One day soon your sandals will beckon from the back of your closet. You’ll take off your winter boots, remove your woolen socks, and eeekkk! discover what winter has done to your feet. Get your tootsies ready for spring’s open-toed, strappy, barely-there sandals with a luxurious pedicure at home. Here’s how you can give yourself the best ever pedicure without setting foot outside your door.
Soak and Soften
Remove old polish and then soak your feet in warm water for five minutes to 10 minutes. Boost the softening power of this treatment with your choice of additives. You could add to the water either body wash, hand soap or dish soap. You might favor a salt-based soak to soften skin and cuticles. One favorite is Sally Hansen Salon Mineral Foot Soak ($8). Soothe tired feet with Eden & Farrow Tea Tree foot soak, ($12), amazon.com. Try Earth Therapeutics Tea Tree Oil Foot Soak ($8), earththerapeutics.com.
If you are feeling creative, mix up your own treatment by tossing in a teaspoon of tea tree oil, a capful of witch hazel, a half cup of Epsom salts, and three drops of peppermint or rosemary oil.
Exfoliate Dead Skin
Dry your feet, and then use a pumice stone or foot file to remove callused spots. Gently and lightly rub the top layer of skin on the bottom of your feet, heels and toes. Nail technicians recommend a file with medium grit such as the Tweezerman Spa Callus Smoother, ($20), . A pumice stone such as Cuccio Earth Stone Pumice ($11) can work wonders on calluses.
Massage with Scrub
Continue gently removing dry, dead skin by smoothing onto the skin an exfoliating scrub with medium-size grains such as salt or sugar crystals and moisturizers. Choosing an oil-based product adds extra moisturize while exfoliating. Give each foot a massage for one or two minutes. Begin at your heel with tiny circular motions and move on to your toes, ankles, and calves. Try the Barielle 60 Second Mani-Pedi ($25), Sephora Super Foot Scrub ($22), or the oil-based SeaRx Microdermabrasion Face and Body Scrub ($28). Rinse off with warm water.
With a straight-edge steel clipper made specifically for toenails, make three cuts on each nail to trim your toenails straight across to a length about even with the top of your toes. The Sally Hansen LaCross Comfort Curve toenail clip, ($3, is available at drugstores). Softly round the outer edges of each nail with an emery board to prevent ingrown toenails. You might like the Design Nails Nail Files ($2.49).
Luxuriate in a great moisturizer made especially for your feet for an all-over smooth on the heels, top and bottom of your soles. One rich foot cream is ($10). Another is Curél Deep-Penetrating Foot Cream, ($6) at drugstores and walmart.com. You might like trying Clarins Foot Beauty Treatment Cream ($25, clarinsusa.com).
Remove any leftover cream from your toenails with a cotton pad soaked in polish remover. Thread tissues between your toes, and then apply a clear base coat. Follow up with two coats of nail color and a fast drying top coat to prevent chips. An effective finish is Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, ($8), .
Don’t Run Off
Let your beautifully polished toenails dry at least 15 minutes before sliding into open-toed shoes, and remember two hours must elapse for your nails to be totally dry.