Personal Care

The perfect pedicure

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perfect pedicure
The perfect pedicure is easy if you know what to do
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One of the greatest pleasures of being a woman is the luxury of a pedicure. From pampered feet to polished toes, a pedicure does wonders for both body and spirit. Knowing how to do an at-home pedicure can help your feet look and feel their best, even when a trip to the salon isn't possible. Here are a few tips to help you get the perfect pedicure at home.

Get ready

Summer is the best time to prime your toes. After all, sandals and open-toe style shoes are the fare for feet in the summer months, and you'll want to be warm weather ready. The first step to getting the perfect pedicure is to gather your equipment. You'll need:

A basin or wide bucket filled with warm to hot water
A thick bath towel (or two)
Epsom salts (may make skin softer and help remove dead skin)
Your favorite scented body oil (a splash in your basin will make your bathroom smell like a professional spa and make your feet soft and supple)
Cotton pads and nail polish remover (to remove old polish)
Nail care tools like clippers, a nail file, and a foot file
Exfoliating scrub
Foot lotion
Foam toe separator (optional)
Cotton swabs (to remove any nail polish slipups)
Nail polish (bright colors work best for summer) and topcoat (preferably with SPF to keep color from fading)
Clean and soak

The first thing to do is prepare your feet for your pedicure. This means making sure they're clean and removing any old polish with a cotton ball and nail polish remover. Take time to use a cotton swab to get the color around the bed of the nail.

Place a chair behind the basin of water, and test to make sure the water isn't too warm. Slip your feet in and relax. The oil in the water will help soften your feet. Soak your feet for five to ten minutes.

Scrub and file

Remove your feet from the water one at a time, and use your foot file to smooth away any rough skin on your heels or outside of your pinkie toes. Once you're satisfied, pat your feet dry with a towel. Then, clip your toenails. Remember to cut them straight across to avoid ingrown toenails. Don't cut them too short. 

Once your toenails have been clipped, file the edges with a nail file so that the basic shape of your nails is square with rounded edges and smooth to the touch. Use the edge of a nail file to gently push back your cuticles, and then apply an exfoliating scrub to your feet. After rubbing your feet until they feel soft, place them back in the water for a rinse. Remove your feet, and pat them dry with a towel.

Moisturize, and paint your nails

The next step in the perfect pedicure is to moisturize your feet with a rich, fabulous-smelling foot lotion. Wash the lotion off your toenails with soap and water (so the polish will go on smoothly), and let them dry.

Once your toenails are dry, it's time to paint them. If you choose, separate your toes with a foam toe separator to help keep your toes from rubbing together and causing smudges. Pick your favorite color, and give the bottle a shake to ensure there are no clumps. Paint carefully, working from the bed of the nail to the tip of the toe in long even strokes. Use a cotton swab dipped in nail polish remover to wipe away any polish mistakes. 

Once your nails are painted, try to go barefoot for as long as possible to avoid smudging. If you have to put on shoes, make sure they're flip-flops or other easy to put on open-toed shoes. To keep polish from chipping, apply a glossy topcoat, and reapply every few days after your pedicure. Some brands have topcoat that has an SPF in it, which will help keep the color from fading.

Every woman knows that the perfect pedicure is available at the salon, but now you know how to bring it into your home. Your little piggies will thank you.

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