Expert Tricks to Boost Your Mani/Pedi Staying Power

With summer now in full swing, our toes and fingers are no longer relegated to heavy boots and chunky gloves, making proper nail maintenance all the more essential. To find out all the dos and don'ts, we spoke with three leading nail care experts:

  • Nadine Ferber, owner of fashion/beauty editor favored salon, Tenoverten, which just opened a swanky new location in The Parker Meridien. 
  • Jin Soon Choi, owner of Jin Soon Hand and Foot Spa and a regular presence backstage at Fashion Week.
  • butter LONDON, the cult brand used on some of fashion’s biggest runways including Victoria Beckham and Calvin Klein. Warm boutique in NYC (181 Mott Street) is now offering butter LONDON manicures.

The Fashion Spot: What are your thoughts on flip flops? If someone were to wear them, any tips to keep feet in the best condition possible? 

Nadine Ferber: With regular pedicures, anyone can keep their feet in good condition even the flip flop loving girl. I suggest being religious about getting pedicures monthly and asking to use a callus remover to work on softening your heels. Never let anyone use a razor to slough off the dry skin as that is a shortcut and will only make your feet build up more calluses in the long run.

Jin Soon Choi: Flip flops are easy in the summer, but they can cause some problems such as cracks on your back sole because the back side of the flip flop hits your sole while walking. The best thing you can do for this drying and cracking from flip flops is to use a pumice stone everyday while taking a shower to scrub your sole. Then, you need to moisturize the area.

Experts at butter LONDON: Flip flops are perfect for showing off a gorgeous pedicure. Avoid dry  cracked heels by applying Stiletto Stick Hydrating Heel balm and Handbag Holiday Cuticle Oil to the cuticle to keep them looking great every day.

tFS: What are your tips for selecting shoes to keep feet in the best condition possible when the weather heats up?

NF: Don't wear shoes that are too tight. Your feet natural swell in the warmer months especially if you are on your feet a lot. Also, kick off your shoes when you walk in your front door to let your feet breathe. 

JSC: Open toe shoes with back straps and a cushiony bottom are good because the backside of the shoes doesn't hit your soles when you walk.

tFS: Anything that can be done to prevent/treat swelling feet?

JSC: Drinking water, soaking your feet in Epsom salt, and applying a cucumber slice on your feet.

BL: Keep your feet moving, good circulation in your feet is crucial. Wearing comfortable shoes is also important. For a more comfortable alternative to stilettos, choose wedges. You can also minimize swelling by doing a little foot massage if you have the time.

tFS: How do you suggest treating tired feet at home?

NF: A quick thing you can do at home when your feet are feeling worn down is using Tata Harper Body Oil to rub into your feet and even between your toes then prop them up on a pillow. Elevating your feet will do wonders. 

JSC: The best thing you can do is enjoy a foot bath. If your feet are swollen, a cucumber and peppermint soak is good. If you want to relax, use lavender essential oil in the water. If you have some bruises, apply Epsom salt and tea tree essential oil.

tFS: Do you have any tips for DIY manicures/pedicures?

NF: Make sure to invest in a good set of stainless steel implements to use at home. Then, have a good base coat that is appropriate for your nail type: Orly Bonder is a good general base coat and Duri Rejuvacote is very good if you have weak or brittle nails. The base is the most important element in keeping your general nail health in good condition.

JSC: It is very important not to cut cuticles since the cuticle can be damaged so easily if you cut too much, they'll be become very raggy a few days later and that may lead to infection. Don't forget to touch up the tip of your nails when you apply a nail color since the color comes off from the tip of nails first and the same thing with a top coat as well.

BL: Always use a base and top coat. To fix painting imperfections, simply clean around the cuticles with a lip brush dipped in polish remover — the best trick to making your polish look perfect. 

tFS: Aside from top and base coat, is there anything people should be using when doing their own nails?

NF: YES, use Qtica Quick Dry Drops. Use one drop on each nail just two minutes after you are finished applying the top coat. These will save you from those annoying mess-ups post manicure and we even use them at our salon, Tenoverten, because they are more effective than the hand dryers.

BL: Cuticles are just as important as the nails so we recommend using cuticle oil to keep them looking fresh. A little tip is to finish your manicure with a slick of cuticle oil as it helps your polish not smudge during the drying time.

tFS: Any tips for extending the length of manicures/pedicures?

NF: Make sure to properly clean the nail all over with a small piece of paper towel (not cotton), just before polishing to minimize imperfections. 

JSC: The key product for extending the length of manicures/pedicures is using a top coat. A top coat does magic and it's like vitamin C for your nails — it makes your old nail polish super fresh. Make sure to apply a top coat every three days.

BL: Always pair your lacquer with base and topcoats to extend the life of a manicure. Skimming each coat across the tip of the nail wraps the polish around and under the nail to help it last a lot longer.  

tFS: What are the hottest nail colors for Summer 2012?

NF: I love the bright NARS for Thakoon colors and of course Tenoverten's summer color Hudson is on my nails now.

JSC: Bright blue, pink, orange, and teal.

BL: butterLONDON’s Trout Pout, an opaque shade of cantaloupe, a pale and retro lacquer. Any color in the pink/orange family is bang on-trend!

tFS: What are some of your go-to polish brands?

NF: Chanel, RGB, and Tenoverten.


tFS: What's the best way to remove nail polish?

NF: Use non acetone polish remover and soak a cotton ball fully. Put the cotton directly on top of the nail and press firmly before swiping from bottom to top of the nail.

BL: Acetone-Free lacquer remover is the least damaging to nails and skin. A trick to  removing glitter lacquers, soak a cotton pad in remover and hold over the nail for about 20 seconds before rubbing.

tFS: Any tips for things to do/eat to keep nails healthy?

JSC: The best thing for having healthy nails is taking vitamins orally — Omega 3, Biotin, Protein, Amino Acid, Folic Acid. Also, moisturizing your nails and cuticles is the best physically because when your nails and cuticles are dry, they become very brittle and can peel back. Lastly, be sure to drink a lot of water.

BL: Regular filing and cuticle care is the best thing for keeping nails healthy! 

image: IMAXtree