8 Essential Steps for a DIY Pedicure
Once an inexpensive summer beauty ritual, getting a pedicure has become an expensive treat with additional costs for designs and fancy upgrades like gel polish. These add-ons can cause this summer essential to blow right through your fun-time budget. Luckily, there’s an easy way to save money and keep toes looking stylish and neat throughout sandal season with this DIY pedicure guide.
Give Feet a Good Soak
The leather recliners at the nail salon may be big and throne-like, but you can easily make your own comfy pedicure throne at home — without the annoying massage feature that never seems to work right. Try adding some extra pillows or rolling up a soft blanket to place behind your neck and back while propped up on the couch. Let unpolished feet soak in a tub of warm water and bath salts for up to 10 minutes. This will soften the skin and make it easier to work with, while also giving you a chance to enjoy a magazine or catch up on your favorite show.
Don’t have a portable foot bath handy? Not a problem! You can easily repurpose a plastic storage bin or large bowl from the kitchen for this step.
Reveal Softer Skin
Walking around barefoot in summer is liberating and fun, but it can leave feet feeling and looking rough. To get them looking summer-ready, it’s important to remove dry, dead skin. Make an easy foot scrub consisting of equal parts sea salt and olive oil, and add a little bit of lemon juice for a brightening and aromatic effect. Rub this scrub all over your feet, and then buff away calluses with a pumice stone. These are easy to find at drug stores and can be reused every time you shower to keep feet smooth throughout the summer season. Make sure to rinse feet off after exfoliating to remove the sloughed off skin, and reveal soft feet that are ready to get into shape with the next step.
Carefully Clip Nails
To keep toes groomed and feeling good, use nail clippers to clip nails straight across (not from each side). It’s best to leave the shaping to the next step and let the trimming be a simple way to keep nails from getting too long.
Shape Like a Pro
Now you can begin to shape and reduce cuticles so your polish will look extra neat. Since using cuticle nippers can cause discomfort and damage, it’s much better to use a cuticle dissolver and pusher to remove unwanted skin around the nails. It only takes a couple of seconds for the cuticle dissolver to exfoliate dead skin, and by using a cuticle pusher, you can gently remove the excess skin away without cutting yourself. Lightly file each nail with a glass nail file, working from each corner to the middle of the nail to keep nails smooth and snag-free.
Give Yourself a Mini Massage
Who doesn’t enjoy a good massage? Even at home, this step can be just as relaxing and beneficial. Start by slathering feet in a rich foot cream or natural oil like coconut or almond oil. Rub the cuticles and gently pull each toe to help stiff feet relax, while working your way back around the heel and up the legs in long, sweeping motions.
Prep the Toes
To keep your feet looking polished to perfection without relying on polish remover for imperfect brush strokes, try placing a piece of scotch tape across the edge of your toenails. Take a piece of twisted tissue and wrap it around toes to keep them stable and separated. This way, if you happen to color outside the lines, it’ll be an easier fix. Just make sure to let nails dry before removing the tape to avoid any mishaps.
Choose a Color
You may not have to paint toes with the opposite hand, but it can still be a tricky task — especially if you use a dark or bold color that will require more coats and a steadier hand. Shy away from solid and flat colors that can look dull within a couple of days. Go for a fun summer look by opting for a metallic polish or something with a shimmer to it. Metallic polishes work great for toes, because the thicker consistency hides flaws better, and it also takes fewer coats to deposit color. Plus, metallic polishes like bronze and rose gold are extremely versatile and complement tan skin.
Polish to Perfection
A great way to extend the life of your pedicure and keep nails from chipping is to apply a base coat and a top coat. A glossy top coat will offer a gorgeous shine to your freshly painted toes and will also help protect the nails. (If you decide to go with a metallic polish, you can easily skip this step.)
Once they’re dry, the only thing left to do is slip on your favorite sandals and enjoy looking at your toes in the sunshine.
Although it is intended to be accurate, neither Walgreen Co., its subsidiaries or affiliates, nor any other party assumes for loss or damage due to reliance on this material. Walgreens does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned in the article. Reliance on any information provided by this article is solely at your own risk.