life·8 min read

Nail Designs and Nail Sets Under $30 for the Best DIY Mani

Nail design brushes
Design: theSkimm | Image: Amazon
May 17, 2022

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You don’t need to be a skilled nail tech to give yourself a great manicure at home. Promise. If you’re looking to save on expensive trips to the salon and add a lil self care into your routine, we’ve got recs for nail designs, nail stickers, nail strengtheners and other products that’ll have your fingers and your wallet saying ‘yes, please.’

Easy stick-on nail designs… 

For when you’re in a rush but still want your nails to pop. This comes with 10 sheets full of fun designs featuring butterflies, flowers, and cheetah prints. All you have to do is pick up your desired sticker with a tweezer, place it on your nail, and apply a top coat. Butterflies not your aesthetic? Try these floral or abstract stickers instead. Voilà. ($7.29, Amazon)

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Real dried flowers for a 3D effect… 

You’ll get about 108 pieces of flowers and leaves in 62 different colors. To use, soak these in water and place them on your gel base or nail glue, then cover with a top coat or more glue. Florals? For nail art? Groundbreaking. ($7.99, Amazon)

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A DIY ombre nail kit…

These tools will give you a salon-level ombre look in no time. You’ll get a dual-head nail sponge for subtle ombre, an angled brush for streaks, and a feathered brush for smooth swirls. Pro tip: Use a 75% alcohol solution to clean your sponge instead of water for a longer shelf life. ($7.88, Amazon)

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A nail strengthener for nails that need a little TLC… 

We’re talking dry and brittle, soft and thin, or sensitive and peeling ones. This formula’s got hydrolyzed wheat protection and calcium to help you get longer and stronger nails. Oh, and there’s also an original formula that comes in four tinted shades and one matte. Restoring your nails to tip-top shape in 3, 2, 1… ($17.09+, Amazon)

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Nail art brushes for both gel and regular polish… 

Experiment with precise nail designs with these super-thin brushes. They come in a pack of five, are made from quality fibers, and are color coordinated to their specific width. The brush tips range from 5mm to 11mm in length — perfect for drawing everything from short, thick lines to delicate and medium long lines. Nailed it. ($9.99, Amazon)

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A UV LED nail dryer for gel nails…  

This one comes with three timer settings to dry your gel polish in a flash. So why not give yourself a base coat and a top coat with that extra time? While this one’s big enough to take care of a whole hand at once, you might also want to consider this option that’s more compact and easy to travel with. ($18.99, Amazon)

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White embossed nail stickers… 

These will make your nails look like they’ve just gotten the salon treatment. You’ll get three sheets full of florals, butterflies, and foliage designs. Apply them like any other nail sticker decal, and seal them in with a top coat for extra protection. Psst…these would be perfect for your bridal shower or bachelorette nails. ($8.99, Amazon)

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Super-strong nail glue for acrylics and tips… 

Say ‘see ya’ to broken nails and loose tips. The nail glue is compatible with all nail tips, and customers say it works better than regular acrylic polymer — the average stay time is around two weeks. It’s quick-drying and comes with a fine precision brush applicator for less mess. ($12.99, Amazon)

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A manicure nail kit with all the equipment… 

Aka 18 stainless steel hand tools, face tools, and foot tools — everything from nail clippers to nose trimmers to cuticle scissors. They all come in a lightweight case in either pink or black that’s easy to toss in your bag. Lookin’ fresh. ($8.46+, Amazon)

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A collection of 20 gel nail polish colors… 

We love this pack of mini gel nail polishes from Beetles that also comes with a base coat, matte top coat, and shiny top coat. This set comes with a bunch of bright spring and summery shades, like like baby pink, peach, jungle green, and sparkly purple. And if those aren’t your vibe, there are six more color collections to choose from — like these matte unicorn or winter wonderland ones. ($20.99+, Amazon)

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Nail wraps so you won’t have to worry about polish smudging…

These come in three different patterns all designed by nail expert Nina Park. The set’s designed to give you a full mani in less than 10 minutes and comes with everything you’ll need to get it done — a nail file and wooden pick. You’ll also get eight varying sizes for each hand, so you can choose the best fit for your nails. Easy-peasy. Psst…we love that they’re made by a woman-owned and -operated company. ($7.99+, Madewell)

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Pedicure sandals that’ll keep your toes separated… 

And aren’t flimsy like the ones you get at the salon, so you can actually walk around in them. They’ve got soft, cushiony toe separators for streak- and smear-free pedis. They come in three colors and two patterns — hello, cheetah and zebra prints — and in sizes S to XL. No more waiting around for your polish to dry to do things around (and outside) the house. ($23.16, QVC)

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