Posted by STETSON CREATIVE Thursday, September 23, 2010

Now I know that stomping all over town in your Louboutin's can do a NUMBER of your feet, causing callus development and blisters as well as ruining your pedicure.  Luckily, there are some easy ways to get a great pedicure AND manicure at home with minimal stress and cost.

1. SOAK. There are many foot salts available on the market, but I find that using standard epsom salts work just fine.  You can also add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice for aromatherapy.  You can find many varieties of massaging foot soakers etc, which are all great, but if you don't have or can't afford one, a simple plastic tub will be sufficient.  Let your feet soak for approximately 5 minutes to soften skin and nails.

2. EXFOLIATE. Using a dry file, such as a PED-EGG, you can remove calluses and dry, tough skin to reveal softer, smoother skin.  After you have used the file, I like to take it one step further with a coarse scrub infused with essential oils such as the Sweet Feet Foot Scrub from ANAKIRI, which leaves feet SILKY smooth.

$10 - Drugstores Nationwide

$32 - Anakiri

3. TRIM and FILE.  Using a straight-edge clipper, trim nails in three cuts each, as a single cut can get too close to the skin and lead to infection.  Smooth out edges with a fine-grit emery board.

4. MOISTURIZE with a rich cream on the top and bottoms of feet and in between toes.  Make sure to massage well into the skin and nail beds for ultimate absorbtion.  I really like KAIA HOUSE ORGANICS Shea Head-To-Toe for this.

$8 - Kaia House Organics

5. POLISH using a base coat, two coats, and a top coat, making sure to separate toes with a foam divider.  Use PERFECT FORMULA's Gel Coat to strengthen as a base and follow with a great fall color like Chambord.  Finish with My Favorite Topcoat.

$24 - Perfect Formula

$15 - Perfect Formula

$18 - Perfect Formula

6. DRY for at LEAST 15 minutes before slipping on any open-toed shoes.  Full drying can take up to two hours, so make sure you either have some time, so can wear open shoes!

1. SHAPE with a fine-grit emery board, never removing sidewalls.  This is a better alternative to cutting as trimming with scissors can lead to brittle, easily-damaged nails.  If you skip soaking, it will help your color last longer.

2. APPLY a cuticle CREAM and gently push back cuticles.  Massage cream into nails first and NEVER cut cuticles.  Cutting the cuticles can lead to infection and actually cause a buildup of cuticle tissue.  I really like the Nail and Cuticle Cream from GLYTONE, which contains glycolic acid to gently minimize cuticles after use over time.

$24 - Glytone 

3. APPLY a cuticle OIL such as the SALLY HANSEN Vitamin E Nail and Cuticle Oil.

$6 - Drugstores Nationwide

4. BUFF the nail with an ultrafine buffer to remove ridges.

5. DEHYDRATE the nail with an acetone-based nail polish remover.  This preps the nail for lacquer and will promote a longer wearing color.

6. PAINT with the same process as toes, using a base coat, two coats of color, and a super-shiny topcoat.
Start with the O.P.I. Natural Nails Basecoat, and follow with a great fall color such as ESSIE Limited Addiction.  Finish with a Super-Shiny top coat such as O.P.I. RapiDry Topcoat.

$9 -

$8 - Essie

$9 -


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