Showing posts with label feet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label feet. Show all posts

Monday, 29 October 2012

Review: Tony Moly Shiny Foot Peeling Liquid

Today, dear readers I'm going to be talking about my feet.  I appreciate that feet are a bit of a polarising topic - some people hate them, and some people are ambivalent towards them, and very few people actually like them.  The following review may contain pictures of my feet in plastic booties (not so bad) and of my feet after applying this peeling product (not so nice).  Read on after the jump if you're curious.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Review: Foot Patrol Pedicure at Bliss Spa, London

Last week, I trundled down to Bliss Spa on Sloane Avenue in London for a pedicure after work.  Despite having walked past the iconic spa twice daily in the past two years (I work literally just up the road), it was my first visit, and I chose to indulge in the Foot Patrol pedicure.  Described as the ultimate power-pedi to address "Franken-feet", I figured it would be a great way to get my orthotic wearing, overworked feet ready for summer.

Having typically forgotten my flipflops, I requested extra massage or filing time instead of the usual polish that completes the treatment, which was thankfully no problem at all.  The treatment began with some dry filing, followed by a foot bath, followed by more filing.  Plenty of attention was paid to the very dry balls of my feet, as well as my reasonably dry heels, and an alarming amount of dry skin was sloughed off my feet onto a dark towel, which was both slightly embarrassing and quite gratifying at the same time.

I think the difference between a standard pedicure and the Foot Patrol pedicure is the sheer amount of time dedicated to softening the skin, via filing away dry bits and a good strong scrub with a foaming, grainy product.  Of the ninety minutes I spent in the salon, about an hour was spent filing, scrubbing, and filing again, with half an hour spent on moisturising with foot cream and a final paraffin bath. 

By the end of my hour and a half stay, my feet were transformed from being neglected and forlorn into something soft, pampered, and much more healthy looking.  Compared to the medi pedis I've had (and loved) in the past, this pedicure was less transformative, but also less invasive and more enjoyable.  

At £81.70, the Foot Patrol pedicure isn't something I'd consider making a regular thing.  As an occasional treat to whip my feet into shape for summer, though, it's definitely reasonable, particularly given the level of effort put in by the therapist! 

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Quick Pick: Margaret Dabbs Exfoliating Foot Mousse and Intensive Treatment Foot Oil

A while back, I had a Margaret Dabbs medi-pedi at Harrods, which I enjoyed very much.  To ensure my tootsies (stupid word, no?) were kept in the best condition in between treatments, I was sent some products from Margaret Dabbs' home care range to try out.  

The Intensive Treatment Foot Oil is a pretty self explanatory product.  It's an oil.  You spray it on your feet after a good file and scrub.  It provides intense moisturisation and leaves my feet feeling incredibly, amazingly soft once it's sunk in.  An added bonus is that it has a gloriously light, fresh scent, based on citrus fruits, which is a great remedy for tired feet at the end of a long day.  At £24.45 for 100ml, it's an expensive treat - but you use so little of it per spritz that I'd imagine a single bottle would last a long, long time. 

The Exfoliating Foot Mousse is a rather unappetising looking (and smelling) product, all things considered.  It's clearly built for performance, not for style.

A thick, gritty brown paste, it comes with it's own little scoop so you can avoid getting it under your nails, and as the name would suggest, it's got an air whipped texture that's a little lighter than your average scrub.  The gritty bits are pretty hardcore, tackling dry, rough skin with ease and leaving the feet feeling clean and soft.  As well as scrubby bits, the mousse contains Emu Oil, which helps to soften the skin as you scrub away.  At £15.35 for 100ml, this is also a bit on the expensive side - but again, you need very little, and it's so very effective compared to other scrubs I've used that I'd quite happily repurchase.

Used together, the Exfoliating Foot Mousse and the Intensive Treatment Foot Oil are pretty much a weekly pedicure essential for me.  As you may have read in the past, I have horrible feet which require orthotics and are always looking hard worked and ugly.  The two products almost make me feel like I could wear open shoes again - the difference in softness between before and after is quite staggering, and I've worked both products into my weekly routine.  Wonderful.

Margaret Dabbs Intensive Treatment Foot Oil and Exfoliating Foot Mousse are available from the Urban Retreat Beautique.  What's your favourite pedicure product?  Let us know in the comments!

Disclosure: Press sample

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Review: Margaret Dabbs Medical Pedicure at Urban Retreat, Harrods

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed that I rant about my feet rather a lot.  I have absolutely no arch, which has led to me being diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, a condition whereby the connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed and extremely painful.  I wear large, ungainly orthotics in my shoes every day to control the symptoms and to allow me to walk more than a very short distance each day.  As a result, my feet are less painful - but thanks to my orthotics, I get quite a bit of pressure and dry skin build up on the pads of my feet.

When I found myself with a week off recently, I booked into Harrods' Urban Retreat spa for a Margaret Dabbs medical pedicure (medi pedi).  The 45 minute treatment is billed as a complete overhaul for the feet, and is carried out by a qualified podiatrist.  Upon arrival, I was settled into a padded leather chair and asked a plethora of questions about my feet, and after being tipped back so I was lying comfortably flat, my feet were given a bit of an inspection.  Alaa, my therapist, manipulated my feet and inspected the extent of the damage, noting that my calf muscles were shortened (which I've heard before) and reminding me that I should really do more stretches to ease some of my foot pain (which I often forget to do).

Alaa then started the process of transforming my feet, taking a scalpel (gulp) and gently paring away the worst of the dry skin from the pads of my feet.  I was told that such extreme treatment is never necessary on the heels - the dry skin there can usually be dealt with by using an abrasive foot file.  After a comprehensive filing, Alaa used a machine akin to a mini-sander, which was used to buff my feet to remove every last scrap of dryness, which tickled more than I would have imagined, but left my feet looking incredibly soft.  A similar machine was used to deal with any excess cuticle growth around my nails, which were then trimmed down and buffed.

Finally, I opted for a bit of acupuncture, to see if it would help with the pain.  Alaa located the most painful areas of my feet with her thumbs, and then inserted a sterile needle.  I have to admit, it was excruciating - but only whilst the needle was being inserted.  I might have yelped.  The needles were left in for a few minutes, and were rotated whilst inside my foot, which in theory would help with some of the inflammation.

I left my hour long appointment with feet that really were transformed - they'd gone from gnarled, hardened things to being soft and healthy looking, and I could feel the lack of hardened skin on the pads of my feet as I walked out of the spa.  At £80, the medi pedi isn't cheap - but if, like me, you find pedicures to be a little bit underpowered and really want a complete overhaul from someone who really knows feet, it's worth the price.  Alaa recommends a maintenance medi pedi every two months or so - and I'd certainly like to make those appointments part of my regime.  

If you're interested in the medical pedicure and acupuncture treatments, you'll find more details on the Urban Retreat website.  The basic pedicure is £80, with 15 minutes of acupuncture costing £40.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Review: Fish Pedicure at Aqua Sheko, Kensington

When I read that the fish pedicure treatment so popular and common in Asia had made it over to London, I had to try it out.  I find pedicures hard work, as I truly hate my feet, so the thought of having my dry bits sorted out without a slightly disgusted looking human being involved was definitely appealing!

Aqua Sheko is situated in a quiet road near to the hustle and bustle of High Street Kensington.  Nine small tanks, teeming with the little Garra Rufa fish, are set along the wall of the spa - add one leather bench on the opposite wall, and a small foot washing area, and that's pretty much it - it's a small area, but perfectly well equipped to handle all your fishy toe nibbling needs.

Upon arrival, my friend Zara and I were directed to remove our shoes and tights and have our feet washed before immersion.  When I first read about the foot washing, I'd imagined something a little bit more of a ritual than what I found in reality - my feet were simply washed down with a shower head, and patted dry.  After that, I was promptly directed to a tank - which had just been vacated by another woman.

I had been wondering how Aqua Sheko would handle possible cross contamination, as I didn't really relish the idea of sitting with my feet in a tank that had had many other people's feet in it.  Obviously, it's hard to refresh the water between clients, but still.. it did make me shudder a little.

Anyway, once I'd lowered my feet into the water, the fish immediately swam over towards them and started nibbling at the dry skin.  I've found it hard to describe the sensation - at first, it was intensely tickly, like pins and needles, but after a while I got used to it, and the sensation became more of a light background tickling.  Well, until the fish wiggled between my toes, which made me scream with laughter!

After half an hour, my feet were dried off and I was left to put my tights and shoes back on.  My feet did indeed feel noticeably softer, with the hardest skin feeling significantly less rough.  They were also a much healthier colour than they were prior to the treatment - I guess the fish got my circulation going too.

Overall, I really enjoyed my fish pedicure - it was a complete novelty, and was pretty effective too.  I had purchased a voucher from Wahanda to have the fish pedicure for just £12 - the regular price is £30 for a half an hour treatment.  Honestly, I think £30 is too expensive given that all the staff do is shower your feet down, and pat them dry twice; the fish do all of the work.  Had the treatment involved a massage, or a further exfoliation, I might consider it better value, but given that £30 will buy you a decent pedicure including polish application, I just feel that the fish pedicure experience costs too much compared to what you get out of it.  As a novelty treatment, it's great fun - but it's not something I'll be repeating.

If you want to have fish delicately nibble away your dead skin, a fish pedicure at Aqua Sheko costs £30 for half an hour, with optional massages available if you want a little more from your appointment.  Details are available on Aqua Sheko's page on Wahanda.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Focus On Feet: Liz Earle Foot Scrub & Foot Repair Moisturiser

Disclosure:  the items reviewed here were supplied by PR.

As we crawl steadily towards what's looking like a pretty hot summer, footcare comes to the fore, particularly as the sandals and flipflops emerge from the depths of wardrobes all over the land.  We'll be writing a few foot focused posts over the next couple of weeks - and we're starting with two Liz Earle products designed to refresh and pamper hard working feet - the Foot Scrub, and Foot Repair Moisturiser.  Firstly- one of my favourite things about Liz Earle is the attention to detail in order fulfilment.  Everything arrives beautifully wrapped in tissue paper, and it really makes me feel like the company is pleased to have me as a customer, which, in a world of faceless corporations, is something quite special, in my mind.

Anyway; on to the products.  The Foot Scrub is pumice based, with a menthol-based scent.  It's quite a thick product, and a small dab contains plenty of scrubbing particles, so you don't really need a lot of it.  On application, the first thing that hits you is the scent - it's very, very intense.  If you were to use this in the morning, it'd certainly wake you up!  The presence of the menthol also serves to make the feet feel tingly and fresh as you work the scrub in.

After use, my feet (which are chronically ignored and a bit worse for wear) felt smooth, fresh, and noticeably softer.  While the scrub isn't hugely effective on very hard areas of skin, it does deal very well with areas of dryness.  I think my favourite thing about it is the menthol-y freshness - I've taken to using it after a full day of walking, and have found it to be very refreshing for tired feet.

The Foot Repair Moisturiser continues on the same theme, with its peppermint scent and shea butter base.  I particularly liked the packaging of this one - the tube ends with a pump, so you can more effectively control how much you dispense.  A few pumps is all that's required - the cream, while not massively thick, is very emollient, which means that a little goes a long way.  On application, you get the same refreshing feeling that you get with the scrub.

The product sinks into the skin very quickly, which I really liked - I hate having to sit around waiting for my feet to stop feeling slick.  My feet were left feeling soft and smooth, although again the cream wasn't particularly effective on very dry areas.  I've been using this every couple of days and have found that my feet are in general much softer than they were before - this is definitely a good maintenance product.

At £12.25 for 100ml of the moisturiser, and £10.25 for 100ml of the scrub, these aren't a budget friendly buy, but given that you need so little each time, I would imagine that they'd last a fair while.  If you'd like to try them for yourself, you can get them from Liz Earle's website - and smaller sizes are available too, which is great if you want to try them out without the commitment of the larger sizes.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

On footcare - Some advice from a Podiatrist

Disclosure - I received a complementary treatment and checkup at The Shah Clinic in Highgate while researching this post.

Ah, feet. The most neglected body part, give or take a few internal bits and pieces. We spend most of our time ignoring our feet, hiding them in shoes and socks, walking around on them all day or pouring them into torturous high heels, then perhaps bewailing how gnarled and unsightly they become as a result. Not many of us have a close relationship with our feet, but we'd be pretty lost without them, and with proper care, they can be as much of a pleasure as they are a necessity.

When I found myself in conversation with Podiatrist Vas Shah recently, it quickly became clear that we had much to discuss. Feet are an important but often overlooked health concern, especially for those of us who are obsessed  interested in beauty. I had plenty of questions about foot care, and I felt sure that plenty of people reading the blog did too.

I arranged to meet Vas at his Highgate clinic for a treatment and a bit of a Q&A about a beauty addict's most pressing footcare concerns...

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