Beauty & Fashion
In the middle of winter, our feet are pretty low down on the beauty priority list, but shouldn’t be. Treat yourself to a moisturising pamper for the perfect pick-me-up. Here’s our advice on how to bring the fabulous back to your feet in seven easy steps.
Before you start, you will need to gather your supplies. This includes scented candles, a great CD and most importantly, a glass of wine! For a good, quality pedicure, you’ll need some basic toe-tampering supplies. Grab a tub of water for soaking, nail clippers, a nail file, a cuticle/orange stick, a nail buffer, a pumice stone or scrubbing brush, a clear topcoat and base coat, and a polish colour of choice. Optional additional supplies include bath salts for soaking your feet, cuticle trimmers, cuticle oil and lotion for a massage afterwards.
Step 1: Soak
Start with clean, polish-free nails. Fill a basin (or your bathtub) with warm water and add your soap or foot soak of choice. Dip your feet into the water and let them soak for two to five minutes. While you relax, peruse Facebook or flip through a magazine while the soapy water naturally softens your calluses. Look at you, multitasking.
Step 2: File
Remove your feet from the soak and, while they’re still slightly wet, scrub both feet with a foot file, focusing on the rougher areas. Start with the coarser grain to file calluses, then moving to the fine-grain side to smooth. Either side will get the job done though, it just depends on your personal preference.
Step 3: Scrub
Soothe your feet with your favourite foot scrub, dip them back into the basin to rinse or to wipe the scrub off with a damp towel.
Step 4: Shape
Clip each nail straight across, and then use an emery board underneath the edge to gently shape and smooth each nail. It’s important to do this step before the next one (cuticle softener) to avoid damaging your nails.
Step 5: Cuticles
Apply a drop of cuticle softener to the base of each nail. Let your toes sit for one or two minutes so the product can do its thing, and then gently push back each cuticle. Use a cuticle nipper if needed, but only on dead skin and hang nails. Dip your feet back into the basin to rinse off any remaining cuticle cream, and then dry thoroughly.
Step 6: Polish
Put toe separators on both feet, and sit in a position that’s comfortable and allows you to easily reach your feet. Apply a base coat and allow to dry. Then it’s time to polish! Apply one or two coats of colour and then finish with your favourite topcoat. For a smooth, even, long-lasting pedicure, use thin layers of varnish and allow each coat to dry before applying the next.
Step 7: Mint condition
Once your toes are dry, grab a relaxing foot cream and lavishly slather both the tops and undersides of your feet. And, you’re done. Don’t you feel a 100% better?
5 winter foot-care tips
• Keep your feet clean and dry – Wearing boots and thick socks may keep your feet warm and toasty in the winter, but it can also cause them to sweat a lot.
• Use cotton and wool socks – Socks made of synthetic materials can cause your feet to get sweaty and smelly.
• Massaging your feet will keep them hydrated and nourished and prevent those unwanted cracks. Coconut oil is perfect for the job.
• If you get itchy feet from sweat, try a warm-water soak with white vinegar or apple-cider vinegar for 10 minutes.
• We hope this goes without saying, but wash your feet every day with soap and water, as it can prevent toenail fungus and other unpleasant problems. Make sure your feet are completely dry before you put socks and shoes on again. Change your socks daily. It’s also a good idea to soak your feet in Epsom salt and warm water to relieve discomfort and prevent infections.