This weekend is forecast to be a good 'un with the fine weather continuing into next week, so if you haven't already made like xgirl and got your feet in shape for some sandal exposure, I suggest you get on your pedicure on tonight.
The quick cheat for groomed-looking feet is to simply slap a bright colour and glossy topcoat on toenails but here's what to do if yours are in need of a little more fixin'.
ONE // Remove old polish, then get rid of excess hard dead skin while feet are dry, paying special attention to areas where build up tends to occur (usually the heels, the outside of the big toes, and the balls of the feet.) The footcare market is now awash with DIY skin sloughing tools like the Ped Egg, MicroPedi, and Bullet Pedi Pro, any of which will make easy work of this job – just be careful not to overdo it. Finish with a fine buffer for smoothest results.
TWO // Soak feet in a basin of warm water, into which you can add some smellies, bath salts, or bubbles, to soften skin and cuticles. A couple of drops of essential oil are good, too; try antibacterial tea tree oil for stinky feet, or eucalyptus or peppermint to revive tired tootsies. Massage a scrub into toes, feet and the lower legs while damp to exfoliate, before rinsing off residue and drying thoroughly.
THREE // Push cuticles back with an orangewood stick, trim toenails using multiple small cuts so they don't break, and finish with a file to smooth. Use the file to gently round the corners and help prevent ingrown toenails.
FOUR // Massage in an intensive moisturiser in small, circular motions on the top of the foot and kneading motions on the bottom to hydrate skin and help reduce inflammation.
FIVE // And now the fun part: polish! Be sure to swipe the nail plate clean of moisturiser residue using cotton wool and polish remover before you begin. Apply a base coat to promote adhesion, prevent staining, and fill any ridges, then two coats of your chosen colour, making sure to seal the free edge of the nail by swiping the brush across it. Finish with a high gloss topcoat and enjoy that sunshine!