The first thing to do in a pedicure at home is clean the nail of all old polish. Next, clip the nails straight across and slightly above the skin. Don’t clip nails in a round shape, because this is what causes ingrown nails. Also, don’t allow the white of the nail to be too long. Allowing nails to grow too long causes breakage and damage to the nail bed, so try not to let them grow over half an inch in length. File the nails in one direction, usually from the outside to the center, to prevent tearing. Try to file nails with one-way strokes, instead of back and forth. Then, buff the nails to get rid of ridges or bumps.
The second step is to massage cuticle remover into the cuticles and soak feet in a warm footbath. You may add foot salts or anything else that helps relax tired feet. Soak feet two to five minutes, or just enough to soften the skin of the feet. Soaking nails in water makes them weak, so try to limit submersion time, if possible.
Next, wrap an orangewood stick in cotton and gently push back cuticles from the nail and clean under the nail bed. After the cuticles and nails have been cleaned, massage feet with a foot scrub or body scrub. After rinsing them off, use a pumice stone to smooth calluses and then rinse again.
Dry your feet completely and then massage with a thick foot cream, adding special attention to heels and top of the feet. You can also add more cuticle oil to the nails for extra moisture. If you have some extra time, massage thick foot cream onto the feet, put some old socks on and allow feet to soak up the lotion for additional softening. If you’ve run out of time at this point, you can also opt to add the cream to feet and wrap them in socks for overnight conditioning.
After massaging cream into the feet, wipe nails with polish remover to get rid of excess oils before painting. Trim any loose cuticles with a cuticle trimmer, but try not to cut too close to the nail bed to prevent infection. If you’d like to have clear nails, apply a clear polish to all toes and allow the polish to dry. If color is wanted, apply polish in three strokes: the first one down the center, and then on each side.
Wait for a few minutes and then add a second coat. Polish up and slightly over the top of the nail to prevent chipping or cracking. To clean up any spots where polish touched skin, you can wrap an orangewood stick with cotton, and dip it into polish remover and clean up spots as you go. Apply a topcoat and let the nails dry at least 20 minutes.
Giving yourself an at home pedicure is simple and cheap. But remember to make sure that nails are always filed and clean prior to applying polish, to prevent ingrown nails or infections. Most often, if a dark polish is used, nails can be stained. You can lighten them with either hydrogen peroxide or lemon juice.
Keep feet smooth and soft, because they are constantly work overtime for our bodies and deserve some pampering!