Small things: Home pedicures


Let me start off by just saying thank you to everyone who took the time to read through my last obtuse post and leave a comment. I'm still trying to soak in all the opinions and ideas bandied about and thinking of apt responses (even two months on, it remains at the back of my mind). I've had a follow-up post on draft for the last month, and I just need to actually put my jumbled thoughts into coherent words.

In the meantime, I've been thinking about ways to avoid thinking about clothes and to concentrate on the small things that make me happy and that I should use to occupy my time instead of spending more money on frivolous things. Of course, the notion of frivolous is dependent on the individual - I know plenty of people would find nail polish or candles frivolous, but if it makes you happy and distracts you from envy or mindless consumption, I say why not. Over the next few months, I'll be writing on some of the things I've mentioned in this post. I'm trying to embrace organic minimalism as opposed to consciously making lists, doing closet clean outs and talking about buying even more crap in some effort to conform to that black-white-grey stereotypical minimalist fashion blogger mold.

One of the things that makes me happy is being able to do things at home on the cheap and getting better results than having to spend money out. I go for bi-monthly pedicures because I can't seem to justify the cost and after hearing plenty of horror stories, I've decided to keep my visits to a minimum. I find that I can pretty much maintain decent looking tootsies at home with the right products. The fun thing about doing pedicures/foot soaks at home is that you can basically just do it anytime you want for pretty cheap. Sometimes I even use it as a form of procrastination but I think on average, I do my home pedicures every ten days or so.

The three main items that I really cannot live without are a Japanese soaking bucket, the Tweezerman callus stone and the Fig + Yarrow Foot Treatment Alpine Pumice Scrub; everything else is just complimentary.  I've tried one of those drugstore home pedicure jet tubs and they just slosh water around your ankles and hardly gets hot enough. It's much cheaper and better to get the soaking bucket because it's deep and wide enough so that the water comes up to mid-calf. A little trick I learned is to use two little massaging balls at the bottom of the bucket and roll your feet around when you're soaking. The  bucket is also great for carrying around the house and you can even set it out on the balcony while sipping tea. I usually add some Seaweed Bath Salt with a few drops of tea tree oil for detoxification and disinfection (I mean, take this with a grain of salt, no pun intended - who knows what detoxification even means). The bath salt smells a little like the ocean so it's pretty relaxing.

Sort of a frivolous thing, but I've been really enjoying Lotus Wei mists as part of my home spa experience. You can achieve the same thing by just using essential oils and distilled water, but I'm prone to spending money on silly things anyway. I find the Lotus Wei aromatherapy combinations really lovely, and my favorite is Quiet Mind, which is suppose to help with physical tension. 

The Tweezerman callus stone may be one of the best inventions ever, I like it better than a foot rasp and if you use it daily in the shower for a week, it sloughs off the ugliest and grossest patches from your feet. It's made from recycled ceramic and works extremely well for heels as well without the danger of scraping off too much skin. It's my secret weapon for summer feet all year round without actually needing to go to the nail salon. Actually, the only reason I even get pedicures at all is because I'm terrible at applying nail polish and shaping my nails.

I used the Fig + Yarrow scrub after a 20 minute soak and after rubbing my feet like a crazy person with the callus stone. On the Fig + Yarrow label, it says, "... this tingling treatment deliciously transforms callused peds into kitten paws." Let me tell you that this is no exaggeration. It's literally one of the best scrubs ever made for feet. If you're the kind of person that wants sexy feet, this is the magic potion. The ingredients are pretty simple but extremely effective. You can even make this at home by mixing pumice powder with olive oil and shea butter. However, I find that the Fig + Yarrow scrub actually lasts a long time and because they seem like such a decent company, it's worth the $28 spent.

My favorite spa-like towels are the Scents and Feel Fouta Towel which have a surprising range of functions. I've been using them as beach blankets, as summer throws and more recently, to line my dog's bed because it's super absorbent and soft. Just in case you didn't already know, you have to make sure your feet is toweled dry especially between the toes before applying cream and nail polish to prevent fungal infections. I use the Alpha Hydrox Foot Cream generously, apply some Eve Lom cuticle cream and slip my feet into one of those free slippers you get from hotels. If I'm feeling saucy sometimes, I'll put on some Sally Hansen Cuticle Remover, push my cuticles back with an orange stick and slop on some nail polish. My favorite nail lacquer lately is a nude polish (Lingerie) by Guerlain.

So there you have it, I love being able to use what I already have on hand, add a few additional items that will last a long time and create a pleasurable experience for myself at minimum cost.

Note: Some of the product links will provide me with a commission if you make a purchase. For the Scents & Feel towels, you can sometimes scoop up really good deals through Amazon. For the Lotus Wei mists, Spirit Beauty Lounge periodically has coupons/sales so I usually wait till then to stock up. You can probably find most of the other products at your local drugstore.

12 comments :

  1. Thank you for this post, I've been struggling with paying for pedicures or doing them myself. I only like pedicures for the foot bath; I could care less for neatly painted toes (especially with the end of summer). Your post is giving me the courage (ha!) and recommendations to do this myself at the perfect time!

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    1. I think one should still go in for pedicures at a salon occasionally just to make sure you're not screwing up your nails or cuticles, etc. I've had some problems fixed at a good nail spa, but once you start off on the right foot (tee hee!), it's pretty to do maintenance at home. I paint my toes even in the winter because it provides a form of distraction and I'm less likely to screw around on the computer that way.

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  2. It sounds like a lovely ritual you've created. It also sounds more comfortable to do it at home as opposed to going out to the salon where you still have to commute/drive back. The foot massage and soaking your calves sounds soothing--I could go for that.

    I look forward to your response post to minimalism/the blogger "mold." In the meantime I may be puttering around on Instagram wearing the aforementioned colors :)

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    1. Ha! Not meant to be a dig at the monochrome minimalist blogger stereotype at all :-) I think also, home pedicures actually save you a lot of money in the long run and it's actually really fun.

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  3. It's very nice to have a glimpse at someone else's beauty rituals. I also practice bi-monthly pedicures (it seems the nail polish I use really lasts for a long time...) but scrub my feet more often - as you say to keep it nice and smooth. It is a very relaxing moment, and also a way to reconnect with our bodies and take some slow time during the day :) I'll definitely add a few drops of tea tree essential oil next time, it's a very good idea!

    I'm also looking forward to reading your follow-up thoughts on the "minimalist trend"! I think minimalism is supposed to be tailored to each and every person's need, and that high-end aesthetics mold of sorts may put off some people - and ultimately defeats the purpose of minimalism in my opinion, if the state of mind is to keep up with the "minimalist Joneses"...

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    1. For some reason, tea tree oil always smells like something you should use in a foot soak - it's like peppermint but more potent. You're right in that maintaining our bodies is a good way to reconnect and listen to what it's telling us.

      I'm very guilty of being that kind of blogger that seems to equate luxury with minimalism and I'm actually going to try and address the issue that you can be a minimalist/conscientious consumer without actually buying expensive things.

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  4. this is such a great idea. i love pedicures too, but balk at the cost and you never know how hygienic some of those neighborhood nail salons are...

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    1. How's about we plan a joint foot soak/tea session/ramen night while watching Sherlock season 4? It'll be our version of a girls' night.

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    2. Ummm, I want in on this girls' night!

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  5. I think I've only ever had a pedicure twice and once was out of this world and worth every penny as the lady did such a lovely job including painting my toes the perfect red. I sat and admired them for days. I never found her again but I still remember her! Through the summer, I always have a Sunday night bath ritual where I get to give my toes a lovely long soak before I embark on all the tidying up and re-painting of the toes as I like to have a perfectly neat paint job and I get to choose a different colour each week. That's probably the nearest I come to being indulgent. It takes me hours to paint my toes but at least I'm happy when I'm done - I can only blame myself if I do a bad job.

    You sound like you have a lovely ritual going there and that Fig+Yarrow scrub sounds fabulous. I can't seem to locate it anywhere in the UK though :o(

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    1. Sue, you should try Liberty if you're there. Otherwise, if I'm in London next year, I'll bring you a jar. Also, I've had good luck with Crabtree & Evelyn's Gardener's Scrub with Pumice or the La Source range - basically anything with ground pumice will work. I just like the Fig + Yarrow better because it doesn't have fragrance and foaming agents.

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    2. I already have the Crabtree & Evelyn La Source hand therapy which is a miracle worker - it mends my hands after a heavy stint of decorating (scrubbing your hands of paint ruins them) but I never thought to try it on my feet! I'm scheduling that in for my next feet treat session!

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