10 Steps to Do Your Own Pedicure

Polish and Dry
Always apply your polish with vertical strokes.
Always apply your polish with vertical strokes.

Now it's time to look pretty. First, take a cotton pad dipped in nail polish remover, and swipe it across each toenail to remove any moisturizer or oils. All that lubrication is great for your skin, but it doesn't help your polish last.

A great purchase for a DIY pedicurist is a toe separator (see photo at left); that way, you can actually walk around with wet toenails rather than having to stay still. Tissues or toilet paper works in a pinch but aren't as neat.

After choosing your color, roll it between the palms of your hands to get it ready. It's as effective as shaking the bottle but won't create air bubbles. Apply polish like this:

  • base coat; wait two minutes
  • first coat of polish; wait two minutes
  • second coat of polish; wait two minutes
  • top coat

All too often, all the pampering and preparation that goes into a pedicure, be it in a salon or at home, gets ruined at the very end because no one has the patience for the drying process. Don't use a hair dryer as it just makes the polish gummy. Quick dry nail polishes or top coats have alcohol which makes polish chip easier. If you need a quick dry product, choose an oil or spray. Even better, go the old-fashioned route and just wait it out, preferably for 15-20 minutes. After all, you've worked too hard to spoil it all at the end.