A big trend that seems to be sticking around for good now is for a lot of us women to be giving a bit more care and attention to our nails. It seems to me that the go-to pamper treatment these days is a manicure, so much so that I’ve even heard of women choosing to eat nothing but beans on toast for a week just so that they can keep their appointment at the nail salon!
So, now that getting your nails done is as much of a basic pamper treatment as getting your hair cut for a lot of women, the questions that I keep asking myself are “How much do these manicures cost and how can I enjoy the lovely feeling of having pampered nails without spending a fortune?” First we’ll look at how much you can expect to pay for the various options on offer if you get your nails done in a salon, then we’ll discuss some ways that you could cut the cost of getting your nails done significantly.
What types of manicures are there and how much do they cost in a salon?
OK, so there are usually 3 different types of manicures that women will choose from when visiting a salon, these being; Acrylic, Gel and Shellac.
Acrylic Nails have been around for a very long time, they are well known for being hard wearing, although this does make them less eco friendly. They are usually applied to your nail with an added tip extension so that you can choose the length of your nails. The product is a mix of both powder and liquid. Some people like to keep the acrylic nails clear so that they have the french manicure look, or once they have dried you can then apply some nail polish*.
This is the most expensive option with the average cost for an acrylic manicure being around £30-£40. They should last between 3-5 weeks before you need a re-fill which is around £30.
Gel Manicures are a bit different from acrylic, instead of a powder and liquid mix, it is pretty self explanatory that it is a gel formula that is applied to your natural nail bed which is then cured under a UV lamp*. They aren’t as hard wearing as acrylic nails, but they do have a more natural and glossy look. They come in polish type colours, but you can still add your own style in artwork too. A few people prefer to have a gel manicure because there isn’t the same chemical smell that you get from the acrylic nails.
The average cost for a Gel manicure is around £25-£35 which will then last you between 2-3 weeks, so they do need redoing earlier than the acrylics if you were wanting to keep them on as a permanent fixture.
You may have also heard about the new Shellac Polish that you can have. This is the name of a product created by CND which is a blend of gel and nail polish. It is applied to your natural nail bed and cured under a UV lamp. This treatment looks and feels just like a super nail polish. You can add some glitter or different designs to be creative and it will usually last you about 2-3 weeks.
The average cost for a Shellac manicure is about £20 so it is the cheapest of the three options.
So, if you are thinking of treating yourself to a trip to the nail salon, you will hopefully have more of an idea about what type of manicure you would like. However, as a mum of two I am fully aware that a trip to the nail salon may just be that bit too expensive, especially if you worry that once you have had your nails done you won’t want to go back to having boring nails again!
D.I.Y Manicure Kits
If this is the case then why not look into buying your own kit to do your nails at home? As treatments all consist of different things the kits will also vary in price. For instance, you can pick up an acrylic manicure starter kit* on ebay for about £60. You may find that this is the trickiest of the treatments to do yourself so you might want to research how to do it on YouTube and maybe rope a friend in to help.
If you like the idea of having a gel manicure then a starter kit would set you back about £25*. Obviously there are lots of different brands to choose from so both quality and price will vary, so it may be a good idea to do a bit of research first to find a brand that you like the sound of. Again, you may also want to watch a few videos on YouTube to help you along but it is a simpler procedure than the acrylic manicure.
If you fancy trying out a Shellac kit at home, then you may find it cheaper to choose another brand as the CND Shellac kits* start from around £125. There are other brands that use a similar formula however that start from about £35*.
Now obviously buying a kit does cost more than a singular manicure, so this only works out as a cheaper option if you know that you will use it regularly. Maybe you can arrange a regular pamper night with some of your friends where you do each others nails and enjoy some wine and chocolate too (which isn’t usually allowed in a nail salon!)?