DIY pedicure

Here’s how you can do a great DIY pedicure at home. If you have time for professional pedicure, you must give it a try. There’s nothing like sitting back and leaving it to the pros, because let’s face it, DIY pedicures can be hard work. If budget allows, go for the luxury version, which usually includes an extra indulgent massage and a heated foot mask. If a professional pedicure isn’t an option, I have a few tips to help your feet look and feel wonderful (with tried and tested product recommendations).

Preparing feet for a DIY Pedicure:

HEALTH CHECK

Give your feet the once over. I’m talking under the free edge of your nails, between your toes and soles of your feet (use a hand mirror for ease). Look for anything out of the ordinary; such as infections, verrucas, lifting of the nail plate and ingrown nails. Seek medical advice from your pharmacist or GP and treat the problem before you go ahead with the pedicure.

SOAK

Soak your feet in a bowl of warm, bubbly water. You don’t need a fancy foot spa, just something large enough to rest your feet comfortably. Currently I’m using the Margaret Dabbs Foot Soak and it’s divine!

Nail and sole care:

TRIM

You may need to trim your nails if they’re past the edge of your toe. Longer toe nails can bump against shoes causing lifting and infections. Cut straight across with clippers or scissors, doing a few nips across rather than one long cut. Just don’t go too short – ouch!

FILE

File straight across to avoid ingrown toenails. You can file the sharpness from the corners if they dig into your skin. I use the Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File for smooth, effective filing.

CUTICLES

I want to get something clear here, NEVER remove line of skin you can see at the base of your nail. That’s the eponychium, which is there to protect the matrix (where the nail grows from). Leave the metal pushers, knives and nippers to the pros, unless there’s an obvious hangnail that can be easily nipped away. Instead use a cuticle softener and a rubber hoof stick to gently push back and remove any loose cuticle on the nail plate. Finish this stage by applying cuticle oil.

SMOOTH

Exfoliate your feet with a scrub. Rinse, dry, and then use a foot file on the soles of your feet, paying extra attention to the ball and heel. Make life easy on yourself and buy an electric file. I’ve had the Micro Pedi for a few years and I’m always impressed with the results.

Pampering legs and feet:

MASSAGE

Make a luxurious concoction by mixing an oil with your favourite body lotion. Massage up to your knee, over the top of your feet, between your toes and finally your soles.

TREAT

Find a mask suited to your needs (I wouldn’t advise the intense peeling masks). For an invigorating mask, try Volcano by Lush, which is pretty messy but works a treat on tired soles. Wrap your feet in a warm towel until it’s time to rinse.

The finishing touch:

POLISH

No DIY pedicure is complete without polish. I find that bright and bold colours are really flattering, even on more mature toes. To make sure your polish lasts, begin by wiping your nails with acetone free polish remover and a lint-free wipe, then roll up a tissue and weave it between your toes. Finally apply one coat of your base polish, two coats of colour and one coat of a glossy top coat. Tidy up any mistakes with corrector fluid and a small brush. I’m obsessed with OPI polish. Some of my clients can wear it on their toes for weeks without a single chip! Impressive huh?

PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS

Margaret Dabbs and OPI are my favourites. QVC stocks them – they have a great range of brands for DIY pedicures and manicures. 

AFTERCARE

Apply cuticle oil and foot cream after a bath/shower or just before bed. This will keep you soles and cuticles soft and prolong the life of your polish.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section or send me an email. I’m always happy to help!

Please note: Due to being a busy makeup bee, I am not taking on new mani/pedi clients.