You may be a pro at nail art or facial massage, but what about DIY pedicures?
To do a comprehensive treatment of your digits, what you need is time and patience, so set aside an hour this weekend and pamper your feet with these easy steps:
1. File Your Nails
Before doing anything, you need to first shape your toenails.
Clip your toenails straight across — never rounded at the corners — just in line with the end of the toe. Then, file straight across with a nail file to avoid ingrown nails. This helps to thin out thick nails or buff nails that have been discoloured from polish.
2. Buff Your Feet
Skin becomes softer when wet. So for dry skin, soak your feet in warm water to soften it. Then, use a foot file — you can try a metal file if you have severely dry skin, but make sure you increase force gradually.
For corns and callouses, do not use blades to remove hard skin as it can be painful and even worsen the condition. Only have this done by a qualified podiatrist, if necessary.
3. Treat Dry Skin
Did you know that the skin on our feet is 12 times thicker than anywhere else on the body? So slough away! Go for fruit acid peels to tackle excess hard skin especially on the heels and balls of feet. These help to break down the hard skin and leave our feet soft and refreshed.
If your feet are in relatively good shape, simply buff them with a grainy scrub.
4. Soak Your Feet
A foot bath is a great treat at the end of a long day, even if you’re not doing a home pedicure. Soak your toes in a concoction of essential oil (of your pick), fresh lemon, mint, and Epsom salts to reduce swelling, neutralise odour and kill bacteria.
Finally, dry your feet thoroughly.
Now massage your feet with some heavy-duty moisturiser before slipping into a pair of cotton socks. Elevate your feet to reduce swelling, and chill for about five minutes.
6. Prep Your Nails
Use a cuticle pusher to push back all cuticles, and then remove any excess dead skin around the nail bed.
Next, use a cotton pad soaked in nail polish remover and wipe it firmly over each nail. This removes any bit of oil or moisturiser that may prevent your nail polish from adhering well to your nails.
First, find a comfy spot where you can perch your foot.
Begin with a layer of base coat. Next, take the polish, and start just below the cuticle down the centre of the nail. Push the brush gently towards the cuticle (but not touching it) before painting straight down to the nail edge.
For the big toe, one stroke in the centre and two on either sides should suffice. For smaller nails, one or two strokes is enough. The key is not to inundate the cuticle with nail polish.
If you do make a blunder, use an orange stick wrapped in a remover-soaked cotton wool and clean up the area between nail and skin. Once the polish feels dry to the touch, add some high-shine topcoat to seal the colour in.
8. Top Off With Oil
For an extra professional finish, apply a drop of cuticle oil on each nail after the topcoat has dried, then gently rub the oil in to nourish your nails and your skin.
Do you do your own home pedicures? Share with us your tips in the Comments section below!