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The Budget Smart Girl’s Guide to Pedicures

Warm weather means slipping on the sandals or the flip-flops. It also means that our feet and toes are on full display. One way to get perfectly groomed feet and nails is to get a pedicure. And you don’t always have to spend a lot of money to achieve the perfect look. Here are some tips, product recommendations and my step-by-step guide to getting a pampering pedicure at a Budget Smart Girl’s price.

Let’s Get Started
My philosophy is if your feet feel good, the rest of you feels pretty darn good too. And one way to make your feet feel great is to soak them in warm, fragrant water. Sometimes I’ll use bubble bath, and another option is to add some Epsom Salt. Check out the Epsom Salt site for some more tips on the ultimate DIY pedicure www.epsomsaltcouncil.org

Herbal Soaks
Another favorite treat of mine is to throw herbs from my garden into the water. I love lavender, lemon verbena, and just about any kind of mint. And these days you can buy herbal bath blends at bargain prices. I found this company that sell just that, and at prices that make me smile, www.bohbonsoapco.com. Check out their herbal tea mixes, yes, they’re just $4. Also, I learned about this company while I was working on another article and it’s a lovely site to do some browsing www.alchemistsapprentice.com
And if you really want to indulge for just pennies, throw in some marbles or pebbles into the bowl and roll your feet over them.

Things to Make Your Feet Feel Better
After your feet have soaked, it’s the ideal time to get rid of hard skin on the heels. And who better than Dr. Scholl’s to provide us with all the good stuff for doing just that. See what’s available at www.drscholls.com and be sure to click on pedicure tools.
And to keep those heels looking pretty all the time, I apply body butter to them. I’ve also been using the nail butter from a company called Essencia. They also heel butter too, check out their products at www.essenciaonline.com. And sometimes I’ll use a jojoba or olive oil on the cuticles too.

The Right File
And don’t just use any file on your nails, here’s a product that prevents them from splitting. www.crystalfiles.com.

Keeping It Under Wraps
For me, the favorite part of my at home pedicure is putting on some great smelling body lotion. And one way you can get the lotion to really sink into your skin is to put your feet in plastic storage bags, or plastic wrap and then wrap them in towels you’ve warmed in the dryer. A word of warning here, don’t try walking around the house once you’ve got the plastic bags or wrap on your feet. I did this once and almost took a nasty fall.

The Fun Part
Once I’ve let the lotion soak in, it’s time to paint my nails. One thing I’ve found is that some nail polish won’t adhere to your nails or chips easily if you have even the smallest trace of lotion or oil left on your nails. One thing I’ve been using to combat the problem is an herbal facer toner. In fact, I bought it by mistake and after I realized it might be too drying for my face, I thought I’d use it for a pedicure. I put some toner on a cotton ball and dab it across each toenail before I apply polish.
And if you want to experiment with some fun colors but don’t want to break the bank, check out one of the Budget Smart Girl’s favorite finds, yes, ELF to the rescue again. www.eyeslipsface.com They have nail polish that sells for just $1. And I also use their body lotion and butters for my feet. Lots of great fragrances and just $4. They also sell other pedicure related items too, so be sure to check them out. And no matter where you buy your supplies, be sure to order two sets of everything. No, I’m not going against the principle of being a Budget Smart Girl, but it’s a good idea to keep one pair or scissors, files, etc, for your fingernails, and another set for your toenails. Toenails and feet are usually more susceptible to fungus that can easily spread to your hands and fingernails.

Relax and Watch the Paint Dry
Sometimes I have trouble waiting for the polish to dry, but I’ve found it’s a great time to just relax, listen to some music, or read a good book. And not to mention think about all the money I saved by not getting a pedicure done at a spa.

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