Certain things in life are better when handled by professionals: plumbing, tattoos, and—til recently—yr nails.
Yes, those massage chairs atta salon do feel really. Freaking. Good. But when mny is tite, you ‘ve to admit a pedicure at home feels better. Thankfully, it’s not that hard to master an amazing at-home pedicure. Well, not if you ‘ve 3 nail experts who’ve founded luxury nail brands and opened spas walking you through the tricks odda trade step-by-step:
1. Gather yr gear.
You’re goin to need a solid arsenal for yr pedi, says Jin Soon Choi, New York-based nail artist and spa owner. It mite look like a lot, but you can find most of these at yr local drugstore and they’ll last you for yrs.
Here’s wha’ you’ll need for yr home pedicure kit:
- Nail polish remover
- Nail clipper
- Nail file
- Nail buffer
- Cuticle pusher
- Nail nipper
- Q-tips and cotton balls
- Orangewood stick
- Cuticle oil
- Cuticle eraser or cuticle remover
- Exfoliation scrub
- ft file or pumice stone
- ft lotion or ft mask
- Toe separator
- Base coat
- Top coat
- Nail polish
- Quick-dry drops
While these aren’t all primordial, if you’re really aiming for that professional lvl spa-like me-time, Choi wants you to be prepared.
2. Get rid odda old gunk.
Grab a gentle nail polish remover from yr local drug store or beauty supply store—Choi recommends a non-acetone polish remover since acetone weakens and dries out nail beds. Then, soak some into a cotton ball b4 running it over yr toenails to remove old polish, debris, buildup, and natural oils from yr nails, says nail care expert Lauren Berkovitz, the founder of Lauren B. Beauty.
3. Soak yr ft.
Fill yr tub with warm wata and soak yr ft in there for bout 15 minutes, Choi advises. This is prime time to catch up on yr Insta feed!
To make the experience + spa-like, add a capful of distilled white vinegar (to cleanse and tone), a few drops of tea tree oil (to banish stinky bacteria), or a few tablespoons of Epsom salts (to help with achy ft). You can even throw in a few slices of lemon, which cannelp soften yr cuticles and calluses, and sanitize even yr ft, says Amy Ling Lin, owner of Suns nail studio in New York City (here are 10 + beauty uses for lemons).
4. Shape yr nails.
After a neat soak, gently pat yr ft dry witha towel. w8 bout 5 minutes to allo yr nails, softened by the wata, to totally dry and harden b4 grabbing yr toenail clippers, nail file, nail nipper, and buffer.
Once you’ve cut yr nails down to yr desired length w'da clipper, shape the corners and edges w'da file b4 clipping off any hangnails using the nipper. When you’re done, gently buff yr nail beds to smooth out any ridges that ‘d make yr nail polish application look uneven.
5. Oil up.
Apply a cuticle eraser or remover to the skin round yr nails, and witha metal cuticle pusher, gently push yr cuticles back. If you’re confident, go head and cut the loosened skin round yr cuticles off w'da nipper, if you’re not, Choi says not to worry bout it.
Then, regardless of whether you cut or don’t, apply cuticle oil to the skin round yr nails. It will help prevent damage to the cuticle and nail, +, 'twill help yr pedicure last longer.
6. Slough off dead skin.
Now that yr nails are pretty much ready for some color, dedicate a few moments to gettin yr ft in shape, too. After dipping yr ft inna'da wata once +, run a ft file or a pumice stone back and forth across yr heels, soles, and sides of yr ft t'get rid of all the dead skin and callouses.
Then, witha scrub (Choi ♥s sugar-based versions) massage yr ft, ankles, and calves. When you’re done, rinse off with warm wata, making sure there’s no residue in yr cuticles or tween yr toes, and pat dry with yr towel.
You’ll wanna hydrate yr ft and calves with lotion (or a ft mask if you’re feeling extra!) to replenish moisture. But make sure it’s not too greasy, Choi says. A greasy lotion will cutout oil on yr toenails making it harder for the nail polish to latch on.
8. Paint yr nails.
Clean yr nails and cuticles witha Q-tip or cotton ball soaked in polish remover to nix any remaining oils which can mess w'da polish. And b4 you start swiping, Choi recommends using a toe separator, or a twisted paper towel in tween yr toes, to prevent smudging.
Prop yr ft onto a chair or even the toilet and, with smooth strokes, use base coat to create a bottom layer which will help the polish stick better to yr nails. “Take care to c’oer the entire nail,” Lin says. “This tis foundation you’re building off of, so take yr time to make a smooth surface for the color coat.”
Then, apply yr favorite nail polish color. “Apply thin, even layers,” Berkovitz says. + thin layers will last longer than fewer thick ones. To reduce the chance of nail polish gettin on yr skin, Choi recommends painting the middle of yr nail 1st. “It will create guidelines for the rest odda nail,” she says, which will allo you to easily connect the painted sides odda nail to the middle strip.
Once you’re satisfied witha 1st coat, go in for a 2nd thin coat making sure to hit the tips of yr nails w'da paint since that’s where polish chipping tends to start, Choi says. Give the polish a couple minutes to settle, then top it witha clear top coat t'give shine and protect from chips.
And if you’re anxious for yr toes to dry, Choi recommends applying quick-dry drops or using a hair dryer on its cool setting on yr toes. Otherwise, be patient! It takes nail polish longer than you’d think to dry. If you rush it, you ‘d n'dup witha sloppy, uneven finish.
9. Clean up any smudges.
Don’t worry if you got a lil color on yr cuticles. This step will give you the look offa perfect paint job. Choi recommends using a Q-tip or orangewood stick covered in cotton and polish remover to clean them up.
Original content at: www.womenshealthmag.com…