In this time of coronavirus, we are learning how to do so much at home, including luxurious pedicures. Some of us are working from home, we are opting for at-home workouts, and learning how to do our pampering beauty maintenance from the safety of our house. This of course includes making sure our nails look great, even if barely anyone will see it.
When you go to a nail salon, there is a certain sequence of steps the nail techs follow in order to get your toes looking fresh, clean, and fashionable. All you have to do for the same effect at home is follow the steps with your own tools, nail polish, and a si se puede attitude. To make your next DIY pedicure feel more like a self-care spa day, and less like an art project gone wrong, we put together an easy how-to. Now, grab that glass of wine, a magazine full of chismes, and get started with your own stylish pedicure!
Get Your Tools Together
The first thing you need to get a spa-quality pedicure at home is having the right tools. You’ll need a basin in which to soak your feet, a nail file, a nail trimmer, a pumice stone, nail polisher remover, cotton balls, cuticle oil, a cuticle pusher, toe separators (or you can make your own with tissue), and of course, your base coat, nail polish, and top coat. To go the extra mile for that real salon experience, you can get a great exfoliator for your legs, and a fab cream/lotion for parched skin. The more extras you add to your kit, the more luxe the experience will feel (but you can also get pure luxury by making rich, natural, and healthy alternatives en casa!).
Remove Old Nail Polish
After you have your tools all organized and at the ready, you’ll want to start removing an old nail polish from your nails. You can use the old-school acetone, or opt for healthier options from the store. You can even make your own nail polish remover using apple cider vinegar. Once you remove your polish, wipe down your nails to make sure they are clean, and ready for fresh polish.
This next step might be the most luxurious. It’s time to sip on some wine and get caught up on some quick reading while you soak your toes in some toasty warm water. This will soften the nails and skin, making them more pliable for exfoliating, trimming, and the like. You can add epsom salt or other natural ingredients to relax and soften the skin. There’s even the mouthwash, vinegar, and water soak that promises to make dead skin literally fall off your feet.
Apply Cuticle Oil
Adding a cuticle oil to dried off toes will keep your nails, and the skin around it looking hydrated and healthy. It stimulates nail growth, increases circulation in the area, and helps keep your polish looking fab. If you decide to apply cuticle oil to your nails before painting them, make sure to wipe off excess; the oil may keep the polish from sticking to your nail. Push back cuticles, and trim them if you want to. You can continue to add cuticle oil to your nail area after your pedi is complete (daily or however often you want to).
One of the best things about going to the nail salon is knowing that they are going to super exfoliate your feet. You always leave with skin feeling soft, hydrated, and looking like new. You can give yourself the same treatment at home with an old-fashioned pumice stone, something with a handle for more control, or even one of the more modern, motorized options for a no-sweat exfoliating experience.
Of course, if it’s been a while since your last pedicure, you’ll want to trim your nails. Make sure not to trim too short, or trim the corners (cut straight across). If you cut the corners, you risk having ingrown nails once they do grow back. If you cut them too short, closed-toe shoes and socks may make your nail area feel sore. Remember that you are also going to be filing your nails a bit to smooth out and shape the nail.
You won’t be doing a ton of shaping of your nails with a nail file, as you will be cutting them into a straight across shape. The file will help smooth rough edges and also help to file down any dry flakes on the nail or any yellowing created by dark nail polish. Just a little filing will do the trick.
Don’t Skip the Foot and Leg Massage!
A pedicure is a part of your self-care routine, so don’t rush the process. If you love the leg massages you get at the salon, give yourself one as part of your DIY pedi! You can even use some exfoliator to slough off dead skin on your legs first, revealing the healthy, glowy skin beneath. Use a fabulous, rich cream to make sure both your feet and legs are hydrated and looking fab for summer.
Use Toe Separator or Make Your Own
Using a toe separator will ensure that your nail polish doesn’t smear, and stain your neighboring toes. While you can buy one by itself, or as part of a pedicure kit, you can easily also make your own by weaving tissue paper between your toes.
Apply Base Coat
You may want to skip the base coat to speed up the time spent on your pedicure. But, your polish will last longer, and look better if you use a clear base coat first. Apply a coat, let dry, and then you’re ready for your nail polish selection.
Apply Nail Polish
Patience is key when applying nail polish. You’ll want to add a coat, wait for it to dry a bit, and then apply a second coat. If you’re using a neon nail polish, you can add a white coat first so that the color will really pop and glow. Some polishes, like sheer colors and glitter may take more than two coats to achieve full coverage.
Apply Top Coat
Once your nails are sufficiently dry, then it’s time for your top coat. This will seal the color and polish, and give your nails that salon-worthy shine. You can also opt for a matte top coat to give your selected color an edgy, artsy look. Congrats–you just gave yourself a fabulous pedi!