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Twinkle Toes

Preparing for sandal season

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Twinkle Toes

Winter is a thing of the past and the promise of rising temperatures makes me want to throw off my socks and bare it all. I can’t wait to feel the breeze caressing my soft feet and the warm sun kissing my shiny toes.

Winter is a thing of the past and the promise of rising temperatures makes me want to throw off my socks and bare it all. I can’t wait to feel the breeze caressing my soft feet and the warm sun kissing my shiny toes.

Oh, but wait! Soft and shiny aren’t actually applicable yet. Okay, so there’s a bit of preparation required before I can actually step out. If you’re in the same boat, keep reading. The way I see it, we have a few options. We can take advantage of the spa pedicure service, which I like to do on occasion. But for maintenance purposes, spas can get a bit pricey. Or we could set aside an evening once a month to do a relaxing home pedicure or to have a pedicure party. Either way, we can take care of our feet without having to go broke.

Tea for toes

Turn on some soft music and light a few candles to promote a relaxing atmosphere. Then begin your pedicure by soaking your feet for five to 10 minutes. You can add essential oil to the water or make different kinds of tea to bring variety to your footbaths.

For an invigorating experience, steep 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of peppermint leaves in 4 cups (1 L) of boiling water for five minutes. Then pour the peppermint tea with the leaves into your footbath.

Sit back and inhale the peppermint vapours as your feet begin to pleasantly tingle. For a more calming effect, use tea made with dried camomile or calendula flowers.

Off with the old

After the footbath, apply a cuticle softener and allow it to penetrate for about one minute before gently pushing back the cuticles with a cuticle push. Then rub your feet with a pumice stone or an exfoliating scrub to remove the dead skin.

For a homemade natural scrub, make a mixture of three parts brown sugar or sea salt to one part olive oil and add a few drops of lemon juice. The gritty material exfoliates while the oil moisturizes, and the lemon juice adds a fresh fragrance.

Rinse feet and dry with a soft towel, making sure you remove any excess oil from the nails so the polish will adhere properly when you apply it later. Now trim your nails with nail clippers or scissors, cutting straight across the top to avoid ingrown toenails. With a fine-grain emery board, smooth and shape nails, always filing in one direction.

The cherry on top

Insert foam toe separators to avoid smudging the polish before spreading the chosen colour onto the toenails. When the polish is dry, apply decals for a decorative finishing touch, followed by a clear, protective topcoat. To extend the life of the pedicure, reapply topcoat every other day.

Pedicure Essentials

Before you begin your pedicure, lay out all the supplies you’ll need:

  • Music
  • Candles
  • Basin of water
  • Pumice stone
  • Exfoliating scrub
  • Soft towel
  • Cuticle softener
  • Cuticle push
  • Nail clippers
  • Fine-grain emery board
  • Foam toe separators
  • Nail polish
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