Well, I'm a "research" girl and I have found a couple of items that make my personal mani-pedi experience way cheaper, painless, and to my liking.
First item is Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover. This is really amazing stuff! It softens the cuticle and sort of deteriorates it at the same time within minutes. Making it real easy to basically remove them. You can also soak your nails in warm water, if you want to skip buying the Sally Hansen.
Second, 2 nail items that I must have, a good base and a good top coat! I've been stuck on Nail Envy by OPI as a base and Seche Vite as a Top coat.
Third, with the Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle remover I use a Cuticle remover/Pusher. It's 2 tools in one to help you push back the nail skin, as well as cut the cuticle off. I purchased this in a local Rite Aid, from the stores brand Renewal. I believe Sally Hanson also has one too.
Fourth, best infomerical I've ever seen was for the PEDI-EGG! Love it! Have had it for over 2 years, I've replace the razor and the buffing pad only once, and I was able to find them at BED, Bath and BEyond.
Again I use the Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover over the rough spots on my foot or calluses for about 2-3 minutes. This stuff is great for really softening up the problems areas, and making it really easy for the Pedi-Egg grater side(it honestly looks like a cheese grater) to just scrape it right off and the buffing pads to simply smooth it out...
Fifth, 3 final items. A nail filer, clipper and a cuticle corners. All for the obvious reasons; trimming, cutting hard to reach corners and smoothing away any rough edges.And there you have it, a salon at home.
As for lotions, my favorite is O'Keeffe's for Healthy Feet. I got this at Bed and Bath, but I believe you can get it online. It's pretty pricey for the amount you get, but a little goes along away. This stuff does miracles for really rough feet. Unfortunately, I don't have the most girliest feet, but this really helps!!! It's not a cream, it is more of a wax. What I like to do, is smother my feet at night and slip on some socks before going to bed!