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manicure on a budget

Professional Manicures on a Budget in Singapore

Extravagant and fancy gelish nail manicures and pedicures have become so commonplace nowadays that every other Singaporean “Influencer” on Instagram would never be caught posing for product or lifestyle photos without a full set of bling-ed up gelish extensions. Even the rest of us with more traditional jobs would get the occasional gelish manicure for perhaps a special event or pampering treat. A basic classic gelish manicure would already cost a pretty penny – starting from $50 onwards for a full-service set. There are definitely cheaper ones around, but in my experience, these manicures do not last longer than 2-3 weeks.

manicure on a budget

Source: Instagram

If you notice on Instagram, there are many flourishing home-based manicurists in Singapore – which could mean that, technically, you can also achieve such glamourous gelish nails at home yourself! Read on to find out where you can buy the various materials and equipment to achieve the nails of your (budget) dreams:

  1. Health and Beauty Chains

Shops like Watsons, Guardian and, more specifically for beauty products, Sasa, sell a wide variety of nail tools and equipment for DIY manicures. Besides the basic nail polishes with gel finishes, complete toolkits for cleaning and buffing of cuticles and nails, they also carry stick-on extensions for a flawless gel manicure that can be achieved within minutes These stick-on nail sets cost $10-15, depending on if you buy them during a sale, and can last roughly 1 week. If you would like to extend the life of these nails, you can buy extra nail adhesives or nail glue separately. These are perfect for a special occasion where you want your nails dressed up without spending excessively.

  1. Japanese Variety Stores

Japanese shops such as Daiso usually have a section for nail products as well – seeing how the nail culture is pretty strong in Japan. Over here, you can find nail stickers, diamante bling, tiny metal studs and nail foil to amp up your manicures. Each pack of accessory costs $2 and they can go pretty far in terms of how many manicures you can use them for. You might be able to find basic stick-on nail extensions here as well, but you will need to add colour and design onto them yourself.

  1. Online shopping platforms

If you are willing to wait, online shops such as Taobao has an extremely huge range of nail products in many different varieties and designs that you never knew existed. Recently, the nail sticker trend has been exploding in Singapore, but for more than $10 each. On Taobao, you will be able to achieve amazing manicures for a very small fraction of the price you would’ve paid at a normal shop. One of my good buys on Carousell a few years back was a UV LED lamp that cures gelish nail polish, giving you a high-shine, chip-free manicure within a few minutes. Gelish nail polish itself is also found on all these online platforms, together with the removal pads for gelish polish. Alternatively, you can invest in a nail system that can not only file and buff your nails with little effort on your part, but it can remove any gel polish from your nails like magic.

And there you have it, budget ways to get a flawless manicure and pedicure at home without heading to the nail salon every month. You can follow Instagram accounts or watch video tutorials online for more inspiration on how to beautify your nails. Share your tips on budget manicures below, if you have done them yourself too!

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