Nails 101: A Student Blog

Shopping! (On a Budget)

by NAILS Magazine | December 14, 2011


I have a confession... I'm a bit of a product junkie. Hair products, makeup, bath products, you name it. So, it's no real surprise that I'm a bit obsessed with nail products, as well. It's also no surprise that school can be expensive, and as a student, it can be difficult to budget in costs for products needed for school, not to mention the cost of *insert-name-of-hot-new-product-taking-the-industry-by-storm-here*.

Well, I'm here to tell the fiscally challenged students (and working techs) of the world that there is HOPE! You CAN get professional products and minimize the hit to your bank account without having to spend endless days trolling dollar stores, hoping to score SOMETHING useable that can be repackaged into a pretty container and won't cause your client to break out into a horrible rash. "No! It can't be done!", you say.

I say, please see Exhibit A: The lovely, product-y goodness in this picture represents only about $60 of my hard-earned cash, only a fraction of what it should, and every item in this picture was found on a clearance rack at a professional supply house. Please note the CND Brisa kit in the right corner, for which I paid a whopping $13. It includes a 0.5-oz. jar of pink gel, a 0.5-oz. jar of white gel, a full-sized Finishing Gloss, a full-sized Liquid Bond, a 2-oz. bottle of Scrub Fresh, 25 Performance Forms, and a CND gel brush. I'm pretty sure just one of the jars of Brisa gel is worth more than $13.

Pictured items range from about 20 cents (the mini CND base and top coats), to $13 (the Brisa). The OPI scrubs, soaks, and masks were about $1.50 each, the boxes of tips (OPI and CND) were about $5-$6, and the forms (CND Performance Forms and another CND form) were about $5 for each roll of 300.

For the student on a budget (and, let's face it, what student ISN'T?!?), clearance racks at professional beauty supply stores (bring proof of student status) are an invaluable resource. Several of the items pictured will be going in my state board kit (OPI Clarite, OPI brush, forms, tips, dappen dish), which gives me peace of mind knowing that there are a few less things I will need to get for the exam.

So, product junkies of the world unite!! And meet me at the clearance racks! :)

— LaTia

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