Put Your Feet First

Do your feet always come last on your beauty agenda? It's time to put those 10 pinkies on the priority list.

This season's fashionable footwear has put perfectly-preened tootsies firmly in the spotlight, with gladiator sandals, studded flip-flops and peep-toe booties demanding our feet are pedicured to the max.

But despite our toes being on parade, 72 per cent of women admit to spending less money on their feet than any other part of the body, according to a survey by shoe boutique Bourgeois Boheme.

So stop the feet neglect and scrub, buff and polish them to high summer standards. If you want to avoid icky podiatric problems such as unsightly corns, calluses and bunions, it's wise to adopt a 'save our soles' beauty mantra now.

Spend some top-to-toe pamper time attending to your fabulous feet.

:: FRESH FEET TACTICS
Nobody wants to be in possession of a pair of stinky feet. Avoid embarrassing pongs during the summer months with regular foot soaks. Dry thoroughly afterwards, paying special attention to between the toes.

"Use a foot scrub once or twice a week," advises Sally Biles, senior spa trainer at The Sanctuary. "This will be an effective abrasive and cleanser to dislodge hard skin and deodorise the foot area. Apply a non-greasy, hydrating foot cream afterwards."

If you battle with the sweat factor, invest in a foot deodorising product to apply to the balls of your feet. Patting on talcum powder daily will also help keep your feet dry.

Try: The Body Shop Peppermint Cooling Pumice Foot Scrub, $16.95; Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Extreme Foot Therapy, $24.95.

:: SOLE RESCUE
Painting your toenails is the pedicure part we all enjoy, but before you get busy with the toe separators there's lots of feet groundwork to do - first buffing the skin.

Andrea Fulerton, celebrity nail technician for Revlon says: "I always dry buff the dead skin from feet as I get faster results with less effort and pressure.

"This is safer too, as you can see how much skin you are taking off and removing, which is more difficult when wet."

A loofah-type sponge in the bath or shower will also help relieve dry skin.

Try: Manicare Pumice Stone, $7.65; Avon Footworks Pedi-Peel Pads, $10.99.

:: NAIL KNOW-HOW
Any excuse to kick back with a relaxing foot bath, right? Well, now you have a valid reason. Toenails are easier to file when they've been soaked in warm water, so conjure up an at-home foot spa for your feet first.

Emily Symon at Barry M Cosmetics says: "Remove your feet from the water and pat dry. Next apply a little cuticle cream or oil to your cuticles, massage in and, using a hoof stick, gently remove the cuticle from the nail.

"If you're using a nail file to shape your toenails, ensure you're filing in one direction so that you don't weaken the nail."

Try: Manicare Manicure and Pedicure Grooming Set, $14.50; Estee Lauder Body Performance Smoothing Manicure/Pedicure Treatment, $50.00; OPI Avoplex Nail and Cuticle Replenishing Oil (7.5mL), $17.25.

:: TOOTSIE TREATS
If you haven't got time for a full-on foot soak or DIY pedicure complete with nail-polished pinkies, treat your feet to a relaxing foot massage after a long day.

"A massage treatment on your feet can really help relax and soothe them," advises Elle Barielle, celebrity manicurist and pedicurist.

"Try using your thumb, index and middle finger to rotate each toe in a circular motion. Then, turn your hand into a fist and glide it slowly around the bottom of the foot. Lastly, gently twist each foot as if wringing wet clothes."

Try: L'Occitane Shea Foot Cream (30mL), $16.95, Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Foot Magic, $14.50.
Snapper

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