Thursday, September 12, 2013

How To Give Yourself A Spa Pedicure


Let's be honest, everyone loves getting a pedicure, it's an amazing treat that our overworked feet deserve, but our wallets don't always love.  My mom has always been crazy about having well groomed feet, she absolutely hates cracked & dead skin on feet, & her craziness has rubbed off on me.  Since I am crazy about having groomed feet too, over the years I have perfected an at home pedicure, modeled after a spa one, when my wallet or even I don't feel like heading to the nail salon.  Even in the fall & winter when your feet aren't exposed it's still nice to keep your feet looking neat & clean.  Below are the steps to get & keep your feet looking pretty!

Prep
1. Soak: You can use a fancy foot bath (like the one pictured), or a basic tub/basin (which is what I use).  You need to add water to whatever you are going to soak in, make the water as hot as you can stand, but be careful not to burn your feet.  There are a few different things you can add to the water for different benefits, epsom salts for sore feet (this is what I usually use), any beauty oil to moisturizer, a splash of milk for it's lactic acid, body wash for a really good cleaning, and many more.  You want to soak for at least 15 minutes, to soften everything up, before moving on to the next step.  While you soak it's great to catch up on a book or magazine!
2. Pumice Stone: This is the key to removing dead skin & avoiding cracked heels.  You need to pumice stone your heels, the balls of your feet, the bottom of your big toe, & anywhere else you notice a big collection of dead skin.  To really slough away all that is dead you will need to add a little elbow grease, but make sure to stop when you get to skin that is not dead because if you pumice stone too hard, or too much you run the risk of making your feet bleed.
3. Scrub: This will help to whisk away any left over dead skin & leave your skin super smooth.  A scrub with peppermint oil like the one pictured refreshes your feet & helps to combat foot odor.
Nail Care
4. Take care of nails & cuticles: Tweezerman makes the best nail care products that are worth their price tag.  I use this tool to clean under my nails & to remove any ingrown toenails, & then push back my cuticles.
5. Cut nails: Tweezerman also makes great nail clippers, you want to use these to cut your toenails straight across in a square shape making sure not too cut them too short.  If your nails are at a length you like you can skip this step!
6. File nails: I always like to file my nails after I cut them & even if they are at a length I like to clean them up & really make them look good.  File in one direction so you don't damage & tear your nail, make sure to keep a square shape.
Moisturize
7. Cuticles: It's really important to take care of your cuticles, they protect the tissue that grows new cells & makes your nails grow longer.  Keeping them moisturized is vital to their health, & this cuticle cream by Lush works wonders & has a yummy lemony sent.
8. Feet: Not only do your cuticles need to be moisturized, but the rest of your feet need to be too!  If you apply foot cream regularly you can prevent cracking in your heels & keep your skin looking plump & healthy.
9. Socks: After applying all the moisturizers you should put on a pair of socks to help everything really soak in, I like 'spa socks' that have a little moisturizer in them so you really pack a moisturized punch to your feet!  
(*It's best if you can leave the moisturizer & socks on over night, & then proceed to the Step 10 the next day; if timing does not permit this skip Steps 7 & 9, before you begin to paint swipe your nails with some nail polish remover to remove all oils left behind by the lotion.*)
Paint
10. Base coat: I like a base coat that fills ridges & evens everything out so you have a great start to painting.
11. Color: I favor Essie & OPI brand polishes, they have a crazy amount of color options, last long, & are "3 free" meaning they are free of bad cancer causing ingredients that some nail polishes contain.  It's best to paint down the center of the nail, then each side, & finally seal the polish by swiping the brush across the top of the nail.  When picking a color it's nice to pick one that goes with the season, since we're heading into fall I picked this inky blue color by Essie called "After School Boy Blazer".
12. Top Coat: This is the coat that really seals the deal & helps to prevent chips so you want to make sure you get a quality one that will last, make sure to paint it on like you did the color in the previous step.

So, this is how I do a DIY spa pedicure to make sure my feet always look their best.  Do you have any at home pedi secrets that I missed?

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