‘Pedicure’ means care of the feet. It’s one thing to fancify your toes, but what about cracked heels? Here’s how to pamper those puppies, at home.
Step 1: Remove all traces of nail polish
If you or your pedicurist had applied a basecoat the previous time, this step should be a breeze. Use an acetone nail polish remover if your old nail polish is stubborn.
Step 2: Trim and file
Trim your nails using nail clippers, straight across (not too short). File them to smooth the (straight) edges, if you want. Keeping your toenails straight prevents painful ingrown toenails.
Step 3: Soak
Fill a foot spa or moveable basin with warm water and toss in a foot soak. The Body Shop’s Peppermint Reviving Foot Soak, R99, contains naturally effervescent salts and refreshing peppermint oil. Or you could get creative and add a capful of witch hazel, half a cup of Epsom salts or Hydro Active Mineral Salts from Dermalogica, R350, and a few drops of tea tree oil (R65 at The Body Shop). Soak your feet for five to 10 minutes while you catch up on some reading. This cleanses them and softens your dead skin cells, prepping them for steps five and six. Dry thoroughly.
Step 4: Push back your cuticles
Apply cuticle oil to your nails and rub it in by pushing your cuticles back with your thumb. Sally Hansen’s Cuticle Massage Cream with apricot oil, R59.99, is really nice. Dress the tip of an orange stick with cotton wool and use it to dot Cuticle Remover from Mavala, R130, onto your cuticles and push them back gently in small circular motions.
Step 5: Buff baby
For the brave, and only if need be, lightly shave away the dead skin using a corn and callus cutter (Warning: Do not remove or cut any corns or calluses!). Smooth any rough, dry areas on the heels and balls of the feet with a callus file, then wet a pumice stone, add some foot soak and gently scrub the soles of your feet.
Step 6: Scrub
Put on your exfoliating gloves, if you like, add a blob of foot scrub, and massage your feet and legs up to your knees. Try Charlotte Rhys’s Salt Scrub, R83 – it’s their bestseller. Rinse off with warm water and dry thoroughly. This not only gets rid of dead skin cells, giving your legs natural shine, it also boosts circulation.
Step 7: Moisturise/Massage
Squirt some lotion made especially for your feet, into the palm of your hands. We like Crabtree & Evelyn’s Peppermint Cooling Foot Lotion, R85. Smooth it over the same area and massage (or beg your man to do the honours).
Now, separate your toes with tootsies (toe separators) and follow steps seven to 10 of “How to: do a mani” to paint your nails like a pro.