You can save a lot of time and money by doing your own beauty treatments. Salon-quality products are widely available these days, and if you're not picky, inexpensive pedicure products can be purchased just about anywhere. Here's how to give yourself a pedicure without breaking the bank.
Start with a blank slate. To begin giving yourself a pedicure, make sure you have a clean, blank slate. Remove any polish from your toenails. Use a cotton swab to reach any corners or difficult areas. Nothing should be on your toenails when you're done.
Trim your nails. Now you'll want to give your toenails a trim. Use a good quality trimmer to clip your toenails. Cut the nail straight across to avoid ingrown toenails. Remove enough of the nail so that it does not extend above your toe, but not too much that it causes pain. Find a basic nail file that's not metal and for hygienic reasons, it should be new or used only by you. Use the finer side of the emery board to smooth the edge. (The rougher edge is for shortening nails.) Then file the nails in one direction until they are smooth. The corners should have a very slight curve to them, but again, not so much that the nail will grow inward.
Put your tootsies in water. Once your nails are trimmed, put your feet in a bowl of warm water. Add bath salts if you like and soak for at least 10 minutes. If your feet as especially dry or cracked, leave them in the soaking bowl longer. (An little-known secret is that a cup of milk in your foot soak will work to loosen more of your dead skin!)
Cut your cuticles. Now that your feet are moistened, give your cuticles a trim. First apply cuticle remover to the base of each nail, rubbing it in as you go. Use an orangewood stick to push the cuticle inward. Use cuticle clippers to cut away the skin on top of your toenails. (Stay away from the skin on your toe - this is flesh and cutting it will hurt!) You may also wish to add a bit of moisture to your cuticles with a cuticle oil. Rub this into clean, trimmed cuticles.
Remove your dead skin. No pedicure would be complete without exfoliation. Use a foot scrub, file or pumice stone to remove the dead skin on the bottom of your feet. You may need to sit on the side of your tub during this part of your pedicure. Scrub until the area is smooth. Rinse and dry your feet after you remove the dead skin. And then finish this step of your pedicure with a moisturizer.
Add some color to your toes. This is the best part of giving yourself a manicure. Choose your nail color and start painting your toe nails. Start with a broad stroke down the middle of your nail, and then drag polish to the edge of your toe nail. Try not to get any polish onto your skin or cuticle. (This can be removed with a cotton swab and some nail polish remover.) Paint all of your nails, allow them to dry for a minute or two, and then apply a second coat of polish. Finish with a clear coat on top of your nail polish. Be sure to allow your nails to dry for at least half an hour. Spray a bit of moisturizing oil on your entire foot afterwards, and your home pedicure is complete.