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Feet Treat! Save $ and care for yourself with a DIY pedicure with these easy to follow steps as good as any salon.


Men and women - pedicure basic instructions to help us all.

I have been a Nail/ Beauty Technician or Esthetician for nearly 30 years and over the years I have noticed that men also need help with their feet so I am writing this to help all of you who need a bit of tootsie attention but don't know how to go about it. This is a very basic 'how to' for a pedicure requiring minimal tools to get all you beginners started at home and saving you tons at the podiatrist. Click on the blue highlighted words for links and pics to help you along the way.

Basic tools

SO you want to try a pedicure at home. It saves money, you can do it any time that suits you and have a bit of fun along the way. Add to the fun with a pedi party. All your friends can keep costs down if they all bring an item that is hygienic to share.e.g. foot scrubs, lotions, nail polishes etc.

Here are a few basic items you need for a pedicure.

1. Container - big enough to soak your feet. Some ideas are a tub, bath or bucket. It will need to be something that is easy to clean and dry.

2. Anti bacterial solution or soap -The pump-action hand soap used in your bathroom is perfect if it is antibacterial. Some natural antibacterial ideas are vinegar, essential oils such as thyme, rosemary or lavender and lemon juice. Please test patch first as some people can have a reaction.

3. Scrubbing brush - small. A nail brush is fine. This is used to get any dirt and debris off the feet. The smaller ones allow you to get right in around the toe nail sides and hard to get at areas. If you don't have one you can get them from your supermarket or pharmacy.

4. Towels - Just two regular bath towels that you have in your cupboard.

5. Orangewood sticks - These get in under the nail to get any grime and build up out. Also orange sticks are used to push back the cuticle of the toenail. Have at least 2 orange sticks. One to clean and one to push back skin. A pop stick split lengthways into two will do the same job.

6. Nail file - 180 grit (coarser) or 220 grit (finer). Nail files are used to reduce the length of the nail. The coarser files can be used to rub or small dead and hardened skin patches.

7. Buffer - 3 or more way buffer/shiner. Buffers even out the nail bed get rid of any dips, nicks and edges of the nail. It allows polish to go on more evenly as well. Shiners bring the nail to a super, smooth finish and high shine. Shiners help to seal a nail making it less porous.

8. Lotion or cream - These moisturize, soften and protects the skin and acts as a barrier minimizing moisture loss of the skin. Lotion has a lighter consistency to cream. For a cheap moisturize use olive oil and put on socks for a few hours afterward to enhance adsorption.

9. Tissues - *Optional . Regular facial tissues such as Kleenex. I use these to put my utensils in when finished and to collect toe nail bits etc in. They keep the process neat, hygienic and tidy. These can also be used to twirl and weave in and out of the toes to separate them from each other when painting them with polish.

These Items are additional for nail polish wearers.

1. Nail polish remover - use non-acetone nail polish remover. (No need to buy the expensive ones.) It is usually much gentler on the skin and nails.

2. Base coat - Base coat helps the art on top of it adhere to the nail and reduces flaking, peeling and early signs of wear. Base coat also acts as protective coat for your nails so vitamin enriched base coats are an added bonus.

3. Top coats - Top coats provided protection for the nail polish, sealing it in. Top coat gives the nails that salon look, glossy and finished. Fast drying top coats are more practical but can sometimes need two coats for total gloss.

4. Orangewood stick wrapped with cotton wool - wrap the smallest amount of cotton wool tightly around the end of the orangewood stick and dip in polish remover. This is used for you to use as a clean up stick to remove or rub away polish that has run onto the surrounding skin.

5. Colored polish - This is optional if you prefer some color on your tootsies.

How to for happy feet ......

**Note about cutting toenails. **

If your nails are too long to file you will need to cut them. Ideally, cut them with toe nail clippers while your toenails are dry, before soaking. This reduces splitting when cutting wet toenails.

There is exception. If your toenails are really tough you will need to cut them after soaking and softening them and use a hardier grit file like a 100 grit.

Scroll to Continue

This pedicure is designed to be done every four weeks. If you are regularly doing this you should only need to file your nails down.

Step 1. Half fill your container with warm water (as warm as you can comfortably stand). Add 3 or 4 squirts of your antibacterial soap and swish around.

Step 2. Find a comfortable place to sit. I often put a chair in front of the bath tub and my container in the bath. This allows easy cleanup if the water spills or drips. If you are soaking in front of the TV or somewhere else that is not a wet area, lay your towel down then place your container centered on the towel.

Step 3. RELAX! Soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes . This really helps to soften the skin on your feet and make your pedicure much easier to do.

Step 4. Remove your feet from the water and pat dry. If you are only working on one foot at a time wrap the other one in the towel to keep the skin warm and moist.

Step 5. Using you orangewood stick gently push back your cuticles on your toes indicated in the pic and then clean down the sides of the toenail and underneath the toe nail.


Do you care about your feet?

For each question, choose the best answer for you.

  1. Do you think looking after your feet is important?
    • Yes, as much as any other part of your body care routine.
    • If my attention is drawn to them
    • No, my feet are crying with neglect.
  2. How often do you pay attention to your feet?
    • At least once a month.
    • Once a year.
    • Never.
  3. What do you do to take care of your feet?
    • The full pedicure
    • A quick cut of the toenails and a file, maybe some lotion
    • Wash them in the shower


Use the scoring guide below to add up your total points based on your answers.

  1. Do you think looking after your feet is important?
    • Yes, as much as any other part of your body care routine.: +5 points
    • If my attention is drawn to them: +1 point
    • No, my feet are crying with neglect.: -5 points
  2. How often do you pay attention to your feet?
    • At least once a month.: +5 points
    • Once a year.: +1 point
    • Never.: -5 points
  3. What do you do to take care of your feet?
    • The full pedicure: +5 points
    • A quick cut of the toenails and a file, maybe some lotion: +2 points
    • Wash them in the shower: +5 points

Interpreting Your Score

A score between -8 and -2 means: ?

A score between -1 and 5 means: ?

A score between 6 and 10 means: ?

A score between 11 and 12 means: ?

A score between 13 and 15 means: ?

Step 6. With your file file straight across the top of your toenail leaving a minimum of 1.5mm free edge. You can do a slight arc shape but going too round can encourage ingrown toenails - Ouch!

Step 7. Use your coarsest file to smooth off any rough skin around your toes, heels or wherever there are callouses and a build up of dry or rough skin.

Step 8. Dip feet back into water container to wash away and nail and skin dust.

Step 9. Dry off again and with your cream or oil massage feet thoroughly for a few minutes each. Dry feet will adsorb the cream quickly so you may need to re-apply two or three times.

Massage -For a very basic foot massage but still a great feeling all the same

  1. Start with the palm of your hand on your heel making a circular motion.
  2. Using both hands each side of your foot ( so your thumbs meet in the middle of your foot pad) go up and down your foot with a slight squeezing action quite a few times.
  3. Next do little, circular motions with your thumb and forefinger all over your toes giving them a little pull and squeeze at the end.
  4. Place your fingers between each of your toes and move your hand back and forward.
  5. Go back to the sole of the foot and do bigger circular motions with your thumbs.
  6. A few whole foot strokes and your done.

Massage is not only great for helping the moisturizer to penetrate, it also increases circulation and according to reflexology can target corresponding parts of the body that are out of balance.

For those continuing with polish wipe off excess cream from the nail and apply base coat to dry. If opting for a colored polish apply 2 coats, drying each coat thoroughly before applying the next. Use orangestick wrapped in cotton wool to remove excess polish. Apply top coat and Voila, salon perfect pedi!

So now you can slip on those sandals and thongs with confidence and comfort!

Try and keep this up at least once a month.

Check out my other hubs on beauty, nails care, nail art and skin care

Waxing - how to wax your arm hair free like a pro.

Manicure how to DIY for the Man.

Easter nailart easy to do

Nails are nice with nail art - How to - nice and easy!

If you enjoyed my hub please check out my other hubs, comment, share and email the link to friends and checkout the items printed in blue for my recommendations and links.




Frangipanni (author) on February 22, 2013:

You'll be a pedi pro in no time. Thanks for stopping by

Dianna Mendez on February 22, 2013:

I was feeling the massage as I read through the instructions. What a wonderful relaxation technique! I love pedicuures but they are a little out of my budget right now. Your advice is wonderful and will make me enjoy the experience at home.

Frangipanni (author) on February 11, 2013:

Thanks Graham. Will follow back

Graham Lee from Lancashire. England. on February 11, 2013:

Hi Frangipanni. We really enjoyed your hub. All very true of course! So well paced and photographed. Well done.

Voted up and all - Following.


Frangipanni (author) on February 08, 2013:

Thanks so much, glad it could help.

James A Watkins from Chicago on February 08, 2013:

I love this Hub! I am going to take your wonderful advice. We must take care of our feet. We need them! And they are often neglected. Your article is needful and I appreciate it very much.


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