I hate feet. Is there anything more ugly? I can’t stand people touching my feet, touching me with their feet—or worse—touching my feet with their feet.
And yet, I will somewhat happily go to a nail salon to enjoy a pedicure. I’m still slightly embarrassed by my fungal toenail and plantar wart but hey, they’ve seen it all, right? At least that’s what I tell myself to get through a wax minus the awkwardness so I think it still applies.
But if I’m honest, the biggest reason I suffer through the humiliation is because I wouldn’t know the first thing about doing it myself. So if you’re anything like me—or you just want to save yourself $45—here’s our step-by-step guide to a DIY pedi.
Save yourself hopping around the room in toe separators and get prepped by making sure you have all your utensils within arms reach. Next, create a tranquil atmosphere—just because you’re doing it yourself doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be soothing. In fact, you can make it more so.
Turn your pedi session into a sensory experience by lighting a candle, burning some oil, and putting on a relaxing playlist. If you plan to sit for a bit during your soak, grab your latest read—isn’t that better than watching Legally Blonde on repeat anyway?
Run a bath or fill a tub with warm water. If you’d like to get your feet smelling extra fresh, add Epsom salts and oils or a bath soak. It’s important to leave your feet soaking for at least 10-15 minutes to allow the skin cells to soften. Really, the longer the better, so pick up that book or start scrolling through Instagram—30 minutes will pass before you know it.
Now that your feet are super soft, it’s time to show them the tough love. Start by using an exfoliator to massage them all over, right up to your calves. Next, bring in the heavy hitters with a pumice stone or foot buffer. Pay special attention to your heels and the balls of your feet to remove any calluses or dead skin cells. It can be tempting to get stuck in to this step but beware: scrubbing too roughly will cause the skin to irritate and respond by thickening to protect the tissue underneath. To play it safe, try using the Scholl Wet & Dry Foot File as this will buff your feet for you.
Shop → O.P.I Cucumber Scrub.
Give your newfound feet a rinse and let’s move onto the nails. Clipper the toenails to your desired length and then shape them with a file. With the skin still soft, attend to your cuticles. Push them back before trimming any loose skin or hangnails. Your cuticles are there to protect your nails so it’s better to push them back than cut them altogether. Apply a cuticle oil to keep them hydrated.
Shop → The Nail Lab Cuticle Oil.
Now that they’re looking pretty, give your feet some TLC by moisturising them all over. Lay it on thick, and massage into the soles. Don’t forget the tops of your feet and why not give your calves a little action too? Let it soak in before moving onto step six.
Swipe your nails with a polish remover to get rid of any oil or moisturiser build-up before decorating. Pop on toe separators and begin with a clear basecoat before adding colour. It’s better to apply more thin coats than fewer thick ones to get an even look but make sure each coat has dried before applying the next as this is where errors occur.