Shopping, Style and Beauty

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Mani’s (As in, “Manicures”)

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The easiest way for a lady to look fancier is to have her nails none.  The ghetto fabulous figured this out years ago, blowing their wads on crazy acrylic talons, bedazzled designs, and the wonders of Minx.  Recently, kooky manicures have also been popping up on fashion runways, at Lindsay Lohan’s court hearings, and in articles written by Sarah for this here website.  Nail art is where it’s at, y’all!  And while it’s been a long-held dream of mine to get a gold leopard print lamé Minx manicure from Brooklyn’s finest nail artiste, Honey, $55 for something so impermanent seems a little too deep for my shallow pockets right now.  Here are my top recommendations for getting fly nails on-the cheap:

Sally Hansen Salon Effects a.k.a. Faux Minx:
My BFF Kate sported the fishnet version on a 10 day trip to London, and even after lugging suitcases through the airport and clawing her way out of the hedge maze at Hampton Court, her nails still looked bomb.  They even make my beloved leopard print, and $10 seems doable until I can save up enough cash to finally make that appointment with Honey.

Sephora by OPI Glitter Top Coat:


I’ve been wearing this over every nail color for a couple of months now ($9), and I always get compliments on it.  What can I say?  It adds the perfect amount of gaudiness to any manicure. One time I was sitting next to some rowdy 15 year old parolees on the subway (they were with their case worker and talking about how they were going to sneak back into juvi to “party”), and amidst all the talk about ragin’ in the slammer one of them turned to me and said, “Excuse me, Miss, but I love your nails.”  I felt like I had so much street cred– everyone knows that underage hoodrats are the ultimate harbingers of cool!  I’m never taking this stuff off.

Nailene Nail Decals:

Fashionista recently ran this piece about “nail tattoos”, and I immediately thought, “I used to buy those at the drugstore in 1996.”  I ran to CVS to see if they still exist, and– praise the nail gods– they do.  Presented with two style options, “Punk” and “Fashionista,” I went with the latter since I don’t have a lip ring or wear dog collars.  For $5.79, I got four sheets of nail decals, each with distinct, apparently Fashionista-y themes that could be described as: “Which Way to Woodstock?,” “Mariah Carey in the 90s,” “Mystical Moon Goddess,” and  the sorority-themed “Kappa Kappa Crappa.”  They look fab and stay on really well!  Plus, it’s cool to regain a piece of my 1996 self, minus the fact that I was 10 years old and looked like a not-cute chunky tomboy who was obsessed with hair wraps back then.

Beyonce, LiLo, that lady on the J train, and all of the other divas are rockin’ outrageous mani’s, so why don’t you try it, too?  No need for an expensive trip to the salon, for $10 or less you can have a whole summer of gorgeous nails.  Just stay away from press-ons, because there’s nothing more off-putting than losing a nail when you go to scratch your nose.

Images via Burgers and Nails and Sephora

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Carrie Laven - Pretty Penniless

Carrie Laven - Pretty Penniless

Carrie Laven is a natural-born storyteller from California, but she
lives in New York now. She likes dogs, nail art, and Mexican food,
but mostly she likes scoring sweet deals at thrift stores. She tends
to have a flair for the dramatic.