Some women clean the house before the cleaning lady comes over. I give myself a pedicure before getting a pedicure. By the time I actually make it to the salon, the situation is so dire that I have to do something, anything, to bring my feet up to a respectable level. A Bare-Minimum Pedi is also good when you realize you have to go out in open-toed shoes – *gasp* – tonight with no time to visit the nail salon. It's the pedicure equivalent of lighting scented candles and hitting the dimmer switch instead of cleaning when you're expecting dinner guests. Not that I've ever done that.
In face, my speed-pedi is to a real pedicure as methadone is to heroin.
the methadone pedicure how-to
PREP The second you get in the door from work, wash and scrub your feet with a nail brush, pumice heels and the front of your toes with the Sally Hansen Prep Your Pedi, ($10, drugstores) then cut toenails, straight across to avoid ingrown nails.
SOFTEN Slather feet with Philosophy Soul Owner Exfoliating Foot Cream ($14 USd) and pull on Beautygeeks favourite, Airplus socks ($7, drugstores and mass retailers) and let the glycolic and salicylic acid-rich cream dissolve dead skin cells. (Soul Owner, the holy grail of sole softeners is only available on philosophy.com, but Vichy Podexine Callus Corrector – $17.95, drugstores – with salicylic acid is a worthy substitute if you can still find it.) Wait at least an hour, longer if possible. Remove socks, rescrub feet and nails – No soaking. No time. – then gently trim hangnails with cuticle nippers.
The long view: Now's the time to get in the habit of a nightly cream-and-socks regimen. The Body Shop Body Butter duos ($16, thebodyshop.ca) contain a lighter lotion that's perfect for legs, and a rich cream with beeswax and babassu oil for a more intense dose of hydration for heels and toes.
SHINE Buff nails with a Revlon Crazy Shine buffer ($6, drugstores and mass retailers). The green side smooths away ridges, then the white side polishes nails ’til they gleam. Extend foot and admire your own handiwork. See? Already a million times better.
POLISH Put foam toe separators between toes and paint on one thin coat of a ridge-filling basecoat. Even if you're hideously pressed for time, this step is essential. Finally, a sheer baby pink polish makes your toes look healthy and well-tended and is forgiving if you have klutz-level application skills (just repeat this calming mantra, "Feet are far away." It's unlikely that anyone will really scrutinize your inability to paint within the lines). Pinks to try: OPI Bubble Bath, Essie Mademoiselle (shown), Revlon Sheer Petal, Lippman Sarah Smile.
Apply topcoat and you're done.
Now for heaven's sake don't smudge them.
Do you have a pedi shortcut? Maybe with your own special name?