Pedicure Routine

1. Firstly, make sure that both you and your client are comfortably positioned. You should be close enough to them to avoid straining, should be sat upright in a good working light in a height adjustable chair with back support. If you cannot place your feet flat on the floor, then you should use a foot rest. All products and equipment should be in easy reach, between knee and shoulder height. This is to avoid conditions such as Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), which can occur when movements are highly repeated, and can lead to skeletal or muscular injury.

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2. Try to elevate the client’s foot to a comfortable position. This could be on a couch or foot stool. Cover the area with a towel and paper sheet. The client should be able to comfortably elevate one foot whilst soaking the other in a foot bath.

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3. Wash and dry your hands before wiping over both sides of the clients feet with a mild antiseptic. Ensure that you also wipe between the toes, and then check for any contra-indications. You should then ask the client to soak their feet in a foot bath. The bath should include liquid soap or a similar product. You can use a bubbling foot spa for this, or simply a nicely presented bowl. This will mean that the client’s feet are fresh and clean before you begin working on them. Check the temperature of the water is not too hot or cold prior to asking the client to place there foot in it. Pregnant clients should not be permitted to use the foot spa or essential oils. A pedicure bowl that is filled with lukewarm, soapy water can be used instead.

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4. Remove the first foot from the bath and towel dry it thoroughly. You may need to remove any nail varnish first in order to assess the condition of the client’s nails. Check for any contra-indications and discuss any conditions which may need addressing during treatment. The pedicure procedure may commence on either the left or right foot.

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5. Apply nail varnish remover with a cotton wool pad. Press the pad firmly onto the nail for a few seconds then slide it off the nail, squeezing gently against the nail plate to remove all traces of dissolved varnish. Carefully, pull back the nail walls gently from the sides of the nail plate to expose any hidden varnish. Use cotton wool wrapped around an orange stick, which has been dipped in nail varnish remover, to work around the nail border to ensure it is completely clean.

 

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6. Long nails may need trimming before filing. Discuss the desired length and shape with your client before cutting. Toenails should be cut straight across, using nail clippers or scissors. The nail should then be filed smooth. You should cut at the sides of the nail, as this can lead to ingrowing toenails. Apply slight pressure from above when using the scissors to

minimise disturbance at the base of the nail. Cut across the free edge, leaving the nail slightly longer than required.

 

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7. File the nails from the sides to the centre towards the nail tip at a 45 degree angle. Hold the file as near to the end as possible to produce long, flowing strokes and give the nails a smooth edge. Never saw backwards and forwards, and do not shape at the sides. Remember to check that your client is happy with the shape before proceeding to the next stage. Check that the free edges of all the nails are totally smooth and even.

 

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8. Apply a cuticle massage cream or oil and return the foot to the water before repeating Steps 1 - 6 on the other foot.

 

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9. Return to the first foot and dry it, taking care not to wipe off the cuticle cream. With a hoof stick resting on the nail plate, gently push back the cuticle working in small circular movements. Wipe off excess cuticle cream.

 

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10. Apply cuticle remover and then, using a wet cuticle knife, gently loosen the eponychium from the nail plate. Work around the border in small circular movements, keeping the cutting edge towards the main body of the nail. Hold the cuticle knife at 45 degrees to the nail plate and stroke in one direction only. It is important to use the correct technique when using the cuticle knife to prevent damage to the nail plate.

 

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11. Use cuticle cutters to remove any excess cuticle by placing the pointed end of the cutters under the lifted cuticle and make a clean cut. Make sure all of the cuticle remover is wiped off. Note: if the cuticle is cut and bleeding occurs, you must first put on disposable gloves before cleaning the area with antiseptic wipes. Any contaminated waste must be disposed of safely and separately from general waste.

 

 

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12. At this stage, you can begin to remove any hard skin from the foot. It is important to remember that hard skin forms as protection from friction, or from standing for long periods of time. Therefore, you should not remove every trace of this protection. Depending on the amount of hard skin that is present, you may wish to apply an

exfoliator. This is suitable for small areas of hard skin and can be massaged into the foot. For larger areas, you could use, a callous file, pumice or rasp in swift stroking motions. This should be done in one direction only.

 

 

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13. Before beginning to massage, apply a moisturising foot cream. 

 

The basic procedure of massage is made up of effleurage and petrissage movements. Effleurage movements are long and flowing and are performed with the fingers and palms of the hand using little pressure. You should both begin and end the massage with effleurage as it soothes the nerve endings and removes loose surface skin cells.

 

Petrissage is a deeper, circular kneading which has stimulating effects. It increases the rate at which blood flows through the skin and muscles and removes loose surface skin cells and waste matter You may also include tapotement, or percussion, movements which are brisk and stimulate the blood supply. These movements usually involve clapping and tapping.

Begin your massage by using effleurage movements from the toes to the knee on the back and front of the leg.

 

Follow on by palmar kneading (petrissage movements) in an upwards direction and gently cup and squeeze the gastrocnemius muscle, before using your thumb to perform a kneading motion along the tibialis anterior muscles of the outer shin. Squeeze calf muscles from the sides to the centre of the calf.

 

Next, perform small circular movements around the ankle bone, massaging both sides at the same time. Using the thumb, massage in-between the metatarsal spaces. Squeeze and pull the toes towards you and then rotate them clockwise and then anticlockwise before performing thumb frictions to the plantar aspect of the foot. Use the fist to then knead the plantar surface of the foot before concluding with effleurage movements over the feet and ankles.

 

The massage will leave a film of grease on the nails which should be removed using nail varnish remover.

 

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14. Place disposable toe separators between the toes to avoid smudging the nail varnish and then apply one coat of base coat to every nail.

 

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15. You should always use a base coat, as not only will it stop coloured enamels from staining the nails, but it will also smooth out the nail plate before a coloured enamel is applied. If you do have lots of ridges on your nails, you can apply a ridge filler before the base coat. Also a base coat will help the coloured enamel adhere better. Only one coat of base coat is needed.

 

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16. Follow this with two coats of varnish. Make sure that the varnish you intend to use is not too thick and that the brush is in good condition. Avoid shaking the bottle, as this will create air bubbles in the varnish.

 

Hold the client’s toe with your thumb, index and middle finger. Pull the brush out of the bottle away from you and remove the polish from the far side of the brush. Balance your hand and place the brush in the centre of the nail and apply gentle pressure to spread the bristles. Push back towards the eponychium and pull towards the free edge with a light pressure. Then, fill in either side of the nail before running the side of the brush along the free edge.

 

Make sure not to touch the soft tissue around the nail plate by leaving a very small margin at the sidewalls and eponychium.

 

Always use light strokes to

create a smooth surface. Short nails are better suited to pale, light natural colours, whilst long nails look better with dark, vibrant colours.

 

 

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17. Apply one coat of top coat. There are products available that help speed up the drying time of the varnish. These are useful additions as they prevent smudging of the varnish and also speed up the time taken for the treatment. All top coats are clear, but may come in different transparent colours. It is applied in the same way as base coat. This will give a lovely shine to the nail, it will also protect against chipping.

 

 

 

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18. Once you have added the varnish, carefully use an orange stick with varnish remover to tidy up any errors. Your client will have to wait for the nail varnish to be completely dry before putting their socks or shoes back on.

 

 

 

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19. There are products available that help speed up the drying time of the varnish. These are useful additions as they prevent smudging of the varnish and also speed up the time taken for the treatment.

 

 

 

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20. While the nails are drying, take the opportunity to check that the client is happy, and go through any aftercare advice. You may wish to use a quick dry spray at this point to avoid the client sitting still for too long.

 

 

 

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