While it’s unlikely that you’ll find a completely free manicure, I do have a few places to visit and suggestions on where to find free manicures and discounted services. From checking out beauty school programs to looking for promotions or discounts, there are a few ways to enjoy a cheap beauty service like a manicure but still get results you’ll love.
Since many salons charge at least $25 for manicures, I’ll take any freebies or discounts on my poor nails. It’s tough to find a free service, as most nail salons and beauty services require payment for their services. But gorgeous nails shouldn’t cost a fortune, so I put my research skills to good use and found some options.
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Use a referral code to get a free manicure at Glosslab.
I’ve seen a few posts on TikTok about getting a free manicure at the membership-based nail salon Glosslab with a coupon code. So I tried booking it online and it worked!
Here’s what to do:
- Choose a Glosslab location. They have shops in Florida, Texas, Maryland, Washington, DC, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. I chose a random location.
- Create an account with your name, email, password, and phone number. In the referral code box, enter ILANA6E6F (courtesy of Ilana Dunn on TikTok).
- Book an appointment for a basic manicure (worth $25) with any nail tech.
- The referral code will pop up as you confirm your date and time. You’ll pay nothing for the manicure (except a good tip!).
If you’re a first time visitor, Glosslab is also offering a buy a mani, get one free for newbies.
Sign up for a free manicure at OPI’s Test Salon in Los Angeles.
OPI’s Test Salon is a unique space where the brand tests out new products and techniques on customers, offering them free manicures in exchange for feedback. To be eligible for this special offer, you have to meet these requirements:
- At least 18 years old
- Nails must be in healthy condition
- Open schedule to attend regular, free appointments (so, you gotta live in California).
Of course, they also want individuals who are obsessed with OPI nail polish and love trying new things. And you have to keep any exclusive content a secret.
Check with beauty schools for affordable nail services through student salons.
One option for discounted manicures is to check with beauty schools in your area. Some schools offer free or discounted manicures to their students as part of their training program. While you may not be getting the services of a seasoned nail technician, this can be a great way to get a low-cost manicure while supporting aspiring beauty professionals. Here’s a sample of beauty schools with salon promotions:
- Tricoci University’s Promotion of the Month: Through their Tricoci Loves Community campaign, the school offers 10% discounts on all services for teachers and frontline workers. And they also offer free haircuts to active-duty military members and veterans. There are 16 locations throughout Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
- John Amico School of Hair Design: Through their salon menu, you can score a manicure for just $7! Visit their two Illinois locations for appointments.
- Empire Beauty Schools: With locations in 21 states, their guest services menu features basic manicures starting at $7, depending on the location.
- Vici Beauty School: This Wisconsin-based beauty school has $12 manicures, along with hair, makeup, waxing, and facial treatments.
- Avalon Institute: Their student salon and spa offers $10 spa manicures for residents in Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada.
Look on Groupon and LivingSocial for manicure promotions.
One of the most popular ways to score a free or discounted manicure is to keep an eye out for promotions offered by local nail salons. Groupon or LivingSocial usually have some sort of discount on nail services. I’ve seen discounts as high as 50% for a no-chip manicure.
Many salons run promotions to attract new customers, and they often advertise these specials on social media, local newspapers, and online directories. You may be able to find deals like “50% off your first manicure” or “free nail art with a manicure purchase.”
Apply to be part of beauty focus or testing groups for freebies and samples.
Some beauty brands and companies offer product testing programs where customers can try out new products and give feedback in exchange for free or discounted services. For example, companies might offer free manicures to customers who participate in focus groups.
These opportunities are often advertised on the company’s website or social media pages. I’ve seen focus group postings listed under the Gigs category on Craigslist. Princeton Consumer Research also pays consumers to be clinical trial panelists to test items, including nail products. It’s not a manicure, but you’ll get paid for feedback on free products. Sign up for testing in Tampa, Florida; Raritan, New Jersey; and St. Petersburg, Florida.
Related: 13 Companies That’ll Offer Free Product Testing for Reviews
Attend beauty events, pop-up events, or trade shows.
You can also look for beauty events or trade shows in your area, as these often feature free or discounted beauty services, including manicures. Keep an eye out for announcements on social media or local event calendars. Evenbrite is a great resource for upcoming events.
Need a free and quick manicure? Do it yourself.
Yeah, it’s not the news you want to hear, but the truth is that it’s the cheapest deal (other than a freebie, of course). You can always give yourself a manicure at home with some basic tools and supplies, such as nail polish, a file, and cuticle cream. This may not be as luxurious as a salon experience, but it can be a cost-effective option. Plus you can save money by reusing your tools and supplies for multiple manicures.