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Kali-Ann Gills

Home mani pedi kit.

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Kali-Ann Gills

Hi all, 

Nails can make or break an outfit however, there can be numerous reasons why some cannot use a nail technician or visit a nail salon. 

So the option is do it yourself! So off we go and end up staring at the nail products counter overwhelmed and utterly confused with the array of products available.

I am a professional nail technician and I hope to show you how to put together a home nail care kit. First off forget the new fantastic gizmos you simply don't need them. You can achieve a high quality finish to your nails without spending a fortune. What I cannot stress enough though is purchase the best quality tools that you are able to. This is not a nail course but I am going to share with you all the basics of how to do your own mani and pedi.

Hands and feet take a battering every single day so they really do need to have a bit of TLC. Also build up of hard skin on the feet can actually effect posture and in extreme cases impede mobility in later life. Let's be honest here our feet are encased in thick socks and boots for months during winter. A perfect breeding environment for all sorts of less than friendly bacteria. (I cannot advise on nail infections ingrowing toe nails or any other conditions I am not a doctor) 

So this is the basic home kit. 

LED lamp.

White buffing blocks.

A selection of good quality files. 5 various grits should suffice.

Metal cuticle tool.

Orange and or hoof sticks.

Very sharp nail scissors.

Metal cuticle nipper.

Large and small nail clippers.

Finger bath

A bowl large enough for your feet to sit in comfortably.

Foot rasp file.

Cuticle remover.

Cuticle oil.

Metal nail cleaning tool.

Nail brush.

Cotton buds.

Cotton Wool balls. 

Lint free pads.

Dehydration prep solution.

Acid primer. 

Good quality UV base coat.

Good quality UV none wipe top coat

A selection of good quality UV gel colours. There are many good colours and deals on Amazon.

Nail polish remover

Foot soak. 

Foot scrub.

Foot mask  (optional ).

Hand mask.

Large plastic food bags.

Toe separators.

Please note uv gels are impervious to regular nail polish remover the nail needs to be soaked in pure acetone or filed and bluffed off. However, UV gels should give you a good two to three weeks wear without chipping.


Ok so you have your kit. Lets get going.

Feet first. Fill the bowl with warm water enough to reach the ankles and add a small cup full of foot soak. soak your feet for around 15 minutes. 

Take a small amount of the foot scrub and gently massage into the feet one at a time and put back in the water.

Taking the foot rasp gently start removing any hard skin paying attention to the heel and ball of the foot. There may also be build up on the outside of the big toe. You are not going to remove all of the hard skin in one go.  If particularly bad seek the advice of a chiropodist. You should notice a build up of a white substance on the foot rasp. Use the rasp in a circular motion. Do each foot in turn and replace in the water. Have a warmed towel to hand.

Thinly cover each foot in the foot mask, and place the feet in the plastic bags and wrap both in the warm towel. Chill.

After 15 minutes or so remove the bags and wash off any mask residue. 

You will be amazed by how soft your feet will feel. Dry the feet thoroughly.

Now place a small dot of the cuticle remover on each nail, take your cuticle tool and using the spoon shaped end gently move from the free edge towards the cuticle. DO NOT DIG INTO THE CUTICLE.  You will notice that a white creamy substance will build up on the end of the tool this is the dissolved cuticle from the nail plate. Do all five nails and put the foot back in the water. This is a absolute must because cuticle remover will continue to work unless it is washed off. Dry the feet thoroughly.

Now you are ready to start to shape and file. Toe nails MUST BE CUT STRAIGHT ACROSS take a 240 grit file and in a single stroke file the free edge. Angle the file inward this helps prevent micro shattering of the free edge. Also lightly file the corners of the free edge to help prevent ingrown toe nails.

Almost ready for the pretty bits.

Take your white buffing block and gently buff across the nail plate to remove any ridges take your time and be careful of the cuticle. Repeat on all five nails next dampen the cuticle and using an orange stick or hoof stick gently push back the cuticle on each toe.

You have just given yourself your first home pedicure.

Paint a thin layer of the dehydration prep solution and allow to evaporate. Now paint on a thin layer of the acid primer and wait for it to evaporate. Clean around the nail with the nail brush.

Pretty time.

The best way to use UV gels is in thin layers. UV gels also have the benefit of not drying in the same way as regular polish.

Weave the toe separators through the toes.

Paint a thin layer of the UV base coat on the nails.  Put the foot in the LED lamp and cure for 60 seconds.

Paint a thin layer of your chosen colour and cure again for 60 seconds. Repeat with a second coat. Try to leave a small gap between the nail plate and the skin on either side.

Paint a thin layer of the none wipe top coat one coat should suffice for a mirror finish.

Viola done!!!!

A manicure is to all intents and purposes similar however,  there are a few differences.  Rough hands will require treatment with the best quality hand moisturising products you can afford. 

Ok so here we go


Pour warm water into the finger nail bath.  Soak the nails for around 5 minutes. Using the same process as with your toes place a small dot of the cuticle remover on the nail plate then use the cuticle tool from the free edge towards the cuticle again be careful not to damage the cuticle. Check for any ragged edges around the cuticle and GENTLY use the cuticle nipper to remove them. Repeat the process on both hands.  Once again wash off any cuticle remover. While the nails are still damp use an orange stick or hoof stick to gently push back the cuticles. 

Dry the hands thoroughly.

Take your white buffing block and gently buff across the nail plate do not touch the cuticle.

Repeat on all nails. 

Filing and shape are of course very personal however, the process is the same whatever shape you want. Use either the nail scissors or clippers to roughly shape the nail. Take your file the finest grit you have and staring at the corner of the free edge file toward the centre DO NOT USE A SAWING ACTION  this creates micro shattering of the free edge. Once you have the shape you are happy with repeat on all of your nails.

Have the towel warmed and put a thin layer of the hand mask up to the wrist place in one of the plastic bags and wrap in the warm towel leave for 15 minutes.

Repeat on both hands. Wash off any mask residue and dry your hands thoroughly.

Paint on a thin layer of the dehydration prep solution and allow to evaporate. You can use a thin layer of the acid primer however, this is not essential. Clean the nail

Precisely the same process for the UV gels as with the toes.

There you go a full manicure and pedicure. 

Tip when painting your opposing hand it is a good idea to hold something such as a small box this helps keep the nails flat and less likely to move around. It takes practice however, half a dozen attemps should be enough.

Have fun. Any questions about this or products please don't hesitate to ask me

Kali-Ann 💋 xx 

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Thanks Kali-Ann!   There is more information here than I expected.  I like the idea to hold on to something like a box to keep the nails flat.


Cheers, Jani

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jae bear

Wow Kali-Ann!!!  I think that’s the best Mani/Pedi tutorial I’ve ever seen in my entire life !  You clearly know what you’re doing, being a professional has it’s perks doesn’t it? I wish I could get a pedicure myself but alas my paralyzed right foot needs to be in completely covered footwear all the times, so my little piggies never see the light of day .  I do however really want to work a little harder on my  manicure skills,  and I do like the gel, so far my gel manicure is completely perfect after nearly a full week. I can see your experience is going to be absolutely invaluable to the girls here, especially me !



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Kali-Ann Gills
5 hours ago, jae bear said:

Wow Kali-Ann!!!  I think that’s the best Mani/Pedi tutorial I’ve ever seen in my entire life !  You clearly know what you’re doing, being a professional has it’s perks doesn’t it? I wish I could get a pedicure myself but alas my paralyzed right foot needs to be in completely covered footwear all the times, so my little piggies never see the light of day .  I do however really want to work a little harder on my  manicure skills,  and I do like the gel, so far my gel manicure is completely perfect after nearly a full week. I can see your experience is going to be absolutely invaluable to the girls here, especially me !



Hi Jackie, 

Thanks. I am sorry to hear about your foot please forgive me if I caused you distress. However, if there is no medical reason you could still do your right toes they may not be seen but you would know 😆 To be honest nails are not the mumbo jumbo and black magic some would have you believe. 

One tip I am going to share with you is this. If you are not completely confident using polish and tend to get it on the skin around the nail then paint some liquid like vaseline on the skin. Once the gel is cured simply wipe off Viola no gel on the skin.

There are many tricks of the trade that I will share with everyone. 

I am going to post a  guide on making Granite or marble looking nails today. 


Love and stay safe. 

Kali-Ann 💋 xx 

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Kali-Ann Gills
11 hours ago, Jani said:

Thanks Kali-Ann!   There is more information here than I expected.  I like the idea to hold on to something like a box to keep the nails flat.


Cheers, Jani

Hi Jani,  

I am pleased that you found it useful.

I believe that it would be quite useful to the girls here if I could share what I know. I have just completeda post on creating nails that have the appearance of stone either granite or marble. A very simple process. 

Kali-Ann 💋 xx 

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