Pamper Your Hands and Feet

Even the most put-together outfit looks cheap if your nails are shabby and chipped. We give you our top tips for a DIY manicure and pedicure, complete with a few recipes for make-at-home scrubs and treatments.
Pamper Your Hands and Feet
Polish Up A Perfect 10
When people look at your nails they make an instant assessment of your character. Dirty, chipped nails with hanging cuticles tell the world that you don't take care of yourself. So for the most professional-looking manicure, follow these tips from beauty expert Bronna Canaan, head of the Style Group at Canaan Public Relations in New York City:
  1. Remove polish with a non-acetone nail polish remover.

  2. File nails into a slightly rounded or square shape.

  3. Soak fingertips in a bowl of warm water, or apply an over-the-counter cuticle softener before pushing cuticles back with a stainless steel cuticle pusher. If you are clipping cuticles, first apply a bit of cuticle cream, then trim conservatively (only what sticks out).

  4. Cleanse hands with soap and water, using a nailbrush. Dry well and massage in hand cream.

  5. Clean nails, using a wooden orange stick (you can get them in the nail care section of your pharmacy), topped with a piece of cotton, dipped in remover. Apply base coat, two layers of polish and then topcoat.

Pedicure Power
"Pampering your feet is the ultimate luxury, yet few people take time for it," says Cheryl Renella, founder of Chicago-based Channing's Day Spa, who has created an at-home pedicure that will bring the spa experience home.

  1. Fill a tub or foot bath with warm water and add 1/2 ounce of your favorite bath salts. Then add a tablespoon of olive oil and soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes.

  2. Rub an exfoliating body scrub into the bottoms of your feet. Then use a foot file to pumice away calluses. Rinse with cool water.

  3. Clip toenails and file them into a square shape. Gently push back (don't cut) cuticles.

  4. Dry feet off and apply moisturizer. Slick on a base coat, two coats of polish and top coat to your toe nails.

Step Up to Common Hand and Foot Skin Problems
    Annoying hand and foot skin problems can dampen your enjoyment of the season. Here are cures for the most common from Dr. Jeffrey Sklar, medical director for the Center for Aesthetic Dermatology in Woodbury, New York.

  • Eczema
    Caused by: Dry irritated skin and painful cracks on fingertips are often due to overwashing hands.
    Cure: A creamy moisturizer will raise your skin's barrier moisture level; wash hands as little as possible. Avoid using lactic or glycolic acid cleansers or moisturizers—they can sting.
    Try: Wearing white cotton gloves beneath rubber gloves when washing up or doing housework such as cleaning the bathroom.

  • Corns
    Caused by: The thickened skin is a reaction to underlying pressure from a bone spur under the skin.
    Cure: Periodically shave down the corn or callus at home with a pumice stone or emery board. Avoid wearing narrow shoes and high heels, which put more pressure on toes.
    Try: Putting a medicated doughnut pad around the corn to take pressure off it.

  • Athlete's Foot
  • Caused by: Moist, warm areas (anywhere you sweat), which allow fungus to thrive.
    Cure: See a dermatologist, who will prescribe an anti-fungal cream. Also, let your skin breathe as much as possible, use powder to keep feet dry and avoid wearing leather footwear.
    Try: Putting half of a cotton ball between your foot's pinky, ring and middle toes to keep them apart.
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