How To: Give Yourself an Expert Pedicure

It snowed in Minneapolis last week. I actually had to take out my winter coat so I’d be warm enough to walk the dog one morning. Sometimes even I wonder “Why should I bother having my toenails polished this time of the year—who will ever know?”

As I ventured out at an ungodly hour on the frigid walk, it dawned on me. Even in the darkest days of winter the promise of spring is still there, dormant under the snow. And even if no one can see my vibrantly shaded toes beneath the layers of socks and boots, I know they are there. (Ed. note: And the weather’s warm enough today for open-toed shoes!)

It’s a good thing too, since as I write this, I am on a plane to Miami, and soon everyone will see my cobalt blue tootsies frolicking in the sand and surf.

So, what does a good pedicure entail—and can you get the same results at home as in a salon? Aside from the awesome foot massage, of course, the answer is yes.

Here are the steps to an expert pedicure:

  • Remove any remaining polish
  • Trim nails
  • File (yes, you have to)
  • Apply cuticle oil generously to each toe
  • Take a bath or shower or soak your feet—take your time
  • Use a pumice stone or file on heels and any rough areas
  • Push back cuticles (Trim if you dare. Make sure you have a good cuticle nipper.)
  • Use toe separator (or tissue)
  • Apply two thin, even coats of polish

OK, here’s my expert, top-secret tip: I then use a top coat called Seche Vite. (The French translates to “dry quick,” which it does and it really seals the polish on.)

Some of my favorite “of the moment” colors:
Essie: Bazooka
OPI: That’s Hot Pink
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri: Split Lime

Sally Beauty Supply has these tiny nail colors called Sally Girl. They are great for travel, and the perfect size when you want to experiment with really fun colors. In fact, that’s where I found the awesome cobalt blue (called “Epic”) I am wearing in the photo. My daughter and her friend call it “blurple.”

I hope to bring some of the Florida sunshine back with me, so get those toes ready for some serious exposure!