Who doesn’t like pretty nails? From french manicured nails to the latest nail art, we enjoy trying new colours, types and techniques on our nails. But not all of us have the time to visit the parlour and get a salon-style mani-pedi. With weekdays usually spent chasing housework or office work, we just want to rest during the weekend.

That shouldn’t stop us from getting fabulous nails and soft hands and feet. Pamper yourself with a DIY manicure and pedicure at home! 

10 Step DIY Manicure & Pedicure

1. Start With Polish Remover

Just like a recipe needs prep time to make it perfect, to get a great mani-pedi at home, we must begin by prepping the nails. Pick a good quality nail polish remover and take off the existing polish. Even if you don’t have a nail colour on, using a polish remover takes the oils and dirt off the nails.

2. Shape Your Nails

Clip, file and buff your nails to the shape you desire. Go for the classic oval or round shape or go bold with square or almond-shaped nails. File gently in one direction. If you have thin nails, tilt the filer slightly so that you file from underneath. Next, use a nail buffer to create a smooth surface. Buffing your nails is good as it’s brightening, making nails look more youthful.

3. Prep The Cuticles

Use cuticle oil or balm to soften the cuticles first. Fret not if you don’t have those, for coconut or olive oil work just fine. Then, with the help of a cuticle remover, take off the dead skin around the nail beds. After that, use a cuticle stick to gently push back the cuticles. This will clean the nail bed of the accumulated bacteria.

4. Exfoliate Your Skin

Grab your favourite body scrub and exfoliate the hands, arms, wrists, legs, soles and feet. This eliminates the dead skin and cleanses the skin excellently. In case you are experiencing cracking of foot skin, try these home remedies for cracked heels. Make sure you wash the fingers and toes to get rid of dirt underneath the nails. If you don’t have an exfoliator at hand, throw together some salt, olive oil and lemon to make your own DIY scrub. 

5. Soak Your Hands And Feet

Fill up a bowl with warm soapy water and soak your hands and feet. This helps you relax and get rid of all the dirt and grime. The warm water acts like a gentle, stimulating massage and promotes blood circulation as well. So, sit back and soak in!

6. Moisturise And Hydrate

Moisturising before you apply the nail polish will ensure a smudge-free appearance. A regular moisturiser works just fine. But if you own hand cream, foot cream and cuticle cream, do use those. Swipe off the moisturiser from the nails with polish remover.

7. Apply A Base Coat

Applying a base coat of polish helps hydrate as well as prevents chipping. Experts state that we should wait for at least two minutes between each coat of polish. A base coat locks the colour and keeps it from staining your nails. But feel free to skip this step if you don’t have one of these. 

8. Get The First Coat On

Apply the first coat of nail polish, making sure to go all the way down to the tip of the nail. Keep the layer thin and cover the corners as well. For toes, use toe separators or spacers (if you have them) to avoid smudging.

9. Time For The Second Coat

Once the first coat is completely dry, it’s time to apply the second coat. For pastels or sheer colours, you may need a third coat. Just like the first coat, apply a thin second coat, covering the entire nail. If you are doing nail art, this is the time to flaunt your creativity.

10. Final Topcoat To Finish

A top coat of clear polish adds shine to your nails and keeps the colour from chipping away. It makes the polish last a long time. Remember to wait until the last coat is completely dry before applying the topcoat. Make sure it is applied smoothly as it can cause a wrinkled effect when it dries.

10 Tips & Hacks For A Perfect DIY Mani-Pedi

  1. You can wipe off the polish around your nails with a thin brush dipped in polish remover. This gives your nail a flawless finish.
  2. To revive thick, gloopy nail polish, use polish thinners available online instead of polish removers.
  3. A number of DIY experts swear by the use of cold water to dry nail polish instantly. The idea is to let them air dry for a few minutes and then dunk them in cold water.
  4. To make your topcoat matte, add some cornstarch and get the effect instantly.
  5. When applying chunky glitter polish, tab it on the nails instead of swiping it. Or use a toothpick to move the glitter to your liking.
  6. A thick coat of polish will only dry at the top and smudge easily. Instead, apply multiple thin layers.
  7. To avoid polish from going outside the nails, apply a thin layer of vaseline on the edges. Make sure to not apply it on the nail.
  8. When taking off dark coloured nail polish, apply a thin layer of moisturiser to avoid staining.
  9. To remove a gel manicure at home, soak cotton pads in acetone, wrap it around the nail and cover with aluminium foil.
  10. Glittery nail polish lasts longer than regular ones. So if you want to carry a look for a long time, use glittery polish.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What do you need for a manicure and pedicure?

A. There are a few tools you need to get professional manicures and pedicures. You will need nail clippers, nail file, buffer, polish remover, cuticle clippers, cuticle pusher and toe separators. Along with that, you will need scrub, moisturiser and the nail polish of your choice.

Q. How do I get the dead skin off my feet?

A. A pumice stone gets rid of dead skin off the feet. Soak your feet and the pumice stone in warm water for 10 minutes. Then gently brush the stone on the skin in a circular motion or sideways. Make sure you apply lotions or foot cream to moisturise.

Q. What is the best homemade foot soak?

A. Epsom salt is a wonderful ingredient that exfoliates the skin, gets rid of odour, eases inflammation and eliminates fungus. Soak your feet in a mixture of Epsom salt and water for 20 minutes.

Q. What is the best way to do pedicure at home?

A. Follow the above-mentioned step by step instructions to do pedicure at home. Start by prepping your nails, removing the old polish and exfoliating the feet. You can try a foot soak to get a luxurious pedicure experience.

Srushti Pathak
Srushti Pathak

A blogger, aspiring author and old soul at heart, Srushti Pathak believes in writing stories that touch the heart. She maintains that curiosity defines her zeal for writing and creativity in all spheres of life motivates her.