Do Your Own Pedicure
Time: 45 minutes.
What you need: A metal nail clipper, a disposable nail file, a buffing block ($4, probeautywarehouse.com), a foot file (preferably disposable; $11, buynail.com), a cuticle pusher ($3.50, buynail.com), a tub for soaking, foot cream, non-acetone polish remover, a foam toe separator or paper towels, and three polishes―base coat, color, and topcoat.
Step 1. Trim the toenails with a clipper, then shape them with the fine-grit side of a nail file. Stroke the file in one direction; don’t saw back and forth.
Step 2. Buff off any remaining fragments with a buffing block.
Step 3. Soak feet in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes or until the water turns cool. (Add a bath oil to the tub for extra softening.)
Step 4. Exfoliate with a foot file, focusing on rough patches, like the heels and the outside edges of the big toes.
Step 5. Push back cuticles using the pusher or a warm wash cloth; follow up with your favorite foot cream.
Step 6. Clean the nails with polish remover and separate the toes with a foam toe separator or pieces of paper towel.
Step 7. Apply a base coat. By the time you finish painting the last toe, you’ll be ready for the colored polish.
Step 9. Apply two coats of color, allowing each coat to dry for a few minutes. Tip: Start each nail with a dab of polish in the center, then fan out in even strokes to the right and the left. Get a salon finish by swiping the brush along the tip of each nail to round the edges.
Step 10. Finish with the topcoat.
A pro charges: $35
DIY cost: $0, after the initial $18.50 for supplies