Easy Pedicure Tricks to Step Out in Style

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Get ready to put your best foot forward with these easy pedicure tricks and step out in style.

Cleanse and sanitize feet

Begin your at-home pedicure by first removing any previous nail polish. This can be tricky if you’re wearing a deep red or blue nail polish shade. Rubbing back and forth can transfer pigments to your cuticle, leaving a stain. The best and easiest way to remove stubborn nail colors is to press the nail polish remover wipe onto your nails, wait 5 seconds for it to loosen the nail polish, and wipe down the length of the nail.  Repeat this step a few more times to remove any excess. When your nails are polish-free, wash your feet with soap and water (or sanitize) to start with a clean canvas.

Trim and file nails

If your nails have grown too long, rather than filing them down, begin by giving your nails a trim. With your nail clipper, trim the nails using small clips working from one side of the nail to the other. Never begin clipping your nail in the center because it can put stress on your nail plate. Once you have your desired nail length, file your nails in shape with a soft nail file and refine the edge by running a buffing block nail buffer block along the tip to smooth any snags.

Get your cuticles in shape

To soften your cuticles, apply a drop of essie apricot cuticle oil to every nail. With an orange wood stick or a clean stainless steel cuticle pusher, gently guide any overgrown cuticle back into place. Always remember that our cuticles are a protective barrier, preventing bacteria from entering our bodies. Some people have thin, barely visible cuticles while others naturally grow thicker, but both are healthy when cared for properly, so don’t overpush.

Did you know?  Previously, we believed that soaking our nails in water was the best way to begin a pedicure and soften cuticles – this is a myth! Soaking our nails causes them to absorb water and expand, so the nails may not contract back to their true size for another 24 hrs.  Polishing right after could mean less wear.  Water also puffs out our cuticles, preventing a thorough clean up and it can also spread infection if you happen to have a cut on your finger. For many reasons, go waterless!

Exfoliate the nail, trim, hydrate + cleanse

Like the surface of our skin, our nails are susceptible to oils, residue, and build-up. Exfoliate your nails with a light buff using a buffing block nail buffer block. Remember to be gentle! While essential when done correctly, over-buffing can weaken the nail and cause splitting. Gently trim away hung nails and dry skin with a cuticle nipper. This step is only necessary if you have a hang nail!

Doing your nails at home doesn’t mean you can’t have the spa treatment.  After you’ve trimmed your nails, hydrate the skin with a moisturizer focusing on dry areas.  Once absorbed, wipe nails and use nail polish remover to clean the beds for the fun, color part.

Apply your base coat

An essie base coat is super important for a chip-free chip enamel pedicure. The base coat provides a barrier between nail polish and your nail, preventing stains. It also acts as an anchor to nail polish, holding it in place like glue and preventing chips.

Apply 2 coats of color

Select your nail polish shade and apply two thin coats of nail color, waiting 2 minutes between each.  The aim of the first coat is coverage and the next is to achieve full depth of color. Whether a special occasion or just a day to treat yourself, picking a nail color should be fun – but even for pros, applying nail polishing on your own feet can be challenging, especially when it comes to your non-dominant hand! Steady your hand by keeping both of your elbows on the table. For novice polishers, it’s helpful to begin with the hand you’re least comfortable with to ensure a less-than-shaky start.

Finish with a top coat 

An essie top coat protects your pedicure and adds a glossy shine (or velvety matte) finish. This step is our pedicure’s cherry on top, so never forget it!  Whether you’re walking out the door in less than 60 seconds, or want a gel-like shine or matte finish, choose your essie top coat here.