The internet has been a-buzz with the New York Times’ investigation of nail salons in New York City, The Price of Nice Nails. The details are not pretty.
After interviewing more than 150 nail salon workers and owners in the New York City area, The New York Times chronicled a deep trend of manicurist exploitation. “You can be assured, if you go to a place with rock-bottom prices, that chances are the workers’ wages are being stolen,” said Nicole Hallett, a lecturer at Yale Law School who has worked on wage theft cases in salons. Some manicurists are paid less than $10 a day, or not paid at all.
Of course, you don’t have to forgo the pleasure of having a pedicure! Summer is near, and part of the joy in wearing sandals is showing off a lovely pedi. We’ve put together this tutorial so you can create a polished look in the comfort, peace and safety of your own home. Your toes will look fabulous, and you’ll feel good about not contributing to the exploitation of other women.
The Perfect At-home Pedi
1. Clip or file toenails.
2. Soak feet in warm water for 20 minutes to soften any rough areas. We like to add apple cider vinegar for deodorizing benefits. Use 1 part apple cider vinegar to 2 parts warm water and make sure feet are fully submerged.
3. Use a pumice stone or foot file to remove dead skin and eliminate calluses. Return feet to a basin to rinse.
4. Remove your feet from the basin and pat dry with clean towel or cloth. Using your favorite cuticle remover and orange wood stick, carefully loosen and push back excess cuticles and skin from toenail. Add more cuticle remover and repeat if necessary. Keep cuticles hydrated during this process by adding water or more cuticle product. Always avoid cutting cuticles, as this leads to infection! Use the orange wood stick to remove any dirt from under toe nails.
5. Using a new fresh basin of warm water, scrub feet with your favorite scrub to remove any and all excess skin. Rinse in water and pat dry with a towel. You are done with the basin and water at this time.
6. Massage each foot and toe with your favorite foot cream or lotion. Allow the lotion to soak in for 5 minutes before continuing. If you aren't applying polish to your toenails, apply an additional layer of foot cream or lotion and put on a pair of thick, clean socks. You are done!
7. If you are applying polish, use nail polish remover to clean each toenail to remove any excess lotion. Apply your favorite base coat, followed by three coats of your lacquer of choice and finish with a topcoat. You're ready for sandal season!
What are your thoughts about the New York Times’ article on nail salons? Oh, and if you have any other at-home pedi tips, post them below!