Feet are a tricky business, particularly if nice ones are not imprinted in your genetics. Now, what constitutes a “nice” foot will no doubt vary depending on its owner, but I value compliance and inconspicuousness in a foot. I know this because my own offer neither of these pleasant characteristics. Those women whose feet just “go” into a strapless shoe and “stay” in there of their own volition? I’m not one of them. Those people whose feet are just somehow in good condition in time for spring and summer? I’m not one of those either.
While some people will have regular maintenance pedicures – royalty and foot models and the like – I have one once a year around now as a firefighting exercise. I realise as the weather mellows that my heavy winter boots are no longer an obligation, and become newly aware of calluses at the back of my heels (from breaking in the winter boots) and soles that catch and tear at the bedsheets when I turn over.
There are currently two Mink salons in Dublin (both temporarily closed due to coronavirus), with one to open soon in Monkstown. I went to the newly renovated Ballsbridge salon recently for the Signature Pedicure (€85) and left after an hour and 15 minutes with an entirely new pair of feet (and legs after the blissful massage). Nowhere I've tried in Ireland or beyond does as perfect a manicure or pedicure as Mink, so if you are the type to be (justifiably) bothered by a bubble or uneven finish in an expensive two-week manicure, go to Mink for the most satisfyingly perfect nails (or feet) of your life.
A pedicure isn’t an option for everyone, but there are plenty of excellent at-home products which we should all be utilising anyway so our feet are comfortable and cared for. Patchology PoshPeel Pedicure Single Treatment (£18 at patchology.co.uk) is a morbid wonder.
Wear it for up to 90 minutes, and within a few days, the hardened skin on your feet will start to peel. It will horrify anyone who shares a bed with you, but you will be filled with fascinated satisfaction as great wafers of hardened skin take leave of your feet, exposing soft, fresh skin underneath.
For maintenance, olive oil and rock salt will make a serviceable scrub, but Neal’s Yard Pumice Foot Scrub (€17.25 at nealsyardremedies.com) is rather fancier, with ginger and mint oil soothing and freshening weary feet and leaving them tingling, softened and clean.
If a scrub is not sufficient for your callused skin, consider Microplane Professional Pedicure Rasp (€10.47 at ellisons.co.uk).
It is sensationally effective, but I must warn you – this is made by a famous cheese grater company because it is effectively a grater and designed for professional use. Overusing it will result in very sore feet. To be extra cautious, use it on dry feet rather than pre-soaked.
To finish, Lush Pink Peppermint Foot Lotion (€21.50 at Lush stores nationwide) is invigorating and not too heavy, while L’Occitane Shea Intensive Foot Balm (€26 at L’Occitane stores nationwide) is ultra-rich. Sleep in it (with socks on), and you’ll awake to feet that have rewound a decade.