Achieve a Perfect Pedicure at Home: Steps & Designs


It’s no secret that most of us live for a luxurious day at the spa. There’s nothing better than sitting back and relaxing with a mimosa in hand as a nail technician cleanses and exfoliates your feet before slicking your toes with this season’s hottest new shades and designs.

With that said, getting the star treatment can be expensive and time-consuming. Even if you can afford a weekly pedicure at a local salon, chances are that you often find it difficult to squeeze quality time for your toes into your busy schedule.

Whether you plan on treating yourself in the comfort of your home on every occasion, or you just plan on doing it on your own every now and then, it’s important to know how to properly give yourself a pedicure. Before you break out the polishes and exfoliators, read through these tips to ensure that you’re giving yourself the best at-home pedicure experience possible:

  1. The first step to a DIY pedicure is to remove any polish that may already be on your toes with nail polish remover.
  2. Next, soothe and relax tired feet by soaking them in warm water; make sure the water is not scalding hot, or your feet will become red and you will feel anything but tranquil. Depending on how stressed and damaged your feet may be and how much time you have on your hands, your soak should last between ten minutes and an hour. The longer you have to soak, the better your results will be and the more relaxed your entire body will feel.

Helpful Tip: While warm water on its own will do the trick, you also may want to add your favorite soaks or essential oils to your bath for a more relaxing, spa-like experience. While a few drops of lavender oil can calm your senses, peppermint oil is also an excellent choice for tired feet because it refreshes and cools them!

  1. After soaking, it’s time to exfoliate! While you can always use a manufactured/store-bought foot exfoliator, you can save quite a bit of cash by using natural ingredients that you probably already have on hand, such as sea salt or cane sugar. Simply use your hands to massage each foot with your exfoliator of choice, focusing on rough, calloused areas.
  2. Using a pumice stone or pedicure egg, buff the rough areas of each foot, focusing on heels.
  3. Pat feet dry and massage them with a moisturizer. Again, while you can buy moisturizers, you could also massage your feet with an all-natural substance, such as olive oil, coconut oil, vegetable oil, or shea butter.
  4. Now that your feet are clean and softened up, it’s time to focus on your nails, which should be cut and filed to a length that’s just shy of your toe’s edge. Buff nails using a nail buffer.
  5. Next, apply a clear, strengthening basecoat to your nails and allow it to fully dry. If you aren’t a fan of color, your pedicure is finished at this point.
  6. Apply a nail polish shade of your choice. You may want to apply up to three coats, depending on how dark you want the color to be. Just make sure that you allow each coat to fully dry before painting the next one, or you’ll end up with a goopy, gloppy mess!
  7. Once your color is dry, apply a clear topcoat to seal the look. If you choose to take a step further and paint designs on top of the color, make sure you do this before applying the clear topcoat.

While most women tend to stick to solid shades when it comes to pedicures, the options for your toes are just as limitless as those for your fingertips! Before you decide to slick on the boring old polish that you have been using for years, check out these ten inspirational photos for pedicure ideas that are undeniably gorgeous but also easy to apply:

Pedicure at Home

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A French manicure is the epitome of chic, so why not also use this traditional design on your toes? Simply paint each toe in a nude or pale pink shade. Then use nail guides or tape to separate the tip from the rest of the nail, and paint the tips white before applying a clear topcoat.

Lucy Hale Ciate

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Actress Lucy Hale of Pretty Little Liars may have recently shared this pretty floral design on her Instagram account, but you don’t have to be a celebrity to pull it off at home! Just paint dainty flowers atop powder-blue polish using a fine-tipped nailbrush before sealing with a clear topcoat.


Image Source: Erika of The Beauty Bug

While this uniquely “cracked color” pedicure may seem incredibly difficult to pull off, it’s much easier to design than you may imagine! Simply paint your nails with a solid black polish and allow them to dry. Then add a coat of a specially formulated white crackle polish, such as China Glaze Crackle Glaze in Lightning Bolt, and enjoy the magic show.


Image Source: Kelli of Random Thoughts of a SUPERMOM!

This particular pedicure pays homage to the one and only Mickey Mouse, but a similar design could be executed using any cartoon character to which you feel particularly devoted. Take a one-shade pedicure to new heights by creating your own template out of sticky paper and using it to create a crisp, clear design on your big toe.


Image Source: Amy of Such the Like…

Drawing intricate designs onto fingernails is a tough task, but it can seem almost impossible to do on tiny toenails. This neon green striped design is perfect for toes because the lines are intentionally uneven, making them much easier to draw than straight, perfectly linear patterns.


Image Source: Jasmine of Jasmine-Tay

Polka dots are another easy design to add atop a solid coat of polish. A random scattering of white polka dots pops against a vibrant blue base.


Image Source: Michelle of Canadian Travel Bugs

Go buggy for ladybugs with this fun pedicure design! After painting your nails a deep shade of red and allowing them to fully dry, use a fine-pointed nail brush to apply black polish in a line down the center of each big toenail. Add polka dots and a half moon tip. Don’t forget the peepers, which can be dotted on in white polish using a toothpick!


Image Source: Glamour Magazine

Just because you’re the type of girl to always stick with the simplicity of a little black dress and chic pumps doesn’t mean you have to get stuck in a rut. Add a little bit of variety to your next pedicure by sticking to solids but choosing a contrasting shade for just one toe to pop against the rest of your pedicure.


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Attaching crystals or tiny stones atop a shimmery pink base infuses your pedicure with glam power.


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This pedicure is the perfect choice for you if you love for your nail art to be bold and beautiful! Break out all of your polishes and paint your toenails in a variety of bright hues (the more random, the better!). Then use a chunky glitter topcoat only at the base of each nail to achieve this shimmery look.


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