The Best Summer Pedicures
Let's be honest — when it comes to pedicures, nothing beats the decadent experience of a spa. Between the exotic ingredients, the heavenly foot rub, and the flawless polish job, it's the ultimate in pampering. But who can afford to splurge on a pricey professional pedi every few weeks? That's why we asked top spas across the country to come up with DIY versions of their best summer pedicures.
Strawberry Daiquiri Pedicure
Courtesy of Tara Oolie, owner of Just Calm Down Spa in New York City
In a large bowl combine 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, and 1 tablespoon pureed strawberries. Use this mixture generously to exfoliate your heels, feet, and calves. Rinse the scrub off with warm water and use a warm washcloth to remove any excess sugar granules.
Next, massage your feet and calves with a mixture of 1 cup milk, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/2 cup coconut cream, and 1 cup pureed strawberries. Rinse off with warm water and apply a strawberry-scented body lotion such as The Body Shop Strawberry Body Butter.
Triple Citrus Pedicure
Courtesy of nail technician Fahmida Mumith at Haven Spa in New York City
Soak your feet in a combination of warm water, sea salts, sliced lemon rounds, and a few drops of any essential oil. Use a pumice stone on your heels and balls of your feet to slough away calluses.
In a mixing bowl combine 1/2 cup sugar, the juice of a grapefruit, lemon, and lime, and 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil with a splash of warm water. Exfoliate your feet and calves with the scrub, then rinse it off with warm water. Finish by applying a rich body cream to your feet and calves to keep them soft and hydrated.
Courtesy of Suzanne Gibson, spa director at the Mokara Spa at the Omni Houston Hotel
Fill a large bowl or basin halfway with warm water, 1/4 cup Epsom salts, and 10 drops of essential oil (geranium, chamomile, and lavender are good options and readily available at most natural-food stores). Add a handful of flowers if you have some around. Relax and soak your feet soak for 10 minutes.
Now mix 1/4 cup Epsom salts with 1/4 cup grape seed or sunflower oil and 10 drops of your chosen essential oil. Use the scrub to exfoliate your feet and lower legs, paying special attention to cuticles, calluses, and dry skin on the soles and heels. (Note: If you have sensitive skin, substitute sugar for the Epsom salts and go easy on the scrubbing.) Rinse off and pat dry with a towel.
Follow by massaging a nourishing combo of your chosen essential oil and grape seed or sunflower oil into your legs and feet until mostly absorbed.
Courtesy of Nicole Doerr, spa director at the Mokara Spa at the Omni Interlocken Resort in Denver
Fill a large basin with warm water and 1 tablespoon of pineapple extract. Soak your feet 5 to 10 minutes and remove from the water. Take a fresh pineapple slice and rub it all over your feet and toes, concentrating on your heels. Allow the juices to marinate on your nail beds for a few minutes to soften your cuticles so it's easy to push them back later on.
Rinse off your feet, then make a scrub using Epson salts mixed with grape seed oil and a few drops of vanilla extract. Buff your feet and heels until they feel smooth. Finish by giving yourself a foot massage with a rich cream like True Blue Spa I Love Shea Ultra-Pampering Foot Cream.
Courtesy of the Spa at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach
Whip up a lavender foot scrub by mixing 1/2 cup light oil (try sweet almond, safflower, or jojoba), 1 cup fine sea salt (or sugar if you have sensitive skin), and 10 drops of lavender essential oil. The texture should be moist enough to hold together but not overly greasy. You can adjust the amount of oil to achieve perfect consistency.
Apply a thin layer of the lavender scrub to your legs and feet using a circular motion, then remove with a warm, moist towel, making sure there is no residue.
Finish by massaging your legs and feet with a lavender lotion. You can make your own by mixing 10 drops of lavender essential oil with an unscented lotion, or try Suave Skin Therapy Exhale Alluring Rich and Moisturizing Body Lotion in Lavender Vanilla.
Fake a Spa-Perfect Paint Job
After you treat your feet to one of these fab summer pedicures, it's time to apply polish. Here's how to do it like a pro:
Step 1: Trim nails with clippers so that they extend just slightly beyond the tops of your toes. Then file nails into squares with rounded edges and glide over with a buffer to get rid of any ridges on the surface.
Step 2: Gently push back cuticles with a plastic or wooden cuticle stick.
Step 3: Prep the nails by wiping them with a cotton pad soaked in remover (even if there's no old nail polish to take off).
Step 4: Apply a thin base coat followed by two coats of polish — go for something bright and summery.
Step 5: Seal with a high-shine topcoat and let nails dry for at least 30 minutes.