These $10 Fake Nails From Amazon Have Saved Me Over $1,000

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Amazon DIY Fake Nails
Photo: Alyssa Brascia/ InStyle

There's nothing like a fresh set of claws to make you feel like the most elevated version of yourself. I don't know about you, but anytime I have a newly painted set of nails, I feel on top of my game (even if I'm definitely not). But all those trips to the salon can add up, especially if you are going for acrylic nails and fills once or twice a month. Each set can be anywhere from $50 to $80, especially if you want to go crazy with designs, which means you could be spending about $1,200 to $1,900 per year. But what if I told you that you could keep up your nail game for a fraction of the price?

That's right, I keep my nails consistently done with this $10 box of coffin-shaped fake nails from Amazon. Granted, I did spend many hours as a tween practicing line art and becoming slightly ambidextrous, but you don't need to know how to intricately paint to get salon-quality nails at home. This box of customizable nail tips will last me about six months before having to reorder, which is quite a steal, if you ask me. With nearly 15,000 five-star ratings, Amazon shoppers would have to agree. One shopper stated, "I wished I'd have known to switch [from acrylics] sooner and saved all that time and money!"

Natural Coffin Fake Nails
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Shop now: $9 with coupon (Originally$10); amazon.com

The Ecbasket Natural Coffin Fake Nails are nontoxic and come in a 500-piece box with 10 nail sizes, so you can find your perfect fit. Another reviewer attests to this, writing, "For anyone [who] has wide thumbs, I can happily tell you they will fit you, too." This nail shape is called "coffin" because it has a square shape that is slightly tapered in along the edges. If this isn't your style, you can easily shape these nails after application with a nail file and morph them into an almond shape or simply take down the length.

So now that we have our base, how do we make them look like we just left the salon? Allow me to elaborate.

Once you've selected the sizes that fit your nail beds, it's time to get to application. I use a buffer to create a surface that nail glue can better adhere to, then apply one to two drops of Kiss PowerFlex Maximum Speed nail glue to the inside of the fake nail. Press firmly down on your fingernail for about five seconds, and you have a neatly applied nail.

Kiss PowerFlex Maximum Speed Nail Glue
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Shop now: $2; target.com

From here, you can paint away to your heart's desire. I tend to opt for this set of gel nail polishes from Amazon to create a natural look (or the base of a crazy look), but you can use whatever colors are calling your name. If you're looking to do a bit of nail art, you can grab this set of six gel liner polishes from Amazon for just $21. With a base color and a bit of creativity, the design options are endless!

AIMEILI Soak Off UV LED Gel Nail Polish
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Shop now: $14 (Originally $22); amazon.com

Don't forget to cure your gel polish in between coats. You'll need a UV lamp, which is imperative for the fast-drying magic of gel polish. I've used this mini lamp from Gelish for about four years; it's my right-hand man when it comes to manicures.

Gelish Mini Pro LED Curing Gel Nail Polish Salon Lamp
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Shop now: $63 (Originally $180); walmart.com

Now that your nails are shellacked and stylish, it's time to seal it all with a gel top coat. My personal recommendation is the Artistic No-Cleanse Sealer, which you can find at Walmart for $18. Though this may sound steep for a bottle of polish, this top coat has lasted me two years, making it worth every penny. One coat of this thick polish will lock in your look and give your new mani a gorgeous shine that lasts for weeks.

Artistic No Cleanse Sealer
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Shop now: $18; walmart.com

After this process, you'll end up with a sleek manicure that looks like you stepped straight out of the salon. Minus the bill, of course. Now, this isn't to say your nail tech or favorite salon is off the table forever — we all need a good pamper on some days and should support local artists whenever possible. However, if you are looking to save a bit of money and want to get creative with your nails, then this technique can be rewarding in the end.

Author Photo DIY Gel Nails
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Snap an Instagram pic and rake in the compliments (especially if your DIY set is inspired by Maddy Perez from Euphoria — thank you to celebrity nail artist Natalie Minerva for the inspo). With just a box of fake nails, you can get the exact look and shape you want without the hefty price. You won't be able to keep yourself from looking at your hands, admiring your craftsmanship, and feeling great about all the money you just saved.

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