If there’s one time of year that fills me with horror, it’s that first week of sunshine when I need to reveal my un-pedicured and slightly neglected toes after six months of being stuck inside tights and boots. It always creeps up on us with little-to-no warning, one day the air being full of chirping birds, blooming flowers and a bright ball of sunshine that’s just too much for a pair of socks… We need to free the feet! This year I’m determined to be prepared for that first ‘sandal day’ and ensure my pieds are in tip top condition way ahead of schedule, so in the mantra of sharing is caring, here are some of my tips and tricks to giving yourself the perfect at-home pedi.
Soak feet in a bubbly bowl of warm water to help soften the skin and relax tired tootsies. Adding a splash of Dove Body Wash will also help to nourish your feet as they have some time out, thanks to their NutriumMoisture Technology which helps to both smooth skin and strengthen its moisture barrier. Your feet will feel so much better once you show them a little love.
Create a super smooth finish by gently exfoliating feet, rubbing in a touch of Dove’s new Gentle Exfoliating body wash and working it all over the surface and into toes. It’ll help to gently remove dry skin without being too harsh, but if you feel like your feet need a bit more of a helping hand then mix in a touch of sugar to help lift off stubborn areas. Dove’s ‘touch expert’ Avni Trivedi says: “Spend time between the toes and massage around
the balls of feet. Out feet are incredibly strong as they hold our entire weight, so don’t be afriad of applying pressure. If your hands aren’t strong enough, use the opposite elbow to massage feet and release
tension after a long day.”
Using a pumice stone or equivalent, focus on the heel and ball of each foot to buff away the really hard and neglected areas. I find this incredibly satisfying, albeit a bit gross, so enjoy the process and watch as that manky dead skin comes away to reveal lovely feet underneath. Be careful not to take off too much skin as your feet need a certain level of protection to walk about pain free! Wash off any excess using the water and place the bowl to one side.
Now the fun stuff starts! Moisturise skin by massaging a little Dove Purely Pampering Body Lotion into the surface, using circular movements and your knuckles to really work the foot. Apply twice the amount you think you probably need to ensure skin soaks up the nourishing formula and you’re encouraged to massage it in for as long as possible; I love sitting in front of the telly and massaging lotion into my feet for a good ten minutes.
To get that professional finish, push back unsightly cuticles with a cocktail stick and trim them away with a cuticle trimmer – you can pick them up really cheaply from any high street chemist – revealing a much more even and pleasant nail beneath. Massage in a little cuticle oil to really ensure toes are looking tip top and inject some goodness after a long period of neglect.
Wiping away any excess oil or lotion using a cotton pad, apply a base coat to each of the nails to help prevent staining and increase longevity of the polish. If you’re suffering from discolouration or flaking nails, then using a treatment every time you apply polish could help tackle problem areas. Sally Hansen, Ciate, Dr Lewinns and OPI do a great range of problem-solution products that I swear by.
Pick your favourite polish and apply it using three motions – to the centre of the nail in one swipe, followed by filling in the gaps on either side. You shouldn’t need any more than three motions for any one nail (your tiny toes only need a dab!) topped up with a second coat once the polish is semi-dry. To ensure you polish not only looks professional, but lasts way longer, avoid painting on the skin as this causes polish to lift.
Finish off your masterpiece with a hardworking topcoat to add extra shine and help your tootsies look lustworthy for longer. There are so many ‘gel’ topcoats that create the illusion of a gel manicure by offering a thicker finish, which I think are great for toes. Barry M, Models Own, Rimmel and Revlon all offer great finishing polishes that provide a slightly more ‘pro’ result while being really affordable. Add a touch of dry oil or finishing spray to set the polish, and voila, you’re done!
Do you ever give yourself an at-home pedi? Are you looking forward to sandal season, or are you dreading having to reveal your neglected feet?
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Dove and is part of our Body Beautiful Week. However, all opinions are my own.
Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here. SIGN UP TO THE LBQ FORTNIGHTLY NEWSLETTER HERE! BLOG POSTS, NEWS, EXCLUSIVE OFFERS & COMPETITIONS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX.