1-Remove polish from nails
The first step is to remove the old polish from your nails. Instead of cotton balls (which will leave fuzzies), we suggest using a lint-free cotton pad, Saturate the cotton pad with acetone remover & rub off the old polish.
If the color isn't coming off easily, press the saturated cotton on the nail & let it soak in first. A tip for removing stains from nails: try rubbing whitening toothpaste on your nails. You can also rub a drop of lemon or lavender oil on each toe & rub a buffer back & forth over the nail. This will remove the yellowed outer layer.
Tip for picking the perfect polish remover: Alcohol- and acetone-free removers are less drying, but don't work as well, especially on dark shades. Use the 'free' stuff on lighter shades.
2-Cut & File Nails
It's best to use high quality clippers made for clipping toenails such. To avoid ingrown nails, cut nail straight across to just above the skin. Make sure your nail doesn't extend over the tip of your toe. To get a soft square shape, file nails in one direction until they are even & slightly rounded at the corners. (Hint: Don't use metal files, they'll rip your nails). Don't clip the sides of nails, that can cause ingrowns.
3-Soak Your Feet
Fill a large flat-bottom bowl with warm water. Throw in bath salts, your favorite aromatherapy oils & let your feet soak 10 minutes. The more cracked & calloused your feet, the longer they need to stay in. Trick only the pros know: Add a quarter cup of milk to your bath along with the essential oils & salts. The lactic acid in the milk loosens dead skin.
Apply cuticle remover to the base of each nail & rub it in. Leave on for a minute, then use an orangewood stick to gently push with a circular motion everywhere where skin meets the nail (including the sides). Be careful to remove skin only on top of the nail, don't touch the toe flesh. Use cuticle nippers to trim any loose skin. Be careful not to nip your toe flesh.
5-Scrub Your Feet
Apply an exfoliating body or foot scrub to a foot file or wet pumice stone to slough away the dead skin on the balls & heels of your feet. You'll want to scrub the balls, bottoms & sides of your heels & around the toes. To get the most leverage, sit on the side of a bathtub, facing inward. Remember the pedicure motto we read about once, "smooth, don't remove." You'll want to stop if your foot turns bright red (this means you've scrubbed too hard). Remember, that tough skin is there for a reason. Any basic foot file or pumice stone from your drugstore will do the trick.
Dry feet thoroughly including between the toes & rub in a thick foot cream . Rub the feet & the calves. Rehydrate cuticles by rubbing in a dab of cuticle oil.
7-Polish Your Toes
Use acetone remover to get rid of any excess oils on the nails (including the cuticle oil you just applied). Apply a thin base coat using 3 strokes, one down the middle, then one on each side. Don't paint the cuticle. Wait a minute before adding two coats of your favorite polish, then finish with a thin top coat . Clean up any errors with an orangewood stick wrapped in cotton & dipped in acetone remover. Let nails dry for at least 40 minutes. Tip: It's good to paint any polish remaining on the brush over the front nail edge. This prevents chipping.
After nails have dried, spritz with a moisturizing oil like SolarSpeed spray. This sets your polish & moisturizes your cuticles. Then voila! You're done!