By Kim Putens
Five Steps to Fabulous Summer Feet
Spring hits and we immediately toss off our boots and pull out our flip-flops. Undoubtedly we do this out of relief that warm air has arrived and because our feet need a break from winter’s confining shoes. But, most of the time, we really do not take note of the condition of our neglected winter feet. For many of us, it simply means a trip to the local spa for a pedicure followed by weekly or bi-weekly visits to keep them looking good. For me, the idea of a $60 pedicure makes me cringe. Multiply that by several trips a month … I have better things to spend my money on. It really is not that hard to take care of your feet and keep them looking fabulous – all at a fraction of the cost.
Uncover and Observe. Slip off your shoes and take note of the condition of your feet from the winter. I mean really take a look at them. I most notice my feet while doing yoga. For some reason, this is when I get up close and personal with my feet and take notice of their condition. I notice all the calluses that have built up, the rough skin on my heels, and the un-groomed toenails.
Peel Back the Layers. Now it is time to get rid of the rough build up from winter. Invest in a good foot file. Most foot files dull out over time; most notably pumice stones wear out very quickly. While you might have to spend a little more money for a really good one, it should last forever if taken care of properly. The best are those made of crushed diamonds. Sounds decadent, but if you think about it, diamonds do not wear out and they can be sharp enough to cut glass. Do not waste your money on foot sugar and/or salt scrubs. Unfortunately, they are not strong enough to cut through rough calluses that build up on the feet. They are better for maintaining healthy feet once they are in tip top shape.
Soften and Peel Again. Once the feet are rid of the initial layer of winter build up, soak your feet in a warm Dead Sea salt bath. Dead Sea salts are known for their softening power because they lift away dead skin. Soak for at least 15 minutes to give your feet an opportunity to absorb the benefits of the Dead Sea salts. Immediately after the footbath, scrub your feet again with the foot file to peel away any additional dead skin and rough calluses. Your softened feet from the footbath will make this process easier and ensure the best results.
Groom. While your feet are tender from the soak, this is also a good time to groom your toenails. Push back your cuticles. Trim away hangnails. Cut your toenails to an acceptable length. Shorter nails are much nicer looking than long toenails and it eliminates opportunities for bacteria to hibernate under there.
Make them Gorgeous. With calluses eliminated, softer skin and groomed toenails, your feet are ready to get dressed up. Pick a nail polish that best flatters your personality and/or your wardrobe. On a recent beach trip with 10 women, I observed that reds, dark brown/black, and pinks appear to be popular. Dark colors such as chocolate, black or navy are great compliments to black shoes. If you tend to wear more black on your feet, these colors may help to make your toes blend in better. Pink and nudes blend in nicely with most skin tones and allow for the most diversity in wardrobes. Because they are so neutral, they tend to be the most versatile. And, they look light and airy for the summer months. Reds and other bright colors make more of a statement. If you have big feet like I do, you may want to avoid colors that draw more attention to your feet. That is my personal preference.
Last, repeat every 2 weeks. Take time for yourself and avoid the costly pedicures.