Frugal Beauty: Surviving Without the Nail Salon

July 29, 2011

Instantly save $80-$100 a month by setting up a quick at-home spa for your manicures & pedicures.

If you’re living on a tight budget, the easiest way to make a painless cutbacks is on beauty.  By far, one of my biggest and seriously uneccesary expenses was going to the salon for a “deal” $40 mani/pedi combo, but there were times I spent more than that.   When I began to realize that often the nail polish didn’t last and I could save $80 -$100 a month by setting up a salon at home, the choice was made.

This is where the frugal gets beautiful since I have  perfected the at-home mani/pedi so you can save some dough without having to tromp around in your strappys like a pachyderm.  

For an initial start up cost of $80 (or even less if you borrow/thrift or have supplies on hand) you can save money without sacrificing the spa quality tootsies you LOVE.

I’ll provide you with how to get spa-quality mani/pedis at home so cheap you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner!  Read on!


The Frugal Beauty Pedicure Supplies:

–  A foot tub to soak in {Option One- Basic for about $10  or Option Two- Fancy for around $25+}

**Note: I see pedi tubs at garage sales and thrift stores all the time!  I got mine from a friend who was moving!


–  Foot soak powder {Option One- Johnsons for about $8 or Option Two- Medical/Therapeutic for about $12}


–  Pumice Stone {for averagely dry heels} or PedEgg {recommended for those not squeemish with ‘foot dust’ and really dry heels}


– Product to Soften, Exfoliate and Moisturize:  You’ll love to have an emolient cream to soften up thick, dry skin, which will be coupled with some form of exfoliant and a thick cream to rub on afterwards.

I highly recommend the Satin Hands kit by Mary Kay– it’s about $34 and comes in two scents, Peach and Unscented.   It includes the aforementioned steps, lasts a loooonng time and is good for both hands and feet.

The *super* frugal spa verison:  Emolient {vaseline}, Exfoliant {sea salt or sugar and olive oil} and finish with hand or foot cream you have on hand.

–  Polish + Nail Strengthener + Top Coat– As one with weak, peeling nails, I have had the best luck with O.P.I. brand colors.   I have heard great things about their strengthener, Nail Envy but I personally use NailTek II for soft/peeling nails.

I would not recommend Nicole’s Nail Treatment if you’re shopping local.  {I used it myself for months with little improvement}


–  Salon Tools: Nail File, Nail Clipper, Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover, Cotton Balls, Orange Sticks & Toe Separator if you use one.  {these can be purchased all together for an even better deal in a set at your drugstore}


For the price of 1 month of spa visits, you can have over 30 at-home spa days with instant savings.


How To-Do A Sexy at Home Mani/Pedi: 

 1.  Pretreat your hands or feet (one or the other!) with an emollient cream.  If you have really rough skin this will soften it up tremendously!  I apply the Satin Hands Hand Softener and put on a pair of latex gloves for a bit for my hands and a pair of thick socks (or plastic bags) on my feet.  Give yourself 10 minutes and you can use this time to heat up the water to soak in.

2.  Soak your hands or feet in warm water and remove polish.  After I soak a bit, I remove my nail polish and soak a bit again {Ahh, lovely} before starting to trim, file and push back cuticles.   You can use your pumice stone now or during the next step.

3.  Exfoliate and Massage.   This is where I apply the Satin Hands Satin Smoothie to massage and exfoliate my legs and feet.  You can use a bit of salt/sugar mixed with olive oil or any body scrub you have at home.  After a good scrub and a bit of relaxing rubbing to your tired muscles, dip back in and rinse.

4.  Apply polish Like A Pro.  You may want to have a clean cotton ball handy to apply a little bit of nail polish remover to get any last bit of oil or grit off the surface of your nails.  After they’re clean and dry, apply your nail strengthener first, let it dry and go for your polish and top coat if you use one.

*Or click here to see “How to Give Yourself a Manicure”
Voila, frugal beauty at home! You have fabulous hands and feet for around 1/4 the price of a salon visit! You look beautiful and smart!

9 comments so far.

9 responses to “Frugal Beauty: Surviving Without the Nail Salon”

  1. I've always (stupidly) thought that foot spas were waaaay more expensive than that! Thanks for sharing!

    • ShannynofFB says:

      Harri! Thank you so much for stopping in! I love reading the articles on TotallyMoney! 🙂 Yes, foot tubs can be affordable, and even free since they have made out to be very popular gifts in the past and plenty of women have them without using them. I have found a bunch in the closets of friends during organization weekends and some at thrift stores and garage sales too. Just disinfect them with some cleaner and sunshine and you should be good to go!

  2. chandra says:

    Love this!…More at home mani and pedis for me 😀

    • ShannynofFB says:

      Thanks for stopping in Chandra! I love to get a spa treatment myself once in awhile, but doing them myself and just springing for a spa pedi every few months cuts down on costs tremendously! Plus, no worry of bacteria or feeling disappointed when you paid for a polish that chips after a day!

  3. […] Frugal Beauty post on Surviving Without the Nail Salon was featured in his blog […]

  4. […] Learn how to do an at-home manicure. This is something that took me years to do and quite frankly, I’m still not perfect. But I’m a lot better. I’ve even tricked people into thinking I had them done! What helped was going to a beauty supply store and asking for advice. While the products are a bit more expensive than what you’d find in the drug store, in the long run, it’s less expensive than trying 18 different products that don’t work.  I suggest investing in a good quality base coat, top coat and 3-4 colors (I recommend OPI or Essie brands) as well as an orange stick, a good nail file and buffer, toe separators, and polish remover and cotton balls. You can Google directions on how to do an at-home mani/pedi or visit Frugal Beautiful for her step-by-step instructions. […]

  5. Tammy says:

    I'm trying to cut down on my beauty and salon addiction so I'll have to try this…lord knows I already have all the product I need except the foot soak and tub to do this with, I guess I could just use my bathtub? thanks for posting!

  6. Diana C says:

    Thanks for the tips! I’m going to be ready for this summer!

    Diana C

  7. It’s in fact very complicated in this busy life to listen news on TV,
    thus I just use world wide web for that reason, and get the newest information.


Get Updates Via Email

Join The Frugal Beautiful Update List!
Get Posts Sent To Your Inbox...subscribe below!