How to Give Yourself a Professional Pedicure
Give Yourself a Pedicure Step #1: Remove
polish from nails
Miss Webril cotton band
Giving yourself a professional pedicure is an 8-step process.
The first step is to remove the old polish from your nails.
Instead of cotton balls (which will leave fuzzies on your
nails), use a cotton band, such as Miss Webril ($5.60 per box;
800-545-2506). Saturate the cotton band with acetone remover and
rub off the old polish. If the color isn't coming off easily,
press the saturated cotton on the nail & let it soak in first.
Tip for picking the perfect polish remover: Alcohol- and
acetone-free removers are less drying, but don't work as well,
especially on dark shades. Use the 'free' stuff on lighter
Give Yourself a Pedicure Step
#2 -- Cut & File Nails
It's best to use high quality clippers made for
clipping toenails such as Tweezerman Deluxe ($10, tweezerman.com).
To avoid ingrown nails, cut nail straight across, leaving about
1/8" of length. Make sure your nail doesn't extend over the tip
of your toe.
To get a soft square shape, file nail around the corners
slightly in one direction. (Hint: Don't use metal files, they'll
rip your nails). Basic emory boards like the ones from Revlon
work great, but if you want to go truly pro, try the Mehaz
ingrown toenail file ($19, amazon.com) which allows you to
easily lift nail corners for shaping.
Emory board tip: The fine-grade surface is for smoothing the
nail edge, while the coarser surface is for shortening & shaping
Give Yourself a Pedicure Step #3 -- Soak Your
Fill a large flat-bottom bowl with warm water.
Throw in bath salts, your favorite aromatherapy oils or Epsom
salt & let your feet soak 5-10 minutes. The more cracked &
calloused your feet, the longer they need to stay in.
Trick only the pros know: Add a quarter cup of milk to your bath
along with the essential oils & salts. The lactic acid in the
milk loosens dead skin.
Give Yourself a Pedicure Step #4 -- Trim
Apply cuticle remover to the base of each nail &
rub it in (Sally Hansen, $4 at most drugstores works great).
Leave on for a minute, then use an orangewood stick (Tweezerman
works great) to gently push with a circular motion everywhere
where skin meets the nail (including the sides). Be careful to
remove skin only on top of the nail, don't touch the toe flesh.
Use cuticle nippers (Mehaz nippers work best) to trim any loose
skin. Be careful not to nip your toe flesh.
Give Yourself a Pedicure Step #5 -- Scrub
Apply an exfoliating body or foot scrub to a foot
file or wet pumice stone to slough away the dead skin on the
balls & heels of your feet. You'll want to scrub the balls,
bottoms & sides of your heels & around the toes. To get the most
leverage, sit on the side of a bathtub, facing inward. Remember
tje pedicure motto, "smooth, don't remove." Stop if your foot
turns bright red (you've scrubbed too hard). Remember, that
tough skin is there for a reason.
Any basic foot file or pumice stone from your drugstore will do
the trick, but if you want the Cadillac of foot files, try
Perfect Beauty certamic foot file, $20, 800-694-4866).
Give Yourself a Pedicure Step #6 --
Dry feet thoroughly including between the toes &
rub in a thick foot cream like Barielle Total Foot Care Cream
($19.50, barielle.com). Rub the feet & theh calves. Rehydrate
cuticles by rubbing in a dab of cuticle oil. Wait 2 to 3
Give Yourself a Pedicure Step #7 -- Polish
Use acetone remover to get rid of any excess oils
on the nails (including the cuticle oil you just applied). Apply
a thin base coat using 3 strokes, one down the middle, then one
on each side. Don't paint the cuticle. Wait a minute before
adding two coats of your favorite polish, then finish with a
thin top coat (try quick-drying Seche Vite, $10 at ulta.com).
Clean up any errors with an orangewood stick wrapped in cotton &
dipped in acetonoe remover.
Let nails dry for at least 40 minutes.
Tip: It's good to paint any polish remaining on the brush over
the front nail edge. This prevents chipping.
Give Yourself a Pedicure Step #8 -- Finish
After nails have dried, spritz with a
moisturizing oil like SolarSpeed spray. This sets your polish &
moisturizes your cuticles. Then voila! You're done!