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Foot Fetish

Chances are your feet are in desperate need of attention these days. They have been hibernating in fur-lined boots, patent platforms and suede ankle booties all winter long. It’s time to let them see the light of day again.

Rather than slip the sandals over ungroomed feet, and likely scare a few innocent bystanders in the process, treat your feet to a more civilized means of showing them off in the warmer months.

For the woman who prefers to take matters into her own hands, she has the at-home pedicure. It’s speedy, inexpensive and safe. For the more high-maintenance woman who would rather sport naked toes than get her hands dirty, the spa pedicure provides all the pampering she needs. It will take a little more time and money but the experience will make both well worth it.

Not sure which is right for you? Here’s the breakdown for both types of pedis. It’s all you’ll need to know to give your feet the proper spring debut they deserve.

HOME FREE

Yes you can: “A lot of women feel like (at-home pedicures) are a big daunting task. They think they can’t replicate it at home, but the key is just in removing dry skin,” said Ann Buirid, managing partner for Artemis Woman, manufacturer of the Heel Smoother. Tools like the Heel Smoother used in conjunction with pumice stones and exfoliators will make getting rid of dry skin an easy feat.

Save it: A lot of spa pedicures start around $50, the amount you could spend on a new pair of sandals, and go all the way up to the high $100s. Aside from the advanced tools you may purchase (Artemis Woman Heel Smoother, $29.95, Sharper Image), your at-home pedi will cost you a couple cotton balls, an orange stick and an emery board: “Those are just pennies!” Buirid exclaimed.

Time is on your side: To plan a spa appointment, you have to book the appointment, drive to the spa, spend 50 to 90 minutes getting the pedicure, and then drive home and hope you won’t ruin your polish while donning a pair of flip-flops. “When you do it yourself at home, it takes about a half an hour,” Buirid said. The longest parts are soaking your feet and doing your nails.”

Safe and sound: Unless you are very familiar with a spa’s reputation and cleanliness, your safety from dirty tools is never guaranteed. If tools are used and reused without being properly sanitized, bacteria can spread and painful infections can result. When you’re controlling every tool from cotton balls to orange sticks that your use, you have the peace of mind of knowing you’re safe.

OOH LA SPA

Comfort zone: “It’s a lot easier for someone else to do it than it is for you when you’re all crouched over and in an awkward position,” said Roxy Figueroa, salon manager of Canyon Ranch Spa Club at the Venetian. Not to mention, you get to catch up on your tabloid reading and sip on bottled water the whole time. Spas like Euphoria and The Spa at Red Rock have massage chairs so you can get a little work on the rest of your body while your feet are getting polished.

Rub it in: Let’s face it, performing your own foot massage somehow isn’t the same as having someone else take care of business. Plus, there’s a reason you’re asked to wear loose-fitting pants when getting a spa pedicure; your lower legs get to enjoy a fabulous exfoliation and mini-massage. Not only do you get to look good when you leave, but you’ll be feeling good for a while, too.

Homework: Once your nail tech has finished your feet off, many spas are now having them send you home with a few maintenance tools. “We make our pedicures very personalized,” Figueroa said. “Everything we use on them, we give to them.” She’s not just referring to the toe separators and emery board. Nail polish is included too!

Amenities aplenty: Most spas require a fee around $30 to enjoy the facilities (jacuzzi, hot tub, steam room, relaxation rooms, etc.) but if your service includes the fee, you get to enjoy the perks. The cost of your spa pedi will definitely cover the fee. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Extras such as champagne, fruit, tea, scalp massages, paraffin and fun treatments, such as the Ice Cream Pedicure at Brannon Hair Salon at the Hard Rock Hotel) can be added onto your pedi at a lot of spas.

Experience the experience: “The difference is in the experience you get when you come in,” Figueroa said, referring to the skill level of the professional nail techs on her staff. Simply put, these people went to school to do it; you didn’t.

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