DIY Manicures and Pedicures Treating yourself to a DIY manicure and pedicure at home can be a fun way to pamper your hands and feet without ever having to leave your house. Not to mention you’ll save a few bucks! It’s also a great time to experiment with new colors and designs. You can use the time to care for yourself and relax, or grab a friend and make it a polish party! Before you get started, remember that it is important to be safe and clean. So talk to your mom or other trusted adult to see what you have at home and what you need to purchase. Then find a good place to focus on the task at hand. Now you’re ready to get started. What you need: Cotton balls Nail polish remover Small tub of warm water Soap Towel Lotion Nail clippers Orangewood/cuticle stick Emery board/nail file Base coat nail polish Nail polish (color of your choosing) Clear top coat nail polish Pumice stone Foam toe dividers Giving Yourself a Manicure Remove any old nail polish on your nails by wiping nails with a cotton ball dipped with nail polish remover. Soak your hands in warm water to soften the cuticles (the thin, flexible part of your nail, closest to the nail bed). Remove your hands and pat them gently with a towel to dry. Massage hands with a moisturizing lotion. Gently push back your cuticles with an orangewood or cuticle stick. Trim nails to your desired length with nail clippers. Be careful not to cut your nails too short, or it will be painful. Use an emery board or nail file to smooth out any sharp edges on the tip of your nail and get your desired nail shape. Tip: There’s no perfect way to shape your nails. Some girls like to shape them into ovals while others like shaping them into a square. Whichever shape you choose; just make sure they are smooth. Wash your hands with soap and water to get rid of any debris or lotion left on your nails and pat gently with a towel to dry. Apply a base coat to the nails and allow nails to dry for a few minutes. Follow-up with two coats of your new favorite color nail polish and allow it to dry for three to five minutes in between coats. Finish your manicure by applying a clear top coat. Remember to allow your newly painted nails to dry completely. You can use a fan to speed it up. Time also varies depending on how thick you apply each coat. Once you’re all dry, enjoy your new look! Giving Yourself a Pedicure Follow the same first steps as a manicure but instead of your hands, soak your feet in warm water for five to 10 minutes. Lightly rub your heels and any rough spots on the bottom of your feet with a wet pumice stone (a rough piece of rock you can purchase at a store) on the bottom of your feet in a back-and-forth motion to help remove any dead skin. Dip your feet back in the water to rinse off the dead skin. Remove your feet and gently pat them dry with a towel and finish with a moisturizing lotion. Follow steps 5-7 above to trim and shape your toenails. Finish up these steps with a final rinse and dry. Insert foam toe dividers between your toes to keep them apart (to prevent your toes from touching and smudging the polish). Follow steps 9-11 above to properly coat your nails, ensuring you allow time to dry in between the top coat, color coats and top coat. Allow your newly painted nails to dry completely. Then you can remove the toe dividers and enjoy your new pedicure! All your hard work will pay off with beautiful nails you’ll be proud to show off. The best part is, you can always remove your polish and try other colors whenever you want. Feel free to get creative. Most importantly, you just enjoyed some relaxing time pampering you and you have salon-beautiful fingers and toes! Learn about manicures and pedicures and get helpful advice from teen girls at BeingGirl.com.