Are you tired of paying hefty salon prices for pedicures? Don’t lose hope. You can enjoy baby soft feet and expertly painted nails without cleaning out your bank account. Yes, by following a few easy steps, you can tend to your own tender tootsies and put your hard-earned cash towards something else. New shoes, perhaps.
“Aren’t they pretty? And I did them, myself.”
If you want to save money and keep your feet looking their best, here’s how to give yourself an expert home pedicure.
It’s time to kiss that chipped and maimed lacquer goodbye and create a clean canvas for your new look. Saturate a cotton ball or pad with nail polish remover and press the soaked cotton against the nail for a few seconds. Remove all traces of the old color–including the stubborn remnants that tend to hang on around your cuticles.
Helpful Hint: “How to Give Yourself a Professional Pedicure” recommends using a nail-friendly alcohol-free, acetone-free remover, but warns that these work best on lighter nail polish colors. Dark hues will require a bit more elbow grease.
Now’s your chance to relax and read a book or catch up on those shows you PVR’d. Yes, it’s time to soak those barking dogs. (This refers solely to your feet and not your neighbor’s yappy Yorkies). Find a large bowl or foot bath and fill it with warm water and Epsom salt. Let your feet soak for a minimum of ten minutes–extra crunchy, calloused feet may need longer.
Helpful Hint: “How to Do a Pedicure” states that adding a quarter cup of milk to your foot soak is helpful as the milk’s lactic acid helps loosen dead skin.
Armed with your favorite pair of nail clippers and an emery board, gently pat your nails dry. Next, clip your toe nails with your handy clipper. When cutting toe nails, it is important to cut them straight across. Rounding them off can lead to ingrown toe nails. Ouch. Once you have trimmed them so you can still see a sliver of the nail’s white tip, you can use your emery board to gently smooth the edges. If possible, try to file your nails in the same direction as this prevents tearing. Once your nails are shaped, you can return your feet to their soaking bath.
Helpful Hint: Cosmopolitan‘s “10 Steps to a Perfect At-Home Pedicure” says that making a series of small cuts to your nail as opposed to one large one will help avoid breaking the nail.
Now, it’s time to bring out your orange stick. If that term is new to you, the stick is not actually orange. It is what one calls the typical cuticle stick that is often made from orangewood. Using the orange stick, gently push back the cuticle around the entire nail bed.
Helpful Hint: The Woman’s Day article, “Give Yourself the Perfect At-Home Pedicure,” offers that massaging cuticle oil into your nail beds will help loosen up stubborn cuticles and make them easier to push back.
It’s time to conquer that callous. Grab your pumice or foot file and slough away the callous and dead skin. Remember not to over-file your feet though. You only want to remove the dead skin, not the living.
Helpful Hint: According to Health‘s “The Secret to Doing Your Own Pedicure,” using an exfoliated scrub after sloughing will remove any remaining dead skin, making your feet extra smooth.
Dry your feet thoroughly with a towel because it’s time to moisturize. Apply a generous helping of moisturizer and rub in using a circular motion. Don’t forget to add a little extra cream to your heels and let it soak in. You may even wish to use a heel balm.
Helpful Hint: “6 Tips for Foot and Nail Care” recommends using a cream that contains “petrolatum, an emollient, or a humectant such as lactic acid, which draws moisture into the skin.”
Use a tiny dab of nail polish remover to take away any moisturizer or cuticle oil that is on the nail, itself. Always use a base coat before applying color to prevent yellowing of the nails. Once the base coat is dry, apply two coats of your chosen hue–letting each layer completely set before adding the next. If you’ve made any slip-ups, simply wrap a small piece of cotton around your orange stick, dip it in the polish remover, and clean up your mistakes. When your polish is completely dry, protect it with a top coat.
Helpful Hint: Do you want to opt for a glittery hue, but hate fighting to remove it later? “10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Painting My Nails” explains a useful process called the foil method for removing stubborn glittery polish.
There! Look at those pretty feet. You have achieved the professional pedicure look for a fraction of the price. Now you can go shopping for shoes.
What is your secret to the perfect pedicure?
Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer, avid blogger, and content creator for MediaShower.com. She is also a certified Cosmetician who hates touching other people’s feet. You can reach her at kimberleylaws.com.
Image courtesy of Thinkstock.com.
Kimberley Laws is a regular contributor to HowDoYou.com and the author of two blogs, The Embiggens Project and Searching for Barry Weiss. A "Jill of all trades," she is a High School English Teacher and Certified Career Counselor with a background in makeup artistry, retail banking, and graphic design. She is also a scrapbooking, PEZ-collecting, car enthusiast who loves travelling and New York City.
Sep 25, 2013 1
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