How to give yourself a perfect pedicure in 10 quick steps
There is no better time to sport a colourful pedicure than summertime. After all, wearing open-toed shoes is usually not an option when the weather is cold and rainy, so most fashionistas take advantage of the hot days while they last! If you feel like going through a wonderful at-home pedicure procedure but have no idea where to start, we have a short guide on how to do a pedicure at home in 10 easy steps just for you.
Table of Contents
What is a pedicure?
Before we jump to the guide, let’s establish a few facts in order to bust some pedicure myths right off the bat. Pedicure is not just about painting your toenails – it is a comprehensive cosmetic treatment that involves taking care of both the skin and nails of your feet.
What does a pedicure include?
A complete pedicure should include:
- Removal of old nail polish (if necessary)
- Cutting, trimming and shaping toenails
- Filing the heels
- Tending to the cuticles
- Exfoliating and hydrating the skin
- Feet massage (optional)
- Painting the toenails (optional)
How long does a pedicure take?
Depending on your skill, state of your feet, number of steps and personal preference, a comprehensive pedicure should take around 30 minutes, up to 90 minutes.
How often should you get a pedicure?
If you want your feet to look and feel their best, it is advised to get a pedicure done every 4-6 weeks.
Step 1: Prepare your little home pedicure kit
Start by gathering all necessary pedicure tools. Depending on how advanced you want your foot pedicure ritual to be, you can get away with just the basics or it may be necessary to prepare quite a few products, and even some pedicure equipment. Some nail salons offer professional pedicure kits to use at home.
You will need:
- Nail polish remover (if necessary)
- Rubbing alcohol (optional)
- Foot file and/or pumice stone
- Nail file and straight edge clippers
- Scrub or peeling
- Foot cream and/or lotion
- Cuticle oil and/or serum
- A towel
- Cotton pads
- Bath soak (eg. Epsom salt)
- Pedicure bath (a basin big enough to fit your feet into will suffice)
- Toe separator
- Orange sticks
- Nail polish of your choice (+a base coat and a top coat)
Step 2: Remove old nail polish (if necessary)
If you have some old paint on your toenails, it’s time to get rid of it. Saturate a cotton pad with nail polish remover and press it on the nail. Let it soak for a few seconds and then wipe it off. Repeat if necessary. If the paint is especially dark and stubborn, leave the pad with the remover on the nail surface for a little longer before wiping off.
Step 3: Soak your feet
No respectable home pedicure can do without a solid soaking! Fill the basin with comfortably warm water and use your favourite bath soak. If you do not have any dedicated foot soak at hand, you can use Epsom salt or a little bit of your favourite liquid soap. Submerge your feet and let them sit there for around 5-10 minutes. Such a foot bath will soften your skin, prepping it for the next steps – not to even mention how relaxing it is!
Step 4: Exfoliate your skin
Now it’s time to give yourself a light scrub. It’s not a necessary step, but gentle exfoliation helps you to get rid of dead skin, giving your feet a more smooth and youthful appearance, and makes filling your heels much easier. After washing the scrub off with water, pat your feet dry with a clean towel.
Step 5: File your heels
Using the foot file and/or pumice stone, gently exfoliate your heels. Do not put too much pressure, because you can easily go overboard and hurt yourself! Your task is to smooth the rough parts, and avoid removing too much skin. Your heels are a little tougher than the rest of your skin for a reason!
Step 6: Take care of your cuticles
Very gently trim your cuticles, but avoid cutting them. It’s very easy to overdo this part when doing your pedicure at home, so it’s best to leave the cutting to professionals.
Step 7: Trim, file and buff your toenails
Using straight-edge clippers trim your toenails. Do not trim them too short – remember that it’s always easier to do it more often than to suffer an ingrown nail! Toenails should be trimmed straight across, so do not try to shape them the same way you do with your fingernails. After trimming, smooth the rough edges with a file and finish the process with gentle buffing.
Step 8: Moisturize your feet
Now is the perfect time to massage your feet using a little bit of foot cream and/or lotion. Put a drop of it on each foot and massage it into the skin for a few minutes (or longer, if you feel like doing so!). If you are planning to paint your toenails, finish this step by soaking a cotton pad in rubbing alcohol and thoroughly wiping the surface of each nail.
Step 9: Paint your toenails (if you want to)
This step is not mandatory, but if you want to add a drop of colour to your beautifully rejuvenated feet, it’s just the time to do that. Start by using a toe separator to make working with each individual toenails easier. Apply a layer of a base coat and let it dry. Then apply two thin coats of the nail polish of choice, letting the paint dry between each coat. Finish it off with a top coat. If necessary, clean up the edges using an orange stick.
Step 10: Finish the job with a little bit of cuticle oil or serum
Finally, you can add a drop of cuticle oil or serum to each of your toenails and gently rub it around. For the best results, it is recommended to use cuticle oil or serum daily!
Is home pedicure a good alternative to a spa pedicure?
It depends on the circumstances and your expectations. If you have some solid manual skills, a little bit of experience, flexibility and patience to DIY your pedicures, you can really make them work. However, there is no denying that good salons deliver the quality that can very rarely be achieved at home.
If you do not like to visit salons and yet would like a professional nail expert to do your nails, you can always look for a mobile specialist that will deliver you pedicure at home service. It is a great alternative for older clients as well – all of us deserve a relaxing pedicure from time to time so mobility problems should never stop you from getting your nails done!
If you are concerned about how much is a pedicure, Booksy will be your best friend. With Booksy you can quickly find the best nail specialists in your area, compare their pricing, check their pedicure before and after photos and read reviews. Once you settle on a perfect salon and/or mobile specialist, you can book your appointment via Booksy (either the platform or a convenient mobile app) with just a few clicks. With pedicure being one of the best salon treatments to get done during the summer, we wholeheartedly encourage you to try it at least once – chances are, you are going to totally fall in love with the experience! DIYs are a great way to keep your feet looking fresh between appointments, but salon treatments are definitely the real deal.