Winter weather means that your feet are safely tucked away in cosy socks and foot hugging boots for much of the season. While this is undoubtedly comfortable and warm, it can wreak havoc with your feet. The worst thing about winter footwear is when you realise party season is just around the corner and you haven’t been looking after those toes. Follow these pedicure tips using our best friendly beauty buys for sandal-proud feet ready for the Christmas party season.
Step 1: Preparation
Set aside at least 45 minutes to yourself: this is a proper pamper session. Get together any magazines, cuppas, TV shows and equipment you’re going to need for the process. Remove any old nail varnish using remover and cotton wool.
Step 2: Footbath
Treat your feet to a relaxing footbath. Fill a washing-up bowl with warm water and add a splash of luxurious bubble bath to help soothe and soften those soles. Sit back and relax for 15-20 minutes to let the heat from the water do its thing. Pat dry with a fluffy towel, but don’t get rid of the water in the bowl just yet…
Step 3: Exfoliate
There are many great inexpensive exfoliators available, all of which do a great job of smoothing feet. Taking one foot at a time, use a coarse exfoliator all over the foot. Really work those heels and the balls of your soles to slough off dead skin and help you on your way to super-smooth feet. Wash off in the bowl, and repeat with the other foot. For a truly indulgent pedicure, use a fine exfoliator after the coarse one, focussing on the tops of your feet and your ankles. Alleviate tired and bloated ankles and feet by massaging them as you work the exfoliator around.
Step 4: Buff the skin
If your feet have been taking a pounding in heavy boots, you might need this extra step for really party-ready tootsies. Using a pumice stone or a foot paddle, work the calloused areas to reveal the new and soft skin underneath. Rinse feet once done.
Step 5: Moisturise
Slather on a thick moisturiser and leave to soak for a few minutes. When rubbing it in, pay attention to running your thumbs over the arch of your foot for an extra reflexology benefit, as this releases tension not just in your soles but all the way up your legs, helping you to move more freely and put less pressure on those tired toes. If you have the time, slick on the moisturiser and pop on a pair of clean cotton socks, then go to bed and complete the rest of the pedicure the next day – your feet will love you for it!
Step 6: Cuticles and trim
Time to put the nail tools to good use. Rather than cutting cuticles, which leaves nails open to infection, use a hoof stick to gently push them back. Trim your nails with clippers, making sure they are cut straight across and there are no sharp corners. Using a nail file, buff the edges to prevent any rough snags.
Step 7: Polish
The finishing touch: perfectly painted nails. If you want to polish your nails, make sure that they are completely free of residue from moisturisers and exfoliators by wiping them down with clean, damp cotton wool. Paint on a base coat first, protecting the nail from staining and helping your colour last. Starting from left to right, paint one central line on the nail, then one either side to finish the coverage. Wait for it to dry, and then add a coat of your chosen colour. For festive feet we recommend red, green, or metallic colours. Leave to dry and paint on a second coat. Once fully dry, add a topcoat for long-lasting shine.
There you have it: a pair of party-ready feet that you’ll be proud to show off over the festive season. Make sure to visit the Direct Cosmetics shop for budget beauty buys, so you can splash out on a swanky party outfit to match!