Needing a mani and pedi but the nail salon is not open or you just simply had a bad experience and prefer to do it yourself? If you really want to, you can easily learn how to do your own manicure and pedicure at home. It is a great way to save money and to have control of your hand and foot care.
As you know, our hands are exposed to many aggressions throughout the day i.e., varying temperatures of weather and water, manual work, etc. It is essential to take care of them every day, at least by applying a protective cream, and to care for your nails at least once a week.
In terms of your feet, you literally rely on them to get you where you need to go every day. May vary for each individual but, ideally, you should exfoliate your feet every two weeks and apply cream every day. I would also recommend a pedicure at least every month.
In this post, we provide tips and tricks on how to do your own manicure and pedicure at home.
Let’s start first with how to do your own manicure at home:
1. File your nails
To get a manicure, start by filing your nails after removing your nail polish. Avoid cutting your nails as this weakens them. Use a glass file or a cardboard file (emery board). File your nails by sliding the file from one end to the other of the nail, avoiding back and forth movements, which may weaken the nail.
Then, pass the tip of the file or a stick of boxwood under the nail to bring out the filaments that could have slipped into it. Cleaning under your nails is especially important for general hygiene. Continue filing your nails until smooth and desired shape.
This is a good quality Manicure Prep Kit to keep at home:
2. Soak your nails
The second step in a manicure is soaking your hands in warm, soapy water. This will soften the cuticles, making it easier to work on them. You should also get a good cuticle oil, such as this one, for a later step.
Use a manicure bowl or, more simply, a bowl you have at home. Immerse your fingertips in soapy water. Leave them soaking for 5 to 10 minutes, then dry your hands with a clean towel. Tip: You can put a little cuticle oil on your cuticles before immersing them in water. This will help to soften them.
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3. Push back the cuticles
Cuticle care is key for promoting nail health and growth. When you do a manicure at home, you must take care of your cuticles. This is the small bead of skin that protects the nail. They sometimes overflow onto the nail, do they must be pushed down and away.
Use a boxwood stick or cuticle repeller (also called crowbar). If you use a boxwood stick, it is recommended to wrap a little cotton on the tip to avoid injury. Gently push the cuticles upward by sliding along the surface of the nail. Do not cut the cuticle because it protects the nail.
We do not recommend cutting your own cuticles because, if you don’t know what you are doing, you can easily bleed and even become infected. Pushing them back is sufficient.
4. Cut hard skin around your fingernails
You can trim the small, more or less, hard skin which forms on the sides of the nail. Many have the bad habit of pulling at this skin with our teeth, which sometimes results in torn skin and bleeding.
To remove these small skins, use a pair of cuticle nippers. Gently slide the edge of the nipper under the skin to be cut. Close the nipper firmly, without pulling, so as not to tear off the skin.
5. Moisturize your hands with a hand scrub
Hands scrub helps to exfoliate and remove dead skin. Apply a grain scrub to your hands and rub them together. You can use a specific hand scrub, such as this one, which I like because it also leaves my hands feeling so moisturized or if you can make your own.
For best results, rub your hands together as you do when you wash your hands. Make small, circular motions along each finger using the thumb of the opposite hand, with extra care paid to your knuckles. Circular motions with your thumb on the top and the palm of your hands can also be very soothing and relaxing, so no need to rush.
When finished, rinse with clear water and then dry your hands with a clean towel.
6. Nourish your cuticles
Gently massage in small circular movements to bring up the cuticles and let the oil penetrate. You can then use a tissue to remove the excess oil.
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7. Polish your nails to make them shine
A nail polisher is great for smoothing your nails. Use a two- or four-sided polisher by applying the rougher side to the surface of the nail to remove any roughness.
Then, use the middle side to polish the nail. If you want to apply nail polish, stop at this step. Otherwise, the nail will become too smooth, and the nail polish will not hold.
To make the nail shine, use the thinner side of the polisher and rub it along the surface of the nail.
8. Apply cream to protect your hands
The last step of any good manicure is the application of hand protection. A good cream will nourish, hydrate, and protect your hands. Use a commercially purchased hand cream or make your own hand cream. Just don’t forget to massage your hands properly. They deserve it!
9. Optional step: Apply a nail polish color of your choice
In this case, there are many options for a regular manicure. You can use a good quality nail polish color or something less expensive. However, whichever you select, it is always best that, prior to applying it, you should coat your nails with primer to protect them from becoming yellow and brittle. And, at the end, applying a good top coat helps, so the nail polish last longer and for that final glossy look.
When I’m not experimenting with new colors, I personally go with a red nail polish. My favorite is this one from OPI.
And for better results and long-lasting wear, I use their OPI Nail Polish Base Coat Prime & Gloss Top Coat.
If I do have more time on my hands, and/or I am going traveling, I prefer to do a DIY gel manicure, because it lasts longer without chipping. For that, I have this set below. It is a great investment for what you get.
I really loved those gel nail polish colors that come in the set so much, that I already got myself this kit with 20 colors. It has everything I need to go from Spring into the Summer plus, honestly, getting gel manicures regularly gets quite expensive over time, so I save a lot of money doing it at home.
The last thing, I would also suggest is for you to have a Nail Polish Gel Remover Tools Kit at home, like this one. As you know it can be more challenging to remove gel and this kit makes the process a lot easier.
How to do your own pedicure at home
In this article, we offer a different kind of pedicure. We present to you all of the steps for a professional pedicure but using natural and very effective ingredients such as essential oils, clay, and Himalayan salt.
Your feet will be left clean and healthy! To have immaculate feet, there is no need to spend large sums of money or to use chemical and industrial products. We show you that, through a few simple steps, you can achieve a pedicure at home, adding essential oils and other natural ingredients that will leave your feet flawless.
1. Remove Nail Polish
The first step to performing a pedicure is to remove the nail polish if you have any. Also, be aware that conventional nail polishes contain large amounts of formaldehyde, officially identified as carcinogenic by the WHO, as well as other toxic phthalates. If you want polished toenails, try choosing organic paints that don’t include toxic substances.
2. Cut nails
Once the nail polish is removed, continue your pedicure by giving a shape to your nails. I prefer short nails, for hands and feet, because they offer a more natural look and are more practical. Cut your nails, giving them a rounded or squared shape.
3. Put your feet to soak
To do this, find a large bowl in which you can immerse your feet in water.
Fill it with lukewarm or hot water and add five drops of tea tree essential oil. This essential oil is one of the best to have at home to achieve natural beauty treatments.
Tea tree oil is one of the most powerful disinfectants and, in this case, it will not only thoroughly cleanse your feet but also prevent fungus. Let your feet soak for 5 minutes.
BTW, I bought this 4 in 1 Foot Spa Massager Set for Home, and it includes tea tree oil foot soak. I really love to indulge by getting foot massages when I go to the salon. So, this set allows me to still get a foot massage when doing my own pedicure at home. Love it!
4. Cuticle Care
Now that the skin is softened, it’s time to work on your cuticles. But, most often, you must leave them intact because they play a very specific role. The protect your nail from infection. If you see that the cuticles are unsightly or bothersome, use a stick to push them towards the edge of the nail.
Be very careful when trimming your cuticles, as you can do yourself more harm than good. Go slowly and always with great care.
5. Himalayan salt and vegetable oil scrub
This scrub not only removes dead skin cells but provides deep hydration. To make a foot eraser, here is the procedure:
- Prepare in a bowl four tablespoons of your favorite vegetable oil (rosehip, wheat germ, jojoba, or olive oil).
- Now add two or three spoons of Himalayan salt. If you don’t have one, use common table salt.
- Stir a little and exfoliate your feet with the mixture. To do this, apply it on the feet and make small circles with your fingers.
- For more problem areas, consider using a nail or foot brush to give a little extra attention to any dry patches.
- When you have finished with your exfoliation, rinse thoroughly with water.
- Consider applying a body moisturizer to your feet for extra conditioning.
Note: You can also buy a Himalayan scrub such as this one.
Or also you can buy a Tea Tree Oil Foot Soak. I personally love these two Tea Tree Oil Foot Soak with Epsom Salt below:
With all of these steps, your feet are disinfected, clean, relaxed, hydrated, and nourished. Now, you are all set for your favorite nail polish. But before you begin, be sure to always apply a base coat; this prevents the nail from becoming brittle and yellow.
Tip: To keep your feet moisturized until your next pedicure, before going to bed, apply Vaseline and wear a pair of socks. You will wake up with softer, happier feet!
I hope that these tips and tricks are helpful for you to do your own manicure and pedicure at home. Once you get to know your hands and feet, and what works best for you, it gets easier and faster to do. As in everything we do, practice makes perfection.
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