Naked nails may seem low-maintenance on stars like Elizabeth Banks and Amy Adams, but this natural-looking polish is anything but fuss-free. Begin your home pedicure in the shower by tackling dry skin with a professional-grade foot file coated with an exfoliating scrub. Post-scrub, coat damp feet with a moisturizer rich in softening ingredients such as shea or cocoa butter. Don’t play podiatrist, though.
“Removing or cutting calluses and dry patches with a blade is a big no-no,” says Naomi Misu, a Toronto-based manicurist. “Although they may look unsightly, they are there for protection.” To treat rough cuticles on fingers and toes, apply a cuticle oil with hydrating almond or jojoba oil at least once a day. This will create more flexibility in your nails and prevent splitting and cracking. “My all-time favourite cuticle rehab is coconut oil. I keep jars everywhere – in my car, by my sink and next to my couch, so I can apply it as often as possible,” says celebrity manicurist Gina Eppolito, who has worked with Rihanna and Sarah Jessica Parker.
To further prevent breakage, apply a nail strengthener for three consecutive days, then remove and repeat. If you suffer from nail splitting, resist over-buffing your nail plate (which Naomi says can weaken the strongest part of your nail). Instead, use two coats of a ridge-filling base for smooth, salon-like results.
As warm weather hits, updating your home pedicure technique is as important as swapping your salt-stained boots for new sandals.
Smooth feet are a must, but when it comes to colour the forecast calls for fun.
“I’m really open when it comes to polish. There are no rules,” says Rita Remark, lead nail artist for Essie Canada. For a mismatched manicure and pedicure, choose complementary shades (like coral and orange) rather than contrasting (pink and emerald).
“You want your fingers and toes to look good together so pick polishes with the same vibrancy and depth,” says Rita.
“If you want to experiment with toenail art, keep it simple and understated,” she advises, such as by adding a racing stripe or accent nail for subtle detail that won’t overwhelm. Apply a nourishing foot cream to keep your pedicure looking fresh.