The perfect at-home pedicure
The all-you-need at-home pedicure kit and cheat-sheet for soft, groomed and cared-for feet
Since lockdown, I picked the gel polish from my nails (eek) – then completely forgot about them.
Until a fortnight ago, when my photographer husband got the call to shoot a selection of summer sandals from shoe brand Dune, and I needed to make my world debut as a foot model.
If I could insert the Edvard Munch style Scream emoji – I would, and on repeat.
Thus, I embarked on a one-woman mission to fix my feet and get them ready for their close-up. I'm not alone; it seems that 'at home pedicure' searches have increased during lockdown with 'how to remove gel nails' up by 163% according to Cosmetify.
Here's how I nursed my feet back to life to get them camera ready and how you too can put a spring in your step ready for sandal season – no salon appointment required.
1. THE BIG TOENAIL MAKEOVER
I used the Elegant Touch Professional Buffer, £7.50, a multi-file with buffer, back and forth over each toenail to smooth the surface, get rid of any gel residue and remove any yellowness from the years of polish.
Neat cuticles are essential for a pro finish. However, I (and chiropodist) would not recommend trimming your own. A pro-cuticle pusher would've been beneficial here – like this Elegant Touch Professional Cuticle Pusher, £9.50. That wasn’t in my nail kit, so I gave them a thorough clean with a nailbrush, dabbed CND Solar Oil, £13.95, around the cuticle area and gently pushed them back with the opposite end of my tweezers.
2. THE FOOT FILE SAGA
I found a basic metal foot file at the back of the bathroom cabinet. I was worried it was a bit old, so I sprayed it with my anti-bac sanitising spray, used it and threw it. I have since ordered the Margaret Dabbs Professional Foot File, £24, for future sloughing-off of skin. It does get rid of dry heels in super-quick time, and at least I'm now not worrying about having to get a tetanus jab.
3. THE SURPRISING FOOT SOAK & SCRUB
At this point, I would've really liked one of those fancy foot spa things, like HoMedics Luxury Foot Spa, but in reality, I sat with my feet in a cleaning bucket. I scrubbed dry areas with Crabtree & Evelyn's Gardeners Hand Scrub, £19.50 – which states it's for 'hard-working hands' – but turns out – works wonders on feet too. I then immersed them in the water, soaking in Neal's Yard Aromatic Bath Salts, £15.50.
4. THE HARD-WORKING DREAM CREAM
Luckily, a PR friend sent me a jar of Jessica Zenspa Pedicure Hydrating Heel Repair Creme, £28, so I slathered the unctuous cream all over my feet, then wrapped them in clingfilm and sat in cotton socks to let the product penetrate and soak in.
5. THE FINISHING TOUCH
I cleaned feet again with the nailbrush, then painted nails with L'Atelier Green, It's All About the Base, £17.99. The formula dries to a natural matt finish and makes nails look clean and healthy. Plus, it's non-toxic, has good-for-you ingredients, and can be worn alone or makes an excellent smooth surface for polish.
Job done. Here’s the final result.
For more ideas on getting groomed feet, click here.