For years, I was on the fake acrylic nails bandwagon. From the first time I gave that manicure option a try, I loved it. Polish lasts longer on acrylic nails; my nails were always uniform נshaped perfectly and just the right length. All I had to do was go to the nail salon every three weeks to have them maintained.
The problem is it became addictive. I couldn’t do the maintenance myself. And if I didn’t go regularly to have them done, they looked horrible. I became a slave to my local nail salon and acrylic-applying nail technician. It was not cheap.
Anyone who’s ever had acrylic nails knows that they absolutely ravage your natural nails if removed incorrectly or worn for years without taking a break. And no wonder. Part of the process is to sand down one’s natural nails to get the stuff to stick and not “lift” before the next appointment.
It was a difficult habit to break, and I’m glad I did נnot only for my nail health (Google “acrylic dangers” if you dare) but even more so for my wealth. Here’s what Carol wrote:
DEAR MARY: About a year ago, I read your column “Six Secrets for the Perfect DIY Manicure,” about giving yourself a manicure instead of paying someone else to do it.
I’d had acrylic nails with twice a month upkeep for well over 10 years and was determined to cut this expense. I emailed you my intention to follow your plan as a commitment to myself.
I am thrilled to tell you I have successfully weaned myself off this $50 monthly expense, and I want to tell you your plan works! I have a suggestion, however, for those who use your system after removing acrylic nails for good.
Your nails will be thin, ugly and short for several months. I could not have imagined using a colored nail polish, which, to me, would have exaggerated their shortness (you mention your favorite is OPI Lincoln Park After Dark).
Instead, I searched for a polish very close to my skin color. I chose Revlon Gray Suede No. 705. I bought the recommended products and followed all your steps, with the exception of using this product for color.
As I looked at my nails every day, I saw just an extension of my fingers with shiny ends. It allowed me to not be embarrassed about them, and I simply put them out of my mind.
To my surprise, within about three to four months, my nails looked normal again נeven without polish! (Although I still go through the same routine.) Especially helpful is applying the Avoplex Nail & Cuticle Replenishing Oil several times a day. It smells wonderful, feels soothing and looks beautiful.
Thank you! I love your daily email. I have learned so much and am well on my way to a debt-free life. נCarol
DEAR CAROL: I recall your initial message and am just so proud of you for your tenacity and determination. Great job! I know that many of your fellow readers are going to be encouraged to follow your brave lead. Getting off that acrylic nail treadmill is no simple feat! The fact that you are not spending $600 each year on acrylic nails makes me smile. But more than that, to know you are well on your way to financial freedom is truly thrilling!
Mary Hunt, founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com, writes this column for Creators Syndicate. Send tips or address questions to: Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740, or email her at email@example.com.