Our feet rarely get the attention that they deserve, but they are arguably the hardest working part of the body. Supporting us day in, day out, the rigours of daily life, changing temperatures, central heating, running, walking, being in the gym - it can all make a difference to dry skin, nail health and the tension that we carry in our feet. Pedicures can be great ways of helping to care for our feet, as well as adding a little luxury into our day. They are also perfect for holiday prep or before an event.
What are pedicures?
A pedicure is a treatment for the feet, involving shaping and painting of the nails, tidying of cuticles, and softening of skin. Luxury pedicures can also include calf massages and reflexology elements. Well known brands include CND Shellac, Gelish, Jessica and OPI. It’s also possible to have nail overlays or extensions applied at some destinations.
Types of pedicure
As with manicures, pedicures can range from the very basic to the very luxurious, and each spa will have its own take on additional details that they add to the experience to make you feel extra pampered. However, as a guide, pedicures fall into the following categories:
- Standard pedicure
- French pedicure
- Hot stones
- Mini pedicure
- Gel pedicure
- Paraffin bath
- Spa pedicure
- Fish pedicure
- Athletic pedicure
What are the benefits of a pedicure?
Pedicures can include all sorts of wonderful elements, hydrating oils and creams to restore the skin, supporting nail health and generally helping you to feel good. When they’re combined with a little massages, they can also be extremely relaxing. After all, your feet are some of the hardest working parts of the body and carry a lot of tension - don’t underestimate the power of a pedicure!
What happens during a pedicure?
Depending on where you go and the type of pedicure that you opt for, the details as to what happens will vary. They can range from a simple file and polish all the way up to hand masks, but this is a rough guide:
- Preparation: Your therapist will usually begin by removing any traces of old nail polish
- Cleanse: They might then move onto a soak to cleanse, and soften skin and nails.
- Scrub: As part of the cleanse, they might use a scrub to exfoliate your feet, buffing away dead skin and nourishing it with oils and ingredients.
- Mask: They may then apply a mask to the hands or feet for a period of time to really hydrate the skin and nails.
- Massage: Once rinsed and dried, your therapist might add in a massage for feet with a cream or oil.
- File: They will then file, trim and shape nails as wanted or needed.
- Polish: The cherry on top is the colour. You will likely choose a nail polish at the start of your treatment. Therapists will apply your base coat, colour as required and top coat to seal.
Choose this if you want to...
Prepare for an evening out in open-toe shoes, or get ready for a holiday. They are also perfect for sharing spa experiences with small groups of friends or as part of special occasions. They’re extremely popular on mother/daughter spa days, where you can talk at the same time as having your treatment together, especially if the spa has a dedicated pedicure station.
Average price of a pedicure
Pedicures really do range in price depending on the type of treatment that you have. That can mean anything from £10 to over £100.
Wait until your polish is dry before doing anything in case of smudging. If you’re on a spa break, it’s a good idea to use the wet facilities before your treatment so you don’t wash off all those lovely, nourishing oils and creams. Try not to wear tight, enclosed shoes or gloves for a couple of hours.
What should I wear to a pedicure?
You can wear whatever you want! If it’s part of a whole spa day you might want to stay in your robe and slippers, but if you’re just popping in for a quick treatment then your regular clothes are fine. You might find it helpful to wear trousers that can be rolled up however so that therapists can wash feet or sometimes massage the lower leg as part of the treatment. It’s also a good idea to take a pair of open-toe shoes or flip-flops to wear post treatment to really make sure nail polish has dried.
How long should a pedicure take?
The length of time a pedicure takes depends on the type that you opt for. If you’re short on time, they can be as little as 30 minutes, but if you want to go for something more indulgent, they can take up to 90 minutes. It’s best to assume they will be at least half an hour and you might want to leave a little extra time before your next appointment to make sure polish has dried.
What’s the difference between a foot spa and pedicure?
A foot spa refers to a bowl of warm water that’s used to cleanse feet as part of a pedicure treatment. Most commonly, they appear like mini Jacuzzis for your feet, including massaging bubbles, and you can get them to have at home or used in a spa environment. They can be extremely relaxing and help to prepare the skin for exfoliation as well as nourishing oils and creams. A pedicure on the other hand is the whole foot treatment from washing and massaging the feet to filing and polishing the nails.