DIY French Pedicure: The Ultimate Guide

  • Anyone wanting an elegant, classy pedicure should do a French pedicure.

  • Before painting toenails, a good foot soak, callus removal, and smoothing the foot skin comes first.

  • Depending on how long it lasts and looks presentable, plan on giving yourself a DIY French Pedi every 2 to 3 weeks.

What is a French Pedicure?

A classic French pedicure is a style of applying a light pink, nude or bright toenail polish along with thin white lines running horizontally on the tips.

Your taste and imagination are all that limit possible style variations.

French pedicure
French pedicures with a twist include:

  • Double French with white polish painted at the tips and cuticles
  • Bold colors (like yellow or blue) or ombre designs
  • Asymmetrical tips
  • Wide or super thin tips
  • Polka dot, animal print or floral designed tips
  • Sparkles or jewels in the tips
  • Metallic painted tips

Who should do a French Pedicure?

Anyone wanting an elegant, classy pedicure should do a French pedicure.

The look is timeless and immediately gives you an air of sophistication. It’s classy and clean.

At the same time, the new, bold, coloring out of the lines French pedicures are young and fresh.

Tools and Supplies

A vital component of a beautiful DIY French pedicure is to prepare feet properly.

foot bath

Before painting toenails, a good foot soak, callus removal, and smoothing the skin on the feet comes first.

You should use at least one of these callus removing tools to prep feet.

Pick your favorite and have it on hand before beginning the pedicure.

Electric Callus Remover

An electric callus remover is a quick and handy tool to remove hard calluses and smooth dry, rough skin.

Own Harmony callus remover

It uses a textured rotating roller to buff away calluses gently.

Our choice for the best model is the Own Harmony Electric Callus Remover.

It has excellent features at a low price and delivers spa-quality results.

Pumice Stone

A pumice stone is a natural alternative for callus removal.

Pumice smooth feet

With its rough texture, it works well to remove calluses by rubbing softened skin in a circular motion with a moistened stone.

Foot File

A foot file is much like a handheld emery board for your feet.

foot file

It works by using either upward or downward strokes to scrape dead skin away until smooth.

Metal foot files are a popular choice but take care not to press too hard or remove too much dead skin.

Callus-Removing Creams or Gels

Most creams contain a hard skin dissolving ingredient such as Urea or salicylic acid.

The Best Foot Callus Removing Creams, Lotions and Gels

After a few applications to affected areas, the hard skin dissolves and softens enough for removal.

Foot Masks

Foot masks go over clean, dry feet like booties or high ankle socks.

11 Best Foot Peel Masks For Dry, Cracked Feet

The booties contain an acid that works to soften and remove calluses and smooth rough skin—the skin sheds and peels over a few days for super soft Pedi ready feet.

Foot Soak

A cleansing foot soak before a pedicure ensures your feet are both clean and soft.


Additives like skin-softening oils or Epsom salt clean and pamper your feet at the same time.

Soak about 10 minutes before your pedicure.

Easy Steps for a DIY French Pedicure

Step one: Preparation

Gather all your tools before you start the pedicure so you will be prepared and move from one step to the next.


Here’s a checklist:

  • Large bowl or tub for soaking feet
  • One or two clean towels
  • Foot soak essential oils or other additives.
  • Body lotion or foot cream
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail file
  • Orange sticks
  • Cuticle gel
  • Cotton balls
  • Nail polish remover
  • Q-tips
  • Washcloths or clean rag for wipes/spills
  • Callus removing tool (electric callus remover, pumice stone, foot file)
  • Toe spacers if you like using them
  • White toenail polish
  • Light pink or clear toenail polish
  • A small eyeshadow brush

Step Two: Foot Soak

foot soak

Fill large bowl or tub with warm water and add Epsom salt, bath salts or oils for soaking your feet. Soak feet for about 10 to 15 minutes to soften hard, callused skin. Pat dry when done.

Step Three: Use A Callus Remover Tool

Own Harmony callus remover

On softened feet, use the electric callus remover, pumice stone or foot file to remove calluses and smooth, dry areas of feet. Rinse feet and pat dry.

Apply a generous amount of foot cream and massage into feet.

Step Four: Prep Toenails

Using a cotton ball and nail polish remover to remove any old, chipped nail polish.

diy manicure

Cut nails straight across instead of curving to avoid ingrown toenails. Rub in cuticle oil and push back cuticles with an orange stick.

Step Five: Apply White Polish to Nail Tips

nail polish

Paint tips only with two coats of white polish.

Step Six: Correct and Finish

To correct white tips, dip a small brush in nail polish remover and carefully clean up uneven edges or mistakes.

french pedicure

After correcting white tips and they are completely dry, paint the entire nail with one or two coats of the light pink or clear polish. Let dry, and you’ are done!

Add Personal Touches

Today’s French pedicure breaks all the rules of the original classic design.

nail art

Feel free to use gel polishes, bold colors, glitter, jewels, designs, or multiple tips with thinner or broader tips.

How Often should you give Yourself a DIY French Pedicure?

Depending on how long it lasts and looks presentable, plan on giving yourself a DIY French Pedi every 2 to 3 weeks.

Are French Pedicures Still in Style?

Much like any designer or fashion trend, what’s old usually becomes new again. This is undoubtedly true for French pedicures.

The new French pedicure breaks down all the boundaries.

Instead of white lines at the tips, you may see white polka dots.

A French fade or ombre is a thing. And from a “double corner French” Pedi, which features thin white tips at both the top and bottom of the nail, to the bold, colorful bedazzled styles, French pedicures are still in style and here to stay.

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