Are your feet still hibernating and sweating it out in winter boots? Summer is just around the corner, so give those tootsies a kick-start on the sandal season with a rejuvenating pedicure.
Spa pedicures are wonderfully luxurious, but do-it-yourself pedicures still give excellent results, especially when you create your own spa environment.
A home pedicure will take about an hour. You will need a small nail brush, a pumice stone (a wand type is easier to hold and use), fine and coarse emery boards, toenail clippers, a small pair of nail scissors, and a selection of wooden orange sticks to push down cuticles. For the foot soak, a specially designed footbath is ideal, but a large bowl that your feet fit comfortably in works well too.
You will also need a few drops of almond oil and a handful of bath salts. Choose a moisturizing lotion such as relaxing lavender or stimulating rosemary. Natural product stores are the best place to pick up organic oils and lotions. Tea tree oil is a must-have in your pedicure kit. This strong-smelling oil is an excellent treatment for nail infections.
Now you are ready to prepare for a decadent pedicure. Brew a cup of soothing herb tea. Camomile tea will calm the body and dissolve away the worries of the day. Choose your treatment room. The bathroom works best for most people, as inevitably you will be dripping water on the floor.
Have several towels ready–some large and some hand towels. Candlelight will add elegance to the room. Switch off the phone or take it off the hook. Place your tools and lotions within easy reach. Almost ready–just stick a “Do not disturb” sign on the outside of the door, then lock it. Turn on some relaxing background music, and the scene is set for ultimate indulgence. The next hour is just for you.
Soak It Up
Fill the footbath or bowl with comfortably warm water to a depth that will cover your feet and up to the ankles. Sprinkle in a small handful of bath salts and a couple of drops of essential oil of lavender. The bath salts will help soften the skin. The lavender scent released by the warm water will relax the feet and bring a soft perfume to the room. Remove any nail polish. Place both feet in the water, sit back with a cup of herb tea, and relax. After 10 minutes or so, use a foot emery board or pumice stone to slough away dead skin from the heel and the sole of the foot.
Remove one foot from the water and dry it thoroughly. Place it on a clean dry towel. The warm water will have softened the cuticles at the base of the nail bed. Using a wooden cuticle stick, gently ease back the cuticles on each nail bed. Work one or two drops of almond oil into the cuticle.
Trim toenails with clippers or sharp nail scissors. Cut the nails straight and square to prevent ingrown toenails. Smooth off rough edges from the nails with an emery board, working in one direction; do not saw back and forth as this splits the nail. Check the nails for infections. Treat any nail infections with a drop of tea tree oil. Pour half a teaspoon of your favourite organic lotion into the palm of your hand. Rub the lotion into both hands then massage the calf muscle, ankle, and feet. Stroke gently, but firmly, with upward strokes. Massage for at least four or five minutes. This is definitely the best part of the treatment. Slip on a cotton sock then repeat the pedicure on the other foot.
Oh, your feet can just feel it now–a relaxing soak in warm water, an organic lotion gently massaging away aches and pains, leaving your feet feeling and looking great. But be warned, pedicures can become addictive.