Pretty Bare Feet

Crystal Schwanke
Pretty feet

Pretty bare feet are just an hour or so away. You can choose to enjoy the spa treatment or do it yourself at home. You can hide your scaly, dry, cracked feet in boots during the winter and no one will know your secret, but if you want to wear those cute, [High Heel Strappy Sandals|strappy sandals]] during the summer, you'd better whip out the pumice stone (or your credit card).

Pay Someone Else to Do It

This is the easiest, though not the most cost-effective, way to get pretty bare feet. It's also one of the most relaxing. While it's relaxing to give yourself a pedicure, there's something additionally soothing about being able to read a magazine or daydream while someone else soaks, scrubs, and lotions your feet, then trims, shapes, and paints your nails for you in any color you desire. Sometimes you even get a calf massage with oil included in the deal. What's not to love, aside from the price?

In all honesty, the occasional visit to the salon is not that bad on your wallet. Pedicure pricing can start at around $20, then goes up from there. It will depend on the type of spa you go to, services offered, and where you live. If you're adventurous, you can also check out the beauty schools in your area for an even better deal. Going to a high-end spa for weekly pedicures could wreak havoc on your monthly budget, so it's best to learn how to do it yourself for those in-between weeks when you need to pinch pennies.

Getting Pretty Bare Feet

Think your feet are beyond repair after months, maybe even years, of neglect? Nah! For the average person, feet can be pretty with a little TLC and a bit of maintenance. The whole process can be relaxing, so even if you're stressing about the state of your soles right now, you'll be feeling better in no time at all.

Here's what you need:

  • A foot tub
  • Essential oils to add to the water if you'd like them
  • Pumice stone
  • Rich, creamy lotion
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail file
  • Polish of choice (OPI is a popular brand, if you're not sure where to start)
  • Base coat
  • Topcoat
  • Towel
  • Cuticle stick
  • Nail polish remover and cotton balls
  • Toe separator for most professional looking results

Exfoliate

For your major exfoliation, you'll need to soak your feet. While you catch up on your email and favorite YouTube videos, stick your feet in a small tub of warm water and let the skin soften up. By the time you've learned how to change the oil in your car, apply your makeup like the pros, and got the great news that there's a vault full of money for you in Nigeria, you'll be ready to scrub those tootsies.Take your pumice stone and rub all over the bottoms of your feet in your preference of a circular motion or a back-and-forth motion. Apply the most pressure on especially rough parts, such as the edges of your heels. Apply light pressure (if you need it at all) to the balls of your feet. Don't be surprised if it tickles! Dip your foot back into the water periodically to rinse off the dead skin. The same goes for the pumice stone.

Once your first foot is as smooth as you'd like, dry it off and repeat on the other foot.

Moisturize

Use a thick cream-not just your average lotion-for best results. This will prolong the softness in your heels. Since you just soaked your feet, the cream will help the lotion sink in and the moisture to stay there.

Massage the cream into your whole foot-tops, bottoms, heels, toes-and up onto the ankle and calf if you wish. Take your time. This is often the most relaxing part of the pedicure process.

If there's a certain scent that calms you, you may want to choose a lotion with that scent. That way you'll be able to reap the aromatherapy benefits as you work on getting those pretty bare feet you're after.

Paint Those Nails

Push back the cuticles, then swipe a small amount of nail polish remover across the nails to remove any lotion residue. If you paint over even a thin layer of lotion, that can cut down on the longevity of your polish's life.

Clip your toenails straight across, then file if needed.

If you have a toe separator, use it now.

Apply your base coat and allow it to dry. This is a good excuse to read a magazine or a book since you have to sit still. Once that dries, apply the first coat of your nail polish of choice. Allow that to dry, then repeat with another coat of nail polish. For most colors, two coats do the trick. Once your second coat is done, apply your topcoat and allow it to dry.

If you caught the skin with any nail polish, you can dip a Q-tip into nail polish remover and clean it up.

Maintenance

To keep from having to do the whole process too often, there are a few things you can do to prolong the life of your pedicure:

  • Scrub heels lightly with a pumice stone in the shower
  • Touch up chipped polish by filling in the chip, then doing a light coat over the whole nail again after it's dry
  • Keep nails filed, though trimming may encourage the polish to chip
  • Moisturize feet daily, concentrating on heels, and use lotion sparingly on and around the polish
Pretty Bare Feet