Pedicure steps


The Beyotch of all Pedicures.

The Spa Pedicure is one of the ultimate luxuries to pamper your digits. At a reputable nail salon, i.e one that takes the necessary precautions against the spread of diseases/ infections in a nail salon, this indulgence can run anywhere upwards of $75 a service, with a Spa Mani/ Pedi combo running at least an easy minimum $100.

In a bid to differentiate themselves from a fellow competitor, it is not uncommon for nail salons to present creative names for these services.

“The Ultimate Pedicure”

“The Signature Pedicure”

“Hot Lava Pedicure”

As a nail salon owner, the point here is to differentiate yourself. Get creative.

These types of pedicures are primarily found in middle to high end salons because of the sheer time it takes to get all of the goodies done – anywhere between 50 – 120 minutes. Usually, the longer the time taken, the more expensive the service.

So what is a Spa Pedicure anyways?

Typically, what differentiates a Spa pedicure from a Classic pedicure is pampering time. Therefore, Spa pedicures will probably include a scrub, a (perhaps extended) foot massage, as well as extra care to smoothing hardened soles of the feet. Uber high-end salons may also include a foot mask, paraffin treatments etc. These are inexpensive add-ons for the Spa, so the chargeВ  largely comes for the use of theВ  therapist’s time. Additionally, there is also an additional cost for callus removal in a pedicure . Why? because any of these above processes can add up to 15 minutes each.


It is important to remember that Spa services , as opposed to other beauty services like HairВ  services for example, are charged per minute rather than per service. Arrive late for your Spa service and you have only the remaining time in your reserved slot to get your service done, if they will grant you the the service at all, never mind, *swipe*, your credit card will be charged either way.


If the colouring service on your new hair colour/ cut/ style ‘do takes longer than anticipated, the stylist cannot exactly leave you mid service and tell you hard luck can s/he? Not so much. This is why there is normally a cancellation policy (usually 24-48 hours) for spa services. Time is money baby!

Can you achieve a similar service at home?

With the knowledge,В  an hour, some patience, and the right tools, you sure can!

Here are 10 steps to an at-home Spa Pedicure, complete with tips to getting it right, polish optional.

Remember, practice makes you better.


– Pedicure bowl with lukewarm water (warmer if you can tolerate it)
– Small to medium sized bowl with clean, lukewarm water (warmer if you can tolerate it)
– Orange stick and/ or nail pusher
– Nail Clipper,В  made especially for clipping toes
– Nail File (180 grit)
– Foot soak/ Pedicure soak/ Mineral Salts/ Epson salts etc. (your choice)
– Hydrating Foot lotion
– Cuticle Oil
– Nail Buffer (white)
– Foot File
– 2 Hand Towels

– Nail polish remover and cotton balls (if necessary)

– Cuticle nipper
– Foot Mask
– Callus softener
– Intensive Heel balm
– Base Coat, Top Coat, Nail polish

Time Required: 60 – 120 mins

1. Soak Feet

In pedicure bowl, mix foot soak in a generous amount of lukewarm water as per foot soak instructions. Place feet in bowl for up to 10 minutes.

2. Remove any existing polish from nails on both feet. (If necessary.)

3. Cut and File Nails

– Remove right foot from pedicure bath. Cut nails using nail clipper.
Note: cutting nails too short can damage the nail. Avoid cutting nails with too sharp of aВ  downward curve at the edge / sides of the nail, where the nail meets the side of your finger, as this may result in ingrown/ hangnails. Ouch.

– Using a nail file, file nails so that there are no sharp edges left by nail clipper, so that nail edge is smooth.

4. Clean the edges of the nail plate

– Using orange stick or nail pusher, GENTLY clean bottom of the nail bed, where it connects to the finger.

– GENTLY push back the cuticle using orange stick/ nail pusher.
Dead skin cells of the cuticle collect here, as well as residue from hand lotion, environmental dirt, etc. It is important not to scrape the nail bed in this area too roughly, as grave, possibly permanent, damage may be done to the nail bed.

– OPTIONAL – Cuticles may be clipped at this stage, but it is important to clip ONLY the dead, and not the living, tissue. If you are unsure of what is dead and what is living tissue, skip this stage altogether, as clipping live tissue can result in cuts, bleeding and damage to the cuticle.



5. Buff nails and clean under free edge

– Using a white nail buffer, GENTLY buff nails (no more than 10 strokes per nail).
Buffing to smooth the nail bed. Overzealous buffing however, will result in thinning and possible damage to the nail plate, which is a common occurrence in professional manicures.В  The amount of buffing that ought to be done will depend on the condition of the nail. It is important toВ  note that, depending on the depth of the ridges of the nail, it may not be possible to smoothen out all ridges, without removing the entire nail bed.

– Using orange stick, clean under free edge (the area at the top of the nail where gook collects when you use your nails to scratch… something) of any residual nail that may have collected here during the filing/ buffing stage.

6. Apply cuticle oil to cuticles

– Critical step to well manicured nails.

7. Apply callus softener and wrap foot

– Optional, if applicable, apply callus softener to any calluses/ hardened areas on soles of feet, and wrap foot in a towel.

Repeat steps 3 – 7 on left foot.


8. Smooth calluses

– Starting with right foot, remove towel and smooth calluses/ hardened areas on soles of feetВ  with a back and forth motion using foot file. Repeat on left foot. And please, never use a razor blade.

9. Apply and remove scrub

– Starting with right foot, apply foot scrub for 2-3 minutes. Rinse with clean water from small bowl into the pedicure bowl. Repeat on left foot.

OPTIONAL – Apply foot mask
To right foot, avoiding the tips of the toes, and wrap in a towel. Repeat on left foot and let both feet stand for 5-10 minutes.

Rinse mask from right foot using clean water from bowl. Repeat on left foot.

10. Massage feet

– Massage hydrating foot lotion to right foot, including legs. Pay special attention to heels. Repeat on left foot.

– If necessary, apply heel balm to cracked heels, on right and left foot.

– Apply cuticle oil to cuticles.
*TIP – Cuticle oil is quite possibly any nail technician’s secret weapon as the application will make nails in any condition, look healthier. Guaranteed.


For nail polish application, remove any traces of lotion from nails using a cotton ball with nail polish remover. Apply polish in the following order:

– Start with one coat for base coat to all nails.
– Follow with a coat, or two, of nail polish (one coat a time).
– EndВ  withВ  Top coat application.

Finish with application of cuticle oil to cuticles, as in step above.

It’s easy to have a foot fetish with kissable feet!


Not quite at this level? You can still have kissable feel with an at-home Classic pedicure. **Coming soon.**


b Freakin’Fabulous

For more info. on how to protect yourself against infectious diseases in nail salons, click here.

Photo: Simon Howden /

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