Like it or not, it’s almost boot season. Before you go digging your beloved knee-highs and ankle grazers out of the closet, why not give your toes—and your favorite sandals—one last time to show off? Skip the spa and put your best feet forward with this handy guide to the ultimate at-home pedicure.
Soak to Soften
Start out by reviving tired toes with a healing soak. First, fill your bathtub (or a large plastic tub) with enough hot water to cover your feet. Create your own foot treatment by combining one cup Epsom salt, one cup sea salt, two cups baking soda, and a few drops of an essential oil, like peppermint. Grab your favorite magazine and let your feet bathe in bliss for ten to 15 minutes. You’ll only need a handful or two for one soak, so store any leftover supplies in a mason jar for your next at-home pedi!
Now that your feet are plenty relaxed, it’s time to get rid of any lingering dead skin. Grab a pumice stone and an exfoliating scrub like Malin + Goetz’ Peppermint Body Scrub. Buff your feet in a gentle circular motion, concentrating on rough spots like your heels and the balls of your feet. Rinse and pat dry.
If your nails need a little shaping, now is the time to neatly clip and file them. To minimize the risk of infection, skip cutting your cuticles and gently push them back with a cuticle stick instead.
After all that exfoliating, your skin will appreciate some extra moisture. Slather on some of C.O. Bigelow Mentha Tingling Foot Cream to keep your toes feeling soft and smelling fresh. If your feet need extra love, a dab of J.R. Watkins Peppermint Foot Repair Salve will help heal callused or cracked areas.
Paint to Prettify
To prep for polish, run a cotton ball with Zoya Remove Plus Nail Polish Remover over your nails to remove any traces of lotion. (Apply a base coat before applying two coats of color polish. I’m transitioning into fall with LAQA & Co.’s Bells and Whistles, a deep plum.) Finish up with a layer of a fast drying top coat.
Wait It Out
To avoid the dreaded nail smudge, make sure to let your polish dry for at least a solid minute or two in between coats. Even if your polish is touch-dry, it won’t completely harden for at least another 30 to 45 minutes—the perfect amount of time to put your feet up and watch an episode of your favorite TV show.
— Lauren DellaFera