Apr 20, 2012

Summer beauty prep: Best pedicure treatments to try this season

By: Ava Baccari

IMAXTREE.COM Author: Elle Canada Credits: IMAXTREE.COM

Apr 20, 2012

Summer beauty prep: Best pedicure treatments to try this season

By: Ava Baccari
We all know the best accessory to go with those Dolce & Gabbana raffia chiffon flower sandals this spring is a set of perfectly polished toes. And while we’re still hesitantly transitioning out of our fully covered leather boots, it’s never too early to get a running start on the open-toed season with one of these luxe foot-pampering pedicures. We’ve done the legwork so the only decision left to make is whether to opt for a bold tangerine or a soft, rose-petal nail polish hue.


Shellac/OPI GelColor pedicure
, 60 minutes ($60)
Tips Nail Bar, 844 Danforth Ave., 416-405-8477 (
When Toronto nail technician Leeanne Colley opened Tips Nail Bar on a bustling stretch of Danforth Avenue six years ago this May, she had no idea it would morph into the fashion-forward beauty hub it is today: "We're more of a Cheers for women!" Colley says with her hearty laugh.

Colley has invited me into her girly nail polish haven to try the OPI GelColor pedicure—a UV nail polish treatment that keeps nails strong and offers at least three weeks of chip-resistant shine— to get sandal-ready this spring. Miyuki, one of her lovely staffers, ushers me to one of the comfy pedicure chairs by the front window overlooking Danforth Avenue that naturally lights the colourful room.

After gently assuring me that my toes aren't beyond repair, Miyuki soaks my feet in a stainless steel bowl (infinitely more sanitary than jet pedicure chairs, says Colley) before an exfoliating massage with the salon's homemade Bod-tini scrub, a sugary, all-natural concoction made with shea butter and cane sugar. "It makes for good shaving lotion, too,” chimes in a longtime client from the manicure station. The sugary massage is followed by nail clipping and nail bed primping, along with a heel scrub to slough away dead skin.

Click here for spring's hottest pedicure nail polish shades.

To find out about the nail bar's chip-resistent UV pedicure foot treatments, read on...

cafe.jpgThe hardest part of the 60-minute pedi is choosing from the rainbow of LED-friendly nail colours, so I turn to the expert for her picks for spring: "Bright corals or neons are the hottest shades right now," Colley responds without hesitating. I've whittled down my choice to a palette of coral-reds and Colley comes to my rescue for the final selection: OPI GelColor in Cajun Shrimp—as delicious as it sounds.

To ensure three weeks of anti-chip colour, Miyuki wipes away any excess oil off nails with acetone and applies two layers of basecoat to my weak nails before painting a brilliant coral overtop. To seal in each coat applied, my foot is basked under the LED lamp for 30 seconds and dried completely. Miyuki reaches for the matching Bod-tini lotion to use during the second foot and calf massage of the 60-minute treatment. (Yes, that happens.) When my coral-coated nails are all dry, Colley reassures me that it’s perfectly safe to put my socks over top my freshly painted toes before shoving them into my leather boot, because the Toronto weather hasn't quite caught up with my summer-ready look.

Here’s our roundup of pedicure hotspots to get summer-ready feet this season.

Image courtesy of Just Calm Down Spa.

New York

The Grape Gatsby Pedicure
, (approx. $85)
Just Calm Down Spa, 30 West 18th St., 212-337-0032 (
The Grape Gatsby Pedicure at New York’s Just Calm Down Spa serves up two of our favourite needs: a good pun and red wine. The whimsical boutique spa— Tara Oolie, its charismatic owner, calls the colourful Parisian-inspired treatment room setting a “Parc Jardin”— recreates the carefree indulgence of the roaring twenties from Fitzgerald’s imagination. Feet—yours, Gatsby’s—are immersed in a footbath cocktail of red wine, grape seed oil, rosemary and lavender before gently submitted to a callous-removal treatment. Next wine-soaked toes are scrubbed with a homemade exfoliant made with crushed grapes, grape seed oil, sugar and essential oils, followed by a grape essential oil-enhanced massage. Cap off your debonair treatment with Zoya nail polish before hitting up East Egg Daisy Buchanan-style.

For more summer-prep pedis, read on...

Best-summer-prep-pedicures.jpg Vancouver

Pure Footsies Pedicure
Pure Nail Bar, various locations in Vancouver (
Since "calloused skin, soft heart" isn't an actual saying, there's no sentimental reason to trudge dry, cracked heels around all summer. Be as soft (and smooth) as you are inside with a Pure Footsies pedicure, which specifically heals winter-trodden feet. After months spent encased in wool socks and stuffed in winter boots, welcome bare-skinned feet into the warm air with an allover massage before a refreshing spring wakeup with an invigorating scrub and cuticle removal. Finish with a paraffin wax treatment before slipping buffed heels into those spring wedges. And why not complement newly polished feet with a Pure Pleasure Manicure? Since you're feeling so kind.


Blood Orange Pedicure
, 50 minutes (approx. $95)
Miraval Life in Balance Spa with Clarins, 5000 E. Via Estancia Miraval, 800-825-4000 (
This May, Tucson’s Miraval destination spa opens its new Life in Balance Spa with Clarins, a 16,000-square-foot oasis set against the balmy Arizona desert. Soak up the view of the majestic Catalina Mountains as you slip into one of the three new pedicure stations for the Blood Orange pedicure, which claims its citrus notes from the

Image courtesy of Miraval Spa 2012.

Red flower imported from the coast of Isla Das Rocas. Pamper well-heeled feet by removing dry skin, stimulating circulation and softening heels to reveal a delectable glow. A myriad of exotic scents— orange blossom, grapefruit, lime and orange rind botanical and essential oils—are massaged into feet to create a fragrant bounce to your step.

Read more:
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Spring beauty: Get out of your beauty rut
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Spring 2012 skin care: 5 tips—and products!—for ageless skin
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Summer beauty prep: Best pedicure treatments to try this season