Sweet Feet: How to Get a Great Salon Pedicure

It’s hard to put a polished finger nail on it, but there is a difference between a so-so pedicure and one that knocks your socks off. Here our top tips for elevating your pedi experience.

Play it Safe.

You hear it on the news enough to know that nail salons can have an icky side. The three main things to look for:

  • Licensed: Is a current license from the Arizona Board of Cosmetology displayed and does your nail tech have a license displayed? Simple enough!
  • Tool Cleanliness: Are instruments sanitized between clients (good) or are they sterilized between clients (better)? Are disposable tools like nail files, foot files, buffers and toe separators thrown away after use? If you have any question about how tools are cleaned and disinfected, always ask or bring your own! Your personal nail tool kit should include a toenail clipper, nail clipper, cuticle stick, nail files, foot file and nail buffer.
  • Foot Spa Types and Practices: Foot baths come in all shapes and forms: jetted whirlpools, pipe-free foot bowls, foot bowls lined with disposal liners, individual soaking bowl. Some places use a water-free pedi system. If the salon uses a piped foot spa system, do they drain and clean foot spa between clients? If they’re using a liner, is a new one used each time? Although it feels good, soaking your feet in warm water actually dehydrates the skin so if you find a place that offers a waterless pedi, go for it. You won’t miss the water.

Finally, don’t shave your legs right before a pedicure. Open nicks and cuts increase the chance of infection (gross). Opt for a salt scrub rubdown on your legs and feet and you’ll get a closer shave afterward anyway. Bottom line, the more comfortable you are with the cleanliness and safety of a place, the more likely you are to relax. And that’s half the battle!

Match Your Mood

Speaking of relaxation, pick a nail joint, salon or spa that matches your needs. If your nail maintenance time has to be juggled with returning phone calls and emails, chose an active full-service salon or a neighborhood nail joint where no one will give you a dirty look for yapping on your phone. If you want the full spa, no-cell-phones-allowed experience, head to a spa where services might be more pricey but you’ll get a private, quiet service with quality spa products and access to spa amenities.

Talk Talk!

Communicate with your nail technician just like you would a hair dresser or a massage therapist. If the tech is doing something you don’t like, let her know. If you’re not sure if he cleaned an instrument, ask him! A pedicure should never hurt so if it does, let the nail tech know (a deep grunt does the trick!). To get a good pedicure, find a place and a nail tech that suits your needs and style. To get a great pedicure, vocalize your needs and make sure you get what you want. Build a relationship with your nail technician and don’t be afraid to tell him or her what you want. Don’t wait until after the fact!

Take Care

Finally, take care of your tootsies between pedicures. Lotion those feet up after a shower or before you hit the sick, especially heels and dry spots. Keeping cuticles hydrated and healthy will extend the life of your pedi.

Pedi Places Around Town:

  • Sundrops Nail Spot, Phoenix: Pedicures are $35. No back-flow pedicure foot sinks.
  • Fuchsia, Mesa/Gilbert: Pedicures start at $49. Pipeless foot spas.
  • Par Exsalonce Salon & Day Spa, Scottsdale: Pedicures start at $55. No back-flow pedicure foot bowls.
  • Joya Salon at Montelucia Resort, Paradise Valley: Pedicures start at $30.  Soaking bowls and zero-gravity chairs.
  • Scottsdale Hand & Foot Spa, Scottsdale: Pedicures start at $27. Disposable foot bowl liners.
  • The Spa at DC Ranch Village, Scottsdale: Pedicures start at $45. Pipeless pedicure foot bowls.

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