Sandal season took longer than usual to arrive this year (when was the last time there was snow on the mountains in April?), which means we all had a little too much time to be lazy about foot care. I can admit it: When my feet are covered up, I don’t think about changing the polish on my toes or making sure my heels are moisturized. But now that we’re well into warm weather and regular confinement with socks and closed-toe shoes is months behind us, I’m celebrating by wearing open-toe wedges, slides, flip-flops, and slingbacks. Summer footwear has my feet on full display and so my maintenance program is in high gear.
When I stumbled across the Margaret Dabbs London 3 Steps to Fabulous Feet Kit ($120, net-a-porter.com=0), it was the suggestion that this kit is the “first true beauty regime for feet” that hooked me. A beauty regime I don’t know about? Tell me more!
The kit consists of a professional foot file, exfoliating foot mousse, and intensive hydrating foot lotion. The file is meant to be used on dry skin once a week and is claimed to be the world’s best. Turns out, that claim may actually be true. It’s certainly the best file I’ve ever used. The grit, made with compressed crystal technology, is consistent and even. If you’ve ever used a file with irregular grit, you’re familiar with the danger of larger bits cutting into the skin — and then the attendant fear of use that sends the file into the depths of your drawer, never to be touched again. Here, the grit pad is backed with adhesive, which means you can remove and replace it when the file begins to dull (pack of 10, $18, margaretdabbsusa.com).
The exfoliating mousse included in the kit is full of ground pumice to slough off dead skin and emu oil to hydrate newly exposed skin; I find that I use this once or twice a week as needed. The application is a bit ticklish on my feet and rough on my hands, but both are wonderfully soft after use. The Margaret Dabbs lotion is light and quick to absorb into skin, and it smells like lemon Pledge … in a good way. I keep the bottle on my nightstand and apply the lotion at bedtime. So long, cracked heels.
Since about 1987, I’ve clipped my toenails with a pair of Revlon nail clippers I probably bought at Longs Drugs. They have been somewhat effective at cutting my nails, but they really excel at shooting nail shards into the abyss. When I decided to look for a better nail clipper I didn’t expect the search would lead me to a Japanese cutlery manufacturer, but it did. The people at Kiya Cutlery have been making sushi knives for more than 200 years, and now they’ve applied some of that sharp-knife know-how to nail clippers. I’d rather not ponder their decision to sell a pedicure tool along with eel knives; I just know that the sleek black clippers cut tough nails precisely. They’re nicely weighted in the hand and the case catches clippings ($18, amazon.com).
With my toenails properly shaped, I top them off with Tom Ford Nail Lacquer ($36, Saks Fifth Avenue). Tom Ford makes the best everything, including nail polish. The lacquer formula is long-wearing, resistant to chips, and true to color, and it dries to a high shine.
My only quibble with Tom Ford polishes is the brand’s permanent selection of color options. Though thorough, the range is not expansive; and it’s been too long since a limited-edition shade accompanied the release of a seasonal makeup collection. That aside, Scarlet Chinois is a favorite of mine to wear between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
It’s the perfect bright summer red for tanned toes. Pair the polish with Tom Ford’s Summer Soleil Clutch-Size Lip Balm in Neotropic ($36, Saks Fifth Avenue) and you and your feet will be set for barbecues, beach boardwalks, fireworks, and soirées all summer long.
Tom Ford makes the best everything, including nail polish. The lacquer formula is long-wearing and true to color, and it dries to a high shine. Scarlet Chinois is a favorite of mine to wear between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It’s the perfect bright summer red for tanned toes.