your favorite Lauren B. Beauty nail polish and let me know how it goes in the comments below. Right now, they’re offering 15% off on their website, and have free shipping on all orders $50 or more. I recommend starting with nail polish that’s your signature color (for me that’s white or any shade of pink) and see how you like it. I first discovered Lauren B. Beauty nail polish at Erewhon Market in Los Angeles, California. But, they have a list of retailers here. You can also buy these polishes online on Amazon or laurenbbeauty.com.