THERE’S THE SCRUB
If only those hard-working hooves could magically buff and polish themselves. Leanne Fagan of Esthetics by Leanne in Port Carling, Ont., offers her tips for a restorative pedi. 1. Remove polish a couple of days before a pedicure — your toenails are porous, and the skin below them needs to breathe. Massaging cuticle oil into the nail beds will also hydrate the skin underneath. CND Solar Oil Care Pen, $18, shoppersdrugmart.ca 2. Fill a footbath up to your ankles with lukewarm water, and add in 1/4 cup of Epsom salts (or 1/2 cup mouthwash, which performs a similar antiseptic duty); soak for 30 minutes to clean dead skin and bacteria from under your toenails. 3. Place a towel over your finger and gently push back cuticles — you don’t need a special tool. Then, add a few drops of essential oils like eucalyptus and menthol to a thick moisturizer and massage all over your feet. It’ll refresh your feet and improve circulation. 4. Cut or file nails straight across (if you cut into the corners, you’re more likely to get ingrown toenails). If your nails are thick, stick to filing so they don’t break down the sides. 5. Start with a base coat so the polish colour doesn’t absorb into the nail bed. Follow with two coats of polish and a top coat, running a horizontal swipe over the top and bottom edges of your nails to prevent chipping. Let the colour dry for at least an hour, or dip your toes in a freezing cold footbath for three minutes to harden the polish and speed up drying time.