When Most People Think of Nail Care, it’s fingernails that come to mind. Yet, in cities like New York and Paris, pedicures outrank manicures as the current beauty “must-haves.”
I’m not sure why this is. Perhaps it’s the hoseless legs, bare feet, and strappy shoes ladies wear with no regard to the season – although it could be something else that I have no knowledge of. Regardless of the reason, however, urban sophisticates have gorgeous toes: smooth, moisturized, and dressed with subtle nude, classic red, or some seasonal shade of nail color. You too, can have lovely feet – in fact, good-looking toenails are easier to create and maintain than attractive, well-cared-for fingernails. That’s because your toenails need in-depth attention only every 2 to 3 weeks, while fingernails need a fresh manicure every week or week-and-a-half.
Assembling your tools
Your pedicure access ones should include nail polish remover and cotton balls; hand and cuticle cream’ a buffer buffer; an orangewood or birchwood stick; a nail brush; nail clippers; and nail antiseptic. Have a bowl of warm, soapy water with a few drops of lemon juice and a few drops of olive all to hand. An antimicrobial base coat is a smart option for those of you worried about fungal infections, while a foot pumice, nail mask, nail color, and top coat are optional extras for your pedicure. Now that you have got all the equipment together, you can get to work on your toenails.
Preparing your toes
With nail-polish remover and a cotton ball, remove any traces of old polish. If you have any thick, ridged toenails, or calluses on your toes, use a buffer to gently smooth these. Work gently and conservatively! Too little buffing is safer and healthier than too much.
Soak your feet for 2 or 3 minutes in a basin of warm, soapy water to help clean under your nails and to soften nails and cuticles. Use a nailbrush to dislodge dirt and exfoliate any dry skin, and dry thoroughly. Using an orangewood or birchwood stick, GENTLY clean away any remaining dirt under nails. Now would be a good moment to treat your feet to a gentle exfoliation with a foot pumice.
Trim your nails with nail dippers, taking care not to dip them too short, or to curve nails in at the corners.
Moisturizing your feet and toes
Dry, cracked feet steal attention from well-tended toenails. Moisturize feet with a 2- or 3-minute massage using your favorite hand or body cream. If using a nail mask, apply it now and allow it to remain on for an hour. Not everyone has heavy cuticles on their toenails. If you do, massage a bit of cuticle cream into cuticles and gently nudge back overgrown skin with an orangewood stick; if you are particularly sensitive, wrap the end of the stick in cotton.
To remove any oily residue, swipe nails with nail antiseptic. Prime nails for polish with a base coat. To apply, place your foot flat on a level surface and spread your toes out – if your toes are particularly bunched, separate them with cotton balls. Paint a thin coat of base coat on each toenail. Those who prefer a natural look can end the pedicure here.
You should apply polish in the same way that you applied the base coat. When the polish is dry, apply a second coat. Remove any stray traces of nail color with an orangewood stick wrapped in cotton and dipped in nail-polish remover.
When nail color has dried, apply a top coat. Do nothing, touch nothing, put on nothing, until your toenails are dry.