How to Give Yourself a Pedicure
Pretty feet are ALWAYS in style. However a professional pedicure can be very costly. No worries, I have the answer for you!
My daughter-in-law, Tawni, was kind enough have a professional pedicure by a licensed and very knowledgeable technician so that we can do these our self at home easily and understand the basics. The woman who was kind enough to help us with this post made sure to give us information to pass on to you so that you can best avoid infections and irritants also.
Keep in mind, that men need to take care of their feet properly also to avoid problems. Take it away Tawni!
Tawni: I didn’t enter the world of pedicures until after I was married, and then I realized what I had been missing for most of my life! I had always thought that a pedicure was just getting your toenails painted, but it is soooo much more than that. Of course, a good pedicure can really add up ($$$), so a real professional showed us how to do your own at home! Side-note: Pedicures aren’t just for women. It’s important for everyone to take care of their feet, including you men out there! You don’t have to paint your toenails, but doing everything else will help your skin and feet so much. And no, it’s NOT girly!
For an at-home pedicure you will need the following supplies (click for easy access to Amazon links)
Foot spa or large bowl big enough for both feet to fit in comfortably
Exfoliator (such as a foot paddle. Try to avoid using pumice stones.)
A good lotion
Nail polish remover with acetone (if removing nail polish)
Nail buffer (optional)
Orangewood or birchwood sticks
If you are also going to paint your toenails you will need:
Base coat & top coat, here’s a combination
Nail polish in color of your choice
I know this looks like a pretty big list, but everything is really inexpensive, and once you have it all you’re set for quite a few pedicures.
All right, here we go with our pedicure!
1 – First fill up the bowl or foot spa with water as hot as you can stand it (it will cool quickly).
Add about a half cup of Epsom salt foot soak and stick your feet in. You’ll want to soak them for about 20 minutes, so this is a good time to catch up on your TV shows!
2 – When you’re done soaking, take your feet out and dry them really well with a towel.
You can use a blow dryer to make the feet as dry as possible
3 – Now it’s time to exfoliate! Do you have dry skin and little cracks on your heels and toes like this?
This is where you want to exfoliate. Using slight pressure and quick motions, rub the paddle, up and down along those little cracks and dry skin until you can see them disappearing.
If you see a little more moisture, dry it off with your towel.
After exfoliating there may still be some small wrinkles on your heel;
these are part of your skin, so please don’t rub them off!
4 – If you have nail polish on your toenails, remove it with nail polish remover and a cotton pad or cotton ball.
Remember to use nail polish remover that has acetone, as that has more of a drying quality and you want your nails to be dehydrated before painting so the polish stays on better. Acetone also kills bacteria!
5 – Using an cuticle pusher, push back cuticles.
It is important to make sure that the cuticle stays connected to the nail, so don’t shove the cuticle back. Just push gently.
If there’s a piece of cuticle hanging off or if you have hangnails, use the cuticle nippers to cut it off. Do not pull them or rip them.
6 – After pushing the cuticles back, rub a little cuticle oil on them.
7 – Using the orangewood or birchwood stick, go under the sides and tops of the toenails a little bit to get out any dirt or gunk that might be stuck in them.8 – The next step is optional.
If you have little ridges on your toenails, you can use a buffer to smooth them out if you want your polish to lie more smoothly.9 – Next clip and/ or file your toenails.
Filing will give it a smoother look, but either way make sure you clip or file in a straight line. If you go too short on the sides of the nail, it could cause ingrown toenails.
10 – Now for the best part, the foot rub! You can do it yourself or bribe your significant other to do it for you.
Work a good amount of lotion into the foot first. Then starting at the heel, and working your way up, use long, smooth deep strokes upward to rub the foot.
You can use your thumbs, fist, and/or knuckles to do this. Make sure you really work out those knots in your arches! Also, stretch the foot back and forth. When you get to the toes, pretend like you’re “milking” them.
Pinch at the bottom of the toe and pull away.
If you’re not painting your nails, then you’re done! If you are, then follow these steps:
1 – Dehydrate nails with acetone (or polish remover that has acetone in it) and a cotton ball or pad
2 – Use toe separators to separate your toes. Either invest in a pair of sanitizable gel separators, or use disposable ones BUT make sure to throw them away when you’re done.3 – Apply a base coat first. This is like a primer and will make the polish stick better.4 – Apply the polish color. It’s important to not flood the cuticles or it will cause the polish to lift and chip as the cuticle grows.
Paint one coat on all toes and then paint another coat.
You can use any polish you’d like, but a higher end polish has more pigment in it, which means fewer coats to paint and faster drying time.
5 – Apply the topcoat.
6 – It is a good idea to invest in a speed spray. A speed spray has conditioning oil in it and keeps debris (lint, etc.) from sticking to the nail
7 – If you like stickers or decals you can put them on your nails after you apply the top coat, and then apply another top coat. And you’re done!
Some professional tips:
– Make sure you keep things very sanitary. After using the foot spa, clean it out well (such as Scrubbing Bubbles) and store it in a dry place (not under the sink). Then before you use it wipe it out with a Clorox wipe. Also clean your exfoliator when you’re done. Use rubbing alcohol and a little brush to scrub it off, then clean it with Scrubbing Bubbles. Even if it’s your germs that are on it, you don’t want other ‘things’ growing. Also make sure you sanitize the toe separators, cuticle nippers, everything you used.
– If you have acrylic nails and want to remove polish color, don’t use polish remover with acetone. Just use regular polish remover.
– Put a rubber band around the lid of the nail polish so if your hands are still greasy from the lotion, you can still get it off.
– If polish gets on the skin around your toes, it won’t stick very well because of the lotion you put on earlier. Use your fingers or an orangewood stick to get it off easily.
– If you start having problems with your feet, please go see a podiatrist!
I want to thank all who helped make this very informative post, it’s really helpful:) Carrie
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013
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