When it comes to pampering the feet, nothing feels as good as a professional pedicure, said Laura Hittleman, director of beauty services at the Lenox, Mass., branch of Canyon Ranch health spa.
And she’s willing to walk — no pun intended — the uninitiated through the process, so they can relax during the session.
“Nail technicians get so excited when they have someone who’s never had a pedicure,” she said. “It’s really fun to have virgin feet.”
Plan to wear loose pants or a spa robe to your pedicure, Hittleman suggests, as the technician will need to massage your leg from the knee down.
The first step in a pedicure is a good soak in a tub of water. Some salons add aromatic oils to enhance the experience while the skin softens.
Next, the operator will take one foot and cut and file the toenails. Cuticle softening cream may be applied before the foot is placed back in the water. The process is repeated on the other foot.
The technician then uses nippers to carefully clean up the cuticles, if they seem to have grown over the nail area, Hittleman said.
The third step is usually an exfoliating rub with a grainy scrub or salt mixture. Then the feet are rinsed.
At this point, the technician will probably use a pumice stone or file to remove calluses. In some states, the technician may use a guarded blade to remove particularly hard calluses sometimes caused by sports, Hittleman said.
Hittleman estimates a typical pedicure will cost about $40 to $75 and takes about an hour. Clients are advised to tip about 15 percent, but check to see if gratuities are included in your spa visit.