Vegas: How Much a Trip Really Costs for Two People

Las Vegas

A couple of weeks ago my boyfriend and I took a four day trip to Las Vegas. To be honest, it is probably the first big trip that I have planned and paid for all by myself since graduating college and I was so excited. Saving money for this trip was easy, and I break down how you can do it in this post!

Since this blog is all about saving money, part of that including traveling, I thought I would show you how I did. Coming up in some future blog posts I would like to break down the individual processes of how I pick things as well. But for now here is an overview of my trip and an estimate of how much it cost. Enjoy!

For each category I will have totals, and remember that these are the totals for two people, not one!

Airfare to Vegas

So usually the big ticket item on a trip out of town in the plane ticket. We purchased ours in February for a May trip. To get the cheapest flight, we were pretty flexible in the weekend we decided to go. After playing around with some options, a Saturday-Tuesday trip seemed to be the cheapest option with a weekend included (I wanted to save some vacation time and only take two days off of work).

We decided to fly Southwest for a couple of reasons. One, my boyfriend has a rewards card with points he could redeem for his flight. So he already knew that was the airline he was going to go with. I on the other hand do not have any rewards points, so I was open to any options within my price range.

After looking, Frontier had the cheapest fares. I have never flown Frontier, but my boyfriend has and even said he had a good experience. However I am still skeptical about the whole thing (I have seen tons of bad reviews, it has to be cheap for a reason, right?) Still I considered it before I had a major realization. Frontier charges for bags (whether you check or carry on, so be careful if you do fly with them!) So even if I had a carry on for a bag, I would be paying $35 each way, for a total of $75 the entire trip. That plus the ticket price was actually more than a Southwest ticket, who has free baggage (carry on and one checked bag free).

So I went with Southwest!

Total for Flight and Bags:

$271.89

Hotel

Of course the next most important detail is the hotel. My boyfriend has been to Vegas several times, and is a part of a rewards club. He had gotten an email offering a free hotel stay at one of a few select hotels in Las Vegas.

(the view from our room)

So we looked through the list and decided to go with the LINQ Hotel. We were able to get the Deluxe King room and a view overlooking the Ferris wheel (the biggest in the world). While the room was free, we had to pay a fee for some things like the internet, which was $30 a day.

Total for Hotel:

$102.04

Transportation

Thankfully we stayed in the middle of the Las Vegas strip, so most of what we wanted to do was within walking distance. However there were sometimes where transportation was necessary. For those instances we used Uber. We used Uber four separate rides: to and from the airport, as well as to and from one of the shows we went to.

Total for Transportation:

$62.07

Entertainment

When in Vegas, you have to go to a show. We chose to go to Penn & Teller (amazing, by the way!) Buying the tickets the day of (found on this website) saved $10-$20 on each ticket, so we got each one for about $61.50 plus applicable fees.

We also decided to go on the High Roller Ferris Wheel. It is the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, and it was right next to our hotel – I couldn’t say no to that. Tickets are normally $37 a person, but when I signed up for the rewards program at the casino we stayed at I got a coupon for 2 for 1 ride! It was a great surprise because we were already planning on doing it, but it was cheaper now.

Other than that we spent out stay just walking around from casino to casino looking at themes and great displays, which of course was free.

(beautiful flowers at the Bellagio Conservatory – free to view!)

Total for Entertainment:

$183.45

Food

Of all the activities we did in Vegas, food was probably the most expensive.

Day One:

Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar

We got some trash can brisket nachos to share and each got our own burger.

$61.50 + tip

Day Two:

Wicked Spoon Buffet

I had heard so much about this buffet and had to try it – and it did not disappoint. Weekend brunch was $36 a person.

Day Three:

Hash House a Go Go

Decided to try this place since it was located in our hotel and it was fantastic! I got the Tractor Driver combo – a HUGE red velvet pancake, bacon, and eggs. And my boyfriend got the Sage Fried Chicken Benedict (one of the things they are known for).

$30.98 + tip

Gordon Ramsay Burger

We stopped in here mid-day after doing some walking around town. We weren’t too hungry, so we split the Hells’ Kitchen burger – and it was possibly the best burger I have ever had.

$15 + tip

Virgil’s Real Barbecue

Walked past this place late at night and it smelled so good we decided to go in. Got the pig out platter with ribs, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and corn bread. Yummy!

$24.38 + tip

Day Four:

Cravings Buffet – The Mirage

We ended the trip with a simple buffet. We went during the weekday brunch for $20.99. For the price, this was a great value. Plenty of options to choose from and there was no crowd or lines to deal with.

$41.98

Total for Food:

$246.44

Other Notes

Of course we did some gambling and bought souvenirs, but I am not going to include all of that since it was unnecessary and just what we decided to do.

Also I mentioned a few times that we used a rewards program throughout this trip and it helped so much! This is how we got the hotel for so cheap, and got various coupons. We also got free tickets to a show, and two free drink tickets we could use at various casinos. I highly suggest signing up when you get there if you haven’t already. It will help for the current trip as well as future ones.

Total Expense

So for hotel, airfare, food, transportation, and entertainment we spent a total of $865.89 on the trip total for two people. Under $1000 total for a four day trip is not too bad in my book!

Bottom Line

I think my first trip planned was a success and actually probably cheaper than expected. Eating big meals once a day saves tons of money. Also, being a part of a rewards program certainly helped with the costs, and I highly recommend to anyone going to Vegas.

What trip are you planning in the upcoming months and how do you plan to save money?

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The Easiest Way to Save Money for What You Love

save money

My first few months after graduating college I lived in constant fear of running out of money. The salary from my job was just enough to cover rent, bills, groceries, savings, and left a couple of hundred dollars for all else. I remember being so excited to have my first apartment to myself, but not having enough money to decorate it the way I wanted to. One of my biggest fears after graduation was that I would run out of money and have to call my parents to bail me out. I needed to prove that I could manage my money wisely, but that turned into depriving myself from everything that wasn’t a necessity.

After being fed up with that, I made a few changes to the way I dealt with my financial situation. One, I created a budget spreadsheet that I use almost every day. And two, I created a separate bank account for the fun stuff.

Saving Money

At first this bank account didn’t have a real purpose. I knew I wanted it to be “guilt free” money, but I was not sure for what exactly. So I would go shopping and buy things I really wanted (my first purchase on the card was a vinyl record player—best fun purchase ever!) However, since the account really had no purpose, I was spending the money here and there on little things and I was not getting the satisfaction I was wanting.

Then, at the beginning of 2017 I started to redefine my goals (new goals for a new year, groundbreaking I know). I had just gotten back from a family vacation to Cancun and completely obsessed with traveling more. So I made a decision and started saving in my travel account. I started small, and built up over time to get where I am today. At my rate currently, I am saving $2,600 a year for travel! Crazy right? A small amount every couple of weeks makes a big difference. The best part is that the amount is constant every other week. I can plan for a trip in December, and calculate how much I will have by multiplying $50 for every week up until the trip to see what I will have to spend.

How to Save for the Fun Stuff

If you would like to take the same journey I did and have a separate account for the things you love (or just save money to your regular savings account), here are some tips I have to get you started:

Pick Your Purpose

Don’t make the same mistake I did and save without having a specific idea in mind about what the money is for. If you don’t have a purpose for it, you will spend it on unimportant things that you will forget about in a matter of weeks. Think of something you love doing, but takes money. Maybe it’s a manicure, shopping spree, or travel like me. Find whatever makes you happy and that you would be excited to spend money on and write it down.

Set a Goal

Set a goal of how much money you want to save and how often. Start with something small and manageable and work your way up. I started off saving $50 every two weeks, then increased that to $75, and now it is at $100. Once you realize that you don’t even really miss that money, you can push yourself further and further. If you get a regular paycheck, I suggest you pick a schedule that coincides with those days. That will make it easier to save as soon as you get the money.

Save Automatically

The best tip I can give you to make this as painless as possible is to set up autopay and let your bank do its thing. For me, I have $100 out of every paycheck of mine go to my travel checking account. This way I do not even see the money deposited into my main checking account, and don’t even think about it. It never touches the account I use on the daily basis, and the only way for me to use that money is to take out that particular debit card, or to transfer to my main account (which I never do).

Keep Reminders around You of Your Purpose

Saving is much easier when you can picture your goal. If you are saving for travel like me, have a board of travel destinations you would love to go to. If you want a shopping spree, keep a wish list of the clothes you will buy once you have saved enough money. Always remind yourself of your why. You will be less likely to back out.

Spend without Guilt

My last step of course is to spend the money without guilt. Go into your purpose and not feel bad thinking you are wasting money. You earned it! You saved it! You made a goal and stuck to it and now you get to enjoy the rewards. Keep mementos and pictures to use as reminders for your future saving.

Bottom Line

In order to save the most money as painlessly as possible you should define what it is you are saving for, arrange a payment schedule you can stick to, set up automatic payments to that account, keep your purpose in your mind, and spend your money the way you want! This method is easy and effective, and I hope it enables you to spend more time doing the things you love.

What purpose would you like to save more money for?

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Subscription Beauty Boxes: Are They Really Worth It?

subscription beauty boxes

If you have never tried one before, you are probably wondering if subscription beauty boxes are worth it. In the past few years it seems like every kind of subscription box has developed, but beauty boxes have been out there for a while.

I was subscribed to Birchbox for years, but cancelled after constantly having to change the address since I was moving around a lot for college. Then, about a year and a half ago I subscribed to Ipsy.

If you cannot tell already, my answer is a yes. I love subscription beauty boxes. And I will give you four reasons why they are worth the $10 below.

Where I Get Most of My Makeup

I would estimate that I get about 60% of the makeup that I use on the daily basis from my Ipsy bag. I use the make up that much. I get tons of make up essentials, like cool new mascaras to classic black liners. I believe $10 is completely worth it, I could barely get one piece of make up for that even at the drugstore, and these are name brands.

Travel Size

Another advantage to subscription beauty boxes is that they are travel size. The benefit to this is two fold. One, they are the perfect size for traveling. Also, this little size is just enough. We might deny it to ourselves, but makeup does go bad. In fact you are supposed to get rid of mascaras every three months. Who could use a full tube in that short period of time? I get bored with things very easily, so the small travel size is just perfect enough for me to get use out of, without wasting money.

Find New Products

I’m not one to test the waters too much. I find things I like, and tend to stick with them. But new makeup is fun to try, so I am glad to have Ipsy to help get me out of my comfort zone. I have found so many amazing products, sometimes from brands I have never even heard of. Without Ipsy I probably never would have stumbled across these products, so I am super thankful for that.

“Treat Yo’self”

One of the things I love most about my subscription beauty box is all the fun things I get and being able to look forward to getting it every month. From fun nail polish colors to glitter eyeliner, I really enjoy seeing all the quirky products that month. I’m also not one to buy things like face masks or hair oils, so I get all the products I need to pamper myself in my Ipsy box.

Ipsy Bonus

One thing Ipsy does differently is that it isn’t a box. It’s a bag. These cute little travel bags get use from me. They are great for traveling or keeping in your purse. I love that they can serve another purpose after they’ve brought you all your products.

My April Bag

Wanna see an example of what to expect? Below is my April bag!

First of all, the bag is so cute! My favorite products so far are definitely the TONYMOLY LipCare Stick and the OFRA blush. Can’t wait to try that beautiful light pink polish as well.

Bottom line

For $10, I get most of my staple pieces of makeup, some fun pieces, and without wasting product/money and huge containers. Plus it’s a great little surprise every month. If you are thinking of subscribing, I highly recommend an Ipsy subscription.

Do you participate in any subscription boxes? If so what do you like/not like about it?

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The One Type of Cheap Vacation You Can Afford Today

Cheap Vacation

Why a Staycation?

Staycations can be cheap and fun. One of the best parts is just getting a nice hotel, being lazy and enjoying the room. Another thing about vacations is that usually you do not spend a lot of time in your hotel room. That would be a waste, right? To spend the money on the plane ticket just to sit in a hotel room? Well this is where the staycation comes in. The trip partially is the hotel room.

Find the Perfect Place to Stay

As I mentioned, the best part of a staycation is where you stay. So do some research and find the best place to stay for you. Whether it is the newest hotel in town, a hotel with old time character, or a tiny house. Speaking of which – don’t be afraid of airbnb! You can find some seriously cool places – often cheaper than a hotel room. And more private. Plus, if you go with a big group you can split the cost and still stay close together.

Where to Go

When I say staycation, you don’t have to stay in the very city you live in. Go somewhere close. If you live in a suburb, you might want to go to the biggest city that is closest to you. Alternatively, if you live in a city, you might want to stay at a small town near you. It is nice to get away from the city for a while and just relax. Since I live in San Antonio, my favorite go to is Fredericksburg, TX. It is close enough by that I don’t spend a lot of money on gas, but there is still tons to do. Tons of good bed and breakfasts, wineries, breweries, and great food.

Need More Ideas?

Still not sure where to visit? Google “Day Trips from _____ (your hometown)”. A lot of big cities even have travel books. For instance, I checked out this book from my library for ideas. Which brings me to another point, go to your library and check out the travel book section. They are likely to have state specific trips that will be within your reach. They will give you information like the best places to stay, eat, shop, as well as activities specific to that city. These are a great resource, and getting it from your library is free.

The Bottom Line

Need a break but can’t afford a plane ticket? Rethink a staycation! Find a town near you, reserve a room, and spend the weekend eating, drinking, and relaxing. Sometimes that is better than the packed itineraries anyway.

What is your favorite kind of staycation?

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My Top Eight Espadrilles Under $50 for This Spring

espadrilles

Some Backstory

While I do not claim to be a fashion blogger (by any means), fashion is a huge part of my life and of course my budget. Part of the inspiration behind this blog was to be a collection of deals I found inspired by things a women my age would want.

Therefore I think bringing in-style inspired deals to this blog would bring value to all of my readers – I hope you agree!

The Trend – Espadrilles

So today I am talking espadrilles. I follow tons of fashion bloggers, and I feel that these have become huge this spring. Especially the Marc Fisher and Steve Madden ones that it seems like everyone and their mother owns. I love the idea of these cute and comfortable pair of shoes. I’m dying to get my hands on some “everyday” kind of wedges, and I think espadrilles are what I need.

So without further adieu, below I have put together a list of a few of my favorite picks. I’ve been trying to find a pair myself and wanted to share my findings!

As a side note: prices vary depending on size and color, and may have changed since publishing this post.

My Picks – Espadrilles

Betani Faux Suede Espadrille Platform Wedge
Black, beige, navy
$26.45

A classic peep-toe wedge style, I think these are a steal for the price. They could definitely be dressed up, or down.

White Mountain ‘LAVISH’ Women’s Sandal
Black, navy
$38.40

A gorgeous two-toned shoe with pretty stone embellishments. I’ve been loving the black/tan color scheme together, and these shoes display it so well.

Skechers Cali Women’s Turtledove Platform Sandal
Black, navy, red, natural
$41.39

Ok, so I admit. Seeing the word Skechers definitely gives me flashbacks to early 00’s chunky tennis shoes. However I think they have redeemed themselves with these shoes. The eyelet detailing is perfect for spring and I find a closed-toed wedge a refreshing change from the usual – and perfect for those days when you realize you need a pedicure.

Nine West Jentri
Black, natural, off-white, red orange
$44.99

The cross pattern and the buckle definitely add something unique to this shoe. I find these perfect for a spring evening out!

Steve Madden Waria
Black, natural
$40.49

These are more of a platform than a wedge. It makes them more comfortable which is why I feel like these are another great everyday kind of shoe.

Johnston & Murphy Angela Ankle Strap
Black, gold metallic, silver metallic, white/black
$49.99

The metallic finish on these are so different and cute! And a low heel makes them easier to walk around in.

UGG Starla
Black, cream, hazard orange, navy
$45.00

The bow and ties are so cute. A great spring detailing.

Aldo Nalewet
Black, cognac
$39.99

I wanted to finish off the list with a classic look, and I think this is it. These wedges are gorgeous, and a steal for the price

The Bottom Line

If you love the espadrille wedge trend but aren’t ready to spend a fortune on it here are eight options for you to try under $50.
Which pair would you pick? Have another pick you love that I didn’t mention? Comment down below!

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The Top Six Sturdy Carry On Suitcases Under $100

Carry On Suitcase

Carry On’s

Since I plan on being a serious traveler this year, I decided to start acting like it. I did not have a carry on size suitcase. In fact I have only ever checked a bag when flying. However, I started thinking about it and how much money I end up wasting doing that.

The Math

Say you plan to travel four times in a year, and you check a bag each trip, both ways. That bag will cost you at least $25 (each way), usually more. That’s $200 a year you didn’t need to spend. So get yourself a carry on sized suitcase, and save some money for more travel!

My Carry On Picks

So I started doing some research on some cheap (but still cute and functional) carry on suitcases and here are my picks. They are all hardshell, four wheel suitcases. I definitely feel like cloth, two wheelers are a thing of the past. Once you get one of these, you will wonder why all suitcases didn’t have four wheels before! Airports are a breeze with the smooth ride on these wheels.

carry on
carry on

Samsonite // Aimee Kestenberg // Rockland Melbourne // Traveler’s Club // Utopia Home // Traveler’s Club

*Note that prices may change, and vary based on color

 

My Carry On Suitcase

So which one did I pick? The gold of course! I love gold, and this one was too perfect. It looks so nice in person. When I saw it go on sale on Amazon, I took it as a sign and bought it. I was hesitant at first, since the color looked odd in the photos, but the reviews were great so I went for it. Check it out for yourself!

carry on suitcase

Bottom Line

Don’t spend your money when you don’t have to. Pick one of these affordable, yet sturdy carry on’s and never check a bag again! Now that I have a carry on, I will be testing out the best ways to fit the most in it – so stick around for that post coming soon!

Which carry on is your favorite? Have another pick I didn’t mention? Leave it in the comments below!

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How to Find Stylish & Affordable Furniture for Any Budget

Affordable Furniture

Ever since getting my first apartment by myself, home decor has been my thing. One place I love is West Elm. But West Elm is like my dream home at nightmare prices. I love it so much but it can get pretty pricey, and it was definitely out of my recent-college-graduate budget.

Finding affordable furniture can be tough. So I started saving inspiration from places like West Elm and other mid century modern styles but buying from stores with more affordable furniture.

So far I have been so happy with the way my apartment is coming together. I love the way everything looks, and get compliments all the time. Here are the tips I have to getting affordable furniture that fits your style.

Know Exactly What You Want

Going in with a vague idea (or worse, no idea at all) of what you want will set you up for failure. Instead, look for inspiration ahead of time. This will help you to see things that you want, and you are less likely to get overwhelmed when shopping.

Where to Find Inspiration

I tend to find my inspiration from two places: Pinterest and Instagram. You can follow individuals or companies (or both). Both places you can save images you like so that you may refer back to them frequently. I tend to favor Pinterest since you can create separate boards and search more easily. However, Instagram’s new save feature has made it a lot easier to save and store images.

Research Stores in Your Price Range

Next, you are going to have to do a bit of research to see what stores are within your style and price range. Here, I encourage you to keep an open mind. Some places you might not consider “glamorous”, but they have nice pieces.

Stores with Stylish & Affordable Furniture

This is where I get the majority of my affordable furniture. Another place to try? Those discount furniture stores that you have probably seen all over town, but would never want to go in. I get it. That was me. They just didn’t seem my style. But when my grandma dragged me into one, I was surprised. They actually had some great stuff, and for good prices. When trying to find affordable furniture on tight budget, remember that it might take time and research but it will be worth the money you save.

Building Over Time

Of course, another trick to finding affordable furniture is building over time. If you want a nice, cohesive home it is not going to happen overnight. Do not settle because you think you need something right now. Take your time in finding and purchasing pieces. If you can justify a more expensive piece, then save up and buy it! In my first apartment I had a completely empty living room for two weeks. My tv sat on two cardboard boxes for five months. Then one day I found a tv stand that I loved and it happened to be on sale. The wait was completely worth it, and I am glad I didn’t buy something because I felt I had to.

The Bottom Line

Do your research, figure out your style, find places within your price range, and slowly build the pieces in your home or apartment. Do not feel pressured to buy something just because you think you must have that particular piece of furniture right now. Finding affordable furniture you love takes time, so don’t rush. You will prevent buyer’s remorse and be happier with what you have.

What is one piece of affordable furniture you are eyeing right now? I’d love to see what you guys have found on your hunt!

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Save Money Traveling – One Tip to Help Save Time and Money on Your Next Trip

Save Money Traveling

One thing that I have learned over time that enables me to save money traveling is to have snacks and meals on hand.

Don’t get me wrong, I love food. And going to new restaurants is one of my favorite parts of traveling. But when you are on a trip for a few days, it can get old quickly – and expensive. To save money traveling, I use this trick. As an added bonus, you will save tons of time with this tip so you have more time to explore the city.

Where to Go

One of the first things I like to do when I land is go to my hotel, relax, then head to the nearest grocery store, or convenience store. If you want to save even more time, you can plan ahead and see what is around your hotel and have it mapped out. The best way to find a grocery store near your hotel (especially if you are planning ahead) is to go to Yelp. Here you can type in the hotel’s address, and search “grocery store” and it will pull up the ones closest to your hotel. Then I go in and buy my food.

What to Get

I usually get a little of each of these three categories: breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

Breakfast:

For breakfast I like things like yogurt (if you have a mini fridge) and oatmeal. Oatmeal is the one thing you can make it almost any hotel room. Since you can make it in either the microwave, or if you don’t have one in your room you can use the coffee pot! To make it even easier, you can buy the single serve bowls so you do not have to find a bowl to cook it in. Or if you want to buy packets you can use whatever coffee mugs or cups the hotel provides.

Snacks

For snacks I like things like bananas, granola bars, and almonds. Something easy to grab and go. You want at least a couple of snacks that you can throw in your bag, especially when you have a full day of activities planned and don’t want to be burdened with being hungry and grumpy.

Lunch

Lunch can be tough, depending on your hotel situation. If you have a refrigerator, I like to go for the pre-made salads and sandwiches. One of my favorite places to go for this kind of stuff is Trader Joe’s. They have so many pre-made options (that are healthy, too!) This is the perfect break from all of the fatty foods you have probably been eating all trip long. Just about every grocery store and convenience store has something of this sort. You can even buy what you need to make your own sandwiches.

Other Notes

Water

Of course, I like to get some waters, too. Good drinking water can be hard to find in a hotel, so save your money and just buy a small pack at the grocery store. Otherwise you might end up spending a fortune throughout the trip in convenience stores, vending machines, or the hotel’s store. All options that are way more expensive than if you would have just bought a pack in the first place.

Silverware

Also, if you plan to eat something that requires silverware make sure you plan for that too. Some pre-made salads might come with it. Other things won’t. You can either buy a small pack at the store, or get them from your hotel. If your hotel has a free breakfast in the morning you can get them from there. Or if you just call down to the front desk and ask, they will most likely oblige.

Saving Even More Time and Money

If you have the room for it, you can even bring food from home. If you have room in your suitcase throw some snacks in there. Of course this option limits you to only non perishable foods, but you can still bring quite a bit, and save yourself some time when you get there.

Save Money Traveling

So there you have it, my super simple tip to help you save money traveling. I cannot express enough how much this has improved my experience while traveling. Don’t let your hunger and time crunch ruin your trip. Eat in for at least one meal a day, with snacks, and go out and eat whatever you want for the rest of your meals! You will appreciate the food more if you don’t eat out every meal, plus this will save you a lot of time and money.

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How to Paint Your Nails – The Perfect DIY Manicure

Perfect DIY Manicure

Having beautiful nails is something that I always wanted. I grew up around my grandma who got her nails done every week or two – they were never not perfectly painted. However, when I grew up I realized that the salon was not where I wanted to spend my money. So I started to paint my own nails every week, and do a lot of research on the best techniques and brands. Here is the diy manicure I have perfected after many years.

DIY Manicure Tools

Every artist must have the right tools. Here is what I use. If you want the true salon experience you can get some lotions and what not, but these are the basics to get the perfect diy manicure:

  • Cuticle pusher
  • Nail file
  • Polish Remover
  • Cotton Pads
  • Base Coat
  • Top Coat
  • Polish

Steps:

1. The first step to getting a perfect diy manicure is to use nail polish remover to remove any old polish, oil, and dirt. Even if your fingernails don’t have polish on them, use the polish remover. Excess oils can be on your nails, which makes the polish hard to stick and not go on as smooth.

2. Take your cuticle tool and push back your cuticles

3. Next apply your base coat, give plenty of time to dry

4. Then you are going to apply your nail polish in the following way:

Use your non dominant hand to paint first. It will be easier to use this hand when it does not have polish on it yet.
Start wi
th a small dot in the lower center of your nail, about a millimeter away from your nail bed. Push down toward the nail bed, then gently swipe up to the tip of your nail. Then pick up and cover the sides of the nail, softly gliding from the bottom to the top. The trick with this is to do this with a light hand.

5. Next, paint both hands and give ample time to dry. Do a second coat the same way you did the first.

For even more of a visual for this technique, you can watch this video by cutepolish on Youtube

Apply your top coat, and you are done with your perfect DIY manicure!

Painting your nails takes a lot of practice before it starts to look professional. Play with the amount of pressure you use with the polish until you figure it out. It takes some trial and error, so don’t get frustrated.

My recommendations:

The perfect diy manicure heavily depends on the products used. Some polishes just will not go on as smooth. Here are the products that have passed the test with flying colors.

OPI polishes

I have tried a lot of different nail polishes, and OPI really does seem to be the best. It glides on so smooth and doesn’t bubble up. It tends to wear pretty long as well. They also have super cute collections and collaborations.

Save Money

If you don’t want to spend $8 on a single bottle of polish (I hear you on that) then try to get the mini packs or get the polish from Marshall’s/TJ Maxx. For every collection, OPI picks four colors for a mini set. These will cost about $12 each (but they can be found at Marshalls and TJ Maxx for less, too). The great thing about these are that they are enough polish and you get more colors for your money. I mean think about it, have you ever finished a full size? If you are wanting some new polishes go to any Marshall’s and TJ Maxx and stock up. I see new colors every time I go. This past trip I found a full size bottle from the Breakfast at Tiffany’s collection, which is a very recent collection! Plus they had sets for two different collections.

American Classics Gelous Advanced Nail Gel Coat

Just like polishes, I have tried lots of different top coats over the years. This one is the best. It makes lackluster polishes shine and last days! I love the way my nails look after a coat of this stuff. Salon quality for sure. I get this from Amazon.

Sally Hansen Diamond Shine

This base coat is pretty cheap and gets the job done. You can get it from just about any drugstore or Amazon

Trim Totally Together Kit

This kit has everything you need, and I love the cuticle tool – I use this every week.

 

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The Simple Tip You Can Use to Spend Less Money Each Month

Spend Less

How to Spend Less

It is always a goal of mine to spend less. But when it comes to overspending, I am horrible. I am not a big item spender, but instead I buy tons of little things so that all my expenses creep on me slowly and it’s a big problem before I even realize it. Yikes. However, I have developed a system to cut my costs and so far I actually have money left over in my bank account at the end of the month to move over to savings. So what is this magic tip to spend less? Make a wish list.

Make the List

Instead of impulse shopping, make a list of all the things you have been thinking about buying and the prices and wait a couple of days. If you are a frequent Amazon shopper you can create a digital wish list of things you find. Not only will this conveniently save all the links in one place, but Amazon will tell you when the price goes down. So add something, wait a little bit, see if you still want it, and the price might even be lower than it initially was and you will spend less than you would have had you bought it impulsively. Score!

Wait, Then Re-evaluate

After waiting a while you might find that you didn’t even really want it that bad, and you don’t even buy it. This prevents buyers remorse big time. What about the things that you still get excited about just seeing them on your list? Buy them! First, go through the list and pick the top items that will still fit in your budget. If there is something at the bottom of your list that you didn’t have money for that month, move it to the next. If you really want it you will be able to wait.

The Bottom Line: You Will be More Satisfied and Have Less Stuff

If you do buy an item you will value it more. You waited, decided you really wanted it, and now you can enjoy it. Ta da! You spend less while being happier with your purchase. Plus you will have less clutter in your life. This is something I have been working on seriously. I buy things because I want them in that moment, but later I forget about it and it just takes up space in my already tight apartment. Save your money for things you really want and you will be happier. It is that simple.

 

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