Treat Yourself To A Manicure Or Pedicure

These days, I’m watching my budget closer than a cat watching a bird!  A sign of the times, it seems that most of us are learning how to save more of our hard earned money vs. squandering it.  Cutting out some of my favorite things like weekly trips to the nail spa have become part of my new recession-era budget.  But The Retail Diva has got to keep up appearances!  So I’ve learned how to keep those little treats in my life by doing them at home for a fraction of the cost at a spa. Set aside at least 1½ - 2 hours.  The key is to take your time, relax, don’t rush and enjoy how awesome this will be!  I start by gathering all of my supplies (see list below) and set everything up in my living room, so I’m comfortable and relaxed on the couch.  Once everything is set, I light a few candles, click on my iTunes “relaxing” playlist, pour a glass of wine and I’m ready to go!  Follow these steps for looking gorgeous on a budget.

THINGS YOU’LL NEED
  • Emory Board or Nail File
  • Cuticle Nippers
  • Nail Clippers
  • Cotton balls
  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Manicure Stick (wood, rubber or metal)
  • Nail Polish
  • Base Coat
  • Quick Dry Top Coat
  • Cuticle Remover Cream
  • Cuticle Oil (Olive oil works too!)
  • Lotion
  • 2 pairs of thick cotton socks
  • Pumice stone
  • Pedicure knife or Callus Remover tool
  • Toe Separators
  • Foot Scrub/exfoliant scrub
  • Hand towel
  • Water Basin or any bowl large enough for both feet-filled with warm sudsy water
  • Bowl of warm sudsy water (dish soap works great) for hands

PEDICURE STEP BY STEP PROCESS

  1. Remove old nail polish from toes with the cotton balls and polish remover
  2. Place both feet in water basin, soak for 5 minutes (Take a sip of wine, close your eyes and take 2 deep breaths)
  3. Pull right foot out, pat dry with hand towel and clip nails to desired length
  4. Shape and smooth out toenails with nail file
  5. Clean under each nail with manicure stick
  6. Dab cuticle remover on each nail, rub in, return foot to water basin
  7. Repeat steps 4-7 with the left foot
  8. Remove right foot and push back cuticles with manicure stick
  9. Use cuticle nippers carefully to remove any excess cuticles
  10. Dab cuticle oil onto each nail, rub in
  11. Squirt a quarter size of the foot scrub or exfoliant onto the pumice stone, dip into the water and scrub the bottom of your feet, sides and heels until baby-butt smooth
  12. If you have bad calluses like I do, carefully use a pedicure knife or callus remover
  13. Rinse foot and dry it off with the towel
  14. Repeat steps 9 – 14 with left foot
  15. Slather lotion on feet and legs; massage for a minimum of 10 minutes
  16. Re-apply a generous amount of lotion to feet (do not rub in) put on socks, relax for 10 minutes
  17. Take off socks and clean each nail with cotton ball & nail polish remover to remove any oil or lotion
  18. Put on toe separators and start painting nails with the base coat
  19. Paint toes with nail polish, apply evenly
  20. Let dry 5-10 minutes, then apply top-coat
  21. Completely allow polish to dry before putting shoes on!

TIP:  To remove nail polish mistakes, use the manicure stick dipped in nail polish remover

MANICURE STEP BY STEP PROCESS

  1. Remove old polish from nails with the cotton balls and polish remover
  2. Shape and smooth out nails with nail file
  3. Clean under each nail with manicure stick
  4. Dab cuticle remover on each nail, rub in, return hands to bowl, soak for 3-5 minutes
  5. Push back cuticles with manicure stick
  6. Use cuticle nippers carefully to remove any excess cuticles
  7. Rinse hands under warm water, pat dry
  8. Dab cuticle oil onto each nail, rub in
  9. Slather lotion on hands, arms and elbows; massage for a minimum of 10 minutes
  10. Re-apply lotion to hands (don't rub in,) place hands in socks, relax for 10 minutes
  11. Take off socks, clean each nail with polish remover to remove any lotion or oil
  12. Start painting nails with the base coat
  13. Evenly apply two coats of nail polish
  14. Let dry for 5-10 minutes, then apply top-coat
  15. Allow polish to dry completely before doing anything!

TIP:  For longer lasting manicures and pedicures, wait until each coat of polish  is completely dry before applying additional coats