How to give yourself gorgeous at-home manicures in 5 minutes or less

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Melanie Sutrathada is In The Know’s lifestyle contributor. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for more

They say that you never know what you have until it’s gone, so I’d like to take this opportunity to send all my love to my hairstylist, esthetician and, of course, my nail technician. #QuarantineLife

My nails have been doing some serious social distancing from my cuticles lately, and they have definitely seen much better days. I know I’m not the only one, though, based on all the Instagram captions I’ve seen that read, “excuse my nails!” or “don’t look at my hands!” as we take a quick shot of our perfect pumpkin spice lattes or the twelfth loaf of banana bread our significant others have helped us bake.

And, yes, we can certainly continue to sit in our PJs all day and curse the lockdown. Or, we could actually do something about it. After all, this is the perfect time for us to learn how to get our nail game on point — from home! It’s aways fun and exciting to learn something new, not to mention that you’ll be saving a pretty penny (that you can put towards future travels — hey, a girl can dream!). Plus, your nails are the one thing you can get actually into shape without exercising.

Here are my go-to alternatives to having your nails done at a salon:

Get the salon look in seconds with Static Nails’ French Wine Coffin, $14

Credit: Static Nails

Static Nails’ reusable pop-on nails have legitimately changed my mani game. The first time I put them on, I felt like a real-life Cinderella in that scene where she went from wearing some tired-looking rags to a full-on ball gown in the span of 0.24 seconds. Dramatic? Yes. Accurate? Also yes. These vegan and cruelty-free press-ons look amazingly high-end and feel like your real nail, except they look 1,902,028 times better. Static Nails can also be removed, reapplied, painted and even reshaped, meaning you can fully customize them. Each set comes with 24 universal nails in 12 sizes and takes only seconds to apply. Yes, you read that right. Seconds, people! Go ahead and order every single style Static Nails offers (especially the Baby Spice Round and the Smoke & Mirrors holographic nails). You’re welcome.

Nail it with nail strips with Color Street’s Only In Vegas, $12

Credit: Only in Vegas

Nail stickers are an out-of-this-world amazing alternative for having your nails done at a salon because, 1.) they are usually super affordable, and 2.) they require zero dry time. That being said, I love Color Street’s nail strips and have picked them up on more than one occasion when I was in a pinch. My go-to’s are the Tokyo Lights and Ibiza Nights, which are both super glittery. I love Color Street nail strips because of their ease of going on and coming off, especially when it comes to glitter. Anyone who has ever applied glitter nail polish understands the complete and utter despair of trying to remove said glitter nail polish. It is absolute torture that I would only wish on my greatest enemies, and Color Street takes that problem off the table.

Try your hand at quick-drying nail polish with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri’s The UnRed, $5.69

Credit: Sally Hansen

There are so many inexpensive products that can give you that dazzling pro look, and Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri has to be one of my favorites. Its 3-in-1 formula has a built-in base and topcoat so you can get full coverage in just one stroke. Just paint your nails and let them dry for 60 seconds for perfect polish that’s as close to effortless as you can get without going to the salon. Say buh-bye to streaks and smudges and hello to getting back to the important things like binge-watching “Schitt’s Creek” for the 14th time or stalking Chris Evans’ Instagram.

Get it going with gel stick-on manicures, Mani Me’s Hot Spots, $25

Credit: ManiMe

I love gel manicures, and I love nail stickers. But I’d never been able to find an option that combines the long-lasting nature and shine of gel with the ease of a nail sticker that requires no dry-time. Enter ManiMe. The brand’s proprietary 3D-modeled, stick-on gel manicures are basically straight-up magic. I don’t understand the sorcery that goes into their perfect custom fit, but I’m not questioning it and am thanking the heavens that ManiMe exists. I could not be a bigger fan of these at-home manis and pedis that last up to 14 days, and I’ve started singing their praises to anyone who compliments my new nails (which is, surprisingly, a lot of people recently — just sayin’). With ManiMe stickers, you can finally change your nails as often as you change your outfit. Which is, of course, #goals.

Play with press-ons that have personality, thanks to Clutch Nails’ Hot Girl Stunner, $14.99

Credit: Hot Girl Stunner

Gone are the days of boring french manicure press-ons. Clutch is a must for anyone who loves nail art and having a bold AF accent nail. Their collection includes electric blue press-ons fit for a rave (or maybe a silent disco for one), a lips don’t lie set that is sure to be a conversation starter even from six feet away and so much more. There are tons of styles, colors and shapes to choose from that take seconds to apply and won’t put a hole in your bank account. Let’s just say that these nails will definitely come in clutch. Sorry, had to go there. It was just too easy. 

If you enjoyed this article, check out Melanie Sutrathada’s article on 5 easy swaps you can make for a more sustainable kitchen.

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