So the cool thing about Orange County is that we’ve got little pockets of all sorts of communities—this place, after all, is fucking huge. How many times have we been on drives to San Diego and thought, 45 minutes down the coast, how the hell is it we’re still in Orange County as we’re passing San Onofre? For all you gals who like to save on bimonthly trips to the manicurist, the real secret lies in Garden Grove’s plethora of open-to-the-public professional nail-supply outlets.
Hey, we might not be considered the hippest place around, but we’ve got some perks—without all the additional everything-must-be-a-trend! bullshit of Los Angeles ($10 bowls of vegan pho? No, thanks). Here are my top picks:
SKYLARK NAIL & BEAUTY SUPPLIES 13894 Brookhurst St., Garden Grove, (714) 638-7466
My favorite stop of the list, Skylark carries everything you could ever possibly need for a little DIY nail session at home.
Cerulean glitter? Got it. Lavender rhinestones? Those, too. Cuticle brushes, acetone, base coats, glass files? Yep.
Located in your typical Orange County strip mall, this store lacks a bit in presentation, but it makes up for it with its price tags.
The most amazing part is the pricing on Skylark’s name-brand nail lacquer: While a bottle of popular OPI polish will cost you around $7 in most stores, a bottle at Skylark is $4. As for the long-lasting, professional favorite Essie? It’s $2.75, which is 67 percent off its normal retail price. Fucking bargain.
If you’re looking for even greater discounts, be sure to check out Skylark’s giant wall of 99-cent nail polish, which runs from the darkest plums to the brightest highlighter pinks—as long as you have the patience for a few more coats, this stuff works just fine.
But to be honest, the only time I ever find the time to drop by this place is when I’m in the middle of a two-hour wait at the neighboring Boiling Crab, killing time before I stuff my face with shrimp and corn. With a plastic bib on.
BEAUTY ZONE 9920 Westminster Ave., Ste. B, Garden Grove, (714) 537-9105
Beauty Zone also offers favorite name brands for less than $4 per bottle—so, seriously, you can skip all those trips to the local Ulta.
Also notable: Professional-grade nail-polish remover (one swipe, and it’s all gone—promise!) here costs $1.50 per (giant) bottle. Nothing like a trip to Beauty Zone to see just how badly you’re getting ripped off at the nail salon. One negative: There’s a $25 minimum charge on credit cards.