You jam your feet into fashionable shoes, kick them around, stub their toes, ignore their nails and demand that they carry you around all day. No wonder they look a little worse for the wear. Luckily, there are plenty of simple, inexpensive tricks you can use to have your feet looking and feeling their best in no time at all.
There are so many elements of everyday living that are absolutely torturous for your feet. Standing all day, too-small shoes, stuffy boots, and exposing them to the locker room floor at your local gym are examples of scenarios to which most women can relate. Feet are often taken for granted until they start to hurt and reject the burdens you place on them, so think of taking care of your feet now as an investment against problems in the future.
If you've ever had a professional pedicure, you know how amazing it feels to have your feet taken care of: soaking, exfoliation, moisturizing and maybe even massage. The best part is you can recreate this experience at home with only a small investment of time, money, and resources.
Begin by removing any old nail polish with a remover-soaked cotton swab and then soaking your feet in a tub of relaxing, hot water. Toss in some bath or Epsom salts to increase the pleasant feeling. If you have a home foot bath with bubbles or jets, that's even better. Soak for at least five to ten minutes; the heat will promote blood circulation in your feet and soften your skin and you can use the time to read, watch television or just lean back and relax.
When you're done soaking, use a small brush to buff one foot at a time, removing dead skin and softening your feet. Let each foot go back into the water after you've finished brushing.
Use a dollop of foot scrub lotion (available at any department or drug store) to further soften any rough spots like your heels or the sides of your toes. When you've massaged the lotion into your feet, take a pumice stone to finish off any lingering rough skin. This is a great tool, so take your time and rinse your feet when you're done.
Feeling good by now? There's more. Remove your feet from the water and dry them with a soft towel. Rub your feet with some of your favorite lotion. A peppermint lotion may be particularly soothing and relaxing, especially if you have willing partner to handle this step for you. Either way, it feels marvelous.
After you've finished massaging your feet, it's time to add a little style. Trim and shape your nails with clippers and a file, and then use a cuticle stick to gently push back your supple cuticles. If you have a cuticle trimmer, you may want to scale away excess cuticle skin, although it's imperative to do this carefully to avoid damaging the cuticle.
Once your cuticles are under control, you will want to even out the surface of your nail by applying a clear or opaque base coat. This will help hide any ridges or lumpy areas that might show up if you applied nail color directly to the affected area. When the base coat is dry, add a coat of your favorite nail color. Choose something soft and light for a conservative look or something bold and daring for more flair. Whatever your choice, it's a good idea to apply several coats to improve the durability of your finish. Clean up any messy areas as you go, using a small cloth or cotton swab dipped in nail polish remover to dissolve stains that may have been deposited around the edges of your toe nail. An additional coat of clear sealer will prevent chips and scuff marks from harming your pedicure masterpiece.
That's it! You're ready to strap on a pair of open-toe sandals or to pad around the house in your bare, and very fashionable, flattering feet.
Looking pretty is one element of great feet. The other part is keeping your feet healthy. Wear supportive, well-fitted shoes, wash and dry your feet carefully to avoid fungal and bacterial problems, and mention any significant problems, such as cuts and scrapes on your feet not healing well as that could indicate a more serious problem such as diabetes