We've been experiencing serious cabin fever during the last few weeks but alas the torrential downpours have ceased - at least temporarily - and finally the sun is shining. After months of hibernation, skin-baring weather is here at last and as pleased as we are that it's time to get those tootsies out, we’ve already had the distinct displeasure of witnessing many a sandal encasing what looks more like a hoof than a set of twinkle toes.
While it is, of course, always wonderful to have a pro chisel away at the tell-tale signs of winter neglect, sometimes circumstance such as this spontaneous burst of beauteous sunshine warrants an adept DIY job. When a quick trip to the salon is nigh impossible, hooves in Havaianas are still not acceptable so here’s the lowdown from the experts on how to fix your feet:
Step one: clean cut
Start by thoroughly removing all nail polish. Soak a cotton pad with a non-acetone remover, hold over the nail for a couple of seconds and then rub off the polish, but be careful not to rub too vigorously, as this will stain your nails. Follow by trimming nails square and file straight across, to avoid ingrown toenails.
Step two: get buff
To banish unsightly hard skin OPI’s Lena White advises using a two-sided foot file; buff away any hard or callused areas by filing with the rough side and following with the smooth side (try OPI Callus File , £21.25).
Step three: scrub up
Next, slather on some foot scrub and gently massage into the skin to exfoliate and soften. Maybelline Nail Expert, David Barton, recommends Garnier Body Tonic Sugar Scrub , £7.15, to simultaneously slough off dead skin cells and brighten the skin. Finish by rinsing feet, then pat them dry and wrap in a clean warm towel, leaving the toes exposed.
Step four: be smooth
Carefully push the cuticles back from the nail plate using a hoof stick and buff across the surface of each nail (lightly, so they don’t get too thin) to remove ridges, stains and discolouration. Take off the towel and apply an ultra-hydrating moisturiser, such as Nails Inc Mexican Lime Foot Cream , £11.00.
Step five: pretty and polished
Wipe over nails with polish remover to remove any natural oils and squeeze toe separators in before applying a base coat (we recommend Essie First Base Coat , £8.95, which will protect the nails. David Barton advises applying two thin coats of your chosen varnish followed by a top coat such as Nails Inc Kensington Caviar Top Coat , £12.00, remembering to swipe the free edge to seal in the colour and to help prevent chipping. After two minutes, apply a drop of oil to each of the toenails to ‘suffocate’ the polish ( Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil , £10.50, works a treat). This will help the polish to dry quicker and will also prevent smudges. Apply a top coat every couple of days to keep polish shiny and looking freshly applied and voila, your feet are flip-flop ready.