<p>Nail Care: easy at-home pedicure tips that will save you money</p>

Nail Care: easy at-home pedicure tips that will save you money

by Paige Exell -

With summer in full swing, we've replaced sneakers with sandals and flip flops, which means having beautiful toes is more important than ever. It may seem like a simple task – choose a colour, paint it on and voila! – but keeping your toes in perfect shape is so much more than just a few swipes of polish. There's many tips and tricks you probably don't even know about that will effect the outcome of your nails!

So, unless you've managed to keep your feet perfect thus far, here's exactly how you can get your feet ready to bare in public this summer – without blowing all your cash at the nail salon.

TIPS FOR ACHIEVING THE PERFECT AT-HOME PEDICURE

START IN THE SHOWER

Your shower basically acts like a makeshift steam room, which helps soften the layers of dead skin on your feet – making it the perfect time to tackle that said dead skin. When you're in the shower, use an exfoliating scrub after washing your feet. If things are really bad, you can even try using a foot file in the shower to slough off dead skin twice a week.

Once you're out of the shower, follow up with a foot cream and apply a moisturizing oil into your nails if you plan on painting them afterwards. Oil acts like a moisturizer and treatment, and penetrates the skin more quickly than lotion.

AVOID NAIL CLIPPERS

If you're using nail clippers to trim your toe nails, be careful not to cut them right where the dead nail begins. Cutting your toe nails too short leads to a higher chance of developing an ingrown nail. So, if you can get away with it, just work with a nail file instead and follow the natural shape of the toe, whether it's round or square.

EASY ON THE POLISH

Most women make the mistake of trying to do thicker coats of polish so that they get the colour as it appears in the bottle in a single application. But instead, you end up over-polishing your nails, slowing down the entire application process and making the polish more prone to chipping. Instead, use just three strokes per nail – at most – and do only two layers, waiting two minutes in between so each coat has a chance to dry. This way, you'll get longer wear out of it – plus, it'll dry faster!

MAINTAIN YOUR HARD WORK

If you're set on taking care of your feet, you won't have to attend the nail salon for the rest of the summer. Once a week, apply cuticle oil all over the feet, apply foot cream, and then put on socks. Wear it overnight and you'll wake up to smoother, softer feet!

BUFF THE NAIL

If you're tight on time, avoid rushing the application process and ending up with polish all over your feet, and simply buff the nails. Skipping the polish saves time, but proper buffing will still give you a super-high-gloss finish – no polish necessary!

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