Feet and toenails are one of the most commonly overlooked areas of the body and are often neglected. The summer months are almost here and you don’t want people to see cracked heels, dry skin and bare toenails when you’re wearing your best flip flops. Here’s how to make the best of your tootsies and the easiest way to do it…
You need to begin with clean feet so give them a good wash and soak them for a few minutes. After you’ve gently dried them make sure you use a good moisturizer and pay special attention to the cuticles and skin around the nails so that it is soft, supple and healthy.
After soaking is the best time to cut your toenails as this is when they are at their softest and won’t break. Using clippers or scissors cut across the toenail in a straight line. It’s very important that they are cut straight across because toenails that curve in at the sides are far more likely to turn into ingrown toenails. Gently file the nails and using a cotton bud or pad soaked in nail polish remover, remove any existing nail polish.
Here is the tricky part…
Toenails aren’t the easiest part of your body to gain access to so make sure you have the nail polish remover on standby in case you slip and make a mistake. Sponge toe separators (or cotton wool if you’re improvising) make painting toenails a lot easier as you can access each toe without painting another at the same time.
I would advise sitting down on the floor or on a chair and propping your foot up in front of you with you knee bent, so that you can hold your toe with one hand and paint with the other. Always paint your nails vertically from the root to the tip in stripes. If your polish is getting a bit old and gloopy, add a couple of drops of nail polish remover to the pot and give it a shake before you use it.
The best way to get beautifully polished toenails is to use a base treatment first. These are on sale with the standard polish colors and will make your toenails smooth and healthy so that you don’t see ridges on the nails once they are painted. Once your have added one coat of the color polish, leave it to dry for 10 minutes and apply another. This strengthens the color and covers any streaks.
Always leave freshly painted toenails to dry for at least 20 minutes before putting socks or shoes on. It’s too easy to smudge the color and then you have to start all over again.
Choosing the right color to suit your feet is also a very important part of painting toenails. A bright red or subtle pink is always popular and very complimentary. Do consider the color shoes and clothes that you plan to wear that day though, as red and pink clash. Also, be careful with greens, yellows and browns as at a fleeting glance it may look like you have an infection, ew! Purple is another popular color and a metallic or shimmering polish gives that extra bit of personality to your nails.
Finally, having matching nails on your hands and feet shows that you take time to look after yourself even if it’s tricky to do. This could be also seen by some as a reflection upon parts of the body that can’t be seen…if you catch my drift?