Friends from the Floor: How to Prep Your Feet for Summer Sandals
“Friends from the Floor” is a series dedicated to sharing the latest product obsessions of our Nordstrom sales crew.
Peel off those socks, because it’s sandal season. Oh wait, did you forget something? It’s OK—it happens to the best of us. Just when you’re ready to rock your brand-new pair of sandals, you realize your toenail polish is chipped, your cuticles are craggy and your heels could use a good buff. Summer sneaked up and now your feet need some quick TLC.
If your regular nail salon is booked or you’re in a time crunch, fret not. We consulted with one of Nordstrom Spa’s top nail technicians, Cam Giles, for the expert lowdown on at-home spa pedicures, including what rock-star products get the job done. So slip on your terry robe and block out an hour. You’ve got this.
A shower will help soften skin, but a 10-minute foot bath with herbal salts offers the perks of aromatherapy and nutrient-rich oils. (Plus, you can remove your old polish while filling up the tub.) The Nordstrom Spa begins every pedicure with GEHWOL FUSSKRAFT Herbal Bath—formulated with lavender, rosemary and mountain pine oils—because of its antiseptic, antifungal qualities and fresh herbal scent. A few drops of tea tree oil also works wonders.
Ditch sharp objects like razors. Instead, use an antibacterial pedicure file like the waterproof GEHWOL Biosana Swiss Foot File, which Giles says was recently reformulated for extra durability. The Biosana’s dual-sided file delivers two abrasive textures to smooth down even the roughest of patches on your heels, balls of feet and toe edges. (You can find the Biosana file at most Nordstrom Spas.)
Making several small snips, cut your nails straight across with a pair of clean clippers. Use a nail file to shape your nails so that they look consistent across both feet.
“Never cut your cuticles,” Giles cautions. “Your skin is your biggest organ and it ends at your nail’s cuticle. Cutting into your skin invites infection.” She recommends Deborah Lippmann’s nip-free Cuticle Lab Set, which provides everything you need to exfoliate, push, nourish and hydrate. If your cuticles dry out quickly, throw Julep’s peptide-rich Mighty Nail Cuticle Serum in your bag for on-the-go repair.
“Because your hands and feet are the furthest from your heart, they’re the first to dehydrate if you have poor circulation,” says Giles. So slather from ankles to toes with a deep-conditioning lotion, like GEHWOL’s Soft Feet Cream made with hyaluron and glycerin. (Pro tip: Your skin repairs twice as fast while you’re sleeping at night, so moisturize your feet before bed, then throw on some socks to lock in the lotion. You’ll wake up to baby-soft soles.)
Choose a color you can live with for at least a week. Apply two coats two minutes apart and a clear, hardening top coat two minutes later. If you like the high shine and extended wear of salon gel nails, Giles recommends springing for the Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro kit for home. No UV lamps or harsh nail scraping—just a protein-rich base coat, two layers of your regular polish and a shiny top coat.