There's something special about a pampering session and having your toes done. Summer is open-toed shoe season, and you don't want to have chipped or unpolished toes. Whether you can't make it to the nail salon or you're trying to save money, knowing how to do an at-home pedicure is a must.
You need a few tools, but thankfully giving yourself a pedicure is not super challenging. We have step-by-step instructions and all the tips you need to give yourself a pedicure like an expert nail technician.
What You Need for an At-Home Pedicure
You can’t do an at-home pedicure without the proper supplies. You probably already have most of these, but you may need to purchase a few things. You can also go with the essentials if you don't want to spend a lot of money and are starting with almost nothing. Your pedicure can be as basic or luxurious as you desire!
Here are pedicure tools to consider having on hand:
- A foot soaker or container your feet can fit in
- Epsom salt or essential oil
- Paper Towels
- Toenail clippers
- Cuticle pusher and nipper
- Cotton pads or cotton balls
- Nail polish remover
- Foot file
- Nail file
- Nail buffer
- Cuticle oil
- Exfoliating foot scrub
- Foot cream or lotion
- Nail polish
- Toe separators
1. Remove Old Polish
Now, let's go over how to give yourself an at-home pedicure step-by-step. The first thing you need to do is remove any old polish or nail color on your toes. In the past, you may have just painted over chipped toenails, but starting with a clean slate will look much nicer and help your pedi last longer.
You don't need to go to the nail salon to remove old gel or acrylic on your toenails. Just use regular acetone to soak off the old pedicure.
Grab a large bowl and fill it with enough acetone to cover your toes. Let them soak for 10-15 minutes. After you've allowed them to soften, you should be able to wipe off the gel with a cotton pad or paper towel.
If you have nail polish on, you can use a cotton ball and nail polish remover to clean off your toes. Make sure you get it all off, leaving no color on the edges of your toenails. Otherwise, you may be able to see the old polish still when you apply the new one.
2. Soak and Exfoliate
Fill your foot bath or tub with warm water to soak your feet. You can also add Epsom salt, bath salts, or essential oils for a spa-like feel. Let your feet soak for at least 15 minutes.
If you've never used Epsom salt, you only need to add a few tablespoons to the water. The salt will dissolve into the water and release magnesium and sulfate ions. It can help relieve achy foot pain and soften your calluses. You could also try adding a few drops of tea tree oil, which has antimicrobial properties. Lavender essential oil is another good option.
You can also enhance the experience by playing relaxing music and lighting a few candles. You can take the time to listen to a podcast or read a book. The immediate urge may be to scroll on your phone, and you can do that too, but consider it an opportunity to unplug and relax.
Once you're done soaking, buff away any extra dead skin with Spongellé Pedi Buffer. Our buffers contain soothing extracts of sea kelp and peppermint that help you cleanse and polish. The textured side will allow you to exfoliate, leaving you with clean, soft feet.
To use your pedi buffer, place the sponge into the water and squeeze it to activate. Use circular motions to remove dead skin and stimulate circulation.
You can also dry your feet and use a foot file or pumice stone to exfoliate the bottom of your feet. They also help remove calluses and create a smooth surface.
3. Cuticle Care
Grab your cuticle pusher and gently push the skin back along the nail bed. Use a cuticle nipper to trim excess skin and hangnails. It will help your polish go on smoother around the nail bed and look more professional.
However, you never want to cut your entire cuticle. Your cuticles protect your nail beds, and removing them completely can lead to an infection. Take your time when you're trimming them and keep it to a minimum.
Use cuticle oil or moisturizer if you experience cracking or peeling. Look for products with hydrating ingredients like shea butter and jojoba oil like Spongellé's Sugar Dahlia Body Lotion.
Not only will it hydrate and soothe damaged cuticles, it will also nourish your fingers with a healthy helping of vitamin E. Scents of Midnight Jasmine and Ylang Ylang will add to your relaxing spa experience and rejuvenate you.
4. Shape and Trim
Next, it's time to shape and trim your toenails. You want to do this at least five minutes after removing your feet from the water. Soaking them softens the nails, and you want them to be hard when you clip and file.
Trim your toenails, but don't go too short because you don't want overexposed skin. You can use regular nail clippers or toenail clippers which are bigger and make cutting your toenails easier.
Cut your toenails straight across to allow the corners of your nails to be comfortably over the skin. You don't want to round the edges or cut them too short because it can lead to an ingrown toenail.
Once you've trimmed your nails to the desired length, shape them with a nail file. Then, buff your nails to smooth out anything that could make the nail polish look uneven.
As we’ve mentioned before, hydrating your skin is important. When you exfoliate, your skin loses moisture. So, even if you’ve already moisturized your precious piggies, you shouldn’t forget the rest of your feet and calves — just like when you get a professional pedicure. Give yourself a little foot massage with your favorite lotion.
Try Spongellé's Shimmer Body Soufflé. It's made with shea butter and vitamin E to give you a pampering feeling. Plus, it adds a little shimmer to your legs which will show off your new pedicure perfectly.
Start by smoothing over your foot, going between your toes, along your arches, and over your heels. Take the lotion up your calves and apply some pressure to work out any knots. It’s okay if your nail beds end up with a second lotion coating. The more hydration, the better.
Once your skin is nice and hydrated, you'll want to wipe off your toenails. Use alcohol or nail polish remover on a cotton ball to clean off any residue. Otherwise, your nail polish may not stick.
You can also put on toe separators to prevent your toes from touching each other when the polish is still wet. You can use a paper towel by weaving it around your toes if you don't have a separator. It doesn't have to be perfect. It will still get the job done!
6. Apply Your Base Coat and Polish
It's finally time to apply your nail polish. There are so many different options to choose from when it comes to colors and formulas. It's important to use a high-quality polish if you want your hard work to last. Cheap nail polishes will lead to chipping, and they may not go on evenly.
Start with a base coat to help your polish adhere to the nails better. It looks like regular clear nail polish, but it's made with ingredients to help give you a sleek look.
Next, apply your nail polish using thin coats. Start with one coat over all of your toes. Then, apply more thin layers after the first coat has a chance to dry slightly. If you struggle with keeping the polish off your skin, start with the middle of your nail. You can carefully connect the sides to the middle for complete coverage.
7. Finishing Touches
Once your nail polish is on, let it dry, and then clean up the edges with nail polish remover and Q-tips. When you try to remove it when it's still wet, it can smudge and make a bigger mess. Be sure to remove the polish that’s on the skin close to your nail.
Next, apply a top coat to seal the polish and give you a shiny finish. The top coat is essential to prevent chipping. If you want a change from the normal glossy look, you can also find top coats that leave you with a matte finish.
Allow your top coat to dry for 10 to 15 minutes. You want your polish to be completely dry before moving on. If you don't wait, you could end up ruining the pedicure. Once your toes are dry, finish with cuticle oil over your cuticles, just like they do at the salon!
DIY Pedicure Ready
Say goodbye to the expensive salon bill and hello to the perfect at-home pedicure. You can also give yourself a manicure now that you have the supplies and tips to be a real nail artist. Spongellé has several products to take your pampering session to the next level.