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Why spend $30 or more on a manicure or pedicure at
the salon when you can do it at home virtually for
free! Not only does this save you money, but it is safer(there are many infections you can pick up from even the cleanest salons)and you can use everyday household products to pamper yourself. So, sit back, relax and learn how to bring the local nail salon into your home.

Search your bathroom and kitchen cabinets for the following:

-your favorite nail color
-a clear top-coat (speed dry is good)
-foam toe separators (good to have for pedicures)
-an orange stick (wood stick with a pointy end and a flat end to push down cuticle) or any type of cuticle stick - orange sticks are cheapest
-extra emollient, moisturizing, healing hand cream (anything with alpha hydroxy formula is great, or anything intended for extremely dry areas, like elbows, knees, feet)
-Optional: avocado mask for hands and feet(messy, but ultra moisturizing). Mix the avocado with a cold cream or olive oil for a creamier consistency.
-cuticle remover (for that clean, salon look)
-olive oil, essential oil/and or vitamin-E oil
-some sort of scrub (a facial scrub, body scrub or a pumice scrub for feet or hands, or make your own using brown sugar mixed with oil or cold cream)
-nail polish remover
-cotton balls and swabs
-emery board or non-metal nail file
-nail buffer (optional)
-nail clipper (and/or cuticle clipper)
-pumice stone or callous remover for feet
-old socks or booties for feet, thin cotton gloves for hands

Here we go!
**If doing both hands and feet do both steps together until you get to the polish. Polish your feet first, then hands.
**Soak all tools in rubbing alcohol and rinse off.

1). Start by removing all old polish with nail polish remover.

2). Very gently and carefully trim all hang-nails (you can use a cuticle clipper, but they are expensive. I have found that using a nail clipper at a angle works just as well)

3). File nails using an emery board or other file (not metal, this weakens nails). Use short motions in one direction, not in a side-to-side motion. This will weaken nails as well. Trim and clean nails as needed.

4). Dab cuticle remover around cuticle and nail bed and leave on-usually about 10 minutes.

5). Using the orange stick or cuticle pusher, gently agitate the cuticle by wiggling it side to side. Push down any cuticle residue.


6). Prepare a bowl of lukewarm water and include any oils (olive oil, vitamin-E or essential oils) that you have around and a mild liquid hand soap. Lavender is great for your hands and peppermint great for your feet. Agitate water to make it sudsy. For your feet, if you don't have a foot soak, fill the tub about 1/4 with warm sudsy water and add the oils (2 drops for hands and 4 drops for feet). Sea or mineral salts are a great additive to your foot bath, as they soften hard, cracked, calloused feet.

7). Exfoliate: Do not dry hands and feet. Rub in scrub on wet hands and feet. On feet, use the scrub and also a callous remover for extremely dry, peeling or cracked feet. Finish off this step by rubbing in a mild liquid, moisturizing soap with warm water until sudsy.

8). Moisturize/Condition: This is when you sit back and turn on your favorite TV show or play your favorite CD. Using either the mask or the cream, slather on all over hands and feet, being generous around cuticle and nail bed area. Put on your socks or booties and hand gloves (some stores sell these specifically for manicures and pedicures). This will help keep the moisture in. For the messy, gooey mask, a plastic bag works great (this is what they use in salons). Leave on for 20-30 minutes or more.

9). Rub in any cream left on hands and feet, and using a cotton ball with a little bit of nail polish remover, clean off any oil residue only on the nail.

10). Buff nails using a nail buffer. This gives a shiny, even appearance.

11). Apply first coat of favorite nail color.

12). Apply second coat of favorite nail color (wait a minute between coats).

13). Apply top coat. This an important step that we sometimes skip at home. The top coat keeps the color from chipping and fading, making a longer-lasting manicure and also adds shine.

14). For added moisture, use cream again after several hours, leaving on overnight. This is a good time again to use your socks and gloves.

Voila! Now you have a salon-quality manicure. No one will even know the difference.