While proper foot care is necessary at any time of the year, giving extra attention to your feet during sandal season is a spring and summer beauty must. It’s easy to neglect our feet when the weather is cold, and we’re living in our cute slipper-socks. It happens. We may not notice rough or dry patches, and if we let our polish chip, who will know?
To welcome spring this year, I devoted a few luxurious hours to a DIY Spring Pedicure. Knowing the Pacific Northwest, it may rain for the entirety of April—but in the event of a painfully gorgeous sunny day, I’ll be prepared. Plus, let’s be real: our feet deserve all the TLC we give them (and probably more). View your pedicure as a way to honor those two amazing parts of your body.
You will need:
(Makes enough for you and a friend—or leftovers for next week.)
¼ cup raw, unrefined sugar (the chunky brown stuff)
a few tablespoons of your favorite carrier oil (I used castor oil because it’s incredibly rich)
6 drops tea tree oil
3 drops peppermint oil
Cleansing tea tree oil is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial—combined with cooling peppermint oil, it freshens the skin and invigorates the senses.
Place sugar in a small bowl. Begin slowly pouring carrier oil over sugar, adding just enough to cover each sugar crystal. Stir in essential oils.
If applicable, remove old toenail polish. Trim and file nails to your desired length and shape. I usually file mind straight across and round the edges slightly.
Fill your bathtub or a basin with enough hot water to cover your ankles. I aimed for hot-tub water temperature. Soak your feet for as long as your like. Catch up with your favorite magazine. I kept mine in for about 10 minutes.
Using a nail brush, gently brush your toenail with a gentle body wash. Then begin massaging your feet with scrub, focusing on extra-rough areas. Avoid any cuts or broken skin. Take you time and enjoy. Once you’ve scrubbed both feet, you may want to repeat the process if your skin isn’t feeling too sensitive.
Blot feet dry with a towl. If necessary, apply lotion. I found that the castor oil kept my feet quite moisturized, so I didn’t need any added lotion.
Optional: If your want to paint your toenails, choose a color that inspires you and makes you gleeful every time you see it. I chose an electric blue that reminds of the first polish I ever had. I was about nine when I spilled a dollop on my parent’s coffee table. It’s still there! (Sorry, Mom & Dad.) Since you’ve been using on oil-based scrub, there’s probably some residual oil on your toenails. While a smear of oil good for nail health, it will hinder the polish from completing adhering to the surface of the nail. Dip a q-tip in rubbing alcohol and swipe over each nail. Now you have a perfect canvas for your polish. Apply a base coat, two coats of color, and a high-gloss top coat. Let dry, then flaunt your sandals!
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Photos: Mary Hood