Beauty IRL: You Don’t Have To Get A Pedicure, But You Probably Should

We are smack dab in the middle of “spring,” a brief two week season that is pleasant, mild and revelatory. Consider it your present for making it through the winter, and cherish it for being the sweet relief before the sticky slap of the post-Memorial Day weekend run up to summer. Spring is awesome. Your allergies are probably acting up, but for the most part, you can deal and still partake in outdoor activities and frantically plumbing the depths of your wardrobe for appropriate things to wear when you want to feel the warmth of the sun on your limbs.

Personally, once it’s above, like, 65 degrees, I decide that I’m done with closed-toe shoes forever, and slide my feet back into the glory that are my Birkenstocks or this one pair of clogs I found at Urban Outfitters last year. I hate shoes. Summer is great because you don’t have to submit to the tyranny of finding socks, washing said socks, and cramming your miserable feet into boots. Summer is my jam. But, come winter’s end, my feet are in such disrepair that I feel shamed into wearing sneakers until I can drag myself to a nail salon and take care of things.

“Those are struggle toes,” my youngest sister told me a few weeks ago, as I sat on the couch, a sandaled foot propped up on the edge of my coffee table. She was right. The remains of a lilac-colored pedicure clung to my nails, and the general condition of the foot was deplorable. I hadn’t yet gotten my inaugural spring pedicure thanks to the lingering winter temperatures. Stuffing a freshly buffed and polished foot back into the confines of the same boots I’ve been wearing since January is not something that brings me any sort of joy.

The look I was sporting on my feet was the remnants of a pedicure procured for an early March trip to Miami. It is now almost May. A normal person would have taken acetone to their toes and been done with it, but I generally tend to ignore my feet, leaving their maintenance to occasional pedicures and silent prayer that no one’s really looking down there.

Honestly, no one really is looking at my feet, right? I see my own feet because they are mine, and I take pleasure when they’re done, the nails all shiny and evenly shaped and smooth. But, they’re feet. They do a lot of work. My heels are callused because that’s what happens when you do a lot of barefoot walking on your roof and take dance classes on wooden floors. The cuticle situation is a bit out of control, but you know what, who cares? If you’re offended by the general look of my feet, then please escort yourself away.

Even though I desperately want to rail against beauty standards and let my toes go unpolished and my heels calcify into the hooves I know they are, I am not a heathen. I’m going to go get my toes done. Soon, I promise. But, in an attempt to spare the poor woman tasked with making my feet look presentable too much grief, I’m taking preventative measures and doing a little prepping myself.

I have the tools necessary at home. A good foot creme is essential. Some people swear by coating their feet in Vaseline and putting on cotton socks before bed. This is not a look that works for me. The Vaseline sits on the surface of your foot instead of actually soaking into the skin, so that you’re left with a treacherous walk to the shower in the morning. Burt’s Bees makes a coconut foot cream that is the same oily, thick consistency as Vaseline, but actually makes my feet feel softer.

It’s tempting to let the nail tech just take her cheese grater and go to town on your heels, but you will find great satisfaction in doing this yourself. The horrid buildup of dead skin is best attacked with the grossest and most effective beauty tool I’ve used to date — the PedEgg. This is an activity you undertake in the privacy of your own home, preferably behind a door that can be closed and locked. It’s gross. Your standard PedEgg bears a passing resemblance to a cheese grater or a microplane, and works the same way. Give your feet a good grating, but do it over the trash can, for the love of god. The shavings of dead skin that collect in their intended receptacle look like Parmesan cheese and don’t necessarily stay where they’re supposed to. Give yourself a head start; you deserve it.

This crucial month between spring and summer is your time to be nice to your feet. Soon they will be ensnared in strappy sandals and things that will make them blister and ache. Get a pedicure, yes, but treat them right first.