There are few beauty rituals I enjoy more than the pedicure. Going to a salon and having a professional pamper your feet is incredibly relaxing, and you leave with a frequently abused and overlooked part of your body feeling refreshed and healthy. Not to mention the fact that freshly-pedicured feet look lovely and well-groomed. It doesn’t matter how disheveled the rest of me is; when my heels are smooth and my toes are newly painted, I feel like I’ve got it together.
Unfortunately, I frequently do not have the time or money to spend on a salon pedicure. Plus, given how easy it is for me to reproduce a salon-quality pedicure at home, I have a hard time justifying the expense most of the time. The good news is, even when I do the job by myself I still feel amazing. So, just in time for sandal season, here’s your six-step guide to a perfect at-home pedicure. (Please note: this guide assumes that you’ve trimmed your nails and removed any old polish before starting.)
1. Soak your feet in warm water. I usually use water that’s quite hot. To me, it adds to the relaxing feel. If you have Epsom salts, scented oil or a nice foot soak, feel free to throw it in. If not, plain ol’ H2O will work. I generally soak for about five to ten minutes.
2. Scrub your feet all over with a specialized foot scrub. I’ve long been a fan of Freeman’s Bare Foot line, and their Creamy Pumice Foot Scrub in Peppermint and Plum works wonderfully. Rub it all over the bottoms and tops of your feet, paying special attention to your heels and anywhere else you may have rough spots.
3. Scrape away dead skin. Okay, this is the gross part but I promise it’s the most effective way to get rid of dragon feet. While your foot is still covered in foot scrub, use your fingernails to scrape dead skin off your foot, once again spending extra time on your heels and/or rough spots. When you’re done, rinse your feet (and hands!).
4. Slather a thick lotion or, better yet, specifically formulated foot cream all over feet, toes and ankles. I swear by Ahava foot creams. Let it soak in for at least five minutes.
5. Swipe nail polish remover over each toenail. Depending on the thickness of the lotion you used, you may want to do this twice. The goal is to remove all traces of product and oils so that your nail polish will glide on easily and stick to your nails.
6. Select a fun shade of polish and paint on a coat or two. Right now I’m loving hot pinks, like Ruby Wing Color Changing Nail Polish in Poppy (shown).