How To: Give the Perfect DIY Pedicure

Summer is hot on our heels, and with it the aches and pains that inevitably plague our fatigued feet. Sure, you’ve tested out the gel craze, but sometimes it’s less about polish and more about giving those tired tootsies a little TLC. Feeling a little frugal? No worries – below you’ll find our steps to the perfect summertime pedi, all DIY of course.

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By EmilyBee

1.  Soak
To start, fill your tub, a footbath, or simply a large enough bowl with warm water, and swipe off old polish with a cotton ball and non-acetone remover. Add Epsom salts for relief and a few drops of your favorite aromatic oil for a soothing scent. If you’re looking for a prepackaged deal, we love Earth Therapeutics Tea Tree Oil Foot Soak. Let feet soak for 10 minutes or so while you page through the newest issue of Vogue and let your thoughts drift to that happy place filled with palm trees and platform sandals.

2.  Cuticle Treatment
Once your feet have had some solid soaking time, massage a couple drops of cuticle oil into each nail bed. Reach for a cuticle pusher rather than clipper for a safer DIY approach. We love Sally Hanson’s Moisturizing Vitamin E Nail and Cuticle Oil, and Tweezerman’s Pushy Cuticle Pusher.

3.  Scrub
When it comes to scrubs, most are made with a base of either sugar or salt. Sugar is a safer bet for those with sensitive skin, but a universal favorite is The Body Shop Peppermint Smoothing Pumice Foot Scrub. With a base of volcanic rock, this scrub exfoliates and leaves a fresh scent behind. If you’re feeling up for it, create your own scrub by combining sugar and your choice of oil, such as almond or jojoba.

4.  Buff calluses
Next, it’s time to smooth out those unsightly calluses, so grab a pumice stone (never a razor) and get to work. Our pick is Earth Therapeutics Pumice Brush, which has a contoured handle for easy scrubbing.

5.  Clip and File
After you’ve said goodbye to your calluses, make sure to file nails into a rounded shape after trimming to prevent painful ingrown toenails using tools like Sephora Collection Nail File and Tweezerman Power Nail Clipper.

7.  Massage
Now that your nails are looking a bit better, squeeze a liberal amount of lotion into the palm of your hand and show your soles some love. Concentrate on areas that are subject to the most stress throughout the day, like your arches, as increased circulation can improve swelling. We can’t resist Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Lotion, which contains softening botanical emollients.

8.  Polish
Finish off your pedicure with a final swipe of nail polish remover. Apply a base coat, two coats of color and a topcoat to seal it. We like China Glaze Strong Adhesion Base Coat and Revlon’s Quick Dry Top Coat. My current favorite color is Essie’s Bikini So Teeny – a pastel blue that manages to pack a serious punch. Make sure your nails are completely dry before slipping on a pair of your favorite sandals and showing off those perfectly polished toes.

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