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Budget Beauty: How to do a home pedicure for sandal-ready feet


Ever since the invention of home DVR and HDTV, Hollywood extras can finally prove that they starred in such roles as “Woman Drinking Coffee #4.”

Up your chances of breaking into this glamorous profession with feet fit for onscreen grape crushing and coal-treading by learning the delicate art of the pedicure.

Even if you’re not clambering to boast that you and your “homegirl” Drew Barrymore breathed the same O2 for five seconds as she brushed by to scarf down a cupcake at the catering table, the season of open-toed shoes is almost upon us.

And if you’re like me, months of rocking the frozen tundra with parkas, Snuggies, and sheepskin Eskimo booties have left your toes neglected and looking sadder than Carrot Top’s stand-up career.

But fear not, dear readers, for I have devised a ridiculously simple (and cheap!) way to treat yourself to an indulgent home pedicure that’ll annihilate the craggy deadwood left in winter’s wake.

Using implements you already have lying around the house, you’ll get to slip off your socks for googolplex rounds of foot massages, cuticle prep, and glossy topcoats.

I get that your feet are covered most of they day so it’s easy to bum out on maintenance. But like peacocks, who have gorge plumage but whose ugly feet detract from their overall beauty, you can’t exactly be the ne plus ultra of ladyhood with brittle yellow ingrowns—no matter how splendiferous your face may be.

But that’s exactly how most gals kick it. A recent study by the American Podiatric Medical Association found that women gussy up a lot more time and resources for their face than for their tootsies.

The study also said that 50% of women are embarrassed by their feet. Hmm, wonder why.

So stop with the foot-bashing! Your overworked feet deserve to be suited up with shiny new toe helmets that’ll stoke pediform egos and announce your arrival with spangling colors or confetti, whichever you choose to lacquer on.

We’re all feeling the economic pinch, but I simply put my silky foot down on this one. And if you heed my two cents, your sexy talons will thank you come beach weather.

Bath and Body Works

What You’ll Need
• Oil or lotion (preferably one that also provides relaxing aromatherapy benefits, like Bath and Body Works Stress Relief – Eucalyptus Spearmint Massage Oil, $16)
• Towel
• Toenail clipper
• Cheap emery board
• Pumice stone
• Orangewood stick
• Cheery nail polish

How to Pamper Your Feet
1. Apply the oil or lotion all over your feet, from the ankles down. Soak the towel in warm water, wring it out, and wrap it around your feet (this has an effect similar to steaming your face with a warm towel). Keep it on for 20 minutes as you catch up with the latest season of The Big Bang Theory.

2. Unwrap feet. Start clipping toenails and file straight across, rounding the edges. Crevices at the sides of toenails should be filed or clipped to prevent ingrown toenails and infection.

3. Use the pumice stone to sandpaper calluses on the balls and heels of your feet as well as on the outside and bottom of your big toe, where these rocky buildups tend to make their homes.

Rub in a gentle circular motion to stimulate circulation.

4. Then whip out your orangewood stick and cuticle-removing products if you have them--Essie The Cuticle Pen ($9, has gotten superb reviews on push your cuticles back.

Note: Do not clip/cut cuticles off. Doing so can lead to infection and—no duh—pain.

5. Use the towel to wipe off any extra shavings, then reapply oil/lotion and begin massaging your toes separately, working out kinks before moving on to the rest of your foot (learn how to give yourself a blissful foot massage with this quick tutorial from

Knead feet for about five minutes so the oil/lotion penetrates deeply into your skin.

6. Wipe the lotion off nails with a non-acetone polish remover.

Apply three strips of a bright nail polish, one in the center and one on either side. Rescue Beauty Lounge nail polish in Coral ($18, is a super-ripe mango hue that’s perfect for spring. The polish stays on for a week straight, and you can extend wear time by adding a top coat.

Wait a few minutes for it to dry, then apply a second coat.

Let toes dry for at least an hour.

Et voilà! You are now the proud owner of some mean tootsies that drive like a Mercedes for the price of a tricycle.

Rescue Beauty Lounge

• Doing a pedicure twice a month will keep feet happy during seasons when they stay mostly covered. During summer, when your feet are exposed to sun, pollution, and dust, rev it up to once a week.
• You can sidestep the towel and soak your feet in a small basin of soapy water for a similar skin-softening effect. Add a few drops of lavender, rosemary, or rose oil to calm your mind as you coddle your tired feet.
• A milk bath also works—the lactic acid in milk smoothes calluses.
• Keep cotton swabs handy for removing stray polish.
• If your toenails are yellow, soak them in water with a few tablespoons of lemon juice for ten minutes to remove stains and discoloration.
• Add a foot scrub to your pedi if your calluses are hard enough to grate cheese.

Last Words
If your fingers aren’t jealous yet of their dapper lower-down cousins, sharpen your pedi-pampering skills by watching Spa Boutique’s guide to mastering a French pedicure.

While not exactly aesthetically adventurous, cleaned-up, Frenched nails offer a smooth and chic transition from office decorum to nightclub decadence at The Woods in Hollywood.

As always, L.A. lovelies, remember to subscribe above and email me with questions and suggestions for articles at
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  • Rachel 5 years ago

    Oh do my feet need a pedicure badly!! If I can squeeze in an hour sometime soon I'll definitely try these tips!

  • @miratorres 5 years ago

    I so, too, need this badly. I bared my little piggies yesterday in some flip flops and wished that I could crawl under a rock at the site of the dru scaly-ness. I will definitely follow your tips! Thanks, Linda!

  • Diana 5 years ago

    Your tips (and pics) are so luxurious! I just may get around to doing my feet now in addition to my hands.

  • Grace 5 years ago

    Thanks for the awesome tips! These are so helpful - and it's going to feel so much better than ponying up for the salon.

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