Here’s a conversation I had with hubs last week:
Him: “A lot of what you write about is beauty-related, isn’t it, darling?”
Me (suspiciously): “Yessss”
Him: “And you have a cupboard full of products?”
Me: (even more suspiciously): “I do”
Him: “And we’re saving up to do up the house, aren’t we?”
Me: “For God’s sake, will you come to the bloody point?”
Him: “Do you really need to spend £125 every month on a fancy pedicure when you have all this rubbish lying around the house and could clearly do it yourself?”
After I’d recovered from the blow, I could see he had a point. I may not be able to go for too long without my Margaret Dabbs Medi-Pedis – review here – on account of my toenails (which seem to yearn to grow into the beds of my toes), but I can do a session of removing dry skin and painting between visits so as not to expose my unadorned and craggy nails to the world.
Here are the steps should you wish to embark on an at home pedi (with accompanying photos of my vile feet – I apologise if they sear themselves into your memory – a friend who likens my toes to frankfurters cautioned against my putting these images on the internet):
STEP ONE / FILE // Margaret Dabbs’ people have taught me well – no filing should ever be done on damp skin as it might introduce infection (and you may well remove healthy skin instead of the dry, dead stuff). I use an Emjoi MicroPedi, but you could equally go at feet with a file. If doing it that way, I’d recommend the Dabbs one.
STEP TWO / DEAL WITH TOENAILS // Under no circumstances should you cut down the sides of your nails – that is a job for professionals (and the reason I go to MD). By deal with them, I mean: clean under the nail, file down across the top to shorten, and use a buffer on the top of nails to smooth and gently exfoliate (this is good for the nail’s health and encourages growth according to nail guru Glenis Baptiste).
STEP THREE / SOAK // I use this BetterYou inflatable foot bath (the state of our household bucket is so dire after various cleans in the house that I daren’t stick my feet in it), and a whole load of Magnesium Flakes to relax my muscles. I’m also partial to Kneipp’s Foot Salts as they’re wonderfully uplifting (my mum says are the only thing that help relieve her slightly arthritic feet).
STEP FOUR / PUSH BACK CUTICLES // Cutting cuticles is best left to podiatrists. I use a Tweezerman tool to just ease them back gently instead so they take up less floor space on my nail.
STEP FIVE / CLEAN BED // Although your nails will at this point be free of polish and debris etc, sweeping an acetone nail polish remover (I used Maybelline Dr Rescue) over them quickly will help your subsequent application of polish to bond to the nail and last longer.
STEP SIX / PAINT // Once the nail polish remover has dried (start prior to this point and you’ll end up with streaks), you can start on the paint job. The base coat rule is a good one to stick to, particularly on toenails where colour isn’t changed as often and therefore is more likely to discolour nails (oxygen deprivation also does this so try not to leave polish on for longer than a week or two at a time). I used Orly Polish Bond and Essie Fifth Avenue, with a coat of Seche Vite on top for the shine.
STEP SEVEN / MOISTURISE // Less of a pedicure step, more of a general point: apply a dab of cuticle oil and follow with a good quality foot moisturiser daily and I promise your feet will not only look, but feel much better. I rely on the organic Dadi Oil for cuticles and am currently working my way through a bottle of Margaret Dabbs foot oil.