After I mentioned in a post that my Mum was a nail technician and pedicurist some of you requested some tips on summer feet from her, so as requested I made her write this article:
Some background info
Sarah (my Mum) trained as a nail technician and pedicurist under SuperNail at Creative Nail Design, this has been her profession for over 10 years and she owns her own nail studio in Cambridgeshire
How to get Summer ready Feet!
Get your foot file out! Before you even think about painting your toes. Nothing spoils an expensive outfit, a wicked pair of shoes or sexy, bare feet more than grubby, unkempt heels.
It doesn't really matter what your weapon of choice is, as long as it works for you. Having said that the little, traditional pumice stone that your grandad used to nick from your nan to clean his hands when he came in from the garden, is actually next to useless. Although I have seen it work wonders on nicotine-stained fingers ...
My professional choice is currently an OPI ceramic file, because it is very effective on nearly all kinds of manky feet, it can be used wet and/or dry, is very hard-wearing and can be easily cleaned/disinfected/sterilised. Other options range from the 'cheese grater' (I used to get into so much trouble for calling it that in front of clients) to a bog standard, large, abrasive emery board - probably shaped like a foot and coloured pink.
So the choice out there with pros and cons:-
Pumice stone. As aforementioned. Next to useless for the purpose in hand i.e. feet.
Pedi-egg. Am ashamed to admit that I have never actually held one in my hand, let alone tried it. Many of my clients purport to use one and really like it - the colour, the ergonomics of it, cuteness, cleanliness, ease of use etc. I can't honestly say that I can tell, BUT using anything is better than nothing (except the pumice) and who knows what they would be like if they didn't bother.
The cheese grater. You do know what I mean, I just meant that it looked like a little cheese grater on a handle! Quite basic, but surprisingly effective. Requires follow-up with a finer grade of abrasion (pumice stone anyone?), easy to clean and sterilisable, but in my hands at least, liable to come apart! Do not try and use wet.
Ceramic files, detailed above.
The purple foot. Again, my nickname. (Heel to Toe, Pumice with Rope, packaging in english and german, made in Poland) Hand-sized, foot shaped; purple one side, white the other, two grades of abrasion. Feels like a piece of hard polystyrene! Oh, and it's on a rope. Absolutely superb bit of kit. Unfortunately, this picture is my last one. I have sold hundreds of these. They are very cheap, extraordinarily effective. You do have to use them wet and with lather of some kind; they are virtually indestructible - they only die when they get full of fake tan and go mouldy. They are useless in a professional environment because you cannot clean them effectively to use on a succession of clients, but I retailed them with amazing feed-back. And Laura had several (mostly mouldy). One day I got ready to go out at her house and stole her purple foot - I could not believe how amazing it was. She couldn't believe that I had never actually used one! If anyone knows where I can get these again in bulk - I want lots.
Foot file. The standard, large, abrasive emery board. Again - extremely effective. Can be used wet and/dry. And I have to admit, my weapon of choice at home. Because it is so easy, it works brilliantly on my feet, I can use it dry. Major con: it wears out really quickly. So although they are cheap, readily available and very effective, you do have to replace them about as regularly as disposable razors.
And another salient point - although I am talking about filing your feet I do not advocate the total removal of 'hard skin'. The objective should be to smooth, not to soften. The hard skin on your feet is there for a reason. To protect. That hard skin is looking after you. If you treat it aggressively and remove it entirely, not only will it be very, very tender, but it will try and replace that protective layer very, very quickly.
So the choice that I have omitted is the blade. Don't get me wrong - in the right hands, on the correct feet ...
My very good friend, also a consummate professional, but advocate of the blade, took my feet in hand. I spend my life barefoot or in killer stilletoes. My feet are not soft, but they are very smooth. Not smooth enough apparently. Quite leathery, actually. So out came the blade. And I ended up with baby soft feet. Little pink heart shapes on my soles. Which rapidly turned into large blisters filled with blood, when I walked home in my wicked pink sandals.
Last point, for now.
DO NOT EXFOLIATE WITHOUT MOISTURISING.
Because, once more, your body knows best. If you expose nice new, pink skin and don't replenish it, you will get nice new, hard skin double quick, to protect the vulnerable area.
So the synopsis of my contribution is:
- find a foot file
- use it (with due care)
I hope this has been what you wanted to know and leave a comment with any questions!