1. Set the Scene

Salon pedicures are enjoyable not only because you walk out with pretty, polished nails, but also because the experience is totally relaxing! Set up your space so you really feel like you’re being pampered, even when you’re the one doing the pampering. Light some candles or incense, put on relaxing music, and slip into a robe to get into a salon mindset.

2. Start with a Soak

To get your feet ready for exfoliation and nail clipping, you’ll want to soften your nails and skin with a warm water soak (or perform your pedi right after a bath or shower). To create a foot soak, add warm water to a large bowl or bucket. (For extra spa vibes, add some soothing bath salts). Let your feet soak for about 2 to 5 minutes before drying them off.

3. Clip, Shape, Buff

Now that your feet and nails are supple, trim your nails, hangnails, and any loose skin hanging out around your toes. (For a professional pedi experience, use a cuticle softener – let it set in according to the instructions on the product label, then push back your cuticles and trim them off). When you’re finished, use a nail buffer to shape and smooth the tops of your nails and edges.

4. Exfoliate Like a Pro

Removing dead skin on your feet can be a chore, but here’s an easy DIY approach that works just as amazing as using a professional pumice stone or foot brush: In a bowl, pour olive oil and sugar or salt and mix well. Make into a thick paste and apply all over your feet, massaging in circular motions. Rinse with warm water and dry your feet, then add your favorite lotion to lock in the moisture on your heels. 

5. Prime and Polish

Once the lotion has absorbed into your skin, give your nails one more dry buff before you add your polish: This will help it go on more smoothly. Always use a base coat to preserve your polish and protect your nail from yellowing underneath your nail lacquer. Once the base coat is dry, apply two thin coats of polish using the three-stroke technique – one large stroke in the middle and two more on either side of it, to get perfect coverage. To make your polish last extra long, use a quick-dry, chip-proof top coat.