Hands up who always books a manicure over a pedi? It’s easy to do this because of how visible our hands and nails are but our feet are the ones carrying us here, there and everywhere and therefore deserve a treat just as often!
While it’s so much more enjoyable sitting with a glass of bubbles, choosing a gel or polish from a selection of 1000 colours and of course experiencing that 10 minute foot massage that can never last long enough, it really is important that while we’re staying safe inside we look after ourselves whilst we’re unable to book a salon appointment within the next few days.
Below, we’ve created a step by step guide that’s easy enough even for those first timers on how to give yourself a flawless at home pedicure. Hey, you might even enjoy it so much that you rally the troops and get the kids involved to a little bit of TLC.
What you’ll need:
- A towel for the floor and one to cover the chair that you will lift your foot onto.
- A chair or rest to lift your foot onto.
- A plastic bowl (like the ones you may have in your sink) to fill with warm water.
- Bubble bath or foot soak.
- Hard skin removal tool.
- Nail file.
- Nail buffer.
- Nail clippers and file.
- Cotton pads.
- Cuticle pusher or orange stick.
- Nail polish remover or acetone.
- Nail polish case coat.
- Nail polish colour.
- Nail polish top coat.
- Toe separators or kitchen roll.
Place the towel on the floor and another on the chair or surface you will be lifting your foot onto to work on.
Fill the large plastic bowl with warm water and bubbles or foot soak and sink both of your feet into the water and rest for five minutes.
Take one foot out of the water and dry using the towel on the chair or surface in front of you. Using your nail polish remover or acetone, pour onto cotton pads. Wipe the cotton pads over your nail to remove any polish that may be on.
Using your cuticle pushing tool or orange stick, gently push back your cuticles as far as possible. The warm water softens cuticles so this should be a little easier. For any cuticle that you can’t push or remove, you can buff them out later.
Cut your nails or file them down to your desired length and shape. Short, square nails are the strongest option as they do not have a point of impact if you stub your toe. Rounder shaped nails have a point at the end of the nail and when they come into contact with something, the point is easy to split or break.
Buff over the nail to make it smooth. Be sure to go right down to the nail bed to remove any stubborn cuticle that you couldn’t push back in step 4.
Take your other foot out the water bowl and repeat the above steps on the untouched foot.
When both feet are at the same stage, empty the water bowl and re-fil with more warm water.
Apply a small amount of exfoliator to the base of your foot and massage over the front of the foot too. Using your hand skin removal tool, pull your toes towards yourself gently and apply pressure backwards and forwards up and down the sole of your foot to remove any hard skin. Be sure to go right around the back of your heel and the to the ball of your foot as these are the places hard skin gather the most.
Repeat on other foot and then put both feet into the bowl and swish the water around to rinse off. Empty the bowl and put aside.
Apply a small amount of moisturiser into the palms of your hands and warm up by rubbing together. You should then apply this moisturiser to your feet and spread over your ankles, and up your legs slightly. Some people at this stage may wish to wrap their feet in cling film. The heat from the cling film will ensure the moisturiser sinks deeper into your skin. If you wish to add in cling film, be sure to rest for 7 – 10 minutes while the moisturiser melts away. Repeat this step on your other foot.
Wipe away any cream that may be left on your toe nails to ensure that your base coat and polish can be painted on easily.
If you do not have any toe separators, fold a piece of kitchen roll in half and twist. You can then weave this paper in and out of your toes and voila! A makeshift set of toe separators.
Apply one coat of your base coat to each nail.
Apply two layers of your desired polish to each nail. Work across one foot and then onto the other. Avoid painting two coats of polish at once onto each nail before moving onto the other.
Wait around 5 -8 minutes before applying one layer of your top coat polish.
Once you have applied your top coat, sit back and relax for the next 30 minutes.
Top Tip: Nail polish can take any time up to 2 hours to dry properly, so please be very careful whilst your nails are drying and relax!
If you have a quick drying spray, please apply this from a good distance away. If you apply the quick drying solution too close to your toe nails, it will actually make the polish wetter and have the opposite effect than what you want it for!