Problem Solvers

How to nail a perfect at-home pedicure

Imagine how differently things would have worked out for Cinders if, come the key moment, Prince Charming was eyeball-to-toe with a callous? Gnarly toes are a no-no, so follow our (foot) steps and whip your neglected pieds into sandal-appropriate shape…

Start with a foot file to slough away weeks of dead skin. From the A-List’s go-to specialist, Margaret Dabbs comes the {Professional Foot File} – a stainless steel, crystal-encrusted wand that magically buffs away lumps, bumps and scales. Use on dry skin, concentrating on your heels (or anywhere that looks a little worse for wear).

Or, if that sounds a lot like hard work try patchology’s brilliant {PoshPeel Pedicure} – fill the socks with the cocktail of acids (a blend of A and BHAs) then simply sit still for an hour and wait for the dead skin to start flaking off in the course of the following days. So gross… so satisfying.

Follow with a foot soak to soften skin and cuticles – fill a (foot-sized) basin with hot water and add a few drops of essential oil or a specialist treatment (MD’s {Hydrating Foot Soak} is perfect), then scrub up with Nails.INC’s {Caffeine Hit Foot Scrub} or Aesop’s {Reverence Hand Wash} – both perfect for polishing feet that are long overdue TLC.

Dry your feet and gently push back cuticles while they’re still soft from soaking, then trim nails straight across using Rubis’ {Twist Nail Clippers} – use a series of snips so you don’t break the nail – and smooth any edges (and round off snag-y corners) with the {Easy Filer}.

Slather on a rich, indulgent lotion (ideally pre-bed, when you can stick your feet in sandwich bags and socks to maximise the softening effect). We rate Margaret Dabbs’ {Intensive Treatment Foot Oil}, or try Ameliorate’s {Transformating Body Lotion} which contains lactic acid to continue the resurfacing, scale-sloughing process.

Come morning, once your shiny new toots have emerged from their conditioning chrysalises, it’s high time for a lick of paint. Nails.INC’s {Nail Kale Superfood Base Coat} is brimming with nourishing, strengthening exracts to fortify damaged or compromised nails, while their {Gel Effect} nail polish comes in ultra-glossy hues that look immaculate for days on end – especially when finished with a coat of {Lacquer Lock}.

For feet you’ll want to flaunt, we think ‘Kensington Palace’ is the most gorgeous, summer-ready shade of coral red. Or opt for an à la mode lilac with ‘It’s Cool to be Kind’.

There now. That’s better… just add glass slippers.


Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Cult Beauty’s Content Editor and a Cult Beauty OG, Verity loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm. A quintessential Libran, she’s a self-professed magpie for luxury ‘must-haves' and always pursuing the new and the niche — from the boujee-est skin care to cutting-edge tech. Balancing an urge to stop the clock with her desire to embrace the ageing process (and set a positive example for her daughter), Verity's a retinol obsessive and will gladly share her thoughts about the time-defying gadgets, masks and treatments worth the splurge...