We’re all looking for a few ways to nip and tuck financially, so I offer you this suggestion: In between trips to the nail salon, treat yourself to an at-home treatment. But before you break out the polish, consider the pros and cons.
• You don’t have to shave your toes unless you want to.
• You can read a trashy mag, without getting a nasty look from other women. (C’mon, you really DO want to know what Kate thinks of Jon’s troupe of hussies.)
• There’s more to drink than mineral water and coffee, if you get my drift.
• No one will know you’re a closet Rick Springfield or Clay Aiken fan.
• Once you pick up the basics, it’s considerably less expensive.
• It’s prone to interruption. (A closed bathroom door in my house is just a green light for kids to come knocking.)
• You’re doing the work. It’s not as relaxing—unless you can get your kids to rub your feet.
• Did I mention the interruption factor?
• Chances are, the end result may not look as spectacular as that provided by a nail technician.
Should you choose to give it a whirl, make sure you have your supplies at the ready: Trashy mag, beverage of choice, munchies and the bathroom to yourself. Hang a sign on the door that you’re only to be disturbed in the event of bleeding or a robbery in progress. Then …
Fill your tub. It’s a water-waster, but I like the jets on to soften up my feet and massage my calves. If you’re so inclined, this is the time to add foot soaking tablets or sea salts.
Slough it off. After a good long soak, pat your feet dry and use a pumice stone or skin file to gently remove dead skin off the balls of your feet and heels. (Another at-home bonus? You can stop when it starts to hurt, as opposed to the salon, where some technicians are downright sadistic.) Pros typically recommend a second soak after this step.
Apply a moisturizer. Choose one specifically designed for feet. Personal preference reigns; I like the pepperminty one. Now’s the time to pour a second adult beverage. (Hey, you’re not driving anywhere!)
Break out the polish. After you’ve done any pre-requisite filing and trimming, it’s time to apply color. The trick to a really spiffy finish? Start with a base coat polish that’ll fill in the cracks and crevices and leave a smooth surface. Also, fight the temptation to rush, especially when the kids announce they’re about the make the Mac ‘N Cheese on their own, because thick coats are more prone to chipping. If you’re happy with the color, apply a clear top coat.
Let it dry. It’s your last few minutes of semi-seclusion and almost-peace. Enjoy it by kicking back for a bit.