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How To Do a Pedicure At Home

Updated on March 5, 2013

We give our feet a workout every day. From long hours on our feet to high heels, our feet can really take a beating. Here's how to do a pedicure at home. Go ahead, pamper your tired feet with the following plan.

Soak it Up!

Start off by removing any old polish on your toenails and relaxing your feet with a nice warm soak. Use a massaging foot bath or simply fill a large tub or bowl with water. Soaking your feet will also soften your skin, making it easier to buff away rough skin and calluses. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to heighten your relaxation. A good soak should ideally last about 20 minutes. Make sure the water is warm, but not too hot. Hot water can worsen dry skin. Use a nailbrush to clean your toenail areas.

Pumice Stone
Pumice Stone | Source

Buff Away

The second step for your at home pedicure is buffing. While your feet are still moist, use a pumice stone or file to buff away any patches of rough skin on your feet. Usually, calluses tend to form on the heels. Buff in a circular motion, both in a clockwise and counter-clockwise motion to remove as much dead skin as you can. You can also use an exfoliating or polishing scrub while you soak your feet. Sugar scrubs are an ideal natural exfoliator.


After you’ve soaked and polished your feet, massage in a good moisturizing lotion. Apply a thick layer of creamy lotion, making sure you apply it to the bottoms and tops of your feet, including your ankles. To maximize the amount of lotion absorbed, wear cotton socks for an hour after you’ve applied the lotion.

Prepare your Nails

After the lotion has had time to absorb into your feet, it is time to prepare your nails for polish. Trim your toenails straight across using nail clippers, and use a nail file to smooth any rough edges. Trimming straight across will guard against ingrown toenails.

Next, smooth your nails by using a buffer. Many beauty supply shops and drugstores sell four-way buffers for the nails. This type of tool is ideal for prepping your nails for polish or simply achieving a natural sheen. Start by using the roughest surface on the buffer to smooth any ridges or rough spots on the nails. Follow by continuing to buff with the next softest surface, and then the third to buff the nails. Finally, use the softest surface to polish nails to a high shine. At this stage, you can leave your nails bare, or you may opt to apply nail polish.

Applying Polish

The final step for at home pedicures is the polish. First, apply a base coat. The base will protect your nails from yellowing or staining from the polish, making it easy to remove later. Check your beauty supply shop or drugstore for products that combine base coat and top coat into one product.

Once the base coat has dried, apply color polish. Many nail polish formulations are quick-drying or only require one coat. Look for these types of polish if you’re in a hurry to dry your nails. You may also use a nail dryer (commonly sold at beauty supply shops), but a blow dryer set on “cool” works as well.

After the nail polish has dried, apply a clear topcoat to protect your color and make your pedicure last longer. Again, make sure the topcoat has dried before moving around in order to ensure a smudge-free pedicure.

Follow these simple steps to relax your feet while obtaining a gorgeous at home pedicure. You’ll have feet you’ll want to show off.



  • Look for acetone free nail polish remover to keep your nails healthy.
  • Don’t neglect your feet in your everyday moisturizing routine.
  • Allow your toenails to breathe and go polish-free every now and then.
  • Buff your feet with a pumice or file every week to every other week to maintain softer feet.
  • Don’t forget to sterilize your pedicure tools before (or after) each use to keep your feet free of infection. You can boil your tools or wipe them down with hydrogen peroxide.


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