How to Give Yourself a Spa-Quality Pedicure

Why pay steep salon prices when you can do just as good a job and save some money by doing it yourself at home.

First you’ll need to remove any old nail polish thoroughly. Use cotton balls moistened with nail polish remover being careful not to damage the polish on your fingernails.

Next, soak your feet in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes. You might add a commercial herbal preparation to the water. Sometimes I just add a few small branches of rosemary from my own herb garden because I love the way it smells. Ideally, you should soak your feet at least once a week, and more often if you have especially rough skin and/or sore feet.

After your skin is softened from the soaking, use a loofah or pumice stone on the roughened areas. The pumice stone works best with the especially rough areas around the back of the heel and under the big toe. Rinse your feet again and dry.

Clip your toenails straight across using a toenail clipper. Cutting the toenails straight across will help prevent any ingrown nails. File the toenails to smooth down any rough edges. This will help prevent holes and runs in your nylons.

Next, push back your cuticles with an orange stick, using a moisturizing lotion if they do not push back easily. Then, massage your feet with the same lotion. You might also use this lotion a few nights a week, then covering your feet with socks. This really helps the skin on your feet stay soft.

Separate your toes using a commercial “toe spreader” (available at some drugstores and beauty supply shops) or by winding strips of cotton between your toes.

Apply a base coat and wait 5 to 10 minutes for it to dry. I use this “drying” time to do some simple foot exercises – drawing circles in the air with each foot, extending and relaxing my feet, etc.

If you wish, apply two coats of colored polish, again waiting at least 5 – 10 minutes between coats for each coat to dry. Remove any excess polish on your skin with a cotton swab moistened with polish remover. In winter you may prefer to save time by just using clean polish on your toes.

Complete your pedicure with a coat of clear polish. Allow it to dry for at least an hour, longer if possible, before putting socks, stockings or shoes back on your feet.

Voila! Beautiful tootsies and some money saved besides.

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