There's nothing better than a fresh pedicure when your feet feel smoother than smooth and your nails look happy, shiny and bright. Here, we show you how you can get a salon-worthy pedicure at home thanks to these 10 genius DIY pedicure tips.
1. Give this minty fresh foot soak a go
A salon pedicure always starts with a relaxing foot soak, but at home, all you need is mouthwash, vinegar and water. Yes, you read that correctly. Mouthwash. The popular Pinterest craze — which mixes equal parts of all three ingredients in a large bowl — works wonders at smoothing dry skin. The combined acids from the vinegar and Listerine (which has benzoic acid in it) soften soles in no time. Soak your feet for 15 minutes.
2. Use marbles to massage
Nothing beats a foot massage, but it's never much fun (or as easy) to do on your own feet. That's where marbles come in. Pour a packet into a bowl of warm water and gently roll your feet over them while you sit and soak your feet. Da-dah! An easy DIY massage that doesn't require any effort on your part.
3. Stray polish? Sock it to 'em
It can be hard to paint between the lines, but instead of loading up a cotton bud with nail polish remover and losing half your nail colour in the process, wait until your polish is totally dry. Then slather on a rich, heavy-duty moisturiser (body lotion will do) and pop on a pair of thick socks for an hour. The heat and gentle friction against the fabric will loosen any rogue polish and your feet will feel silky-smooth.
4. Make your own sugar scrub
Don't have a foot scrub to hand? You easily make your own using a couple of staple pantry ingredients. Mix 2/3 cup white sugar, 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup olive oil and you've got yourself a great DIY scrub that can slough off any dead skin. Buff it in circular motions on your feet and legs.
5. Two thin coats are better than one thick one
It might be tempting to layer a thick coat of polish and be done with it, but the reality is, it'll take forever to dry and end up looking gluggy. Opt for two thin coats instead, leaving a couple of minutes in between each coat. Hold the brush midway down the cap for maximum control and work from the middle of the nail outwards leaving a 1.5mm gap at the top. This makes your pedicure look more professional.
6. Always clean your nails before you start
Clean nails are the key to a long-lasting pedicure. If you’re massaging your feet with oil or lotion prior to painting your nails, always wipe the nail plate clean with polish remover before you begin painting. This will help the polish “stick”. Even if your nails are bare, give them a quick swipe with polish remover to remove any dirt and oil from your nails.
7. Soften your cuticles with olive oil
Olive oil makes a great cuticle oil. Massage a small amount into your nails daily and gentle push back your cuticles with a stick or the edge of your fingernail. Never be tempted to cut your cuticles, they're designed to protect your nail from infection and shouldn't be trimmed, according to the pros.
8. Always sit on a chair
For the best polish results, sit on a chair and balance your foot on the side of a table when painting your toenails. This gives you the best angle, with maximum balance, and helps you avoid getting a backache from leaving down and over.
9. Coat the tip of your nail with top coat
How you apply your top coat can affect how long polish lasts. As well as applying top coat vertically, as you would your polish, it's also important to seal the tip of your nail with a horizontal swipe, too. This is where most chips happen so it makes sense to put an extra layer of protection here.
10. Don't fan your nails dry
Technically, nail polish doesn't dry, it “cures” when it comes into contact with oxygen in the air. Trying to speed up that process by fanning it or dunking your toes in ice cold water can cause micro moisture bubbles to appear in your polish. If you’re in a rush, or feeling impatient, invest in a quick-dry spray that's designed to make the oxidisation process happen faster, but definitely avoid fanning your nails dry.
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