Give Yourself a Natural At Home Manicure &
Beautifying your hands and feet is an ancient ritual practiced by women of many cultures...
by DuEwa Frazier
I'm a gal who loves to make sure my hands and feet are pampered, naturally. Occasionally I go for a professional "mani/pedi", but I also know how to take great care of my hands and feet myself. Pampering your hands and feet shows you care about yourself and when you choose not pay someone else to do it, you save money! Beautifying your hands and feet is also an ancient ritual practiced by women of many cultures. From drugstores to specialty boutiques and health food stores, you can find the tools you need to give yourself a "green" manicure and pedicure at home.
I live in New York City and sometimes walking the long, city streets can be hard on your feet, especially if you're not wearing the most comfortable shoes each day. Most women want to show off their beautiful toes and wear the most fashionable sandals during the summer, and for this, your feet must be prepared! So let's start off with a natural at home pedicure to wake up those tired feet and put that "pep in your step"! Here's what you need to get started:
Gather a small/medium size pan, a loofah, a pumice stone, a towel, bath and body gel, lotion/cream or body oil, a facial or body scrub, a nail file, toe nail clippers, nail polish remover, flip flops, cotton balls, and favorite nail polish. NOTE: Top and base coat polish is optional.
Using cotton balls; take off your old nail polish, using natural nail polish remover or other nail polish remover.
Use a small/medium size plastic pan, like a wash pan that you can fill up with warm water. Fill the pan with warm water and a natural, scented bath and body gel like Avalon Organics Lavender Bath and Body Gel. Use enough soap to create suds. You can also add your favorite essential oil to the warm water, such as: rose, geranium, peppermint, ylang ylang, or orange.
As you soak your feet, use a strong, scented scrub such as Queen Helene Mint Scrub and a loofah to slough off the dead skin on the top and bottom of your feet. Rub vigorously for a few minutes. The rubbing and the water will clean your feet well and remove the dead skin. Also take your pumice stone to rub any hardened dead skin on your toes and any scaly, dead skin on your heels. This is the removal of all of those unsightly layers of skin on your feet. Rub vigorously and continuously until every part of your feet feel smooth and soft. Clip any hangnails, and even out your toenails using a toenail clipper. When your feet look just about "shiny and new", take them out of the pain.
Dry your feet with a towel. Lovingly massage your feet with a refreshing lotion/cream such as Burt's Bees Peppermint Lotion. Or if you love scented body oil, try massaging your feet and conditioning them with Aura Glow oil in Coconut or another favorite scent. Once your feet have been moisturized, now it's time to file.
Use a nail file to shape your toe nails in a round or square shape, whichever is most flattering to you.
Slip into your favorite flip flops and prepare to paint your toes.
Paint your toes in a fabulous, eye popping color. Some nail color lines I suggest are: (a few of which have less harmful ingredients than most mainstream nail color lines) No Miss Nail Polish, Peace - Keeper Nail Paint, and Sinful Nail Color. Put on two coats for more lasting color.
Rest and let air dry!
Writing, washing dishes, cleaning your home and all of the other duties that require strong and capable hands, can leave your hands and nails dry and lackluster. Why not give yourself a manicure, at home to pamper yourself. Of course, it's quite similar to the process for a pedicure, but here are the tools you will need:
A small bowl, a towel, nail polish remover, bath/body gel, nail file, nail buffer, nail clipper, nail cuticle stick and remover, antiseptic, lotion/cream or oil, favorite nail polish. Note: Top coat and base coat are optional.
Use natural or other nail polish remover to take off your last coat of polish
Fill up your small bowl with warm water. Add a bath/body gel soap such as Avalon Organics Lemon Bath and Body Gel to the water, enough to suds.
Soak hands for a few minutes. In between soaking, use your cuticle stick to push back the skin from around your nail cuticle. Use your cuticle remover to take off any hangnails or other jagged skin from around your nails.
Rinse your hands with warm water at your kitchen or bathroom soon. Dry your hands.
Apply Carol's Daughter Lemon Cuticle Oil or some other oil, lotion or cream to your hands and massage each hand.
Use your nail file and nail clipper to shape the nails and even out any nail edges. Use your nail buffer to smooth out the surface of the nails.
Now that your nails are almost "so fresh and so clean", polish them using your favorite color.
Relax and let air dry!
For more information on healthy nails, visit dermatologist, Dr. Susan Taylor's website!
Copyright © 2008 DuEwa Frazier
DuEwa Frazier is a writer, poet, actress and author based in New York. She is the author of two volumes of poetry and the editor of the 2007 NAACP Image Award nominated anthology, Check the Rhyme: An Anthology of Female Poets & Emcees. Known as an inspirational performer and writer, her writing has appeared in numerous publications and various online media outlets including Essence, Drumvoices Revue, Allhiphop.com, X Magazine and others. In 2005 she featured in the documentary arts film “Rhyme and Reason.” She is currently hard at work on her new column Fly Butterfly! Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org .