Doing your own pedicure saves considerable cash.

Self Pedicure vs. Salon

by Pamela Simmons

Professional pedicures aren't just an ideal way for busy moms to relax; they also leave your toes in a state of perfectly polished perfection. If you don't have the time or the cash for a salon pedicure, an at-home pedi might seem like your best bet. There are pros and cons to doing your nails in a salon and at home. Learn the differences and decide which way works best for you.

1. Cost

Salon pedicures will cost you more cash than at-home ones. In the salon, you're paying not only for the polish, but also for services rendered -- this ups the price tag considerably. At-home pedicures might come with an initial cash outlay for materials, but once you've bought supplies, your cost is much lower than if you were to visit a salon. Many moms prefer salon pedicures because they give them a chance to relax and pamper themselves. Weigh the pros and cons of pampering vs. saving money. If you feel super frazzled, a relaxing pedicure could make a world of difference.

2. Materials

Depending on how extensive you want your pedicure to be, you'll need a certain number of products to pull it off. Most salons provide spa pedicures, which generally include foot baths, scrubs and moisturizers, nail polish, nail files, buffers, cuticle sticks and the like. If you're not looking to stock up on so many products, sticking with professional pedicures may be your best bet.

3. Applying Polish

Application of polish can be tricky for women who don't have a steady hand, and the result might be closer to perfect in the salon. The good news is that since you're painting your toes and not your fingernails, mistakes won't be quite so visible. If you choose to go the at-home route, apply one coat of base followed by two coats of color, sealed in with a top coat.

4. Risks of Salon Pedicures

If you decide to visit a salon, you should watch for a few things. Because instruments are used from client to client, you'll run a risk of infection. Bringing your own tools can minimize this risk. Liquids used to clean instruments may also not be up to snuff, so be sure to check. Look for words like "disinfectant" and "germicide" and try to visit salons when they're slow. This will give tools longer to sit in disinfecting fluids between clients. Be sure your foot bath is cleaned before soaking. Tubs should be fully drained, washed and disinfected for at least 10 minutes. Also take care to check that materials like orange cuticle sticks, buffers and files -- which should be disposed of between treatments -- aren't being recycled.

5. Find a Happy Medium

There's no reason you can't get salon pedicures occasionally and do at-home touch ups. This will still give you that professional look without forcing you to visit the salon every week. Polish touch-ups can be easily done at home. Make your pedicure last longer by applying top coat every two or three days. Keeping your feet moisturized will also extend the life of your pedicure and keep it pretty for longer.

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