Get stuck on DIY manicure shortcuts

The author's nails: would you believe these are stickers?

One rule about New York City ladies is that we always have nice nails (toes, too!). But maybe you’ve got the nail salon blues — they’re crowded, sometimes icky, and never less than $30 for a mani-pedi — maybe you just don’t have the extra hour every week to spend under a nail dryer, or maybe you’re a plain old Saving Sally. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of new do-it-yourself nail art alternatives on the market that will cuten up your digits for spring… or for our Spring Gala this Thursday … for as little as $3. 

Sally Hansen Salon Effects

Our favorite new nail art trend (pictured above), these little guys are perfect for us impatient New Yorkers. You peel them off a cardboard backing and stick them on like a sticker. And they take exactly zero minutes to dry. They last about five days, or for however long you can avoid picking them obsessive-compulsively.
Some tips: Use nail polish remover to clean your nails before applying so the strips adhere better; use tiny scissors to help cut off the excess polish and you can get two nails out of every strip; a top coat afterward will make them last longer.
Sticker nail polish is available in designs like leopard print and flowers, sparkles, and flat neons. Duane Reade has them, but they sell out quickly so you gotta be stealth! Or buy online here

OPI Shatter Polish ($6.99)
Want to make your nails look like glass and puddles? Check out OPI Shatter Polish. Apply a bright base color, (we suggest neon or glitter hue) let dry, then put this black polish over top of the color to make it look like your polish is peeling or crackling. Cool, right? No, it doesn’t mean the polish is old and busted, it’s like, a cool rocker look. Like lace but if lace were really edgy. We’ve heard most of the drugstores are sold out so grab it on Amazon.

Nail Stamps ($3)
It’s a small stamp you buy, place polish onto, then stamp onto your nail. What?! Rad! No more trying to make tiny designs with nail art pens. We were given this tip by one of our Aussie contributors who says the stamps are amazing and easy to use. Stamps and image plates for the stamps  are sold separately. The stamps will run you a cool $3 and the image plates are about the same. Alison the Aussie got hers in Australia and suggests scoping Korean delis for them if you prefer to check out the designs in person.

Now you’re polished and ready to head over to Public Assembly. You go girl! (And  guy! If you paint your nails! That’s cool too!)

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