Every woman should get a pro mani/pedi at some time in her life, but not all of us can or are willing to pay for them every week or every other week. Doing a home manicure takes a lot of time and effort but it’s sooooooooooo worth it. Because of the work involved, I’ll admit I’ve been neglecting my piggies. With spring here, and the peeptoes in my closet sadly staring at me because I’ve been too embarrassed to bare my toes, it was time to put in the effort instead of just slapping some color on my nails.

My man is currently having his house painted and more than anything he was concerned about the prep work. If you don’t master the power wash, scrape off the old paint, and fill in gaps, you’re not going to improve anything. You’re just going to throw paint on top, further highlighting the problem. Home manicures are much the same. You don’t go get your nails done because you want color on your fingers, you go because you want a makeover on your hands and toes. Here’s where getting a pro session at least once in good – pay attention to your nail technician – watch everything they do so you can duplicate it at home.

I soaked my feet in water in a super cheap soak I got at Wal-Mart. Worked just fine for softening up the toes. I finally got around to using the blow up foot soaker I got from Sally Beauty – why didn’t I do this sooner? Ahhhhhhhhhhh! You need a great pumice and a great scraper. I have a four in one tool – can’t even remember where I got it. But just go for it. Your feet are softened up, it is not going to hurt. Get as much dead skin off as possible. Follow with a good salt or sugar scrub and lotion, but PLEASE don’t do this on a day you shaved your legs because the scrub will buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurn!

Then I used Sally Hansen cuticle oil and pushed back the cuticles on both feet and hands. Then clip any cuticles that may be obviously sticking out or looking messy. The easiest way to get all these tools is just to get a manicure kit. You can usually find one for about ten or fifteen bucks at Ulta or Walgreens.

I used an OPI base coat. It kind of freaked me out at first because it was white. I’m used to a clear coat and I was worried it would be too thick to serve as a good base. Wrong. It was fantastic and the color coats glided smoothly on top.

On my Nails, I did OPI I’m Not Really a Waitress. Gotta love polish names! I bought this polish because I heard multiple people say it was their favorite. Though I’m not usually big on red I love it, it’s a sexy, sophisticated red. I followed with a clear top coat.

On my toes, I went with China Glaze Cha Cha Cha, a gorgeous grown up metallic green. No, I was not shooting to be a giant Christmas tree – I had so many colors I wanted to try, I asked my man to pick two. I topped with it off with Essie’s new multidimension top coat in As Gold As It Gets. This gave a little bit of sparkle and just really finished off the look. I’m little more dramatic so I added a second coat.

Ironically I used the product I was most excited about last because I forgot to use it in the prep work. Julep Glycolic Hand Scrub was seriously the cherry on top of everything. It had a light citrus smell and gave my hands that finished feel, like a professional truly worked on me.

Oh and my biggest tip . . . the clean up. I am insanely messy. I never worry about getting it too perfect because I know I will need to do some fine tuning at the end. I simply pour some nail polish remover into the remover’s cap and use a Q=tip to clean up my “coloring outside the lines.” Sometimes, in my case, it’s multiple Q-tips.

6 comments on “Home Manicure/Pedicure – It’s All About the Prep Work

  1. Sarah - PS Mom Reviews

    I’ve been keeping my nails painted a lot this year. It’s been fun trying new colors and things. In fact my little bag I had for polishes is now overflowing, so I need to find something bigger to fit all my manicure products.

    Great tips!

  2. Melanie

    You know what? I never had a pedi … I need one, maybe I should share this post with my husband and give him a huge tip for what to get me 🙂 hehe
    By the way love the green 🙂

    1. admin

      I would definitely drop some hints 🙂 The best part is the massage chair!!! Thanks I will check out your site soon!

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