Hands & Nails
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How to: The Perfect At-Home Pedicure
Mon, 28 January 2013 9:01AM
Summer, much more so than winter, calls for flawless feet. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t had my feet out of my favourite strappy sandals and wedges these past few weeks, meaning my tootsies are always on show. And sure, a pop of polish will always work to pretty them up, but dry, calloused heels and overgrown cuticles just won’t do sexy summer shoes justice.
Treating yourself to regular pedicures is a good, yet somewhat expensive option, otherwise you could spend your next Friday night in getting the perfect at-home pedicure with our step-by-step guide.
Pop on a movie, grab a glass of wine, and let’s get started …
Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually best to clip your nails before soaking them, otherwise they can become too soft and brittle. Use a pair like Manicare Nail Clippers, $5.45, Priceline, then clip or file your nails straight across so they sit just over the top of your toe, which helps to avoid ingrown toenails. Gently file away any sharp edges so you have a squoval-like shape.
Fill up a bucket or large bowl with lukewarm water and add some nourishing oils or bath salts – a good option is Billie Goat Soap’s Peppermint Foot Soak, $16.95, David Jones. Not only is it enriched with peppermint oil and a hydrating cocoa butter, it also contains natural Australian goat’s milk so you’ll get the added exfoliating benefits from the lactic acid. Leave your feet to soak for around five minutes.
Use a fluffy bath towel to dry off your feet. Once they are dry, yet still soft, pick up a dampened foot file or pumice stone and gently buff away any dry skin. Or, try a tool that takes the manual labour out of the task for you, like the Emjoi PediSmooth Plus, $39.95, department stores. It features a mini mineral stone roller that rotates 360 degrees and comes with two detachable heads, one for dry skin and one for more coarse areas. Your feet will be as soft as a baby’s within seconds. Use it whenever you feel like any dry skin is building up – or for last-minute touch-ups – however it’s best to leave some callus on the ball of your foot and heels for natural protection, whether you use a pumice or a tool.
Dust off your feet and thoroughly moisturise them with a thick lotion. Then, apply an oil like ORLY Cuticle Oil +, $19.95, 1300 769 355, to your cuticles and gently massage it in. Use an orange stick to push your cuticles down like you would with a manicure – never cut them, because if it isn’t done correctly it can lead to infection.
Use your towel to wipe off any excess lotion, and use a cotton pad and nail polish remover to ensure your nail bed is clean. Place toe separators in between your toes and find a clean surface. Slick on your base coat, and then depending on the consistency of your nail polish, add 1-2 layers of your chosen lacquer. I’m using ModelCo Nail Polish in Fire Cracker Red, $14.95, ModelCo. To finish, paint your top coat, swishing the brush over the tips to seal in the polish.
How’s this for an Australia Day long weekend pedicure, complete with a flag-adorned pair of Havaianas, $24.95, Havaianas Australia.
Posted by: Hayley Bennett