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Pedicure Basics

Pedicure Basics

Carla Kay (Celebrity Manicurist) gives expert video advice on: What is a 'pedicure'?; What is the best tool for clipping my toenails?; How should my toenails be trimmed when getting a pedicure? and more...

What is a 'pedicure'?

A pedicure involves shaping and cutting the toenails, pushing back the cuticles, and taking off unwanted callouses on the feet. As a client getting a pedicure, it's an enjoyment, it's a treat. A pedicure is a must, because we are on our feet more than anything else in the world, and we have all that pressure on our feet depending on whether we're wearing high heels. By taking off that callous and applying all this moisture, and getting the foot rub, you'll really feel like a new person after a pedicure.

What is the best tool for clipping my toenails?

You have to remember that your toenails are thicker than your fingernails. What you could use for the toenails is a heavier stainless steel toenail clipper. They have fingernail clippers and toenail clippers, so the toenail clippers are going to be heavier. The toenail clipper can be rounded at the end, or you can use the one that I prefer which looks like a cuticle clipper, but it's much heavier. It is specifically made for toenails, so as you're clipping you have more of a control to the shape of the nail.

How should my toenails be trimmed when getting a pedicure?

When getting your toenails trimmed during a pedicure, they should be cut straight across, and when they file, they have to lightly file the corners. Never cut into the corners of the nail. You want to be careful with how much you cut off the toenail. You dont want to cut too short, where you're cutting into the flesh, which could lead into bacteria, and all kinds of different infections. And plus, if you're cutting too short, by putting your shoes on, you're going to feel that sensitivity of pain, when they're short. So you want to stick to cutting to where there's only a little bit of free edge left on the edge.

What is a 'pumice stone'?

A pumice stone is shaped like a bar of soap, with the rounded sides. A pumice stone normally has two sides; one side is coarser than the other side. The coarse side is used to break down the callous, and the smooth side is used to go back over it so that the skin is nice and smooth. Since the coarse side is going to break up the callous, it's going to feel rough, so you need the smooth side of the pumice to even out the skin. A pumice stone is used for reducing callous buildup.

What are 'toe separators'?

Toe separators are something that are applied after the pedicure is completely finished. You insert them in between each toe, so when you're applying polish, the toes aren't touching each other where the polish is getting onto the other toe.

What is a 'foot file'?

A foot file has a handle on it, that has two different sides to it – almost like a sandpaper, and it's held in the hand. The coarser side is used to take down a heavier build up of a callous, and the other softer side of the file is going to smooth it down. A foot file is great because of the way it's shaped. It has a handle on it, so you can really hold on to it while you're doing the motions of back and forth and when you have to get to the back of the heel. You can really hold on to it in the positions that might be more difficult.

How often do I need a pedicure?

It depends on the individual, because some people are harder on their feet. You could have a pedicure, on average, once every three or four weeks. During Summer time, you may want to have a pedicure once every two weeks, so that they are fresh, because you have open toe shoes. You need to have a nice manicure or pedicure, with bright fun colors.

How can a pedicure keep my feet healthy?

A pedicure can keep your feet healthy, and by removing callouses, it's going to relieve pressure. You don't want to take off too much callous. A lot of people are filing their own callouses at home, but they're actually taking off too much callous. You need that skin to protect the wear and tear that we do every day on our feet. Clipping toenails and pushing back cuticles carefully will keep your toenails in very good health. You also need to be very careful that people aren't using razor blades on your callouses.

Should diabetics get pedicures?

Being diabetic, my personal opinion is that you have to be even more careful. You should be seeing a podiatrist, or if you have a manicurist that is very gentle, who knows what she is doing, and has clean implements, then it would be okay. As a diabetic, we have to be very careful when it comes to our feet.