Monday, June 25, 2007

tips from a mani-pedi junkie

When I lived in NYC, I was pretty much a "mani-pedi" junkie. I've cut back to just a couple a month, but still... I LOVE GETTING MY TOES DONE! I'm a glutton for all the pampering, the whole atmosphere, and most of all, for the way my toes look so much hotter in strappy sandals. As a result of my addiction, I've had my share of good, bad, and ugly pedicures. Also, I can make my way around almost any nail salon, anywhere.

I've found that it's most important to focus on maximizing three things: relaxation, sanitation, and preservation. So here is part one of the 4-part series on getting the most out of your next pedicure.
Find a nail salon with "spa thrones."
These are big comfy lounge chairs with sinks attached. I particularly enjoy the chairs that vibrate and massage you while you get your pedicure. The throne makes you feel like a queen. Otherwise, you're sitting in a regular chair with a woman on the floor in front of you with a big bowl full of water. That's not as glamorous.

Leave more than enough time for the whole experience.

You don't want to rush the pampering. Give yourself about an hour so you don't have to feel stressed about getting out of the nail salon.

This is a great time to catch up on celebrity gossip, update your journal, or close your eyes and chill out! If you feel a little uncomfortable about it all, take a friend or three. I love to make pedicure dates with my friends to enhance the "girliness" of the experience.

Get the foot massage.
Even if you have to pay extra for it, treat yourself because it's worth it.
Don't shave your legs.
Okay, this sounds crazy, but the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery says that you could be exposed to bacteria, if the equipment hasn't been cleaned properly, through tiny nicks or cuts you may have gotten from shaving. Leave shaving for after the pedicure.

Buy your own tools.
Infections can spread through certain tools like emery boards, which can't be sterilized. Instead of having to worry, just bring your own. While it's not common in Korea, many salons in the states have shelves for regular clients to store boxes of their own personal emery boards, cuticle cutters, heel scrapers, etc.

Ask questions.

Ask the salon about their sanitation practices. Do they sterilize after each use? How often do they change the spa throne filters?

Push, don't cut.

Getting your cuticles cut can be not only painful but if they aren't cut properly you can get an infection. Paula Abdul, got a nasty fungal infection that required surgery just before the new season of American Idol. OMG!! To reduce the possibility of something like that happening, just ask to have your cuticles pushed.
Wear flip-flops.
Duh. I've had a couple winter pedicures that went bad when my little piggies were squeezed back into boots. Even though the aesthetician sprayed my nails with quick dry, put a few drops of oil on each nail, and even wrapped my feet in plastic wrap, I still had a couple smudged toes when I got home. What a waste! Wear open toed shoes and put them on before they start painting your nails and you should be safe.
Pedicures last much longer than manicures, but the polish may lose that fresh shine. You can keep that look if you put on another coat of clear nail polish every week or so.

I can't urge this point enough. One way to make your feet look instantly better and to preserve all the work done in your pedicure is to simply use lotion.

Basically, you want to protect your polish, maintain good health, and prolong the relaxation. More on foot health, shoes, and miss koco's take on Korean street fashion can be found at Happy pedicures!

Pedicure Tips - Part 2 (The Foot Model)Pedicure Tips - Part 3 (The Pedicure)

**Thanks to j9 for the pics!

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