Updated: 25th Sept 2023
What is it about going to the salon that makes us feel so good? If you’ve been going to the salon as long as we have, you may know that it at times feels like therapy. When you soak your feet in the water and sit back, it feels like all of life’s troubles melt away with it.
But what if you don’t have the time to run to the salon or you’re trying to cut back on your spending?
Although the thought of giving up your parlour days might first be excruciating, we promise that there’s still a way to get some self-care into your routine.
In this guide, we’ll cover how you can get started in your own at-home semi-professionals set up. With details on how to clean and remove paint from your nails to scrubbing off excess skin, we’ll give you the full low-down on how to keep your feet happy. Now let’s get to the pampering!
To start with, here’s a list of gear you’ll need to get started on your simple home set up:
- Foot Tub
- Himalayan Bath Salts
- An essential oil of your choice
- Pumice Powder
- Rich Foot Cream
- Nail Clippers
- Glove Scrubbers
- Coat Polish
Step 1: Remove Previous Nail Polish
When it comes to giving your feet the love they deserve, the canvas needs to be clean and your nails, pristine. Say goodbye to the old, chipped nail polish and prepare your nails for a fresh, new beginning.
You'll need some nail polish remover, a few cotton balls and a towel to wipe all the excess off. If you don’t have any polish remover at home, don’t fret! Rubbing alcohol or white spirits are a great way to get polish off too.
Pour a small amount of the nail polish remover onto a cotton pad or ball. Not too much – we don't want it dripping all over, just enough to moisten.
Place a cotton ball moistened with nail polish remover over your toenail and press down gently for a few seconds. This gives the remover a chance to soften and break down the polish. Then, in a single sweep, glide the cotton from the base of your nail to the tip. You'll see the old polish surrender to your touch!
Sometimes, some nail polish can be a tad bit stubborn, especially near the edges. Fret not! Use the flat end of a cotton ear bud or a wooden cuticle pusher to nudge away any remnants gently. Remember, it's all about being patient and gentle.
Step 2: Soak
Immersing your feet in a tub of water not only preps them for the next stages of pampering but also offers a relaxing retreat for tired soles.
Start by filling your foot tub with warm water. It should be enough to cover your ankles. Add in a handful of bath salts will suffice. Stir the water gently with your hand to ensure everything is well-mixed.
Slowly immerse your feet in and allow the warmth to envelop each toe. Aim for 10-15 minutes, but honestly, there's no strict timer when it comes to this.
Your feet should now feel softer and definitely more relaxed. They're ready for the next phase of this pampering session.
Step 3: Exfoliate
We highly recommend picking up a pair of exfoliating gloves for this part. They'll serve as a great way to make the exfoliation process more effective.
In a small bowl, mix a generous amount of your preferred foot scrub with our Pumice Powder. This blend is potent - while the scrub moisturises and cleanses, the Pumice Powder offers a deep exfoliation, perfect for stubborn areas.
Begin at your heels, a common spot for hardened skin. Apply the scrub and Pumice Powder mixture, and then gently massage in a circular motion. The gloves combined with the mixture will work in tandem to lift away dry skin.
Gradually move from your heels to the balls of your feet, then the tops of your feet, and finally up to your ankles. Pay special attention to areas that feel rougher.
Once you've massaged and exfoliated every nook and cranny, rinse your feet in lukewarm water. Pat your feet with a soft towel.
Step 4: Moisturise
Moisturising ensures that the newfound softness is locked in and the feet remain supple, radiant, and happy.
Scoop out a generous amount of your preferred foot cream or moisturiser onto your palm and warm it slightly by rubbing your hands together. This not only makes the application smoother but also aids in better absorption.
Starting with your toes, gently massage the moisturiser into your skin, moving in circular motions. Work your way through the sole, the ball of your foot, the arch, and then the heel. Don't forget the top of your foot and your ankle, too!
Spend a little more time on areas that tend to be drier or calloused. Applying a bit more pressure can help the moisturiser penetrate deeper layers of the skin, ensuring maximum hydration.
Take a few minutes to just sit back and relax, allowing the moisturiser to sink in before diving into the next stage - clipping!
Step 5: Clipping
Clipping is essential to maintain not only a neat appearance but also good foot health. This step is about precision and bringing those nails to a comfortable, clean length.
Using the large nail clippers, begin by trimming your nails straight across, then round the tips in a gentle curve. Clip nails when your feet are freshly moisturised to avoid any tearing, and always trim small sections at a time to prevent over-cutting.
Step 6: Shaping and Filing
With the nails trimmed, the focus now shifts to shaping and refining them. Filing is vital for eliminating any rough edges and giving your nails a good shape, providing them with a polished, finished look even without applying any polish.
Begin filing by moving the file in one direction, starting at the outer edges and working your way towards the centre. This technique ensures your nails don't split or weaken.
Whether you prefer a round, square, or somewhere in-between nail shape, use the file to achieve your desired look. Always be gentle to avoid thinning the nail too much.
Step 7: Cuticles
Use a cuticle oil to soften your cuticles. Let it soak for a few minutes and then start pushing the cuticles back. You can use a nail stick to do this. Do it very gently and carefully so that you don’t damage them, pushing towards the nail base and holding the stick at a slight angle.
Try to always avoid cutting your cuticles, as they work as a protective barrier keeping fungus away from underneath your nails, especially your toenails.
Step 8: Colour Preparation
Before diving into the world of colours and giving your nails that final touch, preparation comes first.
Start by soaking a cotton ball or pad in the nail polish remover. This isn't just for any old polish - it's to ensure every trace of moisturiser, oil, or any barrier that might stand between your nail and the polish is thoroughly removed.
Firmly, but gently, swipe each toenail with the soaked cotton. This will ensure your nails are pristine and free from any residues.
If you've ever painted your toenails and ended up with more polish on the skin than the nail, you know the struggle. Here's where a toe separator comes in handy. By positioning one between your toes, you're ensuring each toenail is isolated, making the application process smoother and preventing any smudges or overlaps.
Once you've prepped each nail, give them a once-over to ensure they're all uniformly clean, dry, and ready for the colour application.
With your nails primed to perfection, they're ready to be adorned with your favourite shade!
Step 9: Paint
Generally, the rule is 4 coats: base coat, two colour coats, and then the final top coat. Start applying the base coat first, smoothly and evenly. Try to make it as thin as possible and always apply nail polish like professionals: start in the middle, and then work your way to the sides
When the base coat is dry, you can apply two coats of the colour of your choice. The first colour coat doesn’t have to be perfect, just make sure it covers the whole area of your nail. For the second coat, however, aim to apply it thoroughly. You can choose whether you want to leave a small colourless space between the polish and the base of the nail, or if you want the polish to be as close to the base as possible.
For the final step, add the top coat, which will give your nails the shine and flawless finish they deserve.
Step 10: Maintenance
With a few simple steps, you can extend the life and lustre of your pedicure, ensuring that your feet continue to shine.
It's helpful to regularly inspect your toenails, say every couple of days. Look for any early signs of chipping, fading, or dulling. Addressing these minor concerns promptly can save the overall look.
In case of a minor chip or blemish, you can simply touch up that area instead of redoing the entire nail. Use a small brush to apply your coloured polish over the blemish carefully, then seal with your top coat once dry.
With this maintenance routine in your arsenal, you're well-equipped to enjoy the vibrancy and elegance of your pedicure for weeks. For more tips and tricks, follow us on the N-Essentials blog to see how you can take care of yourself from the comfort of your own home. Explore our entire range of body care products to add them to your cabinet for the next pampering session. Get in touch with our team for more information.