YOU are your Pedicure

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The #1 conversation I have with my clients or potential clients almost always has this question “What is the procedure?”

Procedure: an established or official way of doing something.

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Now, I’m a “don’t stay between the lines” kinda gal. However, I also value the importance of following “established procedures” in an effort to receive optimum results. Most of those established procedures are very basic and generic steps.
So when my clients call and ask if they can use a scrub before callus debridement, or put aromatherapy in their water, or offer a waterless pedicure with our products….I always tell them this…

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I believe it is important to follow Mfg’s procedures on product brands because I do feel that is the way you receive optimum results.
However, if you look at all the brands, they all have the same products of which to perform a pedicure. Cleansing soak, Callus softening, Massage product.
And, if you analyze the procedures, they are all pretty much the same.  Soak, manicure, callus debride, massage.

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What is it then, if all the same basic products are the same, and they all have the same basic steps…..what is it that makes YOU different? What is it which allows one(1) person to charge $85.00 for their pedicure and another $35.00?
You could say it’s location. You could say it’s the type of clientele.
I say it’s creativity, knowledge, courage and confidence and the desire to “make it your own”.

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Pedicures date back to 2300 BC. It is noted the Egyptians took very good care of their feet.

NOTE: Care of their feet. THAT is a pedicure. 

So, if you just want to “take care” of your clients feet, then yes….follow the basic steps of a Pedicure.

However, if you want to give your clients an experience, everything you do over and above a basic pedicure is what makes it your own.

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When you realize the added “ambience” cost more money and takes more time, this is when you can begin to establish the price point you should be at.

Use caution though. Just because you add a mask to your pedicure, doesn’t make the value of your pedicure automatically $10.00 more. It’s also the presentation, the flare and mostly the confidence you display in your application of that mask along with knowledge of the product.

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To give you a better visual of this conversation, look at this chart. You can see by the √’s, there really isn’t a whole lot of difference in procedures.


Toenail trimming manicuring cuticle Polish Soak Callus debridement Mask Exfoliate Massage
Basic pedicure
Waterless/dry Pedicure
Solutions Pedicure
Spa Pedicure
Oncology Care Modified completely
Diabetic Care Modified completely

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Let’s take a look at these one by one;


Call it what you wish, a basic pedicure is as generic as you can get. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. There is a market for it.

  • Client consultation and removal of nail polish
  • Foot soak for cleansing
  • Toenail manicuring
  • Callus debridement (I would really like to say callus treatment, however I would get raked over the coals if I did so)
  • Massage
  • Polish

Exfoliation is sometimes included in a basic pedicure.

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Not much different from your basic Pedicure and, there seems to be a big push on taking away the soaking of our clients feet. Yes, there are definite times we should NOT soak (diabetic, oncology care). However, there are many Technicians taking this route in their Salons as normal procedure.

  • Client consultation and removal of nail polish
  • Foot cleansing (typically with a spray bottle of warm water with cleansing product)
  • Toenail manicuring
  • Callus debridement
  • Massage
  • Polish

These are your basic steps for a waterless/dry pedicure. However, you certainly can add all the ambience you want in an effort to offer more of a luxurious waterless/dry pedicure.

Offering a mask, steamed towels, direct steamer, aromatherapy……the list goes on and on…..TO MAKE IT YOUR OWN!

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A solutions pedicure or callus solution service targets strictly calluses. Centre For Beauty offers a product which works perfectly for this (Podosafe). It is designed to care for the thickest of calluses as well as that group of clients who just don’t want to take the time and don’t like all the “other” stuff which comes along with a pedicure. By calling it a callus solution service, it sounds more like a solution to a problem rather than a pampering or luxury service which most people relate to pedicures.

  • Client consultation and removal of nail polish
  • Spraying of callus solution product, curing per Mfg’s suggestion
  • Toenail manicuring
  • Callus debridement
  • Deactivating
  • Polish

My recommendation is to use this as. stand alone service. Our clients are charging anywhere between $75.00 and $125.00 for this service.  It takes approx. 40 minutes (with polish). this is truly your no fluff N buff service.

In addition, this service is often performed and followed up by a nice relaxing pedicure (less the callus and toenail work) because it has already been done.  GREAT money maker and GREST results for your clients.

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Spa pedicure, also called signature pedicure, also called luxurious pedicure or whatever creative names we come up with. This is the Mac daddy of all pedicures. We typically charge a higher price and add all the fluff and buff into the service.

  • Client consultation and removal of nail polish
  • Foot soak for cleansing
  • Toenail manicuring
  • Callus debridement
  • Massage
  • Polish

Added fluff

  • Scrub or exfoliant
  • Mask
  • Paraffin
  • Warm towels
  • Steamer
  • Anti Age
  • Aromatherapy
  • And, so many more creative ideas

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Completely modified.

The thing with either of these pedicures is we have to, without a doubt modify completely to our clients needs. What the client is going through or experiencing at THAT particular time of his/her pedicure, will depend 100% on what you perform.

  • Oncology care clients are restricted based on what Oncology care treatment they are at. Radiation? Chemotherapy? Remission? etc?
  • Diabetic care clients are the same as Oncology just slightly different. What type? Age? Condition of the skin? etc.?

Caring for diabetic feet or an Oncology care client is a specialty. Both of these require additional (specialty) training. I think you would be surprised at what you would learn about what NOT to do.

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Here’s the thing though and this is where you start to make it your own.

Can you use steam in a basic pedicure?

Can you add heated towels?

Can you use an exfoliating scrub in your dry pedicure?

Can you add a mask?

The answer is ABSOLUTELY and you should absolutely know exactly what you want to do.

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Here are two(2) great examples;

  1. I have a client which does absolutely no fluff in her pedicures. She is very well known for her amazing toenail work. Reducing thickness, offering toenail restoration, total and complete flawless work.
    1. She’s 100% booked and receives a pretty high price for what she calls simply a pedicure.
  2. I also have a client who spends as much time on the toenails to produce an absolute flawless template for his flawless application of polish and glitter. In addition, the added ambience of heated towels, golden mask and attention to detail to the clients experience.
    1. Also booked 100% and receives no less than $100.00 per service with added $$$ for every added piece of ambience he applies.

The thing with both of these scenarios is the Technician makes the recommendation to their client for what they need or should experience. Neither of them wait for the client to decide.

Both of these clients of mine are a huge success and confidently charge a higher price than most, for their pedicure service. They have made it their own. They found their niche.

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Finding your niche and perfecting what you do, enjoying what you do….is key.

I struggle constantly with giving one particular answer to anyone who presents me with the “can I do this? question. I simply say yes….you can do anything you want to do.

The questions you need to be asking yourself is;

  • How much time do I want to dedicate to my client sitting in my chair?
  • Am I a just get it done kinda person, or am I one to get into the moment and enjoy the experience of giving the experience.
  • Do I have the knowledge and the experience to be working with immune compromised clients.

These three(3) questions are a good foundation to decide where you want to go and what you want your pedicures to be known for.

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I do want to caution a little;

Our Pedicure industry is getting close to crossing the line of labeling our pedicures “medical”.

I understand there is education teaching how to care for diabetic feet, how to manage thick toenails, how to remove ingrown nails, how to manage corns. I get it. Knowledge is power and there is absolutely nothing wrong with learning these techniques.

However, this type of education in our industry does not give us an automatic pathway to a “medical” pedicure. I know this industry well and I seen personally the hardships Technicians have been through because of mis-classification or working out of the limits of their license.

I just caution you to be careful. Making any medical claim can only be done while working under a medical professional. This does not mean you know a medical professional or you can get a write off from a medical professional. It means you have to be working in the same office.

Do I really care whether you think you are performing medical pedicures? No, do as you wish. What I care about is what happens to our industry when the time comes when our State Boards begin to pay attention again…..because they will. this mis-classification will affect us all.


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The same holds true for making “medical” claims about the products you use.

There is always something new being introduced in our industry. The buzz word right now is “medical” grade. Again, just be cautious. What a Mfg. can claim on their products is far different then what we can claim as Technicians.

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The bottom line is this… a leader, not a follower.

The next greatest product, may not be the greatest for you. Choose a product based on what YOU know, not what someone else knows. Choose a product based on what YOU want to do in your service, not what someone else does. Choose a product because it works for YOU and your clients, not someone else.

Be confident, be creative and dare to be different. I think you might be surprised at the results.

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4 thoughts on “YOU are your Pedicure”

  1. This article is amazing! What a wealth of information. I am currently revamping my entire pedicure routine to make it my own and to make it a great experience with amazing results. Thanks to you, your product knowledge and answering all my silly questions, I now feel super confident in my decisions to add a more luxurious experience for my clients. Thank you so much CJ for always giving your knowledge and kindness.

    1. Shea, you are so welcome. I look forward to hearing all about your new service. Who knows…I may be heading your way some day.

  2. As always a great educational article by CJ MURRAY of CENTRE FOR BEAUTY.
    I agree Our added Education for Medical Nail Technicians, means we are trained for safe services
    and When to Refer to a Medical Professional. It does Not mean we can offer those “medical type procedures.
    Thank you for all you do for our Industry.

    Lydian Flash

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