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I was pretty old when I got my first pedicure.
I was, maybe twelve? Thirteen? Don’t quote me on the age, but I was the last of all my friends to lose my pedicure virginity. What can I say, I was waiting for the right salon. 😉 Not to be dramatic or anything but that first pedicure changed my life, so now I try and get one every chance I can! Unfortunately, as a broke twenty-something amidst the height of my job search, I classify pedicures as a luxury expenditure. So I’m stuck doing my pedicure at home.
That’s no big deal though because I have created a ritual of sorts to perfect my pedicure at home. While it doesn’t feel as nice, it feels nicer saving that $40+ out of pocket. Every penny counts my friends, so it’s always nice to have an at-home pedicure routine to get your feet looking pretty.
Whether at home or in a salon, everyone’s down for a good pedicure. Here is everything you need to give yourself FEET DOWN (get it like hands down but feet…pedicure…ha ha I’m hilarious) the best pedicure at home ever!
How to Give Yourself the Greatest Pedicure at Home:
Step One: Remove Old Nail Polish
Out with the old and in with the new. Fully remove your old nail polish with a cotton ball and nail polish remover. I don’t use any “high end” products for this, so the $5 bottle of nail polish remover you get from Target or Walmart will work just fine.
Step Two: Soak Ya Feets
Ya know how when you go to a nail salon, and you put your feet in the foot bath of semi-boiling water, and the ladies ask you if it’s a good temp? DO THAT AT HOME!
Well, not quite like that…but definitely soak your feet in warm water! It’s the best way to clean your nasty feet and soften your skin/calluses.
If you have a towel warmer (which a super luxury, and a totally awesome gift btw), you can be boujie as hell, and put the hot damp towels on your legs to further soften your skin.
OR if you’re going to be doing your own feet at home, you might as well go all in and draw up a hot bath. Add a bath bomb in their too for luxe & Instagram boomerang.
Step three: Scrub away the Yuck
I don’t know why this is, but the dead skin on our feet tends to linger and really stick around.
To get your feet looking brand-spankin’ new, you gotta scrub the shit out of your skin…hence the foot soak. When you soak your feet in warm water, your skin gets super soft, making the manual labor way more manageable.
Nowadays I’m seeing more and more electronic tools that assist with the whole exfoliation process, but for now, I am sticking with the cheapo, scrubbing action when it comes to my pedicure at home.
Step 4. Trim and File dem Toesies.
Once your feet are softened and scrubbed, it’s time to trim your toes and file your nails.
TBH I am not picky about the “shape” of my toenails, so I tend to cut them straight across and file the edges so they don’t snag on socks or tights. I also have issues stubbing my toes and shattering my nails so, the shorter the better for me.
I use standard toenail clippers and an all-purpose nail file when I work on step #4. You can get nail clippers at pretty much any drugstore or supermarket around, but the all-purpose file is a great asset to have during your pedicure at home.
There are a whole bunch of different types of nail files—all with different purposes. Rather than getting 5 different files, purchase one that has everything you need in one spot. Ulta has an awesome selection of nail files to get you anything you’re looking for.
Step 5. Apply Cuticle Softener and Push Your Cuticles Back
Have you ever used a cuticle pusher to push back your cuticles, but ended up with a ton of gross residue? Then when you go to apply your nail polish you’re left with uneven layers and it’s all just kind of gross and unsightly? That’s where the magic of cuticle softener comes in!
I’ve been giving myself pedicures at home for quite some time now, and tbh I always thought that this wasn’t a necessary step. However, the more I go without using it, the more I realize I need to add cuticle softener to my pedicure at home routine.
With cuticle softener, when you’re ready to push your cuticles back, you can do so in just a few easy strokes with way less struggle and the leftover hot mess of dead skin. Mmm.
BONUS: You should trim your cuticles with a cuticle clipper. This is totally optional but in my opinion, so worth it. I am SO satisfied when I trim my cuticles and remove all the dead cells just hanging out on my nails. You can give yourself an awesome pedicure at home without this step, but I think you’re missing out on the satisfaction if you don’t.
Step 6: Scrubs and Lotions
If you’re looking to give yourself a fast pedicure at home, you can pretty much skip this step and get to painting. But if you’re looking to fully immerse yourself in your pedicure at home, then this is by far one of my favorite steps.
Take any sugar scrub and give yourself a self-massage from the tips of your toes to just under your knees. Kneed your muscles, paying special attention to any sore spots, or places where you’re holding a lot of tension.
When you’re finished, rinse off the product. Then, take some lotion and continue massaging your legs and feet. I like to use products depending on my mood. For example, if I’m in full on summer mode, I’ll use fruity and delicious smelling lotions. If I’m trying to relax, it’s all about the lavender, baby.
Step 7: Polish Time
When your skin is soft, and your feet are smooth it’s time to get painting.
Fun fact about me—I have webbed toes. Those toe separators really aren’t my BFF, so I have to be super careful that my toes aren’t crisscrossing all over each other lmao. If you’re about that toe separator life I say, GO FOR IT! But your pedicure at home won’t be ruined if they’re not in your pedicure supply kit.
The first step before you even think about applying color is painting on a smooth base coat. It’ll even out any unevenness and make your toenail polish last a whole lot longer.
Next, add your color of choice. I like to change up my pedicure with the seasons, so since summer is almost here, I would suggest something peachy or light blue. 😊 Two layers is best, and I would be sure to have that first one dry (enough) before applying coat #2.
Step 8: Clean up any mistakes
Y’all, kudos to you if you hit 10 for 10 of your nails without messing up. I am not that talented.
Clean up any mistakes using a q-tip or toothpick, and just a wee bit of nail polish remover. Don’t stress about every last drop of nail polish on your skin, because that will come off in a shower or two!
AAAAND, you got some beautiful toesies, all while giving yourself some extra lovin’ and much-needed self-care.
Pedicures are amazing because it’s not just about slapping on a coat or two of paint—it’s about giving yourself the TLC you DESERVE. Hoped you all enjoy reading about my 8 step system for an ahhhmazing pedicure at home!
If you’re looking for more self-care ideas, I’ve created a list of twenty ideas for your own your mental-health day!
Survey time people: Do you think pedicures are worth the money? How do like to give yourself a pedicure at home? Comment down in the comment section below!