How to Do a Pedicure Like a Pro!

Okay, time for a beauty confession…for the past few years, I have been doing my own pedicures.  After years of having professional pedicures done on a regular basis I noticed that my toenails weren’t looking too good; they were often dried out and covered in white marks.  In order to mitigate this, I began leaving my toes unpolished for several months each winter.  The result?  Although it would take months, eventually my nails would regain their healthy appearance.  Unfortunately the moment that I received my first pedicure of the spring, my nails would be destroyed again!  Then I made a discovery…after having anxiety over the potential for catching a nail fungus from an unsanitary nail salon (always a legitimate concern), I decided to do my own pedicures for a few months.  Guess what?  My nails remained perfectly healthy looking.  Then one day I got lazy and decided to head to the nail salon for a pedicure.  Surprise, surprise…my nails were destroyed once again.  I thought about what I was doing differently at home than what the nail technician was doing to me at the nail salon.  Then, it came to me…I was using non-acetone nail polish remover!  Eureka!  Yes, non-acetone polish remover is the old-fashioned polish remover that takes forever to remove your polish, but it does not dry out your nail bed and make your nails look unsightly.  This may not seem like a huge discovery, but I know for a fact that many women are plagued by unsightly toenails and are not sure what is causing this.  Ever since I have taken to doing my nails on my own they have been looking great!  Want to learn how to do a pedicure like a pro?  Here we go…

What you will need to get started…

  • Nail Polish Remover (Non-Acetone)
  • Cotton Balls (for polish removal)
  • Nail Clippers
  • Nail File
  • Nail Buffer
  • Cuticle Pusher Stick
  • Cuticle Clippers
  • Exfoliating Scrub
  • Foot File OR Pumice
  • Foot Cream
  • Cotton Socks
  • Base Coat Nail Polish
  • Color Nail Polish
  • Top Coat Nail Polish

STEP 1: Soak (after removing any old polish)

Soak your tootsies in warm soapy water for several minutes.  You can use a sink, tub or a large flat bowl for this…there is no need to purchase a home pedicure station (unless, of course, you want to).  Rinse well and pat dry with a hand towel.

STEP 2: Trim Your Nails

Trim your nails to a comfortable length taking care not to trim them too short.  Please note that for sanitary reasons, only you should be using your personal cuticle trimmers; this is not the time to share!

STEP 3: File Your Nails

File your nails until the edges are all smooth taking care to “round out” the corners.

STEP 4: Buff Your Nails

Using a 3-sided nail buffer (avaialable at almost any beauty supply store) gently buff your nails to a high shine.  You will want to gently rub the buffer back and forth over each nail beginning with the roughest side and finishing with the smoothest side.

STEP 5: Push Back Your Cuticles

Gently push back your cuticle using a stick made for this purpose (these can be procured at almost any beauty supply store for an extremely nominal fee).

STEP 6: Trim Your Cuticles

Purchasing a high-quality stainless steel cuticle trimmer is of the utmost importance.  Furthermore, for sanitary reasons, only you should be using your personal cuticle trimmers; this is not the time to share!  Be very conservative in your trimming removing only the excess cuticle (this should NOT cause you any discomfort).

STEP 7: Scrub Your Tootsies

Once again, there is no need to purchase an expensive specialty product…any drugstore brand scrub will do the job nicely.  Simply take a dollop of the scrub in your hand, add a little water and scrub it all over your foot using a circular motion.  Rinse well and pat dry with a hand towel.

STEP 8: File Your Feet

Rub a damp foot file back and forth over any rough or calloused areas of your foot (foot files are available at almost any beauty supply store).  If you prefer, you may also choose to use a pumice for this purpose.  You will want to rub only until the excess roughness is removed…this should not cause you any discomfort.  Beauty Bonus: you can use your foot file in the shower several times per week in order to mitigate the build-up of rough skin.

STEP 9: Apply Foot Cream

While any heavy cream will do, I must highly recommend Lush’s Lemony Flutter Cuticle Cream.  This cream is simply the most AMAZING pedicure cream that I have found.  After a full night in cotton socks, my feet are baby soft and my heels are 100% crack-free!  Priced at $16.95 it is well worth the splurge!

STEP 10: Wear Your Socks

Any old pair of socks will do; however, cotton socks are the best because they allow your feet to “breathe”.  I strongly recommend wearing your socks for a minimum of 15 minutes.  If your feet are severely dry, rough or cracked then you should plan to wear your foot cream overnight and polish your toes the next day.

STEP 11: Go Over Your Nails With Polish Remover

A quick sweep of non-acetone polish remover will remove any oils or creams from your nail thus ensuring a clean surface for your nail polish to adhere to.


It is well worth the investment to purchase some high-quality polish…it will go on more smoothly and it will be longer-lasting than a less expensive drugstore brand.  Personally I love OPI nail polish.  You will want to use a base coat, a color (do two coats of this polish), and a top coat.  You may wish to soak a cotton swab in a little nail polish remover for any necessary touch-ups.  Be sure to allow your pedicure a minimum of 30-45 minutes to fully dry.  My color (pictured above)?  “I’m India Mood For Love”!

Voila…you now have all the tools you need to do a pedicure like a pro!  Enjoy!

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