We’re definitely in the height of sandal season right now, which means your pedicure is on display. Constantly wearing open shoes (or worse, flip flops) can be hard wearing on heels and toes though, so we rounded up all the essential tools for keeping your feet looking fantastic without a weekly trip to the salon.
There are two ways you can go about preparing your feet: you can either soak your feet first, or file your calluses while your feet are dry. When we say soaking your feet we mean, if they are moist when you get out of the shower then that’s good. Or you can pull up a bucket and get comfy, your choice.
Trimming toenails can often be tricky business because they are tough as nails (pardon the pun). If you choose to clip or cut, then do it carefully so you don’t crack them. Keeping the nail edge a straight line and not too short, particularly on your big toe, will help keep ingrowns at bay – this is no time for a fancy almond shape. If your nails aren’t long enough to warrant clipping, then filing is your best option. Use a medium grit like a 180 to file, and then finish off with a 240 to smooth the edge off (not sure what these numbers mean? The grit is the number of abrasive grain particles per inch of sandpaper. Essentially, the bigger the grain, the lower the grit, the coarser the paper.)
A crucial step, but often one we miss. It’s important to keep keep cuticles hydrated, and to sink some moisture back into feet after you have filed away calluses. Invest in a heavy cream and treat yourself – pop it on and put your feet up on the coffee table while you watch back to back episodes of Game of Thrones.
Definitely the fun part, but also not a step to be rushed (still got that TV on?)
After you have let your moisturizer sink in, wipe away any excess oil on your nails with a swipe of nail polish remover – this will dry your nails out and means the polish will go on smoothly.
Because of the way toes touch each other, it’s important to separate them so the polish doesn’t smudge seconds after it hits the nail. If you don’t have toe separators, simply roll up a piece of paper towel and thread it between your toes – cheap and easy!
Base coat is essential for making sure you get the most out of your pedicure (who has time to touch up their toes every few days) and will also prevent staining on the nails (because that bright red you are using will stain your nail beds).
When painting, be sure to ‘wrap the tips’ – this means wipe a bit of polish across the tip of the nail to give it extra reinforcement. The tips are always the first place toe polish rubs away, and this just helps it last that bit longer. Finish off with a top coat to seal it all in (including the tips) and you’re good to go. You can also keep your pedi looking fresh by reapplying top coat every few days, and slapping on some moisturizer before bed.