Quick DIY Mani/Pedi at Home

It’s been awhile! Well, I’m back and here to share with you my quick and easy DIY manicure/pedicure you can easily do at home.

I’ve been on a serious budget, which means I do not go to nail salons to get my nails done. Actually, last time I got my nails done professionally was the day before I got married in November! So that means I do my nails at home. This does take time, but it is still relaxing and I enjoy doing my nails myself. I’m a perfectionist, so I actually like being able to do my nails myself because I can shape, paint, cut my cuticles, etc. to my liking. No odd shapes or anything weird happening with the polish application. Today I was in a bit of a rush, which is why this is a quick DIY mani/pedi.

Step 1. Wash your hands and feet. This step is important. Do not want to start off your manicure and pedicure with dirty hands and feet. Plus, cleaning your hands and feet will help keep your nails clean so the polish can adhere better. If you have time, use a scrub for your hands and feet.

Step 2. Trim, cut, and file your nails to your desired shape (round, oval, square, pointed, etc.). I have weak nails so I usually keep them short and rounded.

Step 3. Use cuticle oil on the cuticles of your hands and feet. Use the cuticle pusher to push back your cuticles and carefully cut excess cuticles. There is a great 3 piece kit from Ulta that includes nail clippers, pusher/cleaner, and a cuticle trimmer. Once your cuticles are nice and trimmed, clean excess cuticle oil from your nails with nail polish remover.

Step 4. Time to paint! Always start with a base coat. I always start with the Essie First Base. Time to add your choice of colored nail polish once the base coat is dry. Today I decided to go with Essie nail polish in Madison Ave-hue (love it!). This shade is perfect for summer! This polish goes on very nicely and really only needs one coat. I did two coats today. Then add the top coat and you are good to go! Speaking of “good to go”, I used the Essie Good to Go Top Coat. You can buy Essie products pretty much anywhere: Ulta, Target, local grocery store, and so on.

Step 5. ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT STEPS! Since this is a quick mani/pedi, follow with the Essie Quick-E drying drops. Actually… this product should ALWAYS be used after any manicure/pedicure. This product is so legit and the best invention ever. This product is great to use even when you aren’t in a rush. All you have to do is add a drop, or two, on each nail after painting and literally like 5 seconds later your nails are dry. I usually wait about 10 minutes to touch anything (grabbing something in my purse, putting up my nail supplies, doing things around the house, etc.) because the paint is still delicate. But the Essie Quick-E drying drops work like a charm and help speed up the drying process. Plus, they help protect nails from dents and smudges during the drying process. What’s not to love?

Step 6. If you have any nail polish residue or excess on your fingers, carefully use a q-tip with nail polish remover to remove any polish that isn’t on your nails.

Step 7. Ta da! You are now done. Your hands and feet look beautiful! Once you feel like your nails are bullet proof and completely dry, follow with your favorite hand and foot cream or lotion. Today I used the Kiehl’s Creme de Corps lotion on my hands and feet.

Yellow household cleaning glvoesPro-tip: prolong your manicure by wearing protective house cleaning gloves when doing chores around the house! We already know our toe nail polish is war-proof. Seriously. How often do toe nails even get chipped from regular everyday tasks?!

 

There you have it! Quick and easy DIY manicure/pedicure you can easily do from home. Enjoy and good luck~

 

How to Save Money as a Millennial

I’ve had many people ask me how I save money as a millennial. People know that the majority of millennials are most likely on an entry-level job income, probably still in debt due to school, trying to pay rent among other bills, all while trying to save some money for our future. So how do I do it? I’m just like any other millennial…

Step 1.  Get out of debt.

I mentioned that most of us are in debt, still paying for school and maybe even credit card debt accumulated while in school. I made it my goal to finish paying all of my student loans prior to the 6 month grace period (the time frame before they start charging interest on your loans). I actually had some loans that already charged interest, so I did not want to be charged even more. I paid off the loans with interest first. Once I was out of debt, I purposely stayed out of debt. I know so many people who finish paying their loans, get their first job out of college, and then buy a brand new car. While that is great (go you!), I did not want to continue to be in debt. I’m still driving my little car I got in high school. And I plan to drive my little car until it breaks down. Of course I’d love a new car, but if I do not need it, then I do not need to buy it. If you have to buy a car, looking into used cars is a great idea if you want to save money.

Step 2.  Learn to have fun for free or at home.

This is probably the boring step. So many people around my age go out every weekend. They go out to eat with friends, go out to parties, or go out to places that cost money. While this sounds fun, going out every weekend costs a lot of money. Instead, learn to have fun for free or hang out at home. It is so easy to entertain while staying in. You can have a fun karaoke party with homemade hor d’oeuvres or have a movie night with popcorn or have a potluck with friends. If you are creative, the possibilities are limitless! This leads me to step 3…

Step 3.  Cook your meals at home.

Imagine you are one of those people who go out to eat everyday… maybe you grab breakfast or a Starbucks on your way to work, go out for lunch at Panera, and maybe on your way home you grab dinner from your favorite Asian restaurant. This adds up to a lot! $5 for a tall Starbucks beverage, $10 at Panera, and maybe around $12 for dinner. This is $27. And who knows, it could be more… I’m only estimating on what I would spend for a drink, lunch, and dinner. I know many people who fall into the routine of eating out for every meal. So $27 a day, $135 per week, around $810 per month, and almost $10,000 a year. Maybe even more a week/month/year if you go out for “fancier” meals on the weekends. Not only is this probably unhealthy, but it is very expensive. Imagine what $810 could go to each month… this could be someone’s rent payment or part of a mortgage payment. Or $10,000 a year?! That could be a great down payment on a new car. On average, I spend about $50 a week on groceries for me and my husband. So each month, around $250-$300 on groceries. We rarely go out to eat and when we do we use a gift card. If we stick to our monthly food budget and only spend about $300 on food, that is about $3,600 a year. This would mean we’re saving $6,400 more a year versus the person who goes out for every meal. Going back to step 2 of saving, add this amount per year to how much you spend going out with friends every weekend… that’s a lot!

Step 4.  Live minimally.

I also know a lot of people who go out to buy new clothes every month. Of course, I love fashion! I love looking good and having a new outfit that makes me feel great. Unfortunately, part of saving money requires that I only buy clothes when I truly need new clothes. I do not go out every month to buy a new wardrobe to follow all of the latest trends. I suggest looking into the idea of a capsule wardrobe. Only have staples, classics, and simple items that can be mixed and matched to make many outfits. I recently cleaned out my closet (I could probably even clean it out even more…) to live minimally and have a capsule wardrobe. If you buy great quality/classic items, wearing your clothes for years should be no issue. There are sweaters and shirts that I have had for about 2 years that are still in great condition. This can also apply to anything you buy. Before purchasing an item, think about if you really need it. Eventually you will start to gain an inner peace by not having many items and living minimally. Plus, you’ll save money in the long run.

Step 5.  Coupon!

I am actually bad at this step. I use coupons and search for deals on some things I need, but not everything. For example,  I only buy my laundry detergent when there is a great sale like buy 1 get 3 free or something crazy. There are an unlimited amount of resources online to help you learn to be a couponing pro. I try to use coupons when I can, but if I need something like toothpaste and I do not have a coupon, I’ll still buy it. Couponing and getting great deals on things you need can definitely help you save money as a millennial.

Step 6.  Budget everything.

I use Mint.com to create budgets for my monthly expenses. Mint is a great way to see where your money is going, how much money you are spending, and to truly figure out what you need versus what you want. It is also a good idea to look at your bills when setting up a budget. Do you pay about $100 a month on a cell phone bill? Maybe you do not really need a plan that costs $100 a month. My phone plan is $30 a month and I couldn’t be happier with the quality and service.

Step 7.  Invest in your future!

I’ve heard many people around my age who say they do not invest in a retirement plan of any sort. This goes hand and hand with saving money. Invest in something that will grow and give you an amount of income that you can enjoy life on once you are older. I want to live comfortably, travel, and enjoy life once I retire, so I invest and save money for these reasons. Investing in your future goes hand-in-hand with the steps above… maybe instead of spend $10,000 a year on food, this $10,000 could go into a 401k or some other type of retirement plan or savings.

 

There are probably more steps to save money as a millennial, but these are a few main steps that I follow in my life as a guide to saving. I have also been very strict for the past few years because I have been saving up for a home. You do not have to be as strict as me, and I do not plan to be as strict as I’ve been on saving money for forever, but if you truly want to save then it is important to follow some type of guideline to saving.