What Happened When I Put DIY Mani-Pedi Products To The Test

You’ll never have to go to a salon again.

March 11, 2016

Nail Polish Shades For The Fall

Whether you love to paint your own nails at home, or prefer to have them handled by the professionals, it’s important to understand which colours are in this season. Pack away all those corals, glitters and neon shades in favour of a mature colour palette which will suit all skin tones. We’ve also added a fun little instructional video at the end, just to give you some extra tips for that at-home mani-pedi.

RELATED: The Top 10 Essie Nail Polishes


The colour, not the drink! A deep red is perfect all year-round, although it’s most prominent during the colder seasons. Just one coat is enough to give you great coverage, but if you apply another and add a top coat soon afterwards, your nails will shine.

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Option 1: ModelCo Nail Polish in Wine and Dine, $15

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Option 2: Zoya Nail Polish in Pepper, $9

Dark green

If you’re too scared to make the transition to a darker shade, dry a deep emerald green instead. It will still give your nails a subtle pop of colour without being too inappropriate for all events.

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Option 1: Butter London British Racing Green Nail Lacquer, $15

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Option 2: ModelCo Nail Polish in Envy, $15


A beautiful shade of plum is also in the same category as green, it looks darker during the night and picks up more light during the day. Have fun with this shade and pair it with fun nail art to give your look a bit of extra character.

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Option 1: ModelCo Nail Polish in Midnight Affair, $15

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Option 2: Nars Iconic Colour Nail Polish in Endless Night, $30


Pass on that traditional French manicure and give your nails a splash of colour with a nude shade. Not only is it appropriate for the office, but it’s discreet if the colour starts to chip after one week of wear.

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Option 1: OPI Samoan Sand, $19.95

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Option 2: ModelCo Nail Polish in Nude Attitude, $15


Some might say this is similar to purple, but we love these colours so much that we couldn’t leave it out! This is a perfect option if you want a pop of colour with just one coat. Apply a glossy or matte top coat before leaving the house for extra drama.

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Option 1: ModelCo Nail Polish in Nude Attitude, $15

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Option 2: Essie Bahama Mama, $16.95

If you’re finding it hard to start with your own manicure or pedicure, watch the video below for insider tips.

September 3, 2015

Your Best DIY Manicure and Pedicure

With summer almost here, it’s time to pay attention to one of the most important parts of our body that often gets forgotten about – our feet. Zoe Vokis, Australia’s most sought-after nail technician and manicurist to the stars, dishes the dirt exclusively for Scholl on her tips and tricks to ensuring your tootsies will be thong-ready this season.

If you had one tip for feet and toenails, what would it be?
Keep toenails short and neat and always make sure they are trimmed on an angle to avoid ingrown toenails.

What are the secrets to stars like Miranda Kerr’s feet – does she have any special treatments, or use particular products?
Every time I have come across Miranda Kerr whether it is backstage for a show or for the cover of a glossy magazine, she has proven to be a true super model. She takes pride in having regular manicure and pedicure appointments to keep everything absolutely perfect at all times – it’s as simple as that!

What is the best trick you’ve ever seen?
Once upon a time I was shown how to repair a crack in a natural nail by simply using 1 ply of tissue and nail glue, followed by a light buff! Voila! It’s magic and actually works.

How long can you leave your nail polish on for? From time to time, we are all guilty of ‘topping up’ with another layer for a quick fix. But is this harmful?
No rule with this one but it does depend on the polish used. If you are using a reputable brand such as “Colour Club” you will find that the polish should last 7 days with no fuss.  Also check that there is no Formaldehyde in the ingredients and if not then it is totally fine to paint another layer for a quick fix.

If you don’t have time to run to the spa, how can you quickly treat a chipped nail?
I always keep a natural nail file handy so you can do a quick shape down, which looks much better than a chipped nail.

What’s the best advice you give someone who bites their nails?
You are better off biting your toenails as your fingernails harbour more bacteria! This usually stops every nail biter in their tracks!

What is the wackiest nail art you’ve ever seen?
3D “stiletto” themed nail art is always wacky! A lot of celebrities like to have custom “nail wraps” made just for them, for example Katy Perry has been spotted wearing “Willy Wonka” custom MinxNails.

What is your advice for those who run – should you cut your toenails straight or keep them round?
Always ensure they are as short as possible and that the edges of toenails are curved not square. If not you may cause “Onycholysis”, which is where the nail plate separates from the nail bed and it can cause the nail to completely come off! Not pretty!

What products can you use from your cupboard if you don’t have Scholl products on hand?
My favourite is a daily dose of DADI oil around the cuticles. This can also double up on the dry areas of feet without leaving an oily feel.

Zoe’s top 5 DIY tips for at-home pedicures:

1. Always push back cuticles and buff ridges out of toenails

2. Cut/trim toenails on an angle to avoid “ingrown” toe nails

3. Remove callouses from the balls and heels of your feet using the Scholl’s Velvet Smooth Electronic Foot File

4. For incredibly soft feet and smooth edges, be sure to apply Scholl’s Instant Recovery Cream, which deeply penetrates and hydrates the skin

5. For a professional salon finish, apply a base coat followed by 2 colour coats and always finish with top coat for longer lasting wear and shine

Do you prefer at-home mani/pedis or do you go to the salon for your nail fix?

November 19, 2013

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?

October 21, 2013

Meet me for a pedicure?

You have a meeting with a potential business contact. You need an informal and neutral, meeting place, but somewhere relaxed where you both can hear each other and don’t asphyxiate from cigarette smoke. How about discussing your future business together while being pampered with a pedicure? It may sound unusual, but fusionhair+body have the perfect foot treatment to impress. It’s called a ‘Spa Pedicure’, and the beauty of this place is that three people can have their footsies fondled all at the same time.Upon arrival, you and your companion will be ushered into comfy leather chairs which – wait for it – vibrate to massage your entire spine. Aaah bliss! After being delivered a hot or cold beverage of your choice, your beauty therapist begins her work – and you can begin yours.All the basics of a regular pedicure are there such as removal of dead skin, cuticle management, filing, buffing and polishing, but there are some added extras. Sure to keep you happy is the to-die-for foot and calf massage, foot spa, sea salt glow, marine foot masque and cucumber heel therapy.

After baring your feet to each other and sharing an hour of indulgence and beauty, your potential client should be putty in your hands! Find fusionhair+body in the Intercontinental Hotel, 117 Macquarie St, Sydney. Call (02) 9247 2083 or check out for more information.

March 2, 2004

A Beauty Therapist’s Guide to Spring Cleaning – Part Two (contd)

Your Feet Most people from my experience hate their feet, and therefore neglect them. The feet are our main transporters and therefore require utmost priority of maintenance. It’s not about pretty toes, it’s about full-body comfort. If your feet are sore or cracked, they will distribute your weight unevenly putting pressure on your back, neck and hip, resulting in pain and possible long term damage. So, get brave and don’t be embarrassed by less than perfect tootsies – there’s a really quick solution. And it will leave you feeling like a million bucks!What to look for A pedicure that includes full dead skin removal with a blade (many salons do not offer this, ask whether blading is performed), and exfoliation of the skin. A good therapist will also offer reflexology or a thorough remedial foot massage to complete your trip to heaven, as well as a deluxe nourishing paraffin warm infusion, followed by professional painting of your toe nails. You’ll never want to hide them again. Treatments vary with pedicures but can range from $45.00 to $80.00. by Natalie Lehrer, Head Therapist, and Rita Paul, Director and Founder, The Harem, Sydney – where ‘Every Woman is a Goddess’. The Harem is Sydney CBD’s most exotic beauty boutique. For more information or to make a booking, email, and receive The Harem’s full price list and awesome Spring Clean Specials. Or phone 02 9262 3466 for information on to make a booking. The Harem is located on Level 6, 99 York Street, Sydney. Sydney readers! WIN WIN WIN To win a Harem Spring Overhaul, which includes a Brazilian Wax, Cinnamon Queen body exfoliation, tan application, and a Goddess Pedicure, answer this question: What is the Harem’s slogan?
October 7, 2003