Hot Off the Presses

10 Ways to the Perfect Pedicure

New York City-based manicurist Pattie Yankee shared 10 ways to achieve the perfect pedicure in Instyle's June 2012 issue.

  1. Shape up! Clip nails so they're slightly less than a quarter-inch long. File and round the sides, but don't use a coarse file because it may tear the edges. Be careful not to go any shorter to prevent ingrown nails.

  2. Just chill! Soak feet in a relaxing bath made of one part milk and two parts water. The lactic acid in the dairy product exfoliates and softens cuticles. If customers complain of sore feet, a scoop of Epsom salt reduces swelling.

  3. Be pushy! After a soak, dry feet and rub a drop of moisturizing oil on each nail. Then gently nudge back skin along the perimeter using a metal cuticle pusher. (Wood splinters.)

  4. Rock on! Exfoliate heels and balls of the feet with a natural lava pumice stone. Then massage a body scrub over skin to even out roughness.

  5. Butter up! Slather on a thick cream with hydrating shea butter. If you have cracked heels, you'll need an ointment containing acids (like salicylic or lactic) to break down dead cells.

  6. Go bright! Opt for an unexpected hue like RGB's Nail lacquer in Dew.

  7. Mix things up! Try creating your own skin-matching nude. Take a bottle of off-white nail polish and sprinkle in a pinch of loose mineral powder foundation. Give the bottle a shake and apply.

  8. Stay inside the lines! After painting each toe, clean up any polish on the surrounding skin with an angled eye-makeup brush. Just dip it in remover and trace the nail's outline.

  9. Set your shade! Put on a quick-dry topcoat on every nail, like Dashing Diva's formula, which helps smooth mild nicks.

  10. Mask mistakes! If you spot dents once nails are dry, stroke a sheer, sparkling shade over all ten nails. Shimmer reflects light and distracts from imperfections.

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