Style & Beauty

The Do-It-Yourself Pedicure

Pamper yourself with an at-home pedicure—and save money

By Katrina Caruso

It’s a treat to take care of your feet, but regular pedicures at the spa can get expensive over time. If you want to give your feet some much-needed attention, here’s a guide for you to get started and save yourself some money.

What you’ll need:

  • A big bowl or bucket
  • Foot soak crystals or essential oils
  • Foot file
  • Foot scrub (optional)
  • Nail kit: file, clippers, and cuticle tools
  • Cuticle remover
  • Nail polish remover, nail polish, and toe separators (optional)
  • Moisturizer for your feet

1: Soak
This step might be my favourite. Fill a large bowl or bucket halfway (or even your bathtub) with warm water. Add foot soak crystals or essential oils of your choice (I recommend peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus oil, or a combination of these). Pop your feet in and soak for 5 to 10 minutes.

2: File and scrub
Remove your feet from the water and dry thoroughly. It’s time to slough off the dead skin. I love the Amopé Pedicure Perfect Electronic Foot File, a battery-operated foot file with replaceable files. Start with a coarser grain (especially if you have a lot of skin to remove) and then move to a finer grain (most manual files have two sides). If you use an Amopé, go slowly—you can always remove more skin, but it can be painful and even dangerous to overdo it.

After filing, you may choose to use a scrub to exfoliate. You can make a homemade scrub with sugar—mix 1 cup (250 mL) of coconut oil and 1 cup of white granulated sugar in a jar.

3: Nails and cuticles
Next, it’s time to file, clip, and shape your nails as needed—go slowly, don’t cut too much off.
For your cuticles, you can use a cuticle remover to soften and dissolve them (I suggest Sally Hansen’s Cuticle Remover). Once you’ve applied this and removed it, you can push back your cuticles, and clean them up with nail tools.

Finally, it’s time to put on some polish. Choose a fun colour. Apply two thin coats and let each coat dry before applying the next. Seal the polish with your top coat of choice (my all time favorite is Sèche Vite Top Coat).

4: Moisturize
Once your nails are dry, apply your favourite foot moisturizer. Enjoy the softness and the compliments!

Photo: iStock/gilaxia.