Home pedicure guide

Ignore all thoughts of sticking your feet into the family goldfish bowl - it is perfectly possible to give your feet a professional (and fish-free) pamper at home

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Home pedicure kit - what are your options?

Blades and graters

"Chiropodists advise you to not use foot graters because we see so many hacked-about, septic feet - which we then have to sort it out. Diabetics, people with bad circulation and people taking steroids (tablet form) should avoid them." 

"Foot graters are an entrance drug; next thing you know you're face down in a gutter hacking at your own bleeding stumps with a saw". 

"Really bad hard skin on heels can be removed by having a soak in the bath and shaving off the softened skin with a normal (wet) razor."

Good old fashioned foot files

"I bought the Soap and Glory foot file. I have new feet and I love it!"

"In the morning I use a foot file to slough off as much dry skin as possible then apply some dry foot cream by Scholl. After a few days of this routine my feet are in much better condition."

"Body Shop do a fabulous file-type-of-thing."

Battery operated rollers

"I've got one of the Scholl foot sander thingies - it's amazing watching the dry skin coming off."

And if you can't face DIY

"If you choose your salon carefully, you can get the skin razored off. Ask before you book. My pedicurists think nothing of putting a razor to my manky feet. Some salons (especially the posh ones, I find) just put cream on and rub your feet with a bit of pumice which does nothing for the really hard skin."  

"Go to the chiropodist first - they will get rid of all your hard skin. I go every year, just before summer and it really does make a difference."

How to soften hard skin on your feet

Apply some TLC

"The only way I've managed to get rid of dry, cracked heels is to soak my feet in a bowl of warm water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar for 30 minutes. After drying my feet carefully, I pumice them then apply a thick layer of Vaseline and cover with socks overnight.

In the morning I use a foot file to slough off as much dry skin as possible, then apply some dry foot cream by Scholl. After a few days of this routine my feet are in much better condition."

"Flexitol heel balm. It smells rank but my feet love it."

"In the evening before bed, put a load of moisturiser on your feet - any will do - they put on a pair of thin socks, leave overnight, and voila!"

And if more extreme action is necessary...

"Footner! They are sort of plastic socks filled with magic gel. You wear them for an hour, and a week later your foot falls off! Basically you shed your skin like a snake and are left with lovely soft feet. I even got the sensation back in my heels."

Painting your toenails - how to get a flawless finish

Remember to limber up a bit, those digits can be very far away if you haven't painted your toes in a while.

Follow in the professionals' footsteps

"I asked the lady who did mine why it lasts so much longer when she did it and this was her advice:

1. Nails need to be dry so wipe with remover before you put varnish on

2. Take the colour over the top of the nail - if it stops flush with the top it will come off more easily.

3. Apply a top coat." 

Take your time

"Dry nails thoroughly and use an orange stick to push back your cuticles. Cut and file your nails. Then apply a basecoat, let it dry, polish, dry, second coat of polish, dry, topcoat... spray that with some drying oil. Then don't move for about two hours!" 

"I paint my toes and then afterwards clean up with a cotton wool bud dipped in nail varnish remover."

And if all else fails, call in reinforcements

"My husband paints my toes! It started when I was pregnant and couldn't reach them. He does a much better job than me!" 

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Last updated: about 2 years ago