By: Chloé Taylor
The crocuses and Irises are starting to peek out, are you ready for your toes to peek out too? This season’s shoe trend includes a variety of peep-toed beauties and if you want a fresh pair for spring then you’ll have to get your feet ready first. And gentlemen, if you’re going to pop on a pair of sandals this year, please read on!
Now is the time to treat your feet to a little tender loving care and if you have the time and money to go for a pedicure, do it. Before my first pedicure I was a little squeamish about having a stranger touch my ticklish feet. What I didn’t realize was just how amazing it would feel and how relaxed my whole body was afterwards. A long soak, an incredible massage (that doesn’t tickle at all) and a scrub all do wonders for the sole…ahem, soul.
If a professional pedicure is not for you, don’t fret, it’s pretty simple to get soft feet and glowing toes at home. Here are some tricks for fabulous feet:
1. Start with a good soak and then a good scrub. Add Epsom salts to warm bathwater and soak your feet for up to 10 minutes (not longer). Epsom salts are inexpensive, release toxins from your body and can relieve pain. Use a micro-fibre cleansing cloth (available at the dollar store), exfoliating mitts or a loofah and scrub away dead skin. I use the microfiber cloth every day in the shower on my heels and other notorious dry spots to keep skin soft and exfoliated. I also use my old exfoliating mitts to clean my bathtub. They’re amazing at getting rid of soap scum! (Hint – don’t use them on your body after using them to clean the tub).
2. Clean under your toenails, carefully push back cuticles and give your nails a quick trim if necessary. I prefer to file my toenails, keeping them short but not too short. I use a four-sided filing block which they sell for about $60 at kiosks in shopping malls. I bought mine at the drug store for $3, and it works just as well. The block is basically 4 different grades of filing paper (sand paper? It’s really sandpaper isn’t it?) and the idea is to give nails a nice natural buff and shine.
3. This next step is my personal secret. I’m sharing it with you, dear reader, because I don’t want you to have peep-toe woes. Before bed, really slather your feet in petroleum jelly (yup, good ol’ fashioned Vaseline – $1.99 a tub), slither on a pair of socks and go to sleep. In the morning your feet will be positively, amazingly, miraculously soft. Ok, so it feels weird between your toes and your socks will need to be washed right away and your bed-mate might be wondering what the hell you’re doing, but trust me, it works. Oh yeah, don’t walk around in the socks, especially on hardwood floors unless you’re a fan of greasy footprints!
4. If your toenails are a little yellow from regular use of polish, there’s a simple little trick to fix them up. Mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda with one tablespoon of either hydrogen peroxide or lemon juice until it forms a paste. Apply to your toenails and leave for about ten minutes, giving the nails a good scrub with a nailbrush or old toothbrush before rinsing. If your nails are yellow from a fungal infection, try soaking in a mixture of equal parts of warm water and apple cider vinegar.
5. And finally, polish! 2013 trends range from pastels to glitter and metallic splashes, emerald greens to vampy red drips. And don’t forget the accessories – go wild and try a few of the new fangled spots, dots and designs. My personal favorite for toes is still the French manicure or simple clear-coat. I say let the shoes do the walking and the talking and let your toes peep through with a light and lovely shine.