At the time of the sandals, it is urgent to follow the wise advice of Bastien Gonzalez, who cares for the feet of Naomi Campbell, Gwyneth Paltrow, and even Robert De Niro. Here are his tips for having nice feet.
In New York, Paris, Dubai or Shanghai, Bastien Gonzalez takes care of the abused feet with such precision that the American «Vogue» calls him «the Rolls-Royce of pedicures». At 20 years old, this high-level skier makes a bad fall. A podiatrist makes him soles, which he slips into his ski shoes the next season… and he wins more races than ever. Bluffed, he understands the importance of a (good) foot and decides to take a pedicure-podiatrist diploma. At 23, he opened his practice in Paris, Place des Vosges, then followed by a spot by the pool of the Costes hotel, where he found himself at the feet of the famous models of the 1990s. His reputation is made: Bastien becomes the pedicure that we tear. Today, it offers its treatment protocol in 21 luxury spas, such as Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong, Royal Mansour in Marrakech or One&Only in Los Cabos, Mexico. His brand, curtsy of Bastien, a line of care for feet (but also legs and hands), is available at more than 30 points of sale worldwide, and he plans to open a «Bastien pedicure» school in Vietnam. In 2015 and 2016, he won the World’s Best Nail Studio Brand Award at the World Spa Awards, a renowned American organization. He gives us all his tricks to have impeccable feet.
1. GIVE A LOT OF TALON
To have a baby’s skin at the heels and pads, we opt for a mechanical scrub rather than a chemical peel with the famous soaked socks – although they are effective, they do not target the critical area and may be too aggressive for the skin of the foot and nails. So you start by soaking your feet for ten minutes in hot water with bath salts to soften the skin. Then, using a pumice stone or an electric grater, vigorously rub the areas where the skin is hard. On the thicker calluses, one perseveres. One moisturizes well and one gum regularly. After seven days, one begins to see the result. On cracks, even fighting, we abuse moisturizer (for example Vaseline) and exfoliate as we go.
2. OFFERING MICRO VIBRATIONS
In order for the nails to be strong, but flexible enough to withstand repeated shocks inside the shoes, the matrix (the source of keratin production that makes up the nail) must be stimulated by small vibrations. For the hands, it’s simple, just tap the edge of the nails on a table – although the gesture in rhythm quickly irritates his co-workers… But for the feet, it gets more complicated. Hence Bastien’s creation of the VibraToes, a devilishly effective toy to slip between his toes.
3. CUT WITH ROPE
The first step, cut the nail with a metal clip. The choice of the tool is essential: it must be double spring, in order to attack the nails of the feet often hard, and with a sharp edge to cut straight. Then, we tackle the finishes with a glass nail file, whose grain is very fine. We file in one direction, without going back and forth, or else we grind the nail down and weaken it.
4. METTER OF OIL
The circumference of the nail should be massaged daily with a well moisturizing formula (apricot or olive oil, or specific preparation). Scissors and boxwood stick are prohibited. The cuticle, the area at the bottom of the nail, at the level of the lunula, acts as a barrier to prevent germs from attacking the matrix. If it is “plowed” with a tool, this matrix is damaged and the nail grows irregularly, with baguettes. The scissors are to be left to the professionals, who can cut two-thirds of the cuticle, but especially not remove it completely.
5. SWEEPING DEAD SKIN
On either side of the nail, they are not cuticles but furrows, in which dead skin and impurities tend to accumulate. To get rid of it, you take a nail brush or, even more effectively, an old electric toothbrush, and you run around the nail with a little soap. The idea is to do it after a bath when the skin is softened: the dead skin is removed instantly. If there are calluses on the edges, leave them to a pro, who will carefully remove them with the pliers.
If the nail surface is not smooth, use a basic medium-grain polisher or polishing paste, which contains some exfoliant, but do not overuse it. To make the surface shine, we invest in a vintage tool: chamois skin. We rub it energetically on the nails. To keep this Shiny finish, you don’t forget to dry your nails every time they come in contact with water. On the one hand, because the nail is porous, the water tends to dry it out; on the other hand, the quick movement of the sponge towel on the nails helps to maintain their shine.
Every night, we spend three minutes modeling his feet. Start at the toes, stretching them to relax and “flattening” them to avoid the claw effect, then work on the pads, from the top of the toes to the hollow of the foot to activate blood circulation. You press hard, so you can get rid of the cuts to your feet during the day. And you smooth the arch to relax the muscle. Finally, on the heels, we work from the outside to the inside. Another express massage option: the squash ball, which is rolled under your foot.