Having painted nails is one of the few self-care indulgences that I’ve consistently participated in for years. There’s something about having my nails done that makes me feel just a little bit sunnier. Occasionally I enjoy a mani/pedi with a girlfriend, but since having children, I can’t really seem to find the time (or can’t justify the cost) to take a trip to the nail salon. Most of the time I paint my nails at home and, fingers crossed, no one asks me for a snack before they’re dry.
During the COVID-19 quarantine, any type of self-care became pretty scarce. People are embracing their longest, gray locks, unmanicured brows, and trips to the nail salon ceased to exist for many, many weeks. This is exactly when my love for nail strips became a real game-changer. Nail strips are essentially stickers for your nails. You apply, file, tear, and VOILA!
Right before Christmas, I discovered the world of nail strips while shopping at the Junior League of Baton Rouge’s Hollydays. One of the vendors was selling Color Street, a brand of nail strips made of 100% real nail polish, and offering free demos. It was so incredibly fast and easy, with no dry time. Obviously, this spoke to my mommy heart. I purchased a few sets from their many colorful, fun designs and have used them ever since.
Nail strips are the best way to get a manicured look without actually going to the nail salon, and for a fraction of the cost. I have a very hands-on, messy job, so it’s always felt pretty tragic when I chip a $40 gel manicure within a few days of getting it. I would argue that most nail strips last for around the same amount of time that a gel manicure lasts (1-2 weeks) but if I chip a nail, I can just reapply a new strip. An added bonus is that there is virtually no damage to your nails. My nails look the same after application as they did before. Besides not having to leave your house to apply the strips, there are tons of brands that can be purchased online, making them super accessible when hunkering down at home. Stores like Target sell certain brands, but you can also purchase them directly through brand websites. As I said, brands such as Color Street have strips made out of nail polish (they even smell like nail polish), while other brands resemble and feel like gel polish, like Dashing Divas. Some brands are removed with nail polish remover and others simply just peel off. No matter what brand you choose, the options for colors, patterns, seasonal designs, glitter polishes, etc. are endless. Also, some brands offer smaller sizes for children, so it is a fun activity you could enjoy with little ones in your house.
Although salons are opening, if you’re still not feeling ready to reenter that world, nail strips are a great and cheaper alternative. If you’re like me, COVID or no COVID, nail strips have become my preferred method for fancying myself up. What are some other life hacks you discovered during quarantining that you plan to continue?