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Chill out! 5 tricks for the perfect DIY pedicure

 

Sandal season is in full effect, and we're all craving cute toes (plus a little time to totally unwind). Here's how to up the chill factor on your at-home pedicure with zero extra effort.

1. Swap out that soap.

The most ahh-worthy pedicures start with a serious soak. Instead of using straight-up soap in the warm water, add a couple natural elements. Epsom salt (add a 1/2 cup) is classic, but we also love tossing in some sliced lemons and knob of ginger (buy it in the grocery store and then slice it up). The combination of citrus and ginger is super refreshing. Got a little more time? Check out our *new* recipe for a full-on foot soak below.

2. Add some butter.

Sort of. The other day we were treated to the best pedicure, and had to share this trick. Right before the manicurist went to town on our toes with a gingery scrub, she added a thick layer of body butter to our legs. Why? "So it scratches your skin less," she said. She then washed it all off with warm water, and the result was super smooth, exfoliated skin. If you don't have body butter handy, try some coconut oil. (Hint: do your pedicure before you shave, as you get a closer shave after exfoliating.)

3. Give yourself time. 

We're all guilty of wanting everything done right this second. But a luxe pedicure -- even one you're doing on your own -- can take up to an hour, if you're doing a real soak and allowing for the right amount of drying time. Before you freak out, embrace the pause from your super busy life. Turn on the yoga music, light some candles, ditch the phone and let your mind wander. Well, except when you're painting...then you have to pay attention.

4. Stimulate those senses.

Tossing essential oils or ginger to your foot bath will give you a little aromatherapy action. But why stop there? Consider sliding an eye mask while you soak or dry. Want to get fancy? Snag a neck pillow (they're about $15 at Bed, Bath and Beyond) and pop it in the microwave. While you're splashing around, you neck will get a heat hug, which is pretty sweet. 

5. Pick a soothing color.

We love brights, but every so often it's nice to get a whisper pink pedicure. Why? Psychologists have found the color actually has calming properties, so you'll get to hold onto that soothing vibe long after the polish has dried. At the moment, we're in love with Zoya's Kennedy ($11, amazon.com). It has just enough of a purple undertone to look slightly moody. You know, in a good way. Finally, pale colors hide chips...and what's more stressful than looking down at your toes and seeing your precious paint job has been blasted away?

BONUS:

Anne-Marie Faiola, founder of Handmade Beauty Box, shared her lemon tea foot soak recipe with us. "Baking soda helps with odor control, so it’s the perfect bonus ingredient," she says. Plus, chamomile is known to help you relax and olive oil adds hydration, so it really has it all. Thanks, Anne-Marie! 

Lemon Tea Foot Soak 
2.5 cups epsom salt (super fine) 
1 cup baking soda  
3 tsp. olive oil 
lemon juice 
¼ cup chamomile tea (loose leaf or in tea bags) 

Combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Store in a Mason jar or tupperware container. Yields about 12 soaks. Use within 1 year.  

 

To use: Add 4 tablespoons of the mixture, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 2 quarts of water and soak for 15-20 minutes. For more DIY beauty projects like this, visit HandmadeBeautyBox.com. 

Check out GL's full pedicure how-to right here

Do you go DIY for your pedis? What are your secrets? Share below... 

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by GL | 2/1/2016
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