Each year when the cold weather ends, the summer rituals begin – going to the beach, buying summer clothes and planting new flowers. Among these long-standing rituals is the summer pedicure – a time when women all over the world soak, scrub, file and polish their toes until they are sandal-ready.
As delightful as it feels to get a pedicure while you browse through the latest Fashion magazine, there are times when going to the salon just isn’t in our budgets. Two years ago, I realised that regular salon pedicures can put a dent on your pocket.
So, I decided to accept the budget route. I walked into an inexpensive spa and left with a horrible foot ailment that made me cuss off cheap pedicures. After all, there’s nothing that can ruin your feet faster than a foot or toenail fungus.
So what’s a smart girl to do? Well, like the DIYs used to say, ”you can do it yourself.’’ For sure, a do-it-yourself pedicure saves you time and money. Plus, you can schedule it at whatever time you like – even 12 0’clock at night. The DIY pedicure can also be a mother/daughter evening of pampering or a girls-night-in indulgence.
Today, we cast our lenses on French pedicures. They’re one of the most sought-after pedicures, and if you’re looking for an easy way to pamper your cute little feet, you can do them right from the comfort of your sofa!
French pedicure in 6 easy steps
For your French pedicure, here’s everything you will need:
- Tub or basin
- Soaking salts
- Scented oils
- Cuticle oil
- Foot scrub
- Nail clipper and file
- White nail polish
- Clear nail polish
- Nail polish remover
- Foot lotion/moisturiser
- A soft towel
- Toe separators
Now let’s get started. We’ll show you how to do a French pedicure in 6 easy steps.
Step 1: Soak your footsies
As usual, begin with clean, polish-free nails. Fill a pedicure bowl or bathtub with lukewarm water then add some Epson salts or scented oils. Dip your feet into the water and let them soak for about 5-10 minutes. While you unwind, browse through your favourite magazine or peruse Facebook, the soapy water will be softening your calluses. Look at you multitasking already!
Step 2: Focus on the cuticles
Ok ladies, don’t get too caught up. Take one foot out of the basin, pat it dry and add a drop of cuticle oil to the skin around your nail. Massage it in gently and using a cuticle stick, slowly push the ragged edges back. Add more oil on the entire toenail as you soften up the snags in the surface. Repeat the process on your other foot. How’s that for attention to your needs?
Step 3: Exfoliate
Next, you want to exfoliate your feet, sloughing away that dry, flaky and dead skin. This step is critical as it helps soften calluses and give way for fresh, healthy skin to grow. Many girls like to use exfoliating foot scrubs. Take one foot out of the basin/tub, and gently massage the scrub onto your foot. Repeat on the other foot then rinse off both feet. The whole process feels so darn good you may end up giving yourself a tip for a job well done.
Step 4: Moisturise
This is a step that’s rather too simple and often tends to be ignored. But you shouldn’t. Rub a nice thick moisturizer or lotion on your feet and legs, massaging in a circular motion. A clever touch is to add a drop of peppermint oil to the moisturiser for a tingly sensation. You can even decide to heal your heels using shea butter. There is really no limit to what you can use as long as you feel great.
Step 5: Trim and file
Now’s the time to shape your toenails – getting them ready for polish. How short should you trim? Well, the best standard for a French pedicure is to clip them long enough to be able to run your fingers across the tip and have your toenails slightly grazing them. Using a nail clipper, clip across straight, making sure not to clip too much. We recommend you use curved clippers as they are the easiest to use. After you’re done, use a file to get a uniform look across, and you are all set for colour!
Step 6: French tips
It’s time to look gorgeous. First, take a cotton pad and dip it in nail polish remover then swipe it across each toenail to wipe off moisturiser and oils. All that moisture is good for your skin, but it won’t help your polish last.
A handy tool for a DIY specialist is a toe separator. This way, you can actually walk around without messing your toenails rather than having to sit still and wait till it dries. Toilet paper works, but it’s a little messy.
Apply a clear base coat and give it two minutes to dry. For a French pedicure tip, apply one steady stroke of white polish across the top of your nail with a flat brush. Give it a few minutes to dry then apply a second coat. This will ensure the white colour appears less messy and more attractive.
If you’re new to this, you’re bound to mess up. Don’t worry because you can fix it anytime. Just take a brush, dip it in polish remover and clean the mess away to make your nail art look tidy and elegant.
Give the white coat a few minutes to dry then apply a single coat of clear nail polish on top. Try to keep the strokes as smooth and as even as you can.
Finally, be patient with the drying process. Don’t try using a hair dryer; it will make the polish gummy. In fact, just take the old-fashioned route and wait for it to dry, preferably 20-25 minutes. After all, you’ve worked for it too hard to let it spoil at the end.
French pedicure vs regular pedicure
During a French pedicure, your feet are treated the same way as they are during a regular pedicure. The only difference lies in the way polish is applied. With a French pedicure, white polish is applied on the tips of the nails while with a regular pedicure, the polish of your choice is applied over the entire nail.
Now that you’re done, the only thing left to do is to take your feet out into the sunlight- because your cute toenails need to be shown off.