It is the official LOVE month 😍 😘 ❤ 💋. There are sentiments about how Valentine is a fake holiday created by card companies CEOs to play on our materialism to make some cool cash which they use to buy their private islands. A bit cynical. But as I’m a glass full kinda girl, I don’t care how or why the holiday was created. I rather see valentine’s as a time carved out to encourage us to love. To love our partners. To love our friends. Love our siblings. And the forgotten part of love – to love OURSELVES.
So in this series, I’d be going through my simple, at-home pamper plans to get all dolled up for valentines day and get in the habit of loving ourselves 🙆 🙅 💁 🙋 💆 💇 👰 🙎.
For your relaxing mani-pedi, you’ll need the following:
- Cotton balls and Nail polish remover, preferably a non-acetone one – as they are less harsh and not as stripping
- Nail trimmer
- Nail file – right now my fave is the Kiko Milano Nail File 08 – Glass
- Buffing block
- A clean bowl for your feet
- Foot Soak – ½ cup honey, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 lemon sliced
- Marbles or foot stones (optional)
- Essential oils – lavender, jasmine or sandalwood
- Pumice stone (optional)
- Sugar scrub – 2 part brown sugar, 1 part oil (almond, olive, coconut or whatever on hand), honey, lemon juice
- Foot Mask (optional)
- Orangewood stick
- Cuticle oil – I use coconut oil
- Foot cream/lotion
- Rubbing alcohol (optional)
- Nail polish
Step 1: Clean canvas
Before you start, make sure your finger and toe nails are polish-free using your nail polish remover.
Step 2: Soak and scrub
Fill a bowl with warm/hot water and add your foot soak. Consider adding some marbles or foot stones in the soak and rolling your feet back and forth over them for a cheap DIY massage. Also, consider popping in some essential oil (a drop or two) to provide some extra soothing and relaxation. Soak your feet for 15-30 minutes.
Treat your calluses and rough areas if necessary. Simply remove one foot from your soak and dry of on your hand towel and using your wet pumice stone, rub areas of rough skin gently for two to three minutes. Use light pressure and circular motions to remove the outermost layer of dead skin cells. Stop immediately if your skin feels sensitive or sore. Return to the soak.
Apply scrub and rub over feet and ankles using circular motions. Return feet to water and gently scrub to remove the product.
[Optional] Dry feet and apply a foot mask for extra softening and repair. Wait the amount of time instructed on the packaging, then return feet to the water and rinse.
Step 3: Prime
Dry your feet and soften your cuticles by rubbing a bit of oil on them. Once your cuticles are soft, go ahead and gently ease back your cuticles with an orangewood stick to get a really nice shape. You can also use the stick to clean and dirt from under the nail. Clean your feet with any body wash.
Step 4: Moisturize
If necessary, trim your nails down to a good length and use your nail file to shape your nails. Next, smooth the surface of your nails with a buffing block. Follow up with the smooth buffing side for a high shine.
Massage your feet with a rich foot lotion. I personally love using castor oil as it has a variety of benefits including muscle pain relief and treating small skin infections. It’s also a great moisturizer, especially for the heels of your feet.
For the ultimate treat, apply foot lotion before bedtime, wrap them in cling film, then put on your socks and hop into bed. Wake up to dreamy-soft soles.
Step 5: Prep
Using a cotton ball, wipe each finger and toe nail with nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol to remove excess oils. The key to long-lasting polish is super clean nails.
Step 6: Apply
Apply a base coat to smooth any ridges and create an even surface for your color – one thin coat will do it.
Apply colour polish in three strokes: one down the middle of your nails, then one each along the sides. For your fingers, I suggest you deal with your dominant hand first cause it’s so much easier applying on the other hand with your polished dominant hand than the other way.
Allow the first coat to dry and then apply a second coat with the same technique.
Add a clear top coat to seal the polish and allow your nails to dry completely.
I personally use Seche Vite dry fast top coat, I find that it’s the best I’ve used and I kissed a few frogs
Finish by using a nail brush, orangewood stick or cotton swab dipped in polish remover to remove any polish slips.
Did you try it? How did it go? Or what is your own mani-pedi routine??