Monday, June 03, 2013

DIY Pedicure & A Quick Guide To Happy Feet

I'm pretty sure that there's a link between my mental state and the condition of my feet. A few weeks of distractions and too little maintenance left me feeling off-kilter. It all vanished when I spent some quality time with my toes ("sole searching" sounds horrible).  I'm a DIY girl (the idea of having a stranger touch my feet is unappealing, not to mention germs and cooties found in too many nail salons). Here's a list of my essentials and the stuff that makes my feet happy these days:

British Vogue, June 1967

  • It starts with really good filing. I've tried everything on the market, but nothing beats my ancient Diamancel #11 Extra-Strength. This tool has been with me for twelve or thirteen years now-- the black handle has faded considerably from vigorous washing and disinfecting, but it works as efficiently as it ever did. No callous survives this one ($49 at
  • A glass/crystal foot file is essential for smoothing the foot after using a coarse one (or alone, for quick maintenance). I've had several over the years, and my current favorite is a wonderfully resilient and easy to use relatively short one that was sent for my consideration. It leaves my feet incredibly soft and smooth, ready to absorb any creams and treatments ($14.92 at The zebra pattern came as part of a four tool set).
  • I used to be a devoted user of Bliss Foot Patrol ($18 at Sephora) and I still think it's an excellent foot cream with an effective chemical exfoliants (saliciylic acid, glycolic acid). I've gone through countless of tubes over the years, but in recent months have switched to Eucerin Intensive Repair Extra-Enriched Foot Creme ($5.79 from, which adds lactic acid to its AHAs (no salicylic, though). It's at least as effective as the Bliss one and doesn't stink. 
  • I first discovered Maracuja oil in a GWP that came with a Tarte set. I was wary of using the oil on my face, but tried it on my legs and feet which got me addicted within days. Maracuja oil is also known as passion flower oil, and is rich with fatty acids and Vitamin C. It is safe for use on one's face, but I have other products for this purpose and the Maracuja oil has been a miracle worker on my always dry feet. I buy it on Etsy these days ($25, BrownButterBeauty on Etsy).
  • Every 4-6 weeks I give my feet a deep peeling using Baby Foot, a Japanese treatment based on fruit acids and lactic acid. The peeling comes in a "sock pack" that you wear for an hour before washing your feet. Peeling starts within a couple of days (up to a week), and every last dead skin cell is removed, leaving feet kitten soft ($25 on, one use per pack).
  • To shape my toe nails I use disposable files. The coarse/medium 100/180 grit from SpaRitual have been my favorites for the last couple of years. I love them for their performance as well as for their length-- I have big hands so too short files are usually highly uncomfortable ($8 for a pack of 5 for
  • The Nike Comfort Thong Sandals are not exactly a fashion statement. I only wear them at home as my summer slippers. I picked them at my local Nike outlet store because my feet were killing me during a shopping trip with my brother-in-law (the man can outshop me). When I got home I slipped them on and died a little from the pleasure of the cushion and support they provide. The sandals only come in full size, and while most recommend going a size up, I actually found that size 7 suited me best (8 was far too loose). $31.99 at Macys, $24.50 at the Nike outlet.
Not shown is a sunblock. It's an essential for anyone using AHA creams on any body part, as the skin becomes vulnerable to burns and sun damage (just like when using active ingredients on your face). I simply use whatever I have on hand.


  1. Thank you, Gaia! Perfect timing. I'm heading over to the dermstore store now...

  2. Thanks for this post. I've been trying different products for foot care and this helps to narrow the choices. I seriously want a pair of those Nike slippers. Wish I had them right now, as I'm flying to NYC this week and I can imagine how comfortable they'd be to slip on, in the hotel, after a long day of walking all over the city.

  3. thank you. Lovely post. Do you use the foot file while the foot is dry or wet. I have very dry foot and struggling to soften them. x


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