(The Nail File)

Can You Really Make Your Pedicure Last Longer?

Nail techs say yes.

Tips for making your pedicure last longer
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Sandal season is upon us, and with it comes the joys of new shoes and freshly-polished toes. In many ways, getting a pedicure can make you feel just as relaxed and renewed as a facial. But salon trips can be costly, of both your time and money, which is why personal upkeep between visits will help protect your investment. Of course, you’d like your painted toes to last forever, but according to Ainur Rustemova, nail technician and owner of Noor Nail Bar in LA, the average foot spa treatment is meant to last three weeks. Between nail growth, the pressure caused by wearing closed toe shoes, and the threat of dry skin, it’s tough (but possible) to make your pedicure last longer.

Luckily, there are a number of ways to extend the life of your pedi at home. The first, however, starts in the salon. Just as is the case for your hands, the service style you get will affect how long your polish stays put. Gel, for example, will yield a hard coating of color that stays chip-free up to two weeks, while a traditional formula is typically meant to last a maximum of seven days.

Ahead, TZR chatted with a few nail technicians for expert advice on how to keep your pedicure fresh at home. Read on for all of their ingenious tips and tricks.

Opt For Extra Services At The Salon

Along with opting for a gel pedicure, Elizabeth, nail technician at Nail Mart USA, suggests looking into additional services, such as callus removal, that will make aftercare easy. To her clients, she offers a specialized dry pedicure technique to fully remove the dry and dead skin from the nail, around the nail, and from the heels of the feet. “This process requires some time, about 1 1/2 hours, but with this type of cuticle work, a pedicure lasts much longer than a standard service,” she says.

Invest In Pedicure Tools

You probably already own a few tools such as a file and a cuticle pusher for your fingernails, but updating your home nail kit will be essential to making your pedicure last. And as it turns out, almost all of the items you’ll need can easily be found at any drugstore. “The most basic tools you’ll need for pedicure upkeep at home are a pedicure file, toenail clippers, and sturdy nail file,” says Rustemova

The latter comes in a range of styles from grated to pumice and even electric, so selecting the option that’s best for your skin’s needs will be key. “The pedicure file will definitely come in handy to keep dry spots softer between visits,” says Rustemova. Additionally, Mazz Hanna, nail industry expert and CEO of Nailing Hollywood Agency, recommends trying a glass foot file as an alternative to keeping calluses at bay if you have sensitive and softer skin. As for your toes, using a larger clipper made for toenails and a strong nail file are also good to have on hand to maintain length before your next salon visit.

Exfoliate & Buff Heels Between Appointments

As Rustemova notes, adding foot exfoliation to your shower routine can help keep heels from getting dry throughout the week. “Though it shouldn’t be done daily, you can use the file or a pumice stone to buff out your heels as needed,” she says. Not only does this extra step slough off dead skin, but it also helps prevent buildup.

Elizabeth recommends spot-testing to determine what tool will work best for your feet. At most salons, they use a pumice stone and foot scrub to exfoliate, but a dry pedicure uses a round electric buffing tool called a podo disk to gently remove any dry skin buildup on the heels. Whichever route you choose to go, it’s best to be tender as the skin on your feet is still delicate. “You’ll want to make sure your exfoliating gently so that you avoid breaking or irritating the skin,” she says.

Moisturize & Hydrate Your Feet

Much like your body, the skin on your feet requires moisture to prevent peeling. Rustemova says “It’s very important to hydrate your heels and feet with lotion daily to keep from drying out.” She continues, noting that moisturizing your toenails and nail beds is also an important step that can sustain the length of your service. “A nourishing cuticle oil used on your nails along with a rich foot lotion on your feet, especially at night will save the results received from a perfect pedicure,” she says.

While body lotions can do the trick, there are a number of creams and lotions specifically designed to aid in softening the heels. Hanna likes to recommend a unique mousse formula, such as those from Footlogix, to remedy cracked skin. “To best ensure your heels and feet stay moisturized, you can also use a foot mask weekly to really lock in hydration,” notes Hanna.

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