Divahood on a Budget: DIY Frugalista Pedicure

Posted on 17. Feb, 2010 by in Girly Stuff

Growing out your natural fingernails after you’ve worn pink-and-whites for eight years is pretty much pure torture, but mine have finally started looking halfway decent.  I’ve also realized that I like saving money on my nails, so I started figuring things out for myself.

My absolute favorite brand of nail polish is OPI. It runs $8 or $9 a bottle, which is fairly expensive as far as nail polish goes, but it is great quality and chips far less than cheaper brands. (OPI is the brand that most professional nail salons use.)

OPI also has a line of polish called Nicole by OPI. As far as I can tell, the only difference between the two lines is the colors – they’re priced the same. Nicole usually has “funkier” colors, such as blues or greens, whereas OPI typically sticks to the pinks and reds and “normal” colors. You can find OPI and Nicole at several different stores, such as ULTA, Trade Secret, or even some Targets. ULTA often has “buy two, get one free” sales on OPI polish.

I like the colors that Nicole offers, but I don’t like the shape of the bottles. It’s harder to get the polish out of them once it’s no longer a brand-new full bottle because they have a curve to them.

I also love my PedEgg. It’s a cheesy-sounding product usually on the same shelf as the Snuggies, but it works. When giving myself a frugalista pedicure, I start out by smoothing out the bottom of my feet with my PedEgg. It helps get rid of callus-y, dead skin. Just be sure to read the directions – don’t use it on wet or moisturized feet.

Next I trim and file my toenails, if necessary. (Don’t worry, I won’t scare you with photos of that!) Once my toenails are ready to go, I prep them for polish with one coat of ridge filler.Ridge filler does just what the name suggests – it fills in any gaps or lines on your nails and makes them flatter and easier to paint. Don’t go nuts with the ridge filler since it can get kind of lumpy if you put it on too thick. Let this dry for about five minutes.

Once the ridge filler is dry, I’m ready to paint my toenails.

I’ve gotten pretty good with my own French pedicures, so I’ll give you some tips.

Take white nail polish and get as close to your toenails as you can. (This is easier said than done.) Keep your hand as steady as possible, and paint white lines on the lips of your toenails. You probably want to put 2 coats of white, but if you think that one coat looks decent, leave it. If you make a mess, you can try to adjust your lines with a Q-tip or a small brush dipped in a little bit of nail polish remover, but that’s not easy.

Let your white polish dry for a few minutes, and grab some pink polish. I’ve tried different shades of pink, and I’ve found that the lighter the pink, the better.

Now you need to paint your toenails pink. I’ve experimented with painting over the white AND trying to avoid the white, but it just depends on what you like. If your pink nail polish is sheer enough, it’s probably easier to just paint the whole toenail, going over top of the white, but you don’t have to.

Let this dry for a few minutes, and then paint a coat of clear topcoat on your toenails. This is pretty important – the topcoat is what seals polish, which helps it resist chipping.

Once you’re done, I’d suggest that you try your hardest to let everything dry for 15 or 20 minutes. Otherwise, you could bump your toe into something and smear your hard work. Also … DON’T IMMEDIATELY PUT SOCKS ON YOUR FEET! Then you’ll wind up with cotton stuck to you toenails, and a ruined pair of socks.

I gave myself a frugalista French pedicure last weekend with the products in the pictures, and it’s still going strong! I hate my feet as much as you hate yours, but here’s a photo for proof:

Obviously I’m not as good at pedicures as a licensed nail technician, but for a cheaper way to do it yourself, this works out fine. No one else is going to be examining your toenails with a magnifying glass, so who cares! If you aren’t a fan of French pedicures, then skip the white polish and the rest of my tips should still be helpful.

Have fun painting!

One Response to “Divahood on a Budget: DIY Frugalista Pedicure”

  1. melanie fernandez 18 February 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    Opi is da best, and of course the ped egg rocks.

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