Friday, July 10, 2009

How to do a pedicure

Doing a pedicure yourself is surprisingly easy, once you know how. It will save you heaps of money too. To start with you'll need a few things, like in the picture above, but most things can be substituted, and I'll show you how.

Here's what you'll need



nail file

nail clippers

nail buffer

cuticle stick (also known as an orange stick)
cuticle remover (optional)

nail polish remver

cotton balls (not in picture)

something to soak your feet in

scrub

brush (optional)

pedipaddle

cuticle oil

moisturiser

toe separator

nail polish

top coat

Here is my foot (mainly the toes) before the pedicure



The first step in a pedicure is to remove any nail polish. I had none, so moved onto step 2, use the cuticle stick to clean under the nail. You can do this after soaking as well, but I find you can sometimes go a bit deep after the soak as the skin is soft.


Filing comes next, although, if your nails are long you may want to clip them first. When filing do not file back and forth. This weakens your nails. Instead start like in the picture above and move the file up, as shown in the picture below.



Repeat filing this way, the file moving in the same direction, up. Then move to the other side of the nail and do the same thing. For the top of the nail, chose one direction, either left or right to move the file, to file down the nail. Doing it this way ensures your nail stays strong.





Next, buff the nail. You can chose to buff it now before soaking, or buff it later, after soaking. If you don't have time to soak your feet, buff now. To buff, you start with the roughest side of the buffer, then follow through with each side until you get to the smoothest. The smoothest side makes it shiny.


If you wish to use a cuticle remover, you use it now, applying to each cuticle before soaking. It is not a necessary step. It just helps remove the dead skin at the base of the nail.

To soak your feet you can use a large bucket or bowl. Some river rocks in the bottom are nice. Warm water with a specific foot soak, or soap or oils all work well. You can also do the above steps before a bath or shower and use the shower/bath as your "soak".


During the soak, use a scrub. A foot scrub is not necessary, any body scrub if fine. Alternatively you could use some sugar or salt mixed with oil or use some sand. Anything that is gritty will help remove the dead skin on the feet, making the skin smoother and softer. Rub the scrub all over and into the foot, then rinse off. Dry the foot with a towel.


After the soak use the cuticle stick to push back the cuticles. If you have sensitive feet, wrap a bit of cotton ball around the end of the stick. If you do not have a cuticle stick, a cotton ear bud will be effective. If you did not buff before the soak, now is a good time to.







Using a pedipaddle, file the heel of your foot. A pedipaddle has sandpaper for your foot on it. After soaking the skin is soft and comes off easier and is more gentle. This step is really important for nice smooth heels. Rinse and dry the foot again after using the pedipaddle.
If you'd like to you can now use a make-up brush. Run it over the foot to remove any traces of scrub and other grit, before moisturising.





The cuticle oil and moisturiser are applied now. Put a dab of cuticle oil on each toe (olive oil, lip balm, body butter are all good substitutes.) Rub it into each toe. Massage a dab of moisturiser into each foot.




Using nail polish remover, wipe over each nail to remove any oil or moisturiser. You can use cotton balls as toe seperators if you do not have one.
Applying nail polish can take a bit of practice. The best way is to do a stroke in the middle of the nail, from the base of the nail, near the cuticle to the top. Then apply polish to the sides of this line. Repeat on each toe. Once the polish is dry, apply another coat. Then do the same process with top coat.
Top coat seals the nail polish and makes it last longer.





And ta da. Here it is, finished. Now, you will notice in the above picture there is some polish not on the nail. I did this, as it is fairly common for people to do when learning to do their own nails. With light polish like I have applied, it is hardly noticeable, but easy to fix.
You can apply some nail polish remover to a cotton bud and wipe over the affected area.
Or try and scrape it off once dry with your finger nail.
If you notice it before it's dry, it will usually wipe off.
And if you aren't comfortable doing it any of these ways, generally the next time you have a shower, the skin will soften and you will be able to simply flick it off.



Doing regular pedicures will ensure your feet are always pretty. Regular use of a pedipaddle and moisturiser after a shower will keep the pedicure looking good for longer. Use the paddle once a week and msiturise every day.


One extra tip I have for doing pedicures, is wax your feet. Sounds weird, I know, but it makes them look so much cleaner and fresher.




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