Here in the UK, it looks like summer is back on! If everything goes to plan with our roadmap out of lockdown, we’ll be sipping Pims on a field in 18º weather in no time. No more lockdown, no more staying inside and no more being able to hide your winter feet away in slippers! I know feet aren’t exactly super important in the grand scheme of things, but I like to focus on the things I can control, and my feet is one of them.
So don’t dread sandal season; here are my tips on how to get your feet ready for summer, all from the comfort of your own home!
Please Note: Some of the items suggested in this guide are not suitable for people with diabetes, so always check with your doctor first.
Remove Old Nail Polish
Be honest right now, how long has that nail varnish been on your toes? Time to get rid of it girl, it has no place here! Get a conditioning nail varnish remover and start removing it. For stubborn varnish or glitter varnish, you will need to hold a soaked cotton pad on the nail for a few minutes, and that should help.
Cut Your Nails
I know many of the tutorials suggest that you cut your nails after soaking, but I really think it is down to personal preference, and I prefer to cut dry nails. I find that once nails have soaked for a while, they become too soft and flimsy, and there is a higher risk of tearing or ripping. Ouch!
Always cut toenails straight across as curved may result in them becoming ingrown! Gently file off any sharp edges and use an orange stick to clean underneath the nails.
Buff Your Nails
Buffing gets rid of any ridges in the nails. Always be careful when buffing nails and only do it once a month at the most as you can weaken the nail and make them too soft.
Invest In A Good Foot File
One of the most important steps is your foot file. Hard skin and cracked heels are out! I have been using the NYK1 Pedicure Foot File, and OH MY WORD, it is incredible. Hands down, this is the best foot file I have EVER used. You do have to go SO careful, though. It is so good that you may end up doing yourself some damage. NEVER use a foot file on wet skin.
Make sure you put a towel or something down when using this foot file, as the amount of dead skin that comes off is disgusting!
If you don’t like the look of the NYK1 Pedicure Foot File, some other good options are the Scholl Velvet Smooth Electronic Foot File or the good old fashioned Pumice stone.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a proper foot spa; a bowl of warm water works just the same. Pop some foot soak in or Epsom salts, sit back and relax for 10 minutes.
Use A Foot Scrub
Even though you have already filed your feet, using a gentle foot scrub all over your feet, toes and ankles feels soo nice. Especially between the toes! Give some love to those areas that you usually forget about! I personally love using a coffee scrub.
Push Back The Cuticles
Using a wooden orange stick, gently push back your cuticles. If they’re looking a bit rough, gently trim away but be careful not to go too far! Cutting away too much can lead to infections!
Little side note – I hate it in manicure videos where they use an electric file to remove the cuticle, then they start cutting and hacking away at it, then they start cutting the skin away from around the nail! It’s too much! The cuticle protects nails from bacteria as they grow, don’t get rid of it!
Give your feet a good rinse and pat dry. Now it’s time to apply a yummy thick foot cream or balm. Pay special attention to the heels! No dry skin here, thank you! I usually like to do this overnight so I can pop a pair of socks on and really let it sink in. Or even better, use a foot mask with foot socks. You can pick these up cheap enough from Superdrug. If I’m not painting my nails that day/night, I will also apply a good nail and cuticle oil and massage it in.
Paint Those Nails
And one of the last steps in getting your feet summer ready is painting those nails! Make sure you remove any oils from your nails with some varnish remover, as this will help the nail varnish stick to your nails better. If you have quite shiny nails, this can cause the varnish to chip quicker, so gently remove any shine with a buffer.
Make sure to use a base coat, apply 2-3 coats of colour and finish up with a topcoat. Ensure that every coat has dried completely before moving on to the next. With your topcoat, make sure that you seal the edge of the nail to help reduce chipping.
And The Bane Of Every Woman’s Life
Toe hair. Don’t try and pretend that you don’t have hair on your toes because almost every single woman I know has those pesky dark hairs on her big toe. It is so frustrating when you shave within an inch of your life and realise that you forgot that bloody big toe. This is your reminder to shave/wax/pluck remove that toe hair. Or not. It’s your body, and it’s your choice.
It’s all very well and good doing this, but you have to make sure that you continue with the upkeep, or you’ll be back where you started! Add it to your self-care routine. Continue to moisturise your feet daily to keep them soft and apply cuticle oil. I usually do this when I’m watching TV.
Spot a big chip? Either fix it straight away or remove that varnish. Otherwise, you know what will happen. You’ll forget. Then you’ll just be heading out the door, go to pop on your sandals or flip flops and spot that annoying chip. Better to have bare nails than shoddy paintwork, right?
Follow these steps, and you’ll have beautiful Instagram worthy feet ready for summer in no time!