DIY Mani & Pedi
Summer is in full swing, and with it comes mani/pedi season, where wearing sandals, flip-flops and open-toe shoes is the norm. This is the time to really keep up with your beauty routine for your hands and feet, although given the length of Georgia summers and the economic downturn, it doesn’t always make sense to shell out $20-$40 each week at the nail spa. Luckily, it’s inexpensive and convenient to do it at home.
Taking care of your hands and feet is so much more than making sure you look pretty in your summer sandals and neon nail polishes. The manicure and pedicure process can be a relaxing ritual, a time when you just slow down and reflect on the day. Invite your girlfriends over with their own spa supplies and enjoy your favorite shows and girl talk as your nails dry between coats.
First, remove any old polish you have on your nails. Clip and file your nails into the shape you like (you can save this step for after the soak on toenails). The rounded-square shape is popular for fingernails because the rounded edges protect the nails from getting snagged and breaking off; toenails should be cut straight across. Be sure to file in only one direction. A back-and-forth sawing motion will weaken the nail.
When it’s time to soak your nails, don’t let your fingernails soak for longer than three minutes. Feet can soak longer because the nails are thicker. Use lukewarm water with a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Once you’re done soaking, moisturize with your choice of lotion or oil, and make sure you get the cuticles.
If you have time, try an exfoliating scrub on your feet, lower legs, arms, and forearms. Use a pumice stone on stubborn spots on the heels. Rinse well to remove the scrub.
Push the cuticles back with an orangewood stick and use another swipe of nail polish remover to take away all of the excess lotion or oil left on the nails only. A dry surface will prolong the wear of your nail polish. Buff the surfaces of the nails lightly to allow the nails to grab color more effectively.
Now it’s time to paint. Apply your base coat and let it dry thoroughly. Then apply one thin layer of nail polish, let that dry, and apply a second coat. If you need one more coat for the opacity you’d prefer, add another thin layer. Then use a top coat to make them shine.
After you’ve waited patiently—and carefully—for your nails to dry completely, add more moisturizer to your cuticles. Every day, add another layer of top coat. This will keep nicks at bay for as long as possible, so your manicure or pedicure isn’t ruined in just a day or two.
Taking care of your hands and especially feet gets more attention during the summer months when flip-flops and sandals abound, but don’t neglect them when winter rolls around, either. You’ll promote nail health and be ready for that first burst of warm weather.