How to do an at-home pedicure
By Grace Gold
From Brilliant Color and Beauty Today
Nothing captures the free spirit of sunny summer days quite like a splashy pedicure, which you can create right at home. Taking the time to learn a few essential techniques will not only make a DIY mission look like a pro's, but also help you get at least two weeks' worth of wear out of your paint job.
Remove any existing polish with a cotton ball soaked with remover. For stubborn dark shades that won't budge, hold the cotton over the nail bed for several seconds to loosen the pigment, and then press down and pull off.
Clipping nails may damage the nail bed, so opt instead to file nails into a soft, round shape. Lift the file with each motion to prevent back-and-forth sawing that can weaken the nail, says nail expert Skyy Hadley of the As U Wish Nail Spa in Hoboken, N.J.
Smooth and Soak
Now for the fun part! Treat feet to a milk-soak by mixing warm water, milk and sugar crystals into a basin. The lactic acid will exfoliate rough spots, and milk proteins will nourish skin.
After relaxing for several minutes, use a diamond file to slough away any rough areas on the heels or the underside of your foot. Stay away from porous pumice stones, which are known to trap bacteria.
Dry feet with a towel, and then indulge them in a hydrating shea butter lotion massage, says Hadley.
Prep the Nail Bed
Rub nail oil into cuticles -- baby oil and olive oil are good household substitutes -- before pushing cuticles back gently with a wooden stick. Run a cotton swab dipped in polish remover over nails to lightly dehydrate surface in preparation for color. If nail beds are yellow, follow with a swipe of fresh lemon juice to clarify, advises Hadley.
Polish and Strut
First, lay down a clear base coat so that color adheres more strongly. Then, aim to paint on your preferred shade in three strokes, starting with the first stripe down the center, and then one on either side.
Apply a second coat and let them dry for up to two minutes. Paint on a shiny topcoat to protect polish from chipping. Wait 45 minutes to fully dry before coming in contact with sand, close-toed shoes or other significant sources of pressure.
Grace Gold has covered beauty for People, People StyleWatch, Harper's BAZAAR and AOL's StyleList.com. She is the author of The Boob Job Bible: 10 Steps to a Sexy, Safe Breast Augmentation.
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