① Make sure you're starting with clean tools. Lay all your equipment within arms reach. Remove nail polish if you have it on already. Trim your nails to the desired length. Then file to the shape you like best. I use a coarse file first and then a finer file to finish. Make sure to file dry so that you prevent splitting or peeling.
② I sit on the side of my tub and fill the bath with enough warm/hot water to cover my feet. Add a handful of epsom salts and a few drops of essential oils and soak my feet for at least 2 minutes. You can skip this step if you have just taken a shower or bath. * you could use one of those plastic tubs instead of your bathtub.
③ I grab my foot scrubber and give my feet a good once over. I dip my Chéci callus file in a nice salt or sugar scrub and go to work on my heels and balls of my feet all the way to the pads of my toes in a circular motion. I have been using this file for years and it's my favorite. It doesn't remove too much and it has a nice angle so you can really get the dry skin off. Rinse.
④ I put my finger in the salt/sugar scrub and rub it on my cuticles. Then I take a washcloth and wipe it off. I then rub the orange stick or cuticle pusher along the sides of my toe nails to remove any loose or dry skin and push back my cuticles. At this time I also clean under my toe nails. Rinse.
⑤ This is the most important step if you want your pedicure to last (goes for manicures too) apply rubbing alcohol to a cotton square and clean your nails. This removes oil/dirt and makes sure your polish sticks.
⑥ Put on your toe separators. Apply base coat. I set a timer for 3 minutes between each coat because I find it takes less time overall to dry if I do this.
⑦ Apply one or two coats of color with the same 3 minutes between each coat. If you mess up wrap a bit of cotton around your orange stick and dip in remover then use it to clean up your mess. Or use your fingernail to scrape it off or wait until the next time you shower and scrub it off your skin. Ladies choice.
⑧ Apply top coat. After you cover your nail with the top coat make sure your last swipe is going horizontally across the tip. I also find this makes my pedi last until I remove it.
⑨ Work at your desk or make dinner while they dry.
Last tip. Even using regular (even cheap) polish I've had good results and I walk and run a lot. I think that investing in a good base coat and top coat is important. Although I have become a convert to three different nail systems (scotch, l'oreal, formula x). I find that these nail systems will make even a manicure last up to 10 days.
Do you have any tips? I would love to hear them.