We finally got our yard! We have been in our brand-new house for over a year now, but like our previous residence, our new house had no landscaping to speak of. In Las Vegas, no landscaping means powdery, unappealing beige dirt, and rocks. That was it. A few times, the kids went outside and pathetically tried to play in it. Our dog, once we potty trained her, dutifully used the backyard as her potty zone. But other than that, it has been an unused and neglected space.
Finally we have an area that we actually enjoy hanging out in. It’s Spring, so the weather is nice, warm and sunny but not too hot. Yay! I was trying to think of something I could do out in my new backyard.
I realized my toes were still wearing the remnants of their late winter/ early spring polish. I was in need of a pedicure. I wondered, why not do it outside and get a tan at the same time?
How to Give Yourself a Pedicure Outdoors
Bring All Your Supplies Outside:
• Nail Polish Remover if You Need to Remove Previous Polish
• Moisturizer/ Lotion
• Cotton Swabs
• Nail Clippers
• Nail File
• Flip Flops
• Grocery Bags Doubled Up to Collect Waste Materials (Recycling!)
• Heavy Object Such as a Large Stone or Brick*
*I was halfway through my manicure and a large gust of wind suddenly scooped my doubled-up plastic grocery bags high into the air, separating them. One soared off into the neighborhood and the second one seemed to go into my next-door neighbor’s backyard. Sorry neighbor, if you find a plastic bag with a few toenails inside… (oops!) Hence my mention of a heavy object to weight down your plastic bags.
The actual pedicure portion is simple.
1) First of all, slather your legs, knees, calves, ankles, feet and even toes with your fave moisturizer (leftover lotion can go on your hands). If you’re going to get a little tan, it’ll look and feel a lot better if your skin is supple. Concentrate on moisturizing the skin of your heels and feet. This will help later when you are exfoliating them in the tub.
2) Remove your old polish with the polish remover and cotton swabs. You can also clip the cotton swab at an angle with your clippers (recycling again!) and use it as an orange stick to push back cuticles, clean corners, etc.
3) Trim your nails to the length you desire with your clippers. Personally, I prefer ultra-short and as close to straight across as I can achieve. They say this prevents ingrowns. (Nail length is another reason I prefer to do my pedicures myself. When I went to the fancy mani-pedi salon, as sweet and demure as the manicurist was, I realized as she clipped at me- there was no way she would be able to achieve the super-short length I crave. There is no one like yourself to “feel” where the nail meets the edge of the toe. You can tell by the nerve endings of your toes if you’re going too short, too long, or just right. I’m just saying!)
Once your toes are clipped and the polish removed, you need to stop and go inside. Sorry to interrupt your outdoor bliss. But it’ll be enjoyable too, I promise. Just as nice as the salon. And for free!
4) Turn on your tub, get a washcloth with some soap on it, and dunk your feet in. Soak them for 5-10 minutes. It will make the exfoliating more effective. Use water that is warm to hot, whichever you prefer. Get a washcloth covered in soap and use it to scrub your toes, heels, even your calves if you wish. Exfoliate your skin. After the time in the sun and the lotion, it should have a nice glow. You are also going to clean off any nail polish remover residue from your nails.
5) When you’re done with this, drain the tub and dry off your feet and legs. At this point you want your feet to be clean and dry as you are prepping them for the polish. Go ahead and go back outside!
6) You can use those toe separator thingys, or flip flops if you wish. All you have to do now is paint your toenails! It’s actually kind of fun. Remember being in elementary school- how fun it was to use a paintbrush? Good times! The sun and breeze will help your polish to dry quickly. Apply 2 coats and your home pedicure will last longer.
7) After your polish is dry, you will want to moisturize your feet and legs one last time. If time permits, you can do your fingernails, too. Kick back, relax, soak up some rays, produce some vitamin D, and inhale a little fresh air!
The way I look at it, giving yourself a home mani-pedi will save you about $30.00! (I’m a good tipper, so for me a visit to the nail salon can cost even more.) If you pick up a nice glow from the sun, you’re saving $20.00 for a tanning or spray tanning session. If your child can be entertained outside by bubbles and lawn toys, you’ve just pocketed another $20.00 for child care! No need to pay a nanny or babysitter while you go and get your nails did… you can just hang out with your child while you both get some quality time outdoors.* It’s a win-win situation. The total money saved according to my calculations is $70.00!
*Do be sure your child is safe around the chemicals. Don’t let him or her get too close when you have the nail polish remover open. Nail polish can produce strong fumes as well. Be cautious. If it’s slightly breezy out, that’s a good thing. The breeze will carry away most of the fumes. No more suffocating, overpowering nail salon odor! Talk about good ventilation.
More Safety tips: Make sure that the sun is not too intense when you are outdoors. Mild sun, during the morning or evening is better than intense midday sun. Be extra cautious if you or your children burn easily. Make sure the sprinklers aren’t set to go off while you’re in the middle of your relaxing ritual. That could spoil your fun! Also, if anyone in your household is a smoker, make sure their smoking flames, sparks and paraphernalia stay well away from your nail polish remover and other beauty supplies. Make sure you clean everything up as soon as you’re done. You no want yard go big boom!