2. Remove all existing polish and apply a nourishing oil to your nail beds. If you don't have cuticle oil, any oil will do – almond, orange or even olive oil. Trim nails to your desired length, being careful not to cut into the surrounding skin. Shape and file if necessary.
3. Soak your feet in warm water with a foot-soak solution for five minutes. This is an essential step, says Cathy Crispo Mancini, owner of Lux Spa in Toronto. "It softens skin in preparation for the foot filing that needs to be done in order to get those little tootsies super baby-soft!" If you don't have a foot soak, try Epsom salts. Don't have a pretty basin? Purchase an oversize salad bowl for your feet.
Editors' note: We love tossing in sliced lemons for a pretty visual and olfactory treat.
4. Remove one foot from the soak and push back the cuticles with a cuticle pusher or orangewood stick. Paying extra attention to your heel, file any rough spots with the foot paddle. Massage your leg and foot with a lotion of your favourite scent. Then, repeat with the other foot.
Editors' note: We like having a warm towel on standby to amp up the indulgence factor.
5. Deciding on a colour "is such a personal thing," says Mancini, who likes to match her pedicure and manicure shades. She also suggests mixing up the colours by going dark on your toes and lighter on your fingers. If you wear open-toed shoes to work, steer away from sparkly shades, says Mancini, adding that bright shades tend to be more popular in the summer because people are likely to have more colour in their wardrobes.
Page 1 of 2 – Discover 4 easy ways to make your pedicures last on page 2.Four easy ways to make your pedicure last
1. Use a foot paddle once a week to keep rough spots at bay. Hang it in your shower so you'll remember to use it.
2. Always prep nails by applying nail-polish remover immediately before you apply a base coat. Any trace of cuticle oil left on the nails will prevent the polish from sticking, which translates into chipping.
3. Apply any kind of oil to your nails and surrounding cuticles every night. This keeps the area well-hydrated and prevents polish from chipping or peeling, says Mancini.
4. Reapply the top coat every few days. This protects the colour and bestows instant shine on toes for a freshly applied look.
Editors' note: We swear that applying a horizontal strip of polish and top coat along the tip of the nail keeps our pedicures around longer.
At the office, we love to see new shades of polish land on our desks. But we also play favourites.
"I gravitate toward shades that are vibrant with a fresh, current feeling. My go-to pigments are magentas, deep purples and eyepopping corals. The lacquers need to have a shiny finish with zero trace of shimmer."
– Julia McEwen, Beauty editor
"It's kind of boring, but I love the new mid-tone 'greige' (grey-beige) polishes on my toes. They look great with my primarily neutral wardrobe and I never tire of them in between pedis."
– Karen Kwinter, editor-at-large, Style
"When the sun comes out and I'm lightly tanned, I like to go for a pedicure and choose a colour (one that I would tend not to wear on my fingernails)."
– Susan Antonacci, editor-in-chief
"When it's not a creamy grey (my recent obsession) I default to my true love: berry. It's rich in pigment, more raspberry than strawberry, truly pink and blue in undertone, and always shimmer-free."
– Katherine Flemming, editorial assistant, Style
This story was originally titled "Summer Perfect Pedicure" in the June 2010 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!
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