French podiatrist and pedicurist to the stars Bastien Gonzalez tells Susannah Jaffer his tips and tricks for flawless toenails and naturally beautiful feet.
Bastien, what’s the biggest mistake women are making with their nails?
In general, all nail issues comes down to negligence. Women tend not to take enough care of them, and rely on manicures or pedicures to hide problems. Polish dries up your nails, making them weak and prone to white spots and discolouration. You only wear makeup on your face for half a day, so why would you keep polish on your nails for two weeks?
Is there such a thing as “breathable” nail polish?
No. As nail polish is made from plastic, no air can penetrate it. It’s also important to understand that nails are dead, so they don’t need to breathe, but as they are porous, oxygen can pass through them.
Tell us your fix for dry and brittle nails.
File dry nails gently, and use lots of oils on them to help restore elasticity. Buffing is also a very good way to restore shine and health to natural nails, but be careful to only use a leather chamois nail buffer, as you don’t want to be too abrasive to the surface of the nail.
How does wearing heels affect your feet?
Wearing high heels reduces the contact area between the foot and the ground by two-thirds: only the toes and the balls of the feet touch the floor. This downward pressure, which helps keep you stable, has a negative effect on the toe joints over time. What’s more, friction from ill-fitting heels can cause callouses, bunions and all sorts of other ailments.
And sports shoes?
Sports shoes are created specifically for fitness activities, and are very comfortable; but if you wear them all the time, your feet tend to become larger, wider and flatter.
Tell us how the renowned Bastien’s Pedicure helps to restore foot health.
The massage I developed for my pedicure treatment is definitely more than just a nice and relaxing massage! It starts by stretching the lower legs to release tension and restore natural mobility. We massage the feet in a specific motion to promote blood circulation, remove any callouses, and re-plump the fatty cushions underneath the feet for better absorption of impact when you’re walking – think of it like fluffing a pillow in the morning!
At-home Tips for Pretty Feet
- Remove nail polish after three days to prevent staining.
- A few times a week, apply a hydrating oil to condition the nail and cuticle area. Olive oil works well as an affordable and natural fix!
- Rub each nail dry for two seconds after a bath or shower to retain its natural sebum.
- Massage your feet and toes for 20 seconds before bed. This will enhance your blood circulation and you’ll sleep better. Done consistently, it should visibly improve the quality of your skin within three weeks.
Your feet contain 26 bones (that’s a quarter of the bones in the human body), 33 joints and over 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments – wow!
Try Bastien’s Pedicure treatment at the Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio by Bastien Gonzalez, located at Remède Spa, The St. Regis Singapore, 29 Tanglin Road. Call 6506 6896 to book.
This article first appeared in the April 2017 edition of Expat Living. Shop now so you never miss an issue!
For more beauty stories and/or tips like this, head over to our Hair and Beauty section.