Tip-top tips for toes – from an award-winning pedicurist (and his team)
When we first knew him, Bastien Gonzalez worked single-handed – or should that be single-footed? – out of a handful of hotel rooms around the world, jetting between Paris, London, Dubai and New York. Today, his signature Bastien Gonzalez treatments are available in 19 of the most luxurious Spas and hotels in the world, including the Kempinski Hotel Bahia in Estepona – and we're really rather proud to have talent-spotted him so early in his career!
Awarded the World’s Best Nail Studio Brand in the 2015 World Spa Awards, Bastien offers a unique approach to manicures and pedicures, all about fusing medical, beauty and wellness approaches, bringing out the natural beauty of the nails.
Cleverly, he's pretty much managed to clone himself: Bastien selects and trains every manager of his team to the highest standard of his treatment protocols, so that the treatments are really consistent, all over the world – and at the Kempinski Hotel Bahia, that role's held by Baptiste Buisine, a trained podiatrist who moved from working in a Paris hospital as a podiatrist to train with Bastien and open the studio on the Costa del Sol last year. (We totally get why you'd want to do that!)
As we move into a new season of heels and boots after flats, we thought it was the perfect time to share his tips for keeping your feet healthy and beautiful. Just because they're out of sight, doesn't mean they should be out of mind!
1. Use a special foot scrub once or twice a week. Follow with a balm to moisturise.
2. Applying a very fine talc to the feet before putting on shoes ensures your feet are totally dry avoids issues such as athlete’s foot, protects the skin and stops friction with the shoe.
3. Don’t suffocate the nails under a coat of varnish for more than 3 days at a time. A buffing paste applied with chamois leather will do wonders to make them look shiny.
4. If you do use nail polish, protect the nail with a clear base coat to avoid staining. Use good quality polish which doesn’t include formaldehyde, as this common polish ingredient can react with the keratin in your nails and make them brittle and yellow.
5. Give your nails a break from polish on a regular basis. Your nails have pores that need to breathe and blocking these pores can make nails weak. If nails are yellow, get a detox at a professional studio, rather than make the problem worse by hiding it under many coats of varnish.
6. If you have diabetes, be very vigilant about your feet, as the condition cause poor circulation and lack of sensation in the feet, which can allow small problems such as foot ulcers and infections to quickly escalate into something serious. Establish a good foot care routine, check your feet daily for any issues and see a professional podiatrist on a monthly basis to keep feet healthy.
7. Beware of high heels – they can cause a lot of problems if worn for long periods, or if the wrong style is chosen. Heels should fit you properly and not let your foot slide around. Try to find heels which have a gradual slope from heel to base such as platform or wedge shoes, and choose a thicker heel to reduce the pressure.
8. Treat yourself to a monthly pedicure with a trained podiatrist who can check your feet, offer advice for keeping them healthy, deal with any issues and leave your feet looking and feeling great.