Do you still wear socks? Get Sandal-Ready Feet With These At-Home Pedicure Tips
My shoe choices are impractical and recent events haven’t changed that, although fashion itself advocates a more casual look. Glam crocs, chunky sneakers and other hideous and super comfy shoes are all the rage this summer and I haven’t got any.
I’m as happy to be on my heels again as I am having places to go, but foot care, like personal grooming, is higher on my agenda these days.
In addition to compensating for some damage caused by stiletto heels (you’re never more aware of what five-inch heels do to your arches than on your first night out in months), good foot care allows you to staying ready for the sandals and makes you more alert to things that visit the podiatrist.
There are special cleansers for the feet, but the ingredients are rarely different from those found in regular body cleansers.
To avoid infection, dry your toes thoroughly and do not apply cream between them. Margaret Dabbs Foot Hygiene Cream, € 22.95 on lookfantastic.ie, can be a useful care product for sweat-prone feet and those with athlete’s foot. It can also help with nail discoloration, including that caused by forgetting to wear a base coat under dark polish.
The formula uses emu oil to promote skin renewal and pure tea tree oils for its antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Filing or sanding your feet doesn’t have to be part of your daily routine to be effective. A urea foot cream before going to bed can completely eliminate the need for it. Salcura Bioskin Zeoderm Skin Repair Moisturiser, from € 12.99 at Holland and Barrett, contains urea and jojoba and flaxseed oils that keep skin soft from heel to toe.
Gently rubbing stubborn areas with a pumice stone or foot file while in the bath is usually enough for scrubbing. You can also try an exfoliating wash. I don’t generally recommend scrubs, but the soles are unlikely to be irritated or sensitized by the abrasive grains.
Nails Inc. Nourishing Caffeine Foot Scrub, € 15 at nailsinc.com, instantly rejuvenates. Made from naturally antioxidant coffee, the scrub stimulates blood circulation and removes dead skin cells.
The veins in your feet don’t need to stray from your sandals. Women who are pregnant, older or have a genetic predisposition can cover up varicose veins or spider veins with a little makeup. Many articles recommend using a fake tan for coverage.
My criticism of this tip is that tan is not a color corrector for blue or dark red, so it may not give you the coverage you are looking for. MAC Studio face and body foundation, € 32 from arnotts.ie, is a classic. Integral skin perfector. Body makeup is just a water resistant, full coverage foundation and if you already have one for the face it can be just as effective on the feet.
Going over any type of body makeup with an anti-transfer setting spray gives you peace of mind when wearing lightly colored clothes. Urban Decay All Nighter Fixing Spray, € 31, keeps everything where you want it.
It is best to cut the nails with appropriate, straight nail clippers, not too short and not too low at the corners, as this can lead to ingrown toenails. If you can’t cut your nails, try filing them once or twice a week instead. Crystal nail files designed specifically for pedicures tend to work faster and more efficiently than nail files. They also last longer, so there’s no need to wear down your favorite emery board on your nails.
According to the Royal College of Podiatry website, thicker nails are better to file and lightly polish than to use electrical or chemical products to lighten them. Abrasive “home salon” tools are easily overused and can make nails sensitive and even painful. Likewise, I use a metal cuticle remover on both sets of nails, but this semi-professional tool can be tricky. If you are concerned about the cuts, just push them back with orange sticks in the shower to clean the nail beds.
A beautiful polish can do double duty with the manicure and pedicure. The Chanel Le Vernis Longwear nail polish in Sailor 749, € 27 at Brown Thomas, could be the perfect red this season. If you prefer nude or French-polished nails, an anti-UV top coat is a summer must-have. Sunglasses damaged by the sun can give you “smoker’s nails” and they are even worse with sandals. Zoya Armor Top Coat, € 13.88 at nailpolishdirect.co.uk protects your favorite nail polish with a shine.