By Cindy Augustine
While most of us (ok all of us!) are pining for an end to the longest winter in memory and readying ourselves for a season filled with sundresses, strappy sandals and (safe) tans, we’ve still got a ways to go (well, if you’re in NY anyway, where snow seems to be in the forecast even into April). If your winter footcare routine is nothing more than wrapping your toes in warm socks, then take heed. Now’s no time to neglect your feet. Salon-style pedicures, though, can be pricey.
Sure, our feet may still be safely shielded by closed-toe shoes; but, if anything, we’ve got to treat our feet with even more TLC than usual if we intend to show off those sexy soles come the first signs of spring. So, we asked Susan Nam, aesthetician, celebrity manicurist and owner of Polish Beauty Bar, to give us some of her best tips to revive our winter feet for the warm weather we’re sure (well, willing, anyway) is right around the corner… on a budget, of course.
How To Give Yourself A Pedicure
Clean. Remove any polish from your toes with nail polish remover and cotton balls. Cut, trim or file your toe nails with a nail clipper or a nail file. When filing your toenails, follow the natural shape of your nail bed. This usually requires the sides of the nails to be somewhat square and the top to be rounded. This natural shape will keep nails from getting caught in things and help prevent ingrown toe nails. Once you have achieved the shape you like, smooth them out with a buffer. Put cuticle oil on the cuticles and push back gently.
Soak. In a basin, take some warm to hot water and add some Epsom salt to help relax and ease your feet. Soak for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Exfoliate. Gently scrub your feet, heels, balls of the feet and the sides of the big toes with a foot file or exfoliating scrub. Simply scrub for about 2 to 4 minutes on each foot. You’ll be amazed at how soft and smooth your feet can be! For those of you with very deep cracks in your heels, see a podiatrist. He/she can give you a prescription for a cream that contains glycolic acid or lactic acid, which will help your heels heal faster.
Moisturize. Always use a moisturizer on your feet immediately after exfoliating, while feet are still a bit damp. The water will help seal in the moisture. Look for products containing vitamin E, shea butter or jojoba oil (for naturalists), or petrolatum (like Vaseline) and glycerin (for conventionalists). For those of you who have really dry skin, be extra generous with the moisturizer, cover your feet with plastic wrap and wear socks to bed. Repeat for a couple of nights – that should do the trick.
Prep & Polish. Clean nail surface and apply color. Before any polish is applied, make sure that your nail plate is as clean as can be. Wipe the nail plate with acetone or rubbing alcohol to remove all signs of moisture, oils, lint and dust that can be left behind. When applying color, do so using thin, even strokes. Repeat twice and then use a good topcoat. Once polish is dry, you are done.
Moisturize (Again). Add some extra moisturizer to dry areas once your nails are dry and on your cuticles.
Maintain. In between pedicures, brush on a coat of topcoat – mid-week – to help extend the life of the polish.
If you splurge on a salon pedicure, are pedicure razors and callus-removing gels really safe? Find out here!
POLISHED BEAUTY BAR is located at 250 W 78th Street, between Broadway and West End Avenue. For appointments call (212) 933 1830.