Feet feet feet. Everyone hates feet, except for people who LOVE feet and even then they only like them because it’s KINKY as feet are so grim. But suddenly it gets hot and you want to wear your sandals and your feet look like you’ve been buried alive for six months.
You need do nothing at this point, after all there are plenty of blokes walking about with feet like Tutankhamun and they don’t seem fussed. But if it bothers you, and it might, here is your guide to sorting out your feet.
The first thing is to get yourself a pumice stone, and use it in the shower. Wait until the very end when your feet have been in hot soapy water whilst you’ve done all your other bits, then lift them up gingerly like a flamingo and scrub your heel, side of your big toe and any other hard bits. Do this over a few days – there is absolutely no need to get it all off at once. You want this one by the aptly named Mr Pumice.
Mr Pumice Pumi Bar, about £4 on Amazon
There is also a highly recommended foot file you can buy from M&S which you use on DRY skin. If you like popping pimples/plucking things etc then this will be right up your street but I understand that this might be a bit…visceral for some.
M&S Foot File, £3
Once you’ve sloughed off any hard bits look at your feet and review. What sort of shape are your toenails in? No matter what, cut them straight across with some clippers – I like these. If your toes are still looking a bit haggard, you need the following: a buffing cube and some nail oil.
Boots 4 Way Buffer Block, £2.20
The buffing cube will smooth everything out and get them shiny again, and the nail oil will sort any white bits. Nail oil is only as good as how often it gets used, so keep it somewhere you will sue it like next to the telly or on your bedside table. This one is the tits. They also do a reconstructing version if your nails are particularly fooked.
CND Solar Nail Oil, £11.95
At this point you can absolutely just stop, but if you want a bit of colour then may I recommend the cheap and brilliant Rimmel 60 seconds lads, who do lovely colours and a good stubby little brush that makes life easier. I also have a pair of 100 year old toe separators that I quite like to use but these aren’t essential.
Rimmel London 60 Second Super Shine Nail Polish, £2.99
Two coats of colour and a good top coat. Seche Vite is truly excellent but only get little bottles as it goes gloopy and ineffective quite quickly.
Seche Vite Professional Topcoat, circa £10
I’m going to very quickly say you should tweeze any rogue hairs on your toes and never mention it again, ok?
At the salon
There is something to be said for just getting your feet done professionally and not faffing about at home, but I understand that some people are ticklish/shy/would rather spend that money on something else. A salon pedicure in a run-of-the-mill UK Nail Shop will cost you about £25. Just in case there is any mystery surrounding nail salon pedicures, here’s what to expect:
Before you go, remember to wear something you can easily roll up to the knees. Don’t get caught out in skinny jeans that will cut off your circulation once rolled up. Shave your legs if that matters to you. Bring with you some flip flops that you can wear home without smudging your newly painted nails. If you need to go somewhere after then you’re going to need to get a gel polish pedicure, but I’ll get to that later.
You’ll start off by sitting in one of those big chairs attached to a sink. The pedicurist will fill it with warm water and turn on the jets, and you will just soak your feet for a bit. They often have a hilarious massage function which always reminds me of being kissed by a very bad darty washing machine tongued kisser.
Next they’ll get to work on your hard skin. Some places just use a pumice then a scrub, but most go in with a special pedicure razor. I would honestly never attempt this at home but my god it’s efficient. Quite tickly though and a bit disconcerting, so do feel free to ask them not to.
You then get an exfoliating gel put all over them, go back in for another soak, and they file away the last bits. This is tickliest part, and I often cackle out loud at this in the salon so I cannot offer you any tips on dignity I’m afraid.
Your feet are then dried off and your toenails cut, filed and buffed for polish. At this point you get a cream massaged in – this is by far the best bit.
Now is the time to put on the flip flops you have brought with you. If you forget, they usually have disposable ones, but you’re not expected to take those away with you. The shoes go on first, so that you don’t smudge your newly painted nails putting them on after.
The exception to this is if you are having a gel polish (or ‘shellac’) pedicure done, where they cure the polish under a UV lamp. This makes it super shiny and durable, but is more expensive and will need to be professionally removed. The immediate advantage is that there is no drying time – you could literally go and crush grapes/play football straight after your pedicure – so this is good if you have places to be. If you are sure you’re happy to go back to the salon for this in say, a month’s time, then go for it. I am self-aware enough to know my own laziness at this point, but you do you.
Once your colour is on, off you waddle to the drier seats, where you just have to sit and wait for a bit. Time it for 15-20 minutes and then head on out. As always be NICE, say PLEASE and THANKYOU and TIP. A couple of quid is fine.
Look down with pride at your new perky feet, then flop down to your nearest beer garden. Summer is coming.