the perfect home pedicure

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ok troops, today we are tackling our feet!  We all love a good pedicure but with the economy in the toilet for who knows how long, we are all making cut-backs and unfortunately the weekly trips to the nail salon are O-V-E-R.  Fear not!  We bring you the perfect do it yourself home pedicure.
With an awful cold coming on strong and arctic whether outside, I was feeling like crud and decided that I needed a good pick-me-up.  Armed with my coupon (click here for yours), I headed to my local Ulta to gather my supplies.

The supplies
Step 1:  Remove Polish:  An alcohol and acetone free remover is less harsh on your nails but won't work as well as the good 'ol tough stuff.  Hold the cotton ball soaked in remover on your nail for a few seconds for easiest removal.  Insider Tip - Try rubbing whitening toothpaste on your nail that has been stained by dark polish.

Step 2:  Cut and File Nails:  Cut nails straight across and file in one direction.  File the edges of nails so that they have slightly rounded corners.

Don't worry-I'm not going to show pictures of my feet.  You would never come back here again.

Step 3:  Soak:  Fill a tub (I got mine at the dollar can use your bathtub in a pinch) with warm water.  Add in whatever you prefer: essential oils, epson salt, aromatherapy soaks, etc.  I used epson just beause that's what I had lying around the house.  Soak for 10 minutes or longer if your feet are extra scaly.  Insider Tip - add in 1/4-1/2 cup of milk.  The lactic acid in the milk breaks up dead skin.

Step 4:  Cuticles:  Trimming my cuticles makes me nervous as I once had a bad experience at a nail salon that involved scissors, some kind of healing cream, burning and an excessive amount of blood. Therefore I stick to the much safer cuticle push-back.  Use an orangewood stick to gently do this.

Step 5:  Scrub, Scrub, and Scrub Some More:  Use whatever you like for this: foot file, foot scrub or pumice stone.  I picked up this foot file at Ulta and it worked great.  Remember the motto "smooth, don't remove". Getting so much skin off that you are reaching live skin is not a good thing.  Let's chant together, "smooth, don't remove, smooth, don't remove..."

Step 6:  Moisturize: Use a good, thick foot cream.  Mine is from Bath and Bodyworks that I got years ago...that shows how often I do an at home pedicure.  I should probably consider getting new foot cream.  Does that kind of thing go bad?  I digress.  You can use cuticle oil if your cuticles are super dry and you wanna be salon-fancy.  I just rubbed some extra cream into them. *This is where I really start missing someone else doing this for me.  The leg and foot massage?  Heaven.

Pardon the bite marks-my dog has a lotion fetish.

Step 7:  Polish:  To prep, use your nail polish remover again to wipe away oils and excess lotion.  Apply your base coat using 3 strokes:  one down the middle and one on each side.  Don't paint your cuticle.  Let the base coat set for a couple of minues, then apply two coats of your prefered color using the same 3 stroke technique.  Rap a cotton-soaked pad around the orangewood stick and use that to clean up any polish errors.  I use this a lot...especially when using a dark polish.  Apply a clear top coat and let dry for 30-45 minutes.  Done!

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