Last Pedicure of the Season

Sandal season is mostly over, but for those remaining warm days, I wanted one last pedicure. Funds are short, so I knew this would be a DIY endeavor using materials on hand. You can modify this for time considerations by leaving out steps, but this list will provide a comprehensive at-home pedi. (Adapted from this article by Shandley McMurray at Kaboose.

1. Remove polish. Use acetone remover for faster results, and use cotton balls, not tissue for better absorbency.

2. Soak. I added kosher salt to warm water along with a few drops of tea tree and lavender essential oils and soaked for five minutes. I’ve also used milk beyond its expiration date with cinnamon and nutmeg with good results. Rinse and pat dry.

3. Buff. Use a pumice stone or stick, like the Diamancel Food Callus Rasp, on heels and other rough spots.

4. Exfoliate. Rub a mix of oil and salt or sugar. You can use olive oil, massage or body oil mixed with brown sugar or kosher salt. Rub upward toward the heart for a few minutes, then rinse and pat dry.

5. Trim nails. Use a clipper or scissors to cut straight across.

6. Moisturize. Use a thick cream.

7. Soften. Use cuticle treatment, like Dr. Hauschka’s Neem Nail Oil (the bottle, NOT the pen), or Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. The oil for exfoliating also works. Rub gently into cuticles.

8. Push. With a washcloth or soft stick, GENTLY push the cuticles back to make room for polish.

9. Remove again. Sweep a cotton ball soaked with polish remover over each nail again, so there’s a clean, non-oily surface for polish to stick to.

10. Polish. Apply a base coat, two coats of polish and a top coat for best results. Be patient, and give each coat a minute or two to dry between layers, then at least fifteen minutes at the end. Seche Vite is widely regarded as the best quick dry top coat. Look for polishes without toluene, formaldehyde and Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), like Sally Hanson Salon Nail Lacquer, OPI nail color, and Zoya, which is vegan-friendly.

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