No need to hide your toes in your socks and shoes! Pedicures not only "pretty" up
those toes, but also contribute to your overall health.
Toenails are your first and most formidable defense against dirt, infections and
injuries that could damage your toes and feet. However if you don't take care of
your toenails, stubborn infections could get a foothold. Keeping them clean and
trimmed is a simple process that will prevent deformed, ingrown toenails that could
cause considerable pain while walking. Pamper and protect your feet with regular
Let's start with what you'll need
Continue with what you'll need to do
LET'S START WITH WHAT YOU'LL NEED
Whether you want a basic pedicure or a spa treatment with all the frills, to begin
your journey to clean and trimmed toenails you will need these essential instruments:
View selection of essential pedicure tools and instruments
If you're planning on covering your toenails with nail polish or if you're planning
on a more extensive "spa" pedicure you'll also need these:
- Cleaning brush
- Toe separator or a paper towel
- Nail cleaner
- Nail polish remover
- Foot soak or vitamin and aroma therapy oils
- Foot cream or massage oil and/or foot masque
- Base coat polish
- Nail polish and enamel in your choice of color
- Nail polish thinner
- Top coat
View selection of luxury pedicure sets at Zamberg.com.
CONTINUE WITH WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO
Once you have all the equipment together, follow these easy steps to beautiful,
healthy toes and feet.
Budget enough time so that you don't have to rush through the procedure. A pedicure
should be a time to relax and pamper yourself; take things slowly. Find a spot with
enough space to put all of your equipment within easy reach. Make sure this area
has a lot of light. All of your grooming instruments should be clean and disinfected.
Turn on some quiet music and begin.
1. The Clean up
- If your toes and toenails are very dirty, gently clean them with a brush and warm,
soapy water. The water should be as warm as possible while still being comfortable.
- Unlike your fingernails, the skin and nails on your feet are thicker and tougher,
so you really need to soak your feet. Keep your feet submerged in the water for
at least 5 minutes.
- If you'd like a more luxurious experience, add the foot soak, or favorite oils or
bath salts to the water prior to soaking your feet. This time in the bath will allow
your feet to get the benefits of the oils and vitamins as well as soften your skin
in preparation for the pedicure.
- After taking your feet out of the water, gently pat them dry, especially between
- If you have old nail polish on your toenails, carefully and completely remove it
using a cotton pad and nail polish remover.
2. Exfoliating the Skin
Your feet support you all day, and depending on the type of footwear and the amount
of stress your feet are under, your skin could get very rough and callused. If that
is the case, a good exfoliation may be necessary to remove the dead and damaged
skin. But be careful, if you exfoliate too hard you could remove or injure live
skin and that would take time to heal.
- Massage a foot scrub onto the bottom of your feet and heels for a couple of minutes.
Pay special attention to areas that are very dry or have calluses. Be careful not
to scrub the soft, sensitive skin on top of the foot. Rinse the scrub off and pat
the skin dry.
- If your feet are very rough and callused, run a callus remover or a foot rasp over
the spots of dry skin and calluses to reduce and smooth them out. Use firm, but
gentle motions. Although the skin on your feet is rougher than on your hands, it
can still become damaged with an aggressive approach. Don't try to remove ALL of
the dry skin and calluses from your feet at once, especially if this is your first
time doing a pedicure. With regular care and over time, you will be able to remove
them completely and reveal the healthy skin below.
- To further smooth out the skin, gently use a soft pumice stone or a callus smoother.
Make circular motions on the bottom of the foot and the heel. The skin should be
pink and flexible.
3. Taking Care of the Toenails
Now that the skin on your feet is dry, soft and smooth, we can concentrate on cleaning
and shaping the toenails.
- Using a pair of scissors carefully trim the nails so that they are level with the
tops of your toes. Do not cut into the skin or break the nails by applying too much
- Using a pair of toenail trimmers, clip small pieces off the corners of the toenails
at approximately a 45-degree angle so that they don't dig into the skin. Try to
do this in one cut. Make sure you don't leave any fragment of the nail, but if this
happens, trim off the nail splinter without cutting the skin.
- Using a fine nail file or an emery board, file the front of the nails and round
off the sides. Don't file too deeply on the sides to avoid causing any damage to
the skin and cuticles. Toenails shouldn't have a square shape because the corners
will grow into the skin and cause pain and discomfort. Don't attack your nails.
No matter how tough and hard they might appear, they are very fragile. All of your
filing motions should be done gently and in one direction.
- After you're finished filing, use a buffer block. The buffer has a much finer grain
than a file or emery board, and will give the nails a smoother finish. It's also
able to take out any minor imperfections that the file either missed or created.
- Just as with a manicure, we need to take care of the cuticles around the toenails.
Apply a few drops of cuticle oil to the area where the toenail and the cuticle meet.
To soften the cuticle even more, let the oil rest on the cuticles for a couple of
minutes and gently massage it in.
- Take a cuticle pusher or an orange stick and without applying a lot of pressure,
gently push the cuticles back. Be careful not to damage the soft cuticle and the
toenail bed. Only pieces of dead skin or hangnails that remain should be trimmed
away with a pair of nippers.
- Gently run a nail cleaner or an orange stick along the nail's edge to remove any
dead skin or dirt that might have built-up there.
- Repeat these steps on the other foot, and once you're done, rinse the feet and gently
pat the skin dry.
4. Massage and Moisturize
- If you want maximum pampering for your feet apply a moisturizing masque. Then wrap
your feet in a clean dry towel and let the moisture get absorbed into the skin.
After a few minutes rinse off the masque and pat the skin dry.
- Apply your favorite moisturizing cream or oil. This is the time to rub and knead
all of the tension out of your feet and toes. Pay attention to each toe and muscle
up to the knee. Alhough everyone has their own preference, usually a massage starts
with long, smooth strokes on the calves and ankles and continues downward with smaller,
circular rubbing movements on the foot and heel. Massage each toe separately. You
should feel the massaging motions, but they shouldn't cause discomfort. Knead well
through the muscles; but don't abuse your muscles and skin by applying too much force.
Besides working through the tension, the massage also helps the moisturizing cream
or the oil to get better absorbed into the skin for maximum benefits. If you feel
the skin is getting too dry, add a bit more cream or oil.
- When you're done with the massage, wipe off any excess cream or oil with a clean,
- If you're not going to apply nail color your pedicure pampering is over.
5. The Color
- Take a toenail separator or rolled up pieces of paper towel and put them between
each toe for easier access to the nails. This also prevents the polish from smudging
through contact with the other toes.
- Before applying the nail polish, you should clean and disinfect the nails and toes.
Using a cotton pad soaked in nail polish remover, alcohol or nail prep solution
gently wipe the toenails to completely remove anything from the surface, including
any leftover nail or skin particles.
- Wipe the nail off with a dry towel, making sure there is no lint left from the towel
or the cotton pads.
- Apply the base coat to your nails. The coat should be thin so that it dries fast.
Remember that each coat must dry completely before you can apply the next one.
- After your base coat has thoroughly dried, you may apply the first coat of color.
Keep the coat thin. It will dry fast and will allow you to apply the next layer,
which will deepen the color and fill in anything you missed the first time around.
Any streaks from the brush should disappear when the polish dries completely. Usually
2 coats of nail color or enamel are applied, but you should see what works best
with your polish and your toenails.
- When you're finished applying the color, apply a single layer of clear top coat
in the same manner.
- Allow enough time for the polish and the top coat to dry completely.
- To keep the color longer, a top coat could be re-applied every 2-3 days.
View selection of of essential pedicure tools and instruments
and luxury pedicure sets at Zamberg.com.