Stand Up Tall

For Mindy,
Because it is the little things that matter…
So keep those tip toes in tip top shape!

My friend Mindy is little. Not quite what I would classify as a “little person,” but I would call her very small with no hesitation. We were a trio since the days of Karns Junior Pro Basketball. This trio consists of myself who stands at 5’7, Julie, introduced earlier in ‘Where the Wild Things Are’, stands at 5’10, and Mindy who is maybe, and I say maybe with a great deal of doubt, 5’0. During these games Mindy and I enjoyed pretending to be Nancy Kerrigan much more than shooting hoops whereas Julie took it a little more serious. (Makes sense since she was tall even at age 8.)
Mindy has always stood by me, usually on her tip toes but nonetheless she has always stood by me. All that time on her tip toes has given her quite the authority on a good pedicure. 
What classifies as a good pedicure and what to know before your next trip to the salon?
Refinery 29 recently interviewed celebrity nail designer Pattie Yankee to get the 411 on  all of our foot-related queries. 
To shave before? I think we all struggle with this one. The idea of someone massaging my unshaven legs makes me feel gross. However, Yankee says, “It is never a good idea to shave your legs before a pedicure service. This leaves your skin open and more susceptible to irritation or infections.”
To remove the old polish before? Again, the idea of not being properly groomed before going to be groomed makes me feel gross. The last thing I want is anyone to see how long I have gone between pedicures and the polish chips suffered as a result. Yankee says that this is entirely up to the client. “I personally like to see how the client wears her polish, so I can get an idea of how hard she is on her nails.”
To bring your own tools? “It is always a good idea to bring your own set of tools. Just make sure they are of professional quality and are sharp and easy for the technician to work with.” She also says, “Remember that using files for your service that were used on another client is similar to brushing your teeth with someone else’s toothbrush.” Yeeeahhh… Maybe getting our own set of pedi tools is more important than I thought!
Pedicures are an easy Do-It-Yourself at home. A good pedicure needs some preparation and the right techniques. 
Step One: Bathe your feet in a blend of warm water & milk for 10 minutes. The lactic acid in dairy helps soften rough skin. Buff away calluses with a pumice stone or plain old sugar (skip the shavers and graters, which can tear skin leaving behind raw spots.)
Step Two: Exfoliate the feet. Choose an exfoliator containing sea salt or brown sugar. But for sensitive skin try scrubs with crushed pearls or berry seeds.
Step Three: Apply a cuticle softener or remover such as Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover. Apply to the cuticles and then move them back using an orange stick.
Step Four: File & Buff Nails. Rather than see-sawing back and forth, which can weaken the nail and cause it to split and peel, “File from the outer edges toward the center” in one direction, says celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann. To further foil damage, sidestep the gritty, sand-papery tools and reach for a crystal nail file, which creates a smooth edge that won’t catch. 
Step Five: Paint Nails. I have a strict no polish rule for the winter months. This is not a proven theory, I think the nails need to breathe with out polish for a while during the winter to get ready to shine during the summer months. I love the winter blues represented to the right for those short days and cold nights. 
Remember – Always apply a base coat such as Essie Fill the Gap! Ridge Smoothing Base Coat and always apply a top coat like Seche Vite.
Another trick my technician taught me is while you are painting your nails balance your pinky finger on something sturdy like the table. It is a bit awkward at first but it keeps you from shaking!  
According to Martha Stewart, (I know, I don’t want to take advice from her either, but she does know a thing or two about DIY, when to sell shares… not so much) to keep your lacquer from getting gluey, it’s essential to safeguard the solvents from evaporating by closing the lid tightly. After each application, wipe down the neck of the bottle to stop dried gunk from accumulating and inhibiting a tight seal. Between mani-pedis, store your polish in the refrigerator and bring it back to room temp before painting it on.
A picture perfect pedicure every time!
***beauty always comes from within, photos from here  and  there, the rest are 100% mine!  xoxo, behind the mirror***
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