How to Save Money on DIY Manicures and Pedicures

10 September 2015


Monthly manicures and pedicures can really break the bank.  At $50 a pop or more depending on where you live of course, for both manicures and pedicures on a monthly basis, that's $600 a year (at least, and not including tip and tax!) spent on keeping your hands and tootsies looking presentable and pretty.  Personally I don't get manicures, but I do get the odd pedicure when I go away on a trip. I probably have a pedicure about three to four times a year.  Don't get me wrong, I find pedicures very relaxing and a nice treat, but I find it difficult to fit the time in regularly, and sometimes I find the small talk at the salon tiring.  I didn't think that it could be done, to have DIY pedicures look like salon pedicures until I saw my friend's pretty feet the other day and she said she did it herself.  It really looked professional, so I convinced myself that it is actually possible.

The other downside of a salon pedicure or manicure according to is that many instruments are not sterilized or as clean as you might expect.  According to the article, the whirlpool bath at your nail salon may cause bacterial boils or rashes that can occur months after your pedicure.

Therefore, I wanted to see if there was a way in which I can really simulate the look of a salon-like pedicure without having to succumb to regular salon trips.

Here is a fool-proof step by step guide to a DIY pedicure (just adapt it for a manicure) in the comfort of your own home, without risking a potential fungal, bacterial, or viral infection from the salon.

Remove your Nail Polish

Of course, this goes without saying.  Amazon has some well reviewed nail polish removers that won't break the bank.

Soak Your Feet


Grab a small tub from the dollar store and fill it with warm water, add a some Epsom salts and some essential oil (peppermint and lavender are good choices) and soak for 10 minutes.

Push Back Those Cuticles


Now, take out your foot and pat dry.  Apply cuticle oil or cuticle cream to your cuticles (my favourite is Burt's Bees cuticle cream).  Then, grab a cuticle stick (again, can be found at your local dollar store) and push back those cuticles.  I believe this is one of the reasons that nails always look better when you do it at the salon, because your cuticles are pushed back.  According to How Stuff Works, it is not necessary to use the cuticle trimmers to actually cut the cuticle (and dermatologists say that actually does more harm than good if you do this as it increases risk of infection).


Again you can use epsom salts and grab one of those handy foot scrubbers and file away at the soles of your feet.  Bonus is that you're doing this to your own feet so it won't be ticklish!  Then soak your feet back in the tub for another minute or two and then pat your feet dry.

Moisturize Your Feet 

Moisturize your feet before you apply the nail polish.  This reduces the chance for smudging.

Trim Your Nails

The other trick to a salon style pedicure or manicure is to trim your nail straight across and file the nail on the edges, giving a slightly smoothed-square shaped look.

Nail Polish

The last part of the DIY manicure or pedicure is usually ONLY what I do when I do an at-home pedicure (without the soaking and the exfoliating etc.), which is why my at home pedicures haven't looked great as of late.

A base coat and top coat goes a long way to make your nail polish last longer.  Also, according to Cosmopolitan you can apply top coat every 3 days or so to make your nail polish last longer and prevent chipping.

So, first apply base coat.  Wait two minutes.  Then apply the first coat of nail polish starting at the base of the cuticles to the top.  Wait two minutes.  Then apply the second coat of nail polish.  Wait two more minutes, and finally apply the top coat.  Two minutes is the best length of time to wait between coats, according to

There we go, you have now saved yourself $600+ for the year.

Bargainmoosers, do you usually go to the salon for a pedicure or do you usually do it yourself?

Photo credit: awesomenesslol606

1 comment

  • Ali G.
    I love pedicures but the more I read about them the more they gross me out. I don't know if I can have one again. Last year I was introduced to Jamberry Nail Wraps. They are very similar the Sally Hansen nail stickers. I find the Jamberry wraps last 12-14 days on my fingers and about a month on my toes. I found there was a bit of a learning curve but it's not too bad. The only equipment needed is a hair dryer, a pair of scissors, and a cuticle stick. One sheet of wraps yields two manicures, two pedicures and a few accent nails. More bang for your buck!

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