DIY Wedding Manicure Hacks on a Budget

budget wedding manicure

As well as being a social media QUEEN, Beth (my new team member) is also a total beauty pro. SRSLY, I've learned so much from her already. And she always has the best nails - so today I asked her to share her top tips with you for getting a perfect DIY wedding manicure on a budget. There are some total bargains in here, and some great advice on nail care, so enjoy!

Have you decided on your wedding nails yet? Manicures can get expensive, especially if you want all the trimmings (which of course we do). I have tried and tested lost of different nail products just for you, to help you get the perfect DIY manicure for your wedding. Here are my favourites and how to use them...

Nail Care

nail care
cuticle care
DIY wedding nails
bridal beauty

1. Makeup Gallery Cuticle Oil

2. Makeup Gallery Nail Hardener

3. Cuticle Pusher (I, again, got mine from Pound Land, but it's not available on the website, but this amazon alternative is pretty much identical.

4. Nail File (sadly not the same that's on mine, but the product functions the same - try your local Pound Land store to see what they have in stock)

The first step to beautiful nails is to take care of them! Although this is slightly time consuming, the outcome is definitely worth it. So here's what to do: apply a generous amount of cuticle oil around the cuticle of your nail and on the nail surface each day (I do this before bed for optimum results). Believe it or not, I've found the best cuticle oil is the one from Poundland (see picture 1), but an even cheaper alternative is to use coconut oil, which is also amazing. 

The second step, which is especially important if you have brittle nails, is to use a nail hardener. This will make it super easy for you to grow your nails long and strong, without worrying about them snapping. I'd advise to only use this once a month, just to make sure your nails don't get too hard, otherwise that will also make them snap easily. It's a happy medium you're after. My favourite product for this is again from Poundland - what a bargain! 

The third step is cuticle care, which can be painful if done wrong, so please be careful, and avoid cuticle nippers - they're the reason cuticle care gets a bad rap. Instead, I prefer to use a cuticle pusher to gently remove any excess cuticle, which will make your manicure last way longer, as well as making them generally look neater. I'd also suggest a good slather of cuticle oil before doing any cuticle work, just to make it easier to remove/tidy.

The fourth and last step of nail care is to file your nails. Before we even start this segment, I need to stress the importance of only using a nail file on the edges of your nails - never buff your nails with a file. If you do this, your nails will become really brittle and un-do all the work we've just done! Instead, file the tip of the nail gently and only one way, so not to disrupt the grain of the nail, which will then lead to breakage. 

Top and Base Coats

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hen party ideas
bridal beauty prep

5. Revlon Ultimate Shine Top Coat

6. Maybelline Gel Effect Top Coat

7. Collection Matte Top Coat

8. Boots Base Coat  (Available in Boots Stores only)

Just like I stressed the importance of priming your face before makeup in my natural beauty blog post, priming your nails is super important. This will stop your nails turning yellow, as well as making your manicure last twice as long! My favourite is Boots' own brand base coat, because it's super thin and dries really quickly. This can be hard to find though, so a dupe for this would be Barry M's base coat.

Top coats are also super important, not only do they leave your nails glossy and smooth, but they add an extra layer of protection and make your manicure last longer. One of my favourite tricks for a long lasting manicure is to add a new layer of top coat every few days, I've managed to make my nail polish last up to two weeks by doing this, so definitely worth a try. My favourite picks are featured in the 5th picture. 

Another really fun top coat option would be a matte top coat, which is bang on trend, and generally just a really cool effect. I especially like making glitter polishes matte, as it gives such a unique look. Be careful with matt polishes though, they do tend to take a little while to dry in comparison with 'normal' top coats, so make sure to leave them for a full 20 minutes.

Most of all, avoid two in one top and base coats AT ALL COSTS, these are such a waste of money (in my opinion, if they work for you then that's great). 

Colour Polishes

bridal nail polish
Gel manicure effect
wedding planning
natural bridal nails

9. Shade Pink Sherbet - Pound Land

10. Seventeen - Shade White Lady

11. Shade Bambino Blue - Pound Land (in store only)

12. Shade Lavender Cream - Pound Land 

13. Shade Mint Milkshake - Pound Land (in stores only)

14. Shade Pink Soda 8 - Pound Land (in stores only)

15.  Rimmel - Shade Green Dragon

16. Maybelline - I Love This Sweater

17. Shade Latte - Pound Land

18. W7 - Shade Matte Sludge

19.  Shade Lunar Haze - Collection (in stores only)

On to nail polish colours (yay). There are so many different types and textures of coloured nail polish, so I've included a huge selection for you. So first, a classic french manicure is perfect for a more traditional wedding, my favourite products for creating this look are listed above. However, for you brides to be that prefer something a little more daring, here are some other fun options for you...

Pastel colours are perfect for weddings, you can even match them to your bouquet or buttonholes. My favourite pastel colours are once again from Poundland, and yes, they are super cheap, but they're also really pigmented and apply really smoothly, they're definitely one of my holy grail products, I own every single colour they have to offer. Rimmel also have a gorgeous mint green which is linked above.

Nude colours are great if you're having a super minimalistic or rustic wedding, as they create the 'barely there' effect. Of course you could also create this with a simple clear coat, but nude colours create an overall more polished (no pun intended) look. There are so many different nude shades on the market, so definitely to in store to see which best matches your skin tone. My favourites that match me are featured in the links above.

Matte polishes are, again, great to create a unique look on your wedding day. If you'd prefer just one bottle rather than having to buy a matte top coat too, then w7's matte collection is fabulous, Barry M also have a great selection of Matte colours.

Iridescent barely there colours such as Collection's Lunar haze are great for creating a more natural look. These can be worn on the nail with just a base coat to create a sheer effect, or over the top of a similar shade to create an iridescent sheen (I do this a lot, and it looks amazing).

Glitter Polishes

bridal glitter nails
alternative bridal manicure

20. W7 - Shade Multi Dazzle

21. Essence - Shade Crashed The Party?!

22. Shade Silver Treasure 34 - Pound Land (in stores only)

23. W7 - Shade Cosmic Mauve

24. Rimmel - Shade Disco Diva

25. Rimmel - Shade Disco Ball

Everyone loves glitter, and this is the perfect, way to include glitter in your big day without being over the top. These glitter polishes vary in price, but are all really affordable. Each one can either be worn over a coloured polish as a finishing touch or by itself for a subtle sparkle. If you want to wear just the glitter polish, but don't want a sheer coverage, try using a latex free makeup sponge and applying the polish to the sponge and then dab it onto your nail. The sponge will absorb the liquid part of the polish, leaving you with just the glitter, that you can build up to create your desired look. Make sure to use a thick topcoat if you're using this technique, otherwise the glitter will flake off your nail really easily. 


diy easy bridal manicure

26. Liquid Latex

27. Elegant Touch Nail Polish Drying Spray

If you find painting your nails tricky, I have the perfect solution for you - liquid latex. Paint a small barrier around your nail with the liquid latex and let it dry completely. Then, paint your nails as normal (I recommend no more than 3 strokes of the brush, otherwise the polish will go thinner in some places and thicker in others). As soon as you've painted your nails, peel the liquid latex barrier off, while the nails are still wet, and you will reveal perfectly neat nail polish. It can take a few attempts at getting the liquid latex right up to the edge of the nail, so keep practising, and check out some youtube tutorials on the best methods. 

So, now your nails are wet, but you're a busy person and have stuff to do. I have a solution. Nail drying sprays are great as a quick fix if you've done your nails in a rush, or always smudge them, no matter how hard you try not to. However, these sprays only dry the very top layer of your polish, so make sure you're still careful not to smudge them. This definitely isn't a trick to do just before you put your dress on!

Follow these tips and create gorgeous wedding nails that last all day and make everyone wonder which salon you went to. If you have any questions, be sure to comment below and I'll do my best to answer them for you.