Bastien Gonzalez chocolate pedi review

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Last week, I was offered an indulgent little treatment I simply couldn’t resist… a Bastien Gonzalez chocolate mani and pedi at the One&Only Spa.

Many of my media friends have either experienced Bastien’s treatment or interviewed him and they all come back raving about it. (For those of you who don’t know, Mr Gonzalez in an internationally acclaimed French foot guru who deals with le tootsies of big name stars that he’s far too polite to name…) Was always v. jealous every time I had to hear ‘So, I’m off to get my pedi on with Bah-stien, dah-ling…’, so this was an opportunity I couldn’t miss.

My treatment involved two therapists – Kim, who took care of my feet…

Kim’s a PE vrou soos ek, so we can automatically assume that she’s awesome. ;-P

…and Halima who did my hands.

Hey Halima!

Loved being able to lie on a nice, big, heated treatment chair like King Tut while the girls worked away on my nails.

To begin, I was served a yummy Lindt hot choccie while Kim explained Bastien’s method.


lindt hot chocolate

One of the many things that make it different to other pedi’s is that the focus is on the ‘cure’ – restoring the foot to its natural fabulosity as opposed to just giving it temporary guise of pretty with a paint job. This is why it doesn’t involve any water as this can hide the trouble spots they want to blitz – things like dryness or cracked skin. When she took the polish off my toes, I cringed a bit. As I’m a self-tan freak, my nails are often stained a zexy shade of yellow. I also have two white patches on each of my big toes that are taking forever to grow out.

I’d always thought these spots were some kind of damage caused by living in heels, but as it turns out, they’re actually the result of serious dehydration. You see, if you live in nail polish like me, moisture can’t get into your nails. On top of that, many nail polishes contain nasties like toluene and formaldehyde which leach the moisture out of your nail bed.

Bastien nail polish
Bastien’s nail polish in One&Only Red is free of formaldehyde, toulene and DBP. He makes it for die hard nail polish fiends like myself, but prefers to have you walk out au naturale.

This causes a tiny separation of the tightly compacted ‘hairs’ that make up your nail, resulting in an air bubble that, much like a split end in a hair, travels up the nail bed. Eek! The only way to sort it is by foregoing the polish for a bit and treating your nails to mega-moisturising treatments like Bastien’s Unguent, but I’ll get back to that in a bit…

To start, the girls shaped my nails using a glass nail file. As the grit is super-fine, it doesn’t rip your nails or damage the surrounding skin. Next, they used what looked like a tiny little dentist’s drill to gently remove any dead skin from the surface of my nails as well as the sides. Seeing a mini drill-bit coming towards me initially freaked me out, but it doesn’t hurt a bit. The result is pink, healthy-looking nails that are restored to their natural ‘pink and white’ state.

To buff my nails, Halima and Kim used one of Bastien’s fancy microfoliants, Pearly Buffing Cream.

Bastien buffing cream
Bastien’s Pearly Buffing Cream contains real mother of pearl particles. 

When used together with Bastien’s Natural Horn Buffer, the Pearly Buffer helps remove ridges and smoothes the nail to a high-shine finish. In fact, my nails where so shiny, it looked like I’d just applied a few slicks of a glossy top coat.

To finish up, the girls applied a few drops of Bastien’s best-selling nail and cuticle treatment, Reverence de Bastien Unguent


Bastien Ungunet
Just so you know, its pronounced un-gwent. Tricky, I know…

Its a blend of essential oils, vitamin E and arnica and smells a lot like raspberries. Once it absorbed into my toes, the white spots were almost invisible and had shrunk drastically in size. Impressive!

Then came the best bit – to finish up, both Halima and Kim applied a cocoa butter-infused paraffin mask to my hands and feet and gave them a synchronized massage. It smelled amazing and felt so blissful, I almost feel asleep in the chair.

chocolate mani cream
Reckon I spent half my treatment like this, with my nose in the cocoa butter jar. This stuff smells sooo good I wanted to eat my fingers… and toes!

In all, this was the most relaxing and thorough pedi I’ve ever experienced, even though I didn’t leave with any paint. If you’re looking for a way to restore you feet to their natural beauty, this is definitely worth your while.

To book, call the One&Only spa on (021) 431 5810. They’re running a great special at the mo where you can get a chocolate pedi for R350 and a mani for R650. The usual price of these to treatments combined is R1 265, so you’re getting a seriously good deal.

Thanks Kim and Halima – I love your work!

It looks like I’m wearing a little clear polish, right? But that’s just a seriously good buff and a little cuticle oil. Love it! 

P.S. Did you know…

Your big toe nails take a whole YEAR to grow out in full – so look after them!

If you want to keep your nails looking young and beautiful, you need to moisturise them. As they age, they dehydrate and this causes them to turn yellow. This is why v. old peeps often have gnarly, geel looking nails.

To help your nails grow faster, get buffing because heat and friction stimulates growth. (This is also why using a foot file on your feet might eradicate the dry skin initially, but really, it just encourages it to grow back with a vengeance over the long term). 

Written by

Leigh van den Berg is a freelance beauty writer and avid blogger ( She's addicted to all things glossy and glam and currently has eight MAC lipglosses rolling around in her handbag.

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  1. RoseAngel

    This sounded heavenly! I would love to have one of these done! What a pamper session

    6 years ago •

  1. Lumkwana

    It is really good to keep your nails looking young and beautiful, I’ll keep on looking after mine. I love this part “To help your nails grow faster, get buffing because heat and friction stimulates growth. (This is also why using a foot file on your feet might eradicate the dry skin initially, but really, it just encourages it to grow back with a vengeance over the long term). Very informative, thanks.

    6 years ago •

  1. SpiceY

    This mani n pedi sounds amazing !!!! Perfect for pampering

    6 years ago •

  1. ricebunny

    This place sounds and looks amazing! Will definitely be going

    7 years ago •

  1. Rochelle Stewart

    They had me at Chocolate!

    7 years ago •

  1. Zu

    Its a good deal indeed for the special.. But for the normal price is quite expensive.. Too much actually! But thats me.

    7 years ago •

  1. anisha

    I wish that my friends or my man could take the hint and send me for this heavenly treat! My feet seriously need some TLC!

    7 years ago •

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