Friday, October 9, 2015

A DIY Pedicure: 17 Weeks of Learning to Live A Beautiful Life

It's Week 5 of my 17 Weeks of Learning to Live a Beautiful Life.

How good at Pampering yourself are you? Some of us seem to real trouble with this one.

I know I occasionally have to release myself from my 'mommy martyrdom."

"I can't stand the idea that my family might be suffering in some small way why I soak here in the tub."

Actually let's be real here. I've discovered that if momma doesn't have some time soaking in the tub...momma ain't fit to live with. (My apologies to my 6th grade English teacher).

So suck it up mommas everywhere! It's time to add a bit of pampering to your schedule.

My budget doesn't allow me to do much pampering outside the home.

I LOVE getting pedicures. They are some of my favorite things in the whole wide world. In fact, some of my favorite gifts have been pedicures.

The last one I had in a salon was for my 40th birthday. My cousin treated me and then took me to a Thai restaurant. Heavenly! Pad Thai and Painted Toes.

My favorite pedicure happened at a ladies retreat. It was done by a dear friend who owned her own salon in her home. The next year my husband took me to her place for a hair do and a pedicure.

I love that man!

What I loved about that pedicure was the time she took with me. I truly felt like a Princess. And let's face it my dears. We all need some time in the sun.


When The Muffin and I got married I worked in a salon. I had finished Beauty School the summer before. Being a hair dresser didn't wind up being my chosen profession, but I did garner a few tricks.

And of those tricks was the pedicure.

I'm baring all and showing you my most recent pedicure at home.

You can do this! Forget the fact that the cold weather is upon us. Foot care is still vitally important.

It's been a few weeks since I've pampered my feet. I try and at least do a little maintenance once a week but I've been neglectful.

They look far worse in the glare of the photograph than they do in person. At least, that's what I'm telling myself. I have a few challenges with my feet. I am diabetic and have to be extra careful. Thankfully, my blood sugars are generally tightly controlled and I haven't dealt with foot sores or neuropathy. I have, however, been in treatment for heart failure for quite a number of years. When I have been in active heart failure my feet have swelled to almost twice their size. As a result, I have  plenty of extra skin. I also am a fan of the flip flop. This leaves my feet open to the elements so to say.

I keep all of my nail supplies in a handy plastic tote from The Dollar Tree. It's not that organized, but having your supplies in one location makes the whole experience less frustrating.

Before I begin let me say that if you have any medical issues you need to consult your doctor when taking care of your feet. I don't want to steer you in a direction that could be harmful for you.

But this is how I roll...

One of the first things you need to do is pick out a nail color. I picked a few colors that put me in the mood for fall. I buy my polish from a variety of places. The dollar store always has a bunch to choose from. My favorite place is a discount grocery store. I found several bottles this summer for .49.

Some other products I might use include fingernail polish remover, a scrub and some sort of natural oil. The fingernail polish is cheap and lasts forever. I have a container of sugar scrub that was a Christmas gift that I have used on occasion. This bottle of Emu oil I am babying until the last drop. I also use coconut oil or olive oil. I frankly like to use natural oils because I feel it is healthier for my poor diabetic feet.

The tools of the trade are inexpensive and easy to find. I always use nail clippers, a buffing cube, an orange stick, a pumice stone, a nail board and cotton balls.

First I removed the existing polish. This is very important! There might be underlying issues under that sparkly polish. You can see I have some yellowing. There could be a few reasons for that. For one, I could be dealing with a fungal infection. Some diabetics have trouble with yellowing toenails. Smokers also might have issues (I am not a smoker BTW). The best way to deal with a fungal infection is with a vinegar soak and some triple antibiotic anointment or tea tree oil. If this is the case you would need to leave the polish off the feet for a few weeks. Remember to seek out your doctor if you continue to see issues. I did stub my toe this past summer and did some damage to the big toe. For my purposes I have been treating miss big with triple antibiotic anointment.

Why yes, Virgina! That is a salad bowl! My weekly pedicures generally happen after a bath. But when my doggies are hollering and I need some extra TLC I like to bring in the big guns.  A good ole fashioned Foot Soak. You can use any kind of container you have on hand. I used to use a small plastic pan I brought home with me from a stay in the hospital. I am also always seeing a foot bath of some sort at The Thrift Store. That might be a future purchase now that I see how ridiculous this all looks. For one feet don't even fit all the way. Details!

My favorite foot soak is 1 cup of Epsom salts and 1 T of baking soda. You may also add just a drop of essential oils.  Simply fill your container with warm water (I like it as hot as I can stand it) and add your ingredients. I was planning on soaking for 15-20 minutes, but after 10 minutes Josiah had an emergency. Can you imagine?

Not to worry. My 10 minutes was heavenly. I like to have a hot cup of tea on hand.

Dry those feet really well and trim your toenails. The best way to do this is straight across. If you round them off you are more prone to get ingrown toe nails. Those are the worst! I also like to use a nail board to go over the nail edges. It smooths them out. Remember to file in one direction.  Going all willy nilly might damage your nail.

Another tool I like to use is this strange zester looking tool. I am sure it has a clever name. I just don't know it. It is metal, but the ridges are barely there. I rub it all over my feet (especially my heels) and buff off all that dry skin. It is important to do this AFTER you have soaked your feet. The water (Plus all the goodies in it) has softened all those rough and dry places.  I use my pumice stone when I'm in the tub. A pumice stone is a wonderful thing.

Now is when you attack those cuticles and nail beds. I use a little bit of my natural oil and rub it into my cuticles. I also use my fingernail and gently push down any cuticles that have grown up. You may use your orange stick for this, but you don't want to tear or damage your cuticles. That's a whole other issue. I then take my orange stick and go around the cuticles and back behind the nail to remove any dead skin or debris. They do make metal orange sticks, but I don't like using them.  

Next on the agenda is a good rub down. I rub my natural oil into my feet....especially those problem areas. If The Muffin happens to be home I take my oil into him and give him my 'wifey needs a foot rub' face.

Before painting toenails I like to use the buffing cube and tidy up the tops of the nails. This doesn't hurt them. It just smooths the ridges and removes any oils. Don't use a hard buffer. You don't want to damage your nails.

My last step is the polish.  In beauty school we learned to paint finger nails in 3 swipes. Of course, toes are more than likely than use less than 3 swipes, but I still use the same technique. I remove the applicator from the polish bottle and swipe both sides of the applicator lightly. Less is more. If make the polish too thick it will peel. Also...a bottom coat and top coat is helpful. Simply start from the middle at the bottom of your nail. Then fill in either side. Let dry and repeat. If you get any polish on your skin you can use your orange stick to clean it up. 

Now is that too hard? I think not! Be sure you keep up your hands and toes moisturized. I also like using a moisturizer when my toes are dried. My favorite is one with a peppermint smell I have had for years. Is there a expiration date for lotion? I hope not.

Have a wonderful and beautiful week my friends! Go pamper those toes!

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