How to Do a Cute Gel Pedicure Easily at Home

Amanda Bellantoni
by Amanda Bellantoni
18 Materials
20 Minutes

I'm heading to the beach next week, and I've been itching to get my toes and feet into shape.

Today, I’m going to be showing you a full-blown gel pedicure at home. Follow along with this step-by-step tutorial.

Tools and materials:

  • Acetone
  • Cotton pad
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail file
  • Cuticle remover gel
  • Cuticle nipper
  • Buffing cube
  • Foot grater
  • Foot file
  • Moisturizer
  • Toe separators
  • Nail dehydrator
  • Base coat
  • Nail polish
  • Top coat
  • UV light
  • Isopropanol
  • Cuticle oil
Removing nail polish

1. Remove nail polish

Remove any polish that’s on your nails with 100% acetone and a cotton pad.

Especially if you’ve been wearing a darker color, make sure you get all the polish off without the color seeping into the cuticles or onto the skin.

Trimming nails

2. Trim nails

Carefully trim each toenail.

Don't worry about cutting them perfectly because afterward, we're going to go in with a file to even them out and shape them up.

Filing nails

3. File nails

Proceed to file your nails into a rounded square shape.

Applying cuticle gel

4. Apply cuticle gel

Next, apply some cuticle remover gel to each toenail and rub it in.

Pushing cuticles back

5. Push cuticles back

Now push your cuticles back with a cuticle pusher and scrape off any excess skin.

Nipping cuticles

6. Nip cuticles

Once they're all pushed back, use the cuticle nipper to clip off any excess.

Cleaning under nails

7. Clean under nails

Take the sharp end of the cuticle pusher to clean up under the nails and scrape off any stubborn skin.

Smoothing toes

8. Smooth the toes

Now, we’re going to smooth the toes out and get them prepped for polish.

Using the edge of the same medium grit file, rough up the surface of each nail before following it up with a buffing cube.

Filing feet

9. Use foot grater

The next step is to tend to your heels and any dry skin on your feet.

Use a foot grater to give you super smooth heels and feet. This is a safe tool, but don’t go too overboard with it.

Filing feet

10. File feet

Use a heel and toe file to smooth everything over.

Applying lotion

11. Apply moisturizer

Apply some moisturizer all over the feet, and then all of the prep work is done.

Rubbing nails with acetone

12. Rub nails with acetone

Next, pop on some toe separators.

Then, take a cotton pad, soak it in acetone, and rub it over each nail to remove any lotion or oil that is still sitting on the nail bed. 

Applying dehydrator

13. Apply nail dehydrator

Now, apply a nail dehydrator, which will prep the nails for polish.

Applying base coat

14. Apply base coat

Proceed to apply a base coat. Be sure not to use too much product, and also make sure to paint as close to the cuticles as possible.

Once done, pop each foot under a UV light to cure.

Painting nails

15. Paint nails

Now it's time to paint the nails. I went for a creamy, off-white, shimmery polish.

Apply a thin layer, as close to the edges of your nails as possible, without getting any polish onto the skin (though if you do, you can just clear it up before you cure your nails).

Proceed to cure your nails.

Applying second coat

16. Apply second coat

Go ahead and apply a second coat, and then cure your nails.

Applying top coat

17. Apply top coat

Now, apply a top coat that will serve as the protective layer and provide a glossy look. Then cure your nails.

Wiping nails

18. Spritz with alcohol

Spritz your pedicure with some isopropanol. Then, rub each nail really well with a cotton pad to remove that sticky top layer.

Applying cuticle oil

19. Apply cuticle oil

Remove the toe separators, grab some cuticle oil, add a drop of it to each nail, and then massage it in.

Gel pedicure at home

Gel pedicure at home 

And that’s a wrap! My feet look and feel gorgeous, and I feel ready for the beach and beyond because this pedicure will last me weeks.

If you've been hesitant to DIY your own gel pedicure, don't be. I'm not a professional, but I've been doing my own for years, and if I can do it, you can too - it's totally easy to do on your own.

Suggested materials:
  • Acetone
  • Cotton pad
  • Nail clippers
See all materials

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