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How to Do the Perfect Mani-Pedi at Home

Getting a weekly mani-pedi at a salon is the ultimate in pampering, but sometimes you’re too busy or just strapped for cash. Whether you’re trying to save time, money, or both, it’s not that difficult to do a mani-pedi at home, provided you have the right supplies. Before you start, make sure you have everything you need to turn your bathroom into your own personal beauty salon!

Come clean
The first thing you need to do is remove the old polish from both fingers and toes. All removers are drying, so use as little as necessary.

Next, start soaking your feet. A nice warm soak feels divine, plus it softens the skin and the nails so they will be easier to clip. A bit of bath oil or shower gel helps with softening and smells good, too. We also like a drop of coconut or olive oil.

While your feet are soaking, file your fingernails into shape with a good emery board. If you’re not going to polish, buff to a smooth shine.

For super smooth tootsies, apply a scrub to your feet. You don’t need expensive scrubs, try sugar or salt mixed with a few drops of olive oil. Oats are smoothing and smell great too.

Now it’s time to dry off your feet and start clipping the nails. Clip nails straight across, but don’t go too short.

Buff off calluses and rough spots with a foot file or pumice stone. Apply a cuticle remover or gently push back the skin around the nails of both your hands and feet. Be sure to remove all cuticle remover or other substances from nails before applying polish.

Pedi perfect
Ever wonder why your toes look so smooth and shiny after a salon pedi? The secret is filing down the grooves in your toenails, especially the big one. Use the rough side of a buffing cube to smooth those grooves, then buff to a soft shine.

Always do your toes first, because you don’t want to mess up your nails after they’re done. I’ve found that toes look smoother with the use of a ridge-filling base coat, but you may be able to do fine with the same one you use for your fingernails. When the base coat is dry, apply two coats of polish, then a top coat.

Mani magic
When your toes are done, start on your nails. Apply a base coat, picking one that’s best for your nails. Base coats come in formulas like ridge-filling, strengthening and hardening. Apply two coats of polish and one of top coat.

Tips and tricks
* If your toes overlap, buy those foam toe separators for a neater pedi.
* If you have a small crack or tear, repair it with a quick-drying nail glue before applying polish.
* If you leave smudges of coloured enamel around your nails, apply oil to the area before bathing—the smudges should wash away.
* For an extra fast mani-pedi, apply Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. Besides super quick drying, you’ll get a glossy shine. Don’t try to save time by eliminating base coat or using just one coat of polish—you won’t get the salon-perfect effect if you skip steps (and you may seriously stain the nail if you leave off the base coat).

Be patient! Don’t put on shoes or socks until your pedi is totally dry—this can take up to an hour. And don’t do anything with your hands that will mess up your nails. Forget rummaging around your handbag – having your keys and wallet at the handy before starting your mani. And stop playing with your phone until your nails are completely dry!

What’s your best tip for at home mani-pedis?