It’s so tempting to splurge on a salon pedicure (I love being pampered with the whole works – soaking, foot scrubbing, massage) but sadly, I live in the real world, so given the hefty salon price tag, it’s a rare treat not a frequent indulgence 😔.
But summer is here, so our toes are on show much more frequently and many of us want perfectly pedicured feet without the scary price tag. Have no fear, if you are in desperate need of a pedi, you can still achieve Instagram-worthy salon-quality results by giving yourself a perfect pedicure at home. All you’ll need is a few basic tools, this ‘how-to’ guide, and some patience.
STEP 1: Remove Any Left-Over Nail Polish
If you’re anything like me, I always seem to have the remnants of nail polish on my toenails. So the first thing you need to do when pampering your feet is to completely remove any nail polish that’s still on your toenails.
To remove polish, simply use standard nail polish remover (acetone-free is kindest to your nails) and a cotton pad. Even if you don’t have any leftover polish on your nails, it’s still a good idea to run nail polish remover over your nail to remove any excess oil.
STEP 2: Soak Your Feet Like You’re At The Spa
Fill a tub/basin with warm water and soap (body wash will do – I love this Red Apple & Pomegranate Body Wash by Radox!), and let your feet soak for 15 minutes. You can also put some marbles in the bottom of your basin and roll your feet back and forth over them for a blissful DIY massage!
STEP 3: Push Back Your Cuticles
Dry your feet thoroughly, gently ease back your cuticles with a cuticle stick (one of those angled wooden sticks). Note; for cosmetic reasons, it’s tempting to trim away a lot of your cuticle but the cuticle is a natural barrier to protect the skin around your nails and protect against infection. Use a cuticle trimmer and carefully remove and dead, or excess cuticle skin from all around your nails. Again, your cuticles are there for a reason so avoid over-trimming.
STEP 4: Get Rid Of Dead Skin
One of the key elements needed for a perfect pedicure at home is to remove any dead skin from your feet. Use a foot file or pumice stone to remove any dead skin from callused (hard) areas. I love this synthetic glass pumice from LovePumice.com. Pay particular attention to the balls of your feet, the sides of your feet and your heels. You should buff or file these areas until they feel smooth, but don’t overdo it – you don’t want to hurt yourself!
STEP 5: File And Shape Your Nails
Long toenails are gross, so use nail clippers or scissors to trim them to a suitable length (it’s best to trim straight across and don’t clip them too short or you will be at risk of ingrown nails). You’ll then need to shape your nails by filing the corners of your nails and buffing to make them smooth.
STEP 6: Moisturize
Apply cuticle oil and then moisturize your feet with an unscented lotion (scented lotions with synthetic fragrances can cause your nail polish to crack. But if you don’t plan on painting your toenails use whatever type you like best).
STEP 7: Prep Your Toes
Use a cotton bud soaked in nail polish remover to remove any lotion or cuticle oil from your actual nail and separate your toes with toe separators. You can get these super cheap online or at the dollar store, but if you don’t have any, separate your toes using cotton pads. Either way, separating your toes makes painting your toenails easier and avoids making a mess.
STEP 8: Apply Your Base Coat
A base coat is super important as it gives your nail polish something to sink into, besides your actual nails. This stops the polish from discoloring your nails. So, apply a layer of the base coat and wait at least two minutes to ensure it’s dry.
STEP 9: Apply Your Color
Apply two coats of nail polish by applying a single stroke down the center of the nail and then additional strokes either side so that the color is applied evenly. Make sure you leave your nails to dry for at least two minutes between each coat.
STEP 10: Finish With A Top Coat
Finish your nails with a quick-drying top coat so that your nails maintain high shine and luster. Nail polish can take up to 12 hours to fully harden, but you can speed up the process by sticking your finished toenails into cold water for a few minutes. This will help the polish to solidify. Either way, it’s best to wait around 2 hours to make sure your polish is fully set before putting socks or shoes on.
Voila! By following this simple guide, you can give yourself a perfect pedicure at home and have salon-worthy toes without the salon price tag! Do you have any tips to achieve perfect summer-worthy toes? I’d love to hear in the comments below!