If you have calloused heels I highly recommend buying a ped egg.You use it on dry feet and it grates away the callouses.Be careful though it is easy to get carried away!(Ive left sores being over zealous with mine)Ive found light strokes are better than hard deeper strokes.You don't want to rub too hard because that can actually be counter productive.The friction can cause your feet to build even more callouses which is your body's natural defense to build a pad of skin to protect the delicate underlying skin.So don't go too deep, a little callous is OK!
Another thing you can do to soften callouses is lather a thick lotion on right before bed or when your running around the house and wear socks to keep the lotion in place and soaking into your feet.
If you have extremely calloused feet and no matter how much filing or lotion you do it just comes back or gets worse,it may not be callouses!It could be a fungus infection caused by the same fungus that causes athletes feet.Check with your doctor if this is the case.They can do a quick, painless skin culture to see if that is what is going on.You may want to try an athletes foot cream or your doctor may even suggest a medication because this kind of infection can get into your blood stream and spread to your nails and other areas.
Don't ignore your toe cuticles!You may not get hangnails on your feet but your cuticles still grow,crack and dry out on your feet.Push back your cuticles on your toes and use an orangewood stick to remove the flap of adhering skin that binds your cuticle to your nail.
I love the orangewood sticks that are coated in sand grit at the ends.They really get into the little spots for a clean professional looking finish.
Trim your nails straight across not angled down at the corners to avoid ingrown nails.If you file your nails,file from the outer edge inward in long sweeping strokes.This helps keep your nails from breaking and chipping.
Polish or Au Naturale?
If you are an all natural girl and don't like to polish your toes use a non yellowing clear coat on your nails to keep your nails looking healthy and shiny.If your like me I feel naked without toenail polish in a bright color.It is a good idea to let your nails go natural from time to time though to keep your nails from yellowing.
When it is time for polish here are a few tips to keep your polish on and keep it from chipping.
- Use a low grit buffer on the surface on your nail beds.Don't buff until your have grooves, you just want to take the natural seen off of the top of the nail.This gives your polish something to grip to.CND makes a great base coat called Stickey that is an anchoring basecoat to keep your polish on even longer.
- After filing and buffing make sure you wash your feet well to prevent particles from making your polish less than perfect.
- Wipe your nails down with polish remover BEFORE you polish.This will help remove any left over natural oils and any transferred oils from your hands.
- Always use a bascoat to keep your nails from staining!
- Make sure you let your polish dry completely between coats so your polish will cure all the way through.
- After you apply your 2 coats of polish, use a heat cure topcoat.I use a coat of CND Shiney and a coat of CND Air Dry .
- Brush a drop or two of cuticle oil like CND Solar Oil on top of your wet polish.This helps light bumps to your nails from denting your polish.It also helps keep lint and particles from adhering to your polish while it is tacky and ensures a glass like finish while conditioning your cuticles.
If you follow these simple rules your polish can stay unscathed up to a month or until your nails grow out and it is time to do it again if you aren't scuffing them up in the pool or washing floors on your hands and knees barefoot.
I love a good french pedicure on toes as well.Ive tried the forms and paints but the best french pedi I can do on myself is using a thick white nail polish or even an acrylic craft paint in white with a long fine haired artist brush.Make sure you use enough paint on the brush to sweep all the way across the tip on one sweep for the best results.After it dries use an opaque topcoat.Stay away shades that are too yellow in tone if you are paler because you just look like you have a nail fungus.Look for a slightly pink shade.Darker skin tones can go for the more yellow tones.Make sure you still do your base/topcoat routine on french peid's!
Be festive with your feet and go for a color you would never wear on your nails!
Now go show your piggy's off!