Every beauty discipline has its leader—think Charlotte Tilbury for makeup, Jen Atkin for hair, or Kate Somerville for skin care. When it comes to foot care, there’s only one name to know: Bastien Gonzalez. During his former life as a professional skier, Gonzalez injured his cruciate ligament, and a visit to a podiatrist changed his life. “It was a revelation to me. He was able to improve my posture by touching my feet. I restarted racing and did better than before,” he says.
After he retired from his racing career, he trained as a podiatrist and began to partner with hotels around the world, developing his own pedicure method that uses a glass file, diamond-tipped drill, and chamois leather buffer. Two decades later, his clients include Naomi Campbell and Gwyneth Paltrow. His Pedi:Mani:Cure studios are in more than 20 hotels around the world, and he has his own product line, Révérence de Bastien.
Here are five things Gonzalez thinks you need to know about taking care of your feet.
Why it’s important
Your feet are the base of your body, so if you don’t take care of them, you will start to have pain and then your activities will be limited. That’s the reason you should have checkups for your feet, just like your teeth and eyes.
What makes a good pedicure
First of all, it should be painless, and your professional should explain to you how you can continue to take care of your feet. Massage can repump the blood circulation and allow an amazing feeling of relaxation, and the feeling of tidy nails and skin will make you smile the whole day.
What you can do at home
Again, massage is the best to relax your feet, taking time to go under the arch and on the fatty cushion. Don’t hesitate to make a deal with your partner to exchange massage—it’s always better when someone else does it. You can also use a tennis or squash ball to massage deeply. From time to time, you could definitely use Epsom salts in the bath.
What tools should you be using at home
You need to think about the nails and skin. With a nail clipper or scissors, cut your nails straight and round the corners with a glass file—glass files have the best quality of grain for filing and can be sterilized. Avoid going too far into the corner so you don’t risk ingrown nails. It is important to keep some white part. Then you can buff your nails to create natural shine.
For the skin, you do not really need special tools. Once or twice a week, use a scrub to remove dead skin. Massage them with the Sensitive Feet Balm three times a week before going to bed—that’s the best time.
Think of nail polish as makeup—you need to remove it frequently
On your face, you keep makeup on for a few hours; for the nails, no more than three days. After that, you need to remove and apply again—if you keep it on longer than that, the base coat will stop protecting the nail and the chemical in the polish will burn the layers. You can observe white spots or yellow colours as a result of that.
Avoid these big mistakes
The most important is to avoid aggressing the skin and the foot in general. When you use a foot file or pumice stone too strongly or for too long, it will damage the skin. Often our guests come to see us because of bad cuts. It’s better to cut regularly but not too short and not too far. Then it is important to consider the shoes as part of the foot care. Wear shoes that support your feet—not just the arch but the whole foot, so the foot is in contact with the sole of the shoe during the whole step. They should be not too tight in the front, with heels no higher than four or five centimetres. Exfoliating socks are the worst product as you cannot control the application of the peeling, and very often it is too harsh and can burn deeply.
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