Treat Yourself To A Pretty Mani/Pedi
When you think of summertime, what comes to your mind? Driving with the windows down, iced tea, barbecues, the beach, the pool, sundresses, sandals…and maybe colorful nail polish? I especially love wearing bright colors on my toes, but I always feel guilty spending money on pedicures (actually, I’ve never even had a pedicure! Yikes, just realized that!). It’s not too hard to give yourself a manicure or pedicure, though, and when friends give you compliments, it feels pretty good to say “Thanks…I did it myself”! 😉
What you’ll need to get a to-die-for manicure/pedicure:
Step 1: It all starts with the nail polish…
First of all, salons insist that OPI is the only way to go to get professional looking nails. I beg to differ. I was never a fan of cheaper nail polishes until I tried Sally Hansen Diamond Strength No Chip Nail Colors, which are only $5, are long-lasting, and go on smoothly (and look at the cute diamond on the bottle!)
I do tend to buy OPI though, because they have the most amazing color selection. The OPI polish I can’t stop using right now is Mauving To Manitoba, which is shown below (another reason to love OPI? They have the best color names!). It’s my favorite raspberry-red color (I buy way too many things in this color…just ask Laura) and the shine is subtle enough that you can wear it without feeling like a 15-year-old. Isn’t it the perfect color?
Nail Polish Tips and Tricks:
- Always do two coats! You can have the loosest hand and still come away with great looking streak-free nails if you do more than one coat.
- Wait a good 5-7 minutes for the first coat to dry. This will keep the paint from sticking and will make it go on smoother.
- Apply a top coat. I never do a base coat because then my nails feel weirdly thick with all the layers of polish, but a top coat makes it last SO much longer. Sally Hansen has a wide variety of top coat polishes for nail growth, damaged nails, and the like, but I like her basic 30-second top coat.
Step 2: Getting those cuticles and nails in shape…
Birchwood Sticks ($2/set of 12 from Sephora): They are often advertised for being tools to remove excess nail polish, but I actually like them for pushing back my cuticles. I tried a cuticle trimmer for a while and realized over time it was actually making my cuticles WORSE…and I didn’t even have bad cuticles to begin with! The birchwood sticks on the other hand are very gentle and don’t rip your skin–they just push back your cuticle to help you get a clean line. They also do work great for removing nail polish, though!
Cuticle Care Pen ($12 from Sephora): This will help heal your cuticles and keep them from being dry and brittle, especially in the wintertime. I gave this to my mom and she loves it–she keeps it in her purse and does touch ups while driving so that it has time to dry. It comes in Original (shown below), Healing Eucalyptus, and Stimulating Lavender, which is my favorite.
Nail Buffer: You can find these at almost any drugstore, but this 4-Step Buffer from Sephora works great. It’s $5 and it gives your nails a super shine and really smooths out ridges. Plus, it makes it easier to get the nail shape you want.
Step 3: Healing cracked heels (pun intended ;))
The Ped Egg: I’m sure you’ve seen it on TV and have heard all the hype about it, but I really do promise that if you have heels that are anything less than perfect, this will be a huge help. It gently sloughs off skin and helps get down to the healthy bottom layer:
Aquaphor Healing Ointment: Forget lotion–this is magic. It works wonders on relieving cracked skin and it helps protect skin from future damage. I have super sensitive skin, and this is one of the few treatments out there that is this strong yet feels so mild. I apply it to my hands and feet almost every night in the winter.
And voila!–beautiful hands, feet, and nails! Enjoy your manicure or pedicure, and here’s to summer!!