Ever wondered how to achieve the perfect salon-worthy DIY pedicure? Well look no further… below is an ultimate guide to doing your pedicure at home, including everything from preparation and foot care to base coats and top coats.
A pedicure is only as good as the base it’s on so preparation is a must.
Begin by exfoliating the feet to remove any build up of dead skin cells. Invest in an express pedicure gadget for a super easy and quick result; it’s essentially an electronic foot file. Simply glide the micro-abrasive roller over the areas of hard skin to buff it away and within seconds, you’ll have smooth feet. Alternatively, use a foot scrub containing refreshing ingredients such as peppermint and massage it into feet, focusing on the dry areas, leave for 5-10 minutes and then wash off in the shower.
For super smooth feet, apply foot cream after exfoliating. For an intensive moisture kick, massage into feet before bed, put cotton socks on over the top and leave overnight.
File and buff
For all-in-one nail care, use an electronic nail file that comes with three different heads: one for filing, one for buffing and one for polishing nails. Begin by filing the nails to achieve the shape you want. Hold the file parallel to the side of the toenail; avoid pushing it right into the corner of the nail as this can cause breakage. File from the outside to the centre of the nail and repeat from the other side. Don’t go back and fourth as you risk tearing and peeling the nail. Switch to the correct head to buff the nail surface, removing any ridges. Finally, use the polishing head on the nail’s surface for a healthy and shiny finish. Alternatively, opt for a buffer block that also includes the different surfaces for filing, buffing and polishing.
If you notice the corners of your toenail are growing into the skin surrounding them, this is likely to be an ingrown toenail developing. The causes vary but when it comes to nail care, filing your toenails in the right way can help to prevent it from happening. Always hold the file parallel to the side of the nail – if you edge the file too far into the corner, you risk breakage and any remaining sharp edges of nail could pierce the skin and embed itself in it. Or, if you file the corners of your toenails to short, it may encourage the skin to fold over the nail, leaving the nail with only one direction to grow: into the skin.
After filing, gently massage nail oil into the cuticles and toenails and leave for 5-10 minutes. This will moisturise and condition the nails, as well as softening the cuticles, making them easier to work with. Next, use a cuticle stick to push the cuticles back to the base of the nails and then take a cuticle nipper or gentle nail scissors to trim any excess cuticle.
Pop some toe separators on to prevent toes from touching one another, minimising any smudging.
Apply a base coat to protect the nails from colour staining and to provide the nail varnish with an even surface to adhere to, preventing any streaking. If you have a specific nail concern such as weak or brittle nails, choose a base coat that also treats the nail.
Take your chosen colour of nail varnish and apply in slow, even brush strokes. A thin layer is all you need, as a second coat will be applied. When the first coat is touch-dry (this should take about 10 minutes), apply your second coat using the same technique. Sit back and relax for 20 minutes while your nails dry.
When your polish is dry, apply a protective top coat for a longer-lasting, chip-resistant pedicure. Finish with a quick dry spray or drops, leave nails for 5 minutes and then remove the toe separators.
Use an old, clean lip brush, dip it into nail varnish remover and go around the edge of each nail to neaten.