How to: Get the perfect pedicure at home

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Getting your pedicure done at a salon does imply paying good money , considering you’d have to do it on a regular basic. Doing it yourself at home is not so hard, although it does require patience and effort. The reason why it’s harder to do your own pedicure than manicure is because of the uncomfortable positions you’re adopting while working on your feet and toenails. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean you should give up: doing your own pedicure will save you the trouble of scheduling appointments at the salon and of course a lot of money!

Foot soakStep 1 – Preparing your feet

There’s a lot to be done before applying nail polish on your toenails. Your feet would not look very appealing if you have perfectly colored toenails but your feet have calluses and corns.

You can even have a nail polish-free pedicure since the most important thing is that your feet look perfect.

Using a foot graterTo get rid of calluses and corns soak your feet in warm water for 5-10 minutes. Then you can use an exfoliating scrub, a foot file or a pumice stone, if you’re not a serious case.

For very thick skin (which usually develops on the heels and can even be painful) you can use a foot grater. The foot grater is safer than a razor because there’s no risk of cutting yourself. To use a foot grater correctly, don’t apply too much pressure and make sure you use it only on areas with thick, hardened skin.

Having the feet’s skin as smooth as a baby’s bottom may sound very tempting, but that’s not the way to go either. Just like thickened skin can be painful, thin skin can hurt too since the feet carry your entire body weight.

Moisturizing feetStep 2 – Softening the skin

Use a foot moisturizer to soften the skin on your feet. If you have ragged cuticles you can apply a special moisturizer or oil on them too. Don’t push back your cuticles as this can lead to infections. You can also add a moisturizer in your foot soak. It can be something natural, such as honey or a store-bought product. It doesn’t matter as long as it works for you.

On long term, it’s not enough to moisturize your feet only when you’re doing the pedicure. Every time you take a bath or shower in the evening you can generously apply an oily moisturizer on your feet, put on some cotton socks and leave them on overnight. The next morning your feet’s skin will be much softer and better looking.

Removing nail polishStep 3 – Cleaning & brightening toenails

If you want the perfect pedicure, you must make sure you don’t have any old nail polish left on, before applying a new layer.

Use an acetone-based polish remover for darker shades of nail polish or an acetone-free polish remover for lighter shades. Because you are working with nail polish remover it is best to do your manicure after you’re done with the pedicure. Otherwise you’d have to wear gloves.

If your toenails are stained or have a yellowish color (from wearing nail polish most of the time) you can apply some lemon juice to brighten the nails and remove the stains or simply place some thin lemon slices on your nails and leave them on for 5-10 minutes.

Trimming toenailsStep 4 – Trimming the toenails

To prevent ingrown toenails, you should cut them straight across and avoid cutting into the sides of your nail.

File your nails to give then a finished look and make sure they all have the same length and shape.

Use a manicure stick to clean underneath them. The manicure stick is made of wood or plastic so it’s hard enough to let you clean your nails properly and soft enough so you don’t harm yourself.

Applying nail polish to toesStep 5 – Applying the nail polish

This step is of course optional. You don’t need to apply nail polish unless you want to and it’s good to go natural every once in a while. It allows your toenails to breathe and regenerate.

Put on some flip-flops (unless you want to stay bare-foot until the nail polish dries) and toe separators to make sure your toes don’t touch each other while you’re applying the nail polish and ruin your pedicure.

To begin with, apply a clear base coat and let it dry. For a natural looking pedicure you can stop here. Then you can apply 1-2 layers of colored nail polish (depending on the type of nail polish some can look good with just 1 layer while others require applying two layers).

Allow the nail polish time to dry between applying new layers. To get a smooth, shiny surface the last coat should be a transparent quick-dry nail polish. This will also protect the color of your nails, so they look beautiful for a longer time. Avoid wearing closed shoes for a couple of hours. That’s why it’s best to do your pedicure when you know you don’t need to leave the house for a while.

It’s very easy to make mistakes, especially with dark colored nail polish so at the end use a Q-tip dipped in nail polish remover to wipe out any excess nail polish from the skin surrounding your toenails. Now you can enjoy your perfect DIY pedicure!