Top Spas Spill Secrets for the Perfect At-Home Pedicure

PHOTO: Top spas offer tips for summer pedicures at home
Guerlain Spa in the Towers of the Waldorf Astoria New York

While we may associate the colder months with cracked, dry skin, the summer season can be the harshest on our feet. Since we can't all slip into spa loungers for 90-minute pedicures, we asked experts to tell us how to mimic some of their favorite services at home. The fact is our feet do a lot for us. It's time to return the favor.

PHOTO: Top spas offer tips for summer pedicures at home.
Guerlain Spa in the Towers of the Waldorf Astoria New York

Fine-dining restaurants have long boasted rooftop gardens and farm-to-table-style cooking. But the Guerlain Spa at the Waldorf Astoria New York is the first to apply the popular concept to cuticles. Using ingredients from the hotel’s 20th floor rooftop beehives and gardens and its signature Top of the Waldorf Rooftop honey, the Milk, Haute Honey and Rooftop Herbs Pedicure exfoliates, soothes, and moisturizes fatigued feet. But Rodica Constantin, the lead nail and skincare specialist at the Guerlain Spa, assured us that even those without access to high-rise hotel honey can approximate the luxury experience at home. She devised this DIY version of the Milk, Haute Honey and Rooftop Herbs treatment.

PHOTO: Top spas offer tips for summer pedicures at home.
Waldorf Astoria New York
DIY Milk, Haute Honey and Rooftop Herbs Pedicure

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tbs. lemon juice (or lemon essential oil)
  • 2-3 tbs. olive oil
  • ½ cup warm milk
  • ½ cup honey
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs
DIY Milk, Haute Honey and Rooftop Herbs Pedicure

Directions:

  • Combine sugar, lemon and olive oil to create coarse scrub. Set aside.
  • Fill container with warm water, stir in warm milk, then crush and sprinkle rosemary springs on top.
  • Soak feet or hands in the milk, water, and rosemary mixture. File dry skin, and if comfortable, cut cuticles as well.
  • Clip and file nails to preferred length and shape.
  • Using the home-made lemon-sugar scrub, exfoliate feet and legs with.
  • Wipe away scrub and then spread honey across the same areas. Relax and let the honey soak into the skin for 5-10 minutes.
  • With warm water, gently wash away honey. Once honey has been cleaned off, massage the calf muscles, and any tender parts of the hands and feet. Apply nail polish as desired.
PHOTO: Top spas offer tips for summer pedicures at home.
JINSoon Hand and Foot Spa
DIY Milk, Haute Honey and Rooftop Herbs Pedicure

According to Constantin, the warm milk provides a moisturizing soak to soften the skin, while the sprinkled rosemary delivers a relaxing scent. By using the exfoliating lemon-sugar scrub, dry skin is gently sloughed away, and the honey application is used as a nourishing mask to leave skin feeling silky-smooth.

PHOTO: Top spas offer tips for summer pedicures at home.
La Prairie at the Ritz-Carlton Spa, Central Park

JINsoon founder Jin Soon Choi is renowned for her emphasis on all-natural treatments and meticulous attention to detail.

To meet the demand voiced by clamoring clients, Choi developed a line of "chip-proof" varnishes for Sephora. But she insists that the secret to soothed feet this summer is to take care of toes before polish is applied. The Summer Oasis Pedicure at JINsoon soaks dry feet in a warm-water bath filled with sliced cucumbers and mint leaves.

PHOTO: Top spas offer tips for summer pedicures at home.
La Prairie at the Ritz-Carlton Spa, Central Park
JINsoon Cucumber Foot Soak

Ingredients:

  • 1 sliced cucumber
  • Handful mint leaves
  • 3 tbs. peppermint oil (or any combination of your favorites essential oils)

Directions:

  • Fill a foot basin or tub with warm water
  • Add sliced cucumber, mint leaves, and any combination of your favorite essential oils.
  • Soak feet for 5-10 minutes.
PHOTO: Top spas offer tips for summer pedicures at home.
JINsoon Hand and Foot Spa
JINsoon Cucumber Foot Soak

According to Choi, the soak is designed to cool and refresh sore, swollen feet.

"People walk a lot in the summer," she said. "Peppermint and cucumber will help to cool down that inner heat." Back at the salon, Choi recommends super-saturated shades for on-trend toes. "Cool Blue" and "Pop Orange" are among the most popular JINsoon polishes this summer.

PHOTO: Top spas offer tips for summer pedicures at home.
La Prairie at the Ritz-Carlton Spa, Central Park

A treatment that includes a foot soak, conditioning treatment, double exfoliation, and hydrating mask is unquestionably indulgent. But the White Caviar Pedicure from La Prairie at the Ritz-Carlton Spa is downright decadent. Those who reserve the 60-minute experience are seated in a private room in a chair that reclines to give them the option to enjoy a facial simultaneously.

According to expert nail technician Raynell France, this pampering pedicure targets troublesome age spots, nourishes dry skin, and illuminates and hydrates legs and feet. France told us how to achieve the effects of the luxury treatment at home.

PHOTO: Top spas offer tips for summer pedicures at home.
La Prairie at the Ritz-Carlton Spa, Central Park
Raynell France's Brown-Sugar Scrub

"This is what I love to do," France says. "Everyone has these things at home."

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • ½ fresh lemon, juiced

Directions:

  • Mix brown sugar, olive oil, and lemon juice to make an exfoliating paste. Set aside.
  • Fill a foot basin or tub with warm water and your favorite bath salts.
  • Soak feet for 5-10 minutes.
  • Rub exfoliant on feet and legs. "You don't want to be too abrasive. Be gentle," advises France.
  • Rinse exfoliant and towel-dry legs and feet.
  • "Take a little of your best hydrating cream and put it in the microwave for a few seconds," says France. "This just makes it warm."
  • Massage cream into feet and legs, wrap in plastic wrap or a clean plastic bag, and let sit for "about five minutes."
  • After your feet feel suitably soothed, France suggests you "top toes with a nice, vibrant polish." Her favorites are the bright orange "Lara's Theme" and the explosive hot-pink "Whip It!" by Deborah Lippman.
PHOTO: Top spas offer tips for summer pedicures at home.
TenOverTen

Rumor has it Nadine Ferber and Adair Ilyinsky founded TenOverTen to respond to a gaping hole in the nail-care industry. Namely: customer service. Their salons and the polish line they spawned aim to make clients feel as good as they look. It's no surprise then that their Custom Pedicure is designed with customers in mind. Formulated to address the specific needs of the discerning folk who flock to their salons, the 60-minute pedicure takes calluses down a notch (or several) with a coarse foot file, softens feet with a paraffin treatment, and boasts a 10-minute hot stone massage.

PHOTO: Top spas offer tips for summer pedicures at home.
TenOverTen
TenOverTen's Tricks of the Trade

No matter how tempting a cooling dip in the pool or a sweat in the sauna, the secret to maintaining a perfect pedicure is to keep your feet out of water for several hours after doing your nails.

Yes: That means no showering! Ferber and Ilyinsky explain that getting feet wet after a pedicure locks moisture into your nails and prevents your pedicure from lasting as long as it should. The dynamic duo also encourages clients to reapply a top coat every 3-4 days "to keep the polish fresh looking and help prevent small chips around the edges."

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