Having a pedicure will get your feet ready to be seen by the world and it’s a good opportunity to pamper yourself, too. But, if you don’t have the time or budget to head to a beauty salon, don’t worry. Follow these simple steps explaining how to do a pedicure yourself at home — your feet will thank you for it.
What do I need for an at home pedicure?
You’ll probably already have quite a bit of what you need to do your own pedicure but check your supplies and gather everything together before you start so you have it all to hand. You may also want to treat yourself to something new, whether it’s a nail polish in a gorgeous shade or a luxury cuticle oil.
As a general rule, you’ll need the following for a good pedicure:
- Nail polish (ideally a base and top coat as well as your color of choice)
- Nail polish remover
- Nail file
- Foot file or pumice stone
- Foot cream
- Cuticle oil
If you’ve got any polish on your toenails already, make sure it has been completely removed by soaking a cotton pad in nail polish remover. Hold the pad in place for a few seconds to make it easier to wipe the polish off. Don’t be tempted to leave any scraps of polish as this will affect the finished results of your pedicure.
If you’ve been wearing a dark nail varnish, you may notice that your toenails seem a little yellow or even stained. Rubbing cuticle oil on your nails can help make the staining less noticeable.
This stage is the most enjoyable part of the pedicure experience and you could make it feel even better by adding some ambient music, lighting some candles and maybe even pouring yourself a glass of wine.
Get a really big bowl and fill it with warm water and a scoop of bath salts and then just sit back, relax and let your feet soak for a few minutes. Soaking softens the skin on your feet and makes it easier for you to get rid of any tough areas.
3. Dead Skin Removal
Your feet work hard for you all year round and most people will have areas of tough skin and calluses. Dry your feet and remove these areas of tough, dead skin using either a pumice stone or a foot file.
Focus your attention on the areas where you have hard lumps and bumps and also your heel. Aim to keep going until your feet feel smooth but don’t go too far. You don’t want to leave your skin feeling sore and irritated.
Use nail clippers or scissors to trim your toenails. They don’t have to be perfect at this stage but get them to the length you feel most comfortable with.
Get your nail file out and use it to shape the edges of your toenails and make sure they are even and smooth. This is a good chance to get rid of any sharp corners on your nails.
Cuticles are a layer of clear skin found at the bottom of your nails. They play an important role in protecting your growing nails from bacteria so it’s best to leave any trimming or cutting to the professionals. If you’re really keen to get to work on them, you could use an orange stick to push them back.
What you can do safely at home is take care of your cuticles with by rubbing in a few drops of cuticle oil. This will strengthen your nails and make them shiny and healthy.
Give your feet a good massage with a nice foot cream or body lotion. When you’re first learning how to do a pedicure yourself, it is easy to forget this stage but it will help your feet will wonderful afterwards. Once you’ve finished massaging your feet, clean the surface of your toenails quickly with rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad. This will remove any oil which might still be on your nails and could stop the varnish from going on properly.
8. Add a Base Coat
Add a clear base coat to your toenails to protect your nails and prevent them from staining — this is particularly important if you’re keen on using deep colors on your toes. Putting a base layer of clear varnish on will also help your pedicure stay looking great for longer.
Choose nail polish in a color of your choice and use a toe separator to keep your toes apart. If you don’t have one, that’s fine, you can simply roll up some kitchen roll and pop it between your toes. Apply two layers of your chosen polish but take your time and let each coat dry before you add another.
If you make any mistakes or get varnish onto your skin, don’t worry. You could use a very small makeup brush dipped in nail polish remover to clean up your toes afterwards.
10. Final Top Coat
Adding a final clear top coat of nail polish will help prevent your polish from chipping and keep your at home pedicure looking fantastic for longer.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First For Women.