Saving Money on Manicures

Category Nail Tips
Having your nails manicured can be quite costly, but there are ways to save money. This is a page about saving money on manicures.


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Are you on a budget? You and your best friend, sister, mom, friend or cousin can do each other nails and catch up for only $1.99.

This color, called "I Need a Refresh-Mint 218A" by Wet n' Wild, is the perfect dupe for the popular mint blue color used by Tiffany & Co. This nail polish is easy to apply with the wide brush very much comparable to high quality nail polishes like OPI and Essie. Two coats and you're good to go, plus it is a lovely color against all skin tones. I highly recommend this shade from the Wet n' Wild line.

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August 17, 2004

Do you like to receive a manicure and/or a pedicure but feel you can't afford the high prices? Have I got a deal for you. Check out your local high school and see if they have a beautifican class. I recently had a manicure by a senior student and she was supervised by the teacher several times during my manicure.


I had called ahead of time and made an appointment that was agreeable to my time schedule. She was very professional and did a really good job. The $6 that the school policy charged was well worth it. I got to pick out the color nail polish and happily added a tip to the cost.

A happy manicure and/or pedicure to you.

By joesgirl

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

October 15, 2011

I've tried removing acrylic from my big toes with pure acetone, but it does not work. I'm stressing now as I have got a fungus infection under the nail as a result of the acrylic. I really want to get the acrylic off so I can start treating the fungus infection. Has anyone got any ideas how else I could remove it?


By Penny11


October 16, 20110 found this helpful

Not sure why acetone wouldn't work. How about calling a salon that does manicures/pedicures and asking their advice? Should be a simple phone call; I'm sure they'd love to offer help.

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October 16, 20110 found this helpful

You need to go to the salon and let them handle it. Whatever is going on sounds painful and not good!

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October 16, 20110 found this helpful

Go to the salon and let them handle it. It doesn't sound good.

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October 18, 20110 found this helpful

You can have a nail salon remove the acrylic but I suggest to go to your doctor because of the fungus. This is not worth possibly losing a toe or getting cellulitis which is life threatening.

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October 19, 20110 found this helpful

Hello, Please go to the Dr. regarding the fungus and call a manicurist to remove the acrylic from your toes.


Please do not put acrylic on your toes. I have my nails/pedicure done once a month and have never seen anyone put the acrylic on their toes.

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March 2, 2010

What is an easy and safe way to remove an acrylic overlay over natural nails?

By lisa from Fort Wayne, IN


March 2, 20100 found this helpful

When I used to have them the manicurist told me to soak the nails in regular nail polish remover. With the acrylic nails if you want to change the color of polish yourself you are supposed to use a special polish remover. It has been so many years since I have had them, that I can't remember what the different removers are called.


The regular polish remover does work good, but it is time consuming. My nails now grow so fast, I have a hard time keeping them at a usable length. I figure it must be because of all the OTC supplements that my doctor has me on.

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March 4, 20100 found this helpful

I removed mine with hot water. I just soaked my nails and pulled them gently off.I used tweezers to help. At the nail salon, they do same thing.My nails took about 2-1/2 years to return to a semi-normal state. They have been a mess - peeling, breaking, soft, soft, soft!

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March 4, 20100 found this helpful

Not sure if you mean the new ones that look like what we use to call "fake" nails or not that you used a glue to put the complete nail right over your own, if it is that glue is like super glue. I tried them and had a terrible time getting them off, after all it is super glue. No way would have hot water taken mine off. I had to remove them the same way as the liquid acrylics that are built up.


You use acetone nail polish remover to soak them in, be very gentle removing the acrylic so as not to do any more damage to your own nail. The acetone is what melts the acrylic. Don't gouge or scrape your nail, use a wooden stick such as an orange cuticle stick from a manicure kit or popcycle stick would work. Just be patient and let the nail polish do it's work, it will take quite a while but it will be the best method for your real nails.

Do not peel the acrylic off when it feels like it will come just keep pushing the melted goo off until you are down to your own nails. I can't stress this enough especially if you have worn the acrylics for several years. Your own nails are most likely going to be soft and easily damaged, good luck from the voice of a slow learner, took me three times until I learned my lesson. Still paying the price with ruined nails 15 years later.

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May 26, 20130 found this helpful

I have to agree with everyone who said it ruined their nails. Mine were thin and weak to begin with but now they split vertically so much that I can not even begin to grow them out. I wish I never would have started with them. It has been about 15 years since I used them and if I had it to do over, I wouldn't do it. When they were removed, there was bleeding under my own nail!

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 2, 2010

I am a former acrylic nail wearer and now have an acrylic overlay over my natural nails. How can I safely remove the overlay and not damage my natural nails? They are a very nice length.

Elizabeth from Kentucky


Removing an Acrylic Overlay

Try nail polish remover containing Acetone. It will help dissolve the acrylic without nail damage. I know this works for the store bought do-it-yourself kits, but I'm assuming salon nails may have more of a trick to removal, but this cannot hurt your real nails. May dry them a bit, but a little cuticle oil can help that. (07/29/2005)

By Scarlette

Removing an Acrylic Overlay

Nail Polish remover is fine, but if you can purchase pure acetone for salon applied overlays it should help. Chances are your overlay still made your nail week, so cuticle oil is okay, but you will definitely need a nail strengthener over your natural nail.

Best of Luck. (07/29/2005)

By Kim

Removing an Acrylic Overlay

Pure Acetone is the best way for sure. I did nails for 13 years. Yes, it is true. Your nails were already damaged by all the pre-filing to get the oil off your nails for the acrylic to adhere.

The best thing to do is get a complete manicure when you take them off. Be patient because it will probably take multiple soakings over the course of an hour or two to get off.

Don't try to force the acrylic off. You will do real damage that will only be remedied when new growth comes. Apply any clear polish everyday after you manicure. Every third day remove and apply new polish. (07/30/2005)

By Fran Marie

Removing an Acrylic Overlay

First off, not every technique that is suggested is going to work for everyone's acrylic situation. Now, in saying that, if you find that taking off your acrylics are UNBELIEVABLY painful to take off then the most probable cause is an Illegal ingredient found in the acrylic LIQUID. It is called MMA (methyl methacrylate). It doesn't cause any internal damage (as long as you don't ingest it) but what it does do is that it creates an almost unbreakable bond and thus severely damaging the nail plate when taking the acrylics off.

Trust me, I am a Nail Technician and I constantly tell my clients about the MMA ingredient because I've seen HORRIBLY painful looking nails that have been ripped of the nail bed. So if you feel like you have this problem first, don't ever go back to where you got them done, second DON'T remove them yourself. Let a professional do it.

Otherwise, all the other ideas I've seen on this page should work just fine. Just remember you have to be gentle and patient. (08/29/2008)

By Vanessa

Removing an Acrylic Overlay

I've been getting overlays for a while now and my nails are just fine. When I go to the salon, I get them soaked off (hot water in one bowl and acetone in another technique), a mani and a pedi with cuticle care, and designed with my own personal polish because I have a thing about polish used by others. My nails are good and healthy.

No No's:
Do not take them off yourself.
Do not let the technicians take them off with any cards or whatever they may use because that is how they get horribly damaged.
Do not get fill-ins because they are tacky

Get them professionally soaked off
Get them shaped and manicured and get a pedi for the heck of it (you might as well match)


By Aminah

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