Especially in the summer time, there is nothing a woman (and even some men!) loves more than a manicure and pedicure. Unfortunately there have been stories filling the headlines about the health and safety of many of the nail salons that provide a “drive thru” mani/pedi service. If the salon tools and facilities aren’t properly cleaned it is easy to spread bacteria and fungus–leading to ugly side affects like loss of a toenail, or on a more serious note, staph infections.
In order to help keep your feet looking peep-toe-pretty for the summer, while avoiding the risk of getting a fungus or infection–and also save you some buck–we’ve put together a how-to on doing your own, natural mani/pedi at home.
1. Cleanse the nail with nail polish remover–even if you’re not wearing polish, this will help remove dirt and oil from the nail and help the polish stay on longer. It’s even possible to get an all-natural nail polish remover, believe it or not! Suncoat Cosmetics offers a biodegradable polish remover that doesn’t have the harsh fumes.
2. Cut and/or file the nail to the desired length.
3. Soak your hands (or feet) in luke warm water, mixed with a little hand soap. This will soften up the cuticles.
*For pedicures, after soaking, use a pumice stone to exfoliate and smooth out rough heels and calluces.
4. Use a bamboo cuticle pusher to push the cuticle back and clean the nail bed. You can find bamboo sticks in large quantities (100 for less than $10) online, so you’ll be stocked up for several mani/pedis.
5. Once again cleanse the nail with nail polish remover.
6. If you’re looking to use a lighter color of nail polish but find that your nail color has been tarnished from previous nail polish use, try rubbing lemon peel on the nails to take the yellow-ish color off the nail.
7. Apply polish. Start with a clear base coat before applying two coats of your selected colored polish and finish with a clear top coat for shine. Again, it is possible to get all-natural nail polish. Suncoat Cosmetics, for example, has a full line of water-based, long-lasting nail polish.
8. Fix any smudges by rolling some cotton around the top of bamboo stick and dipping it in a little nail polish remover.
And voila! Your nails will look like you just stepped out of the salon–minus the health risks. We especially appreciate knowing it is possible to take a process that has traditionally involved so many chemicals and harsh smells and make it all-natural. Something your nails are sure to thank you for down the road.