How To Give Yourself A Great Pedicure

Beauty-wise, there are two really great things about winter: 1) you don’t really have to shave, and 2) the state of your toes is largely irrelevant because they’re so often encased in boots and other toe-hiding shoes. Come summer, both of these become weird and disgusting, so you have to start, you know, taking care of yourself. It’s lame, but we generally go along with it, if only to avoid that talk about the importance of “always looking your best!” from our mothers. Shaving is easy enough, but pedicures can be a pain. Either they’re prohibitively expensive or badly bungled when you attempt a DIY job. Now is the time to screw spending $25 every other week or slathering polish all over your feet like a toddler with no motor skills. Keep reading for our tips on how to get the perfect at-home pedicure.

  • Follow our advice for super soft feet to get your toes ready for the painting. A fresh coat of paint on a car whose fender is falling off looks better, but not great, after all.
  • Remove any old polish entirely using nail polish remover and a cotton ball. A tissue or toilet paper doesn’t do the trick as well as a cotton ball, trust us.
  • Clip your nails to a respectable length and use a nail file that’s relatively smooth to keep the edges soft rather than snagged.
  • If you’ve got the time, soak your feet in warm water, oil, and a bit of milk for extra softness and dead skin removal power.
  • Leaving your feet damp, apply cuticle remover to each toe. You’ll be able to push the excess skin back with an orange stick after about 15 seconds, but you’ll want to carefully trim with cuticle trimmers to actually get rid of it. Because you’re just removing dead skin, you shouldn’t feel this part at all. If you do, you’re cutting too close.
  • Now take a pumice stone and body exfoliator and scrub gently to remove the remaining dead skin on rough spots, like your heels.
  • Dry those babies off, lube them up with lotion, and whip out your base coat.
  • After a layer of base coat, apply two layers of polish, allowing the first layer to dry for a few minutes before starting on the second one. (Don’t worry about making little mistakes, you can remove them later.)
  • Finish it all off with top coat to lock in the color and prevent chipping longer. We love Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.
  • Now, remove any mistakes in one of two ways: 1) when your pedicure is fully dry, stick your feet in the shower and you’ll find that the polish on your skin is totally willing to come off with a little prodding. If you’re looking for easier, 2) take a Q-tip, dip it in polish remover, and go over the problem spots.