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15 Minute Foot Fix With Triona McCarthy

Tuesday, 1 May 2007


Triona is here with some top tips on how to keep your feet looking great this summer.

It's almost that time of year where we bare our feet for the first time this season- the question is, are they fit to be seen or will the pedicure police be in hot pursuit?

Triona McCarthy - Beauty Expert and Journalist
Triona McCarthy is Beauty Editor of The Sunday Independent, LIFE magazine.She is also a self confessed Beauty Junkie as well as a fully qualified beauty therapist, massage therapist and make up artist having trained at Bronwyn Conroy's College of Beauty Therapy.

Triona McCarthy says: My philosophy is looking good makes you feel good!In an ever-evolving world of beauty products and services, it's bamboozling trying to suss out which ones to hand over your hard earned cash for. I like to help my fellow Irish beauty addicts by giving unbiased reviews on everything from cellulite and acne treatments to weight-loss and skincare products, based on real experience! I like to think of myself as Ireland's only fully qualified Beauty Junkie! As I always say, beauty is only skin deep, but you can sure have fun with what's on the outside!? For those of us who are both too busy and underpaid to treat ourselves to a salon pedicure, here are some at-home tips to help you put your best foot forward this summer.

Home Pedicure
Five steps to a perfect pedicure

1. Remove all nail polish completely & clip/trim nails straight across.
2. Buff nails to remove ridges etc
3. Bathe feet to remove hard skin
4. Soften feet by wrapping in moisturizer & film or alternatively use softening socks..
5. Push back cuticles and apply nourishing foot cream before choosing polish colour.

Below are more detailed steps to follow:

Step 1:

Remove old nail polish completely with a gentle acetone free remover like Sally Hansen Acetone Free Polish Remover is available from pharmacies nationwide.If the colour is not coming off press the cotton onto the nail and let it soak for a while. It is always best to use high quality clippers to cut your toenails like Tweezerman Deluxe Toe Nail Scissors €15.30. These are extra sharp, professional quality toenail clipper made of stainless steel and include a file on the plastic handle's underside. Which are
available from Boots and pharmacies nationwide, if this is a little steep then try Boots own brand nail clippers which are €2.30.

Step 2:
Try using a buffer like Leighton Denny's Quatro Four-in-One Nail File to smooth nails and get rid of all those unsightly ridges. This fabulous four-in-one file buffs, sharpens, smoothes and glosses nails in less than five minutes. Buffing the nail brings it up nice and smooth, and also helps increase circulation to the toenail. You should buff quite gently though, as over buffing can cause the nail to become thin.  It's so handy and produces such great results that a monthly professional manicure may well become a thing of the past.
For stockists call 01 4929977

Step 3:
Fill a dish with warm water. Add bath salts, aromatherapy oils, Epsom salts or Margaret Dabbs Hydrating Foot Soak from Brown Thomas.This will not only soothe and moisturise your feet, but will energise and stimulate the skin, and relax the mind.
Avoid using pumice stones since they trap bacteria, instead, try a diamond file  like Scholl Dual Action Foot File which removes hard or rough skin and then buffs it smooth, leaving feet feeling beautifully soft.

The coarse side of the file safely removes the rough or hard skin, whilst the finer side smoothes away any remaining roughness. Until now, beauty wisdom has always decreed that hard skin needs to be filed away. But the more you file the hard, yellow skin on feet, the worse they look.  Like all body parts, feet have an in-built defence mechanism: when you file vigorously, the more skin cells respond by stepping up production.  Only file once every other week - and use Pedi-Cream every night.

Step 4:
The best thing is to keep your skin soft. Slather feet in moisturiser, wrap them in cling film and pop on a pair of cotton socks overnight. Or try "bliss softening socks." Slide these moisture-gel padded socks on for 20 minutes when your feet have to go from 'scary' to sandal-ready Or BeneFit's Sandal Scandal hydroxy cream which comes with socks that you wear overnight.

Step 5:
Apply cuticle remover like Nailoid Cuticle Remover available from pharmacies nationwide to the base of each nail and rub in. Wait for a minute and then using an orangewood stick; slowly push the skin back where it meets the nail. Dry your feet thoroughly, including between the toes, and apply nourishing foot cream like Aveda's Foot Relief has exfoliating fruit acids that seemed to melt away  tough skin.

As with most Aveda products, it smells sensational - lavender and rosemary oils help to deodorise smelly feet. If you like the idea of anointing your feet, Elemis has a gorgeous, rather sensuous oil called Sole Delight Foot Treatment containing milk and monoi oil, which is great for nails as well as skin. Australian Bodycare's Foot Treatment, a no-nonsense lotion that addresses athlete's foot, cracked skin and odour issues Rub the feet and rehydrate cuticles by rubbing a little cuticle oil like cult favourite Solar Oil .
Use remover again to get rid of the extra oils on the nails.

The hottest trend for nails in general this summer is metallic shades or neon shades.Try Golden Girl or Diamond Diva or Juicy Cool the tangerine shade all the celebs are sporting from Leighton Denny Nail Colour #16

. Apply a thin base coat and using three strokes, one down the middle and one on each side.
. Do not paint cuticles.
. Apply two coats then apply a thin topcoat.
. Use orangewood stick wrapped in cotton dipped in nail polish remover to remove excess nail polish or try Essence Nail Polish Corrector Pencil #3 available nationwide. Great again for gals on the go.

A radically different and highly innovative "Cause-Metic" brand, "PeaceKeeper" founded by Jody R. Weiss, a veteran New York fund raiser, is the first cosmetic brand in history to donate ALL profits, after taxes, to support women's health advocacy and human rights issues.

PeaceKeeper's Nail Paints are long wearing and free from harmful toluene, formaldehyde, acetone or phthalates in their formulae. The large rounded bottles are easy to hold while you are painting your nails, are available in 9 different shades and retail for €11. They're also used by celebrities such as Sharon Osborne, Tyra Banks and Darryl Hannah. PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics are available from independent pharmacies including McCabes Pharmacies nationwide.

Top Tips

. When clipping the toenails it is very important that you clip them straight across and not too short. If you cut them too short they will be more prone to ingrown toenails. When filing the nail round the corners off very slightly. 
. The more calloused your feet are the longer they need to stay soaked. A cheap-as-chips and natural top tip:- simply add a little milk to the warm water as lactic acid in the milk loosens dead skin.
. When removing dead skin pay extra attention to the rough spots on the heels but the idea is to smooth, not to remove half your foot. If your foot is turning bright red then stop!
. Slather feet in moisturiser, wrap them in cling film and put socks over the top and pop on a pair of cotton socks overnight.
. Speed up drying and prevent dust and 'fuzzies' sticking to them; drip some olive oil over wet toenails, to dry them. 
. Don't have a bath soon after painting nails, as the hot water softens the pedicure and encourages peeling.
. Always drink lots of water and that will hydrate your feet from the inside out.
. The Chinese believe it's as important to cleanse your feet at night as it is to cleanse your face! 

The theory behind this is that the toxins released through your feet during the day can be reabsorbed during the night.

Trionas latest, laziest tip is how to give yourself a "peepicure".
This is when you simply paint the two/three toes that peep out of your peep-toe shoes.With a pedicure regimen like this, you'll be walking on sunshine all summer long!

For More Information
. Tweezerman Deluxe Toe Nail Scissors €15.30 available from Boots and pharmacies nationwide.
. Leighton Denny's Quatro Four-in-One Nail File €9; for stockists call 01 4929977.
. Margaret Dabbs Hydrating Foot Soak €27 from Brown Thomas.
. Bliss softening socks €54 available from select department stores nationwide
. Peacekeeper' nail paints €9 available from McCabe's pharmacies nationwide.
. Peacekeeper "cause-metics" nail polish, available in select independent chemists nationwide and Bliss softening socks (€54). Moisture gel padded socks that revive feet in 20mins.
. Sally Hansen Acetone Free Polish Remover available from pharmacies nationwide €5.70.
. Scholl Dual Action Foot File €6.29 available from pharmacies nationwide
. BeneFit's Sandal Scandal hydroxy cream (comes with foot socks) €42 select department stores
. Nailoid  Cuticle Remover €7.95 available from pharmacies nationwide
. Aveda's Foot Relief €24.50 available from Whetstone, 24 Sth Anne St, Dublin 2, tel 01 672 4727
. Australian Bodycare's Foot Treatment
. Creative Nail Design Solar Oil €15 ; for stockists call Creative Nails Academy on 01 4599 199 .
. Elemis Sole Delight Foot Treatment
. Leighton Denny Nail Colour- Golden Girl or Diamond Diva or Juicy Cool €16 ;tel 01 for stockist call 01 4929977
. Essence Nail Polish Corrector Pencil #3 available nationwide
. Sally Hansen's new Insta Dri available from Boots, Nationwide.
. YSL Nail Touch #22 available from counters nationwide.