A Perfect Pedi: D.I.Y. 101
The first order of business? Replace your tried (and now, tired) & true go-to neutral with something more va-voom. We love the putti-liscious Waking Up in Vegas (Deborah Lippmann) and plan to get back from black with Chanel’s Le Vernis in Satiny Blue, or, perhaps, their heavy-metal'ish Mercure. Silver foxes, you might also like Dior’s Vernis Gris Perle, while other knockout metallics can be found in Orly’s Foil Fx collection (we're rather keen on their luxurious golden Luxe). Can’t decide? Well, happily in this instance you can have it all: Happy Birthday! No darling, not your actual birthday, Deborah Lippmann’s totally glam glitterati nail polish, Happy Birthday!
Also consider the season's spectacular “chemical pastels” – especially in Pantone’s 2010 Color of the Year, Turquoise. Be sure to check out Chanel’s Nouvelle Vague or earn some karma points with Don’t Teal My Heart Away from Karma Organics in recognition of Ovarian Cancer Awareness (right around the corner in September).
Now that you know what to wear, it's time to get those digits summer-ready from the ground up. Of course you already knew that the best pedis involve a pro, but you can still "take your feet into your own hands,” says celeb manicurist Skyy Hadley, owner of As ‘U’ Wish Nail Spa. "When performing a pedicure at home is your only option, there are techniques to follow that will ensure your feet stay healthy and look beautiful.”
Here are her tips on DIY'ing your own at-home pedi like you mean it:
After removing nail polish and spraying feet with an antiseptic, soak feet in water and milk. Adding milk is a crucial step as water can strip skin of moisture and leave feet drier. Milk naturally exfoliates and nourishes the skin and it’s right in your refrigerator. EDITOR'S TIP: Improve on Mother Nature a bit with something more exotic and a bit luxe such as Fresh SugarBath Lychee Bath Cubes. So bubbly and deliciously citrus-scented, they'll tickle both your toes and nose. Budget more beer than bubbly? Opt for Barefoot’s Peppermint & Plum foot soak. A bargain at $3.99.
TIP TWO: Care for Cuticles with Caution
Lightly shape your toenails by cutting nails back slightly and massaging toes and feet with cream or oil. After feet have soaked for a few minutes, push back the cuticles – do NOT cut them. Cutting them creates more hangnails and can even lead to infection. EDITOR'S TIP: Carol’s Daughter makes a marvelous Lemon and Jojoba Cuticle Oil, but if your cuticles are pushing back (instead of the other way round) try Deborah Lippmann's cuticle remover. Of course, if you’re short on time or cash you could always raid your mum’s medicine cabinet and go old school with Blue Cross Cuticle Remover ($3.99).
Got tools? Try Ms. Pedicure's Best in Toe. At under $10, it's quite the steal. And if you think your pedicure will require heavy lifting, Tweezerman can more than adequately equip you for around $50.
TIP THREE: Scrub Wisely
While your nails are still moist with a cuticle cream or conditioner, lightly buff the nail plate. Then apply a foot scrub to buff the skin, massaging the formula deep into the skin and concentrating on trouble spots. On particularly rough patches like the heel and ball of the foot, smooth things over with a diamond file; be sure to avoid pumices as they trap bacteria.
TIP FOUR: Stay Polished
To maintain and prolong color, use a primer on the nails first. This step actually dehydrates the nail by bringing the natural oils out, making color grip longer. After applying color, add a top coat. Three days later, apply a top coat again to prevent color from chipping.
TIP FIVE: Smooth Things Over
Keep heels from cracking by massaging shea butter, light oil and/or Vaseline at night. Then, put socks on so the skin can absorb the formula even deeper overnight. EDITOR'S TIP: Of course you’ll need a little something to parade around in while you are waiting for your fabulously done nails to dry. Why be dreary? Rock a pair of Havaianas!
And then enjoy showing showing off your handiwork in some of this summer's cutest sandals!
Dare I say you’ll be putting your best foot forward? Yes indeed, darlings.
- Jacqueline Hampton, Beauty & Style Editor at Large
(image at top: source)
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