This hot, sticky weather is doing funny things to me. Yesterday, I forgot the word for "train," I've got a two-a-day habit on ice lollies and the veins on my hands are constantly sticking up out of my skin like horrible gray-blue worms.
Simple things like choosing an outfit? BRAIN FREEZE! Cooking? EUGH! Changing the channel on the TV? GOD, SO MUCH EFFORT! I've basically become a sweating potato, incapable of doing anything apart from sitting in my house in my underwear, fanning myself and asking Chris to get me ice out of the freezer so I can rub it on myself. Nothing gets done in my house when it's too hot.
In Winter, I spend hours lazing around in the bath, soaking in lotions and potions, scrubbing and buffing my way into a shiny new me every evening. I spend many cold, winter nights at home, trying out new nail polishes and creating top notch nail swag.
When it's hot, I can think of nothing worse than sitting in a tub full of hot water. ARGH! Why?! Why would anyone do that?! Maybe they don't.
This isn't to say I don't wash, of course! In this heat, I'm having cold showers on the reg. But I don't soak in the tub.
With my new "Quick! Cold Wash And Go" routine, I have also fallen out of the habit of keeping my feet soft and lovely. My feet cause me a whole world of trouble on a daily basis anyway, what with my never-ending fluid retention woes following a course of steroids. They annoy me to the point of teary frustration sometimes -- I love to wear pretty shoes and sandals, but when my feet and ankles are all big and squidgy and full of water I have to live in my old flip-flops or massive shoes that I hate. If I don't look down, they're not really there! Right? No? OK.
This is how I came to have The World's Gnarliest Toenails.
SERIOUSLY! Look at them. Look at them EVEN CLOSER, if you would.
That, my friends, is what months of neglect looks like. Grown-out, monstrously chipped winter nail polish, overgrown, thick husks of cuticles, scraggy nail tips. It's a horror show.
Thanks to overzealous double-dropping of my prescribed diuretics for a week, my feet have deflated to the point of being able to wear my nice shoes again (YAY!) and so I thought I ought to address the situation. Nice shoes deserve nice toenails! I wrote before about the Emoji Micropedi -- that rotating buffer for your hard skin on your feet if you remember -- and they've come out with these nifty little tools for $19.99 that you poke into the side of the rotating roller and spin around (if you're in the UK like me, you can pick them up at Boots or micropedi.co.uk). I'm not being hyperbolic when I say that these are a GAMECHANGER.
The pack comes with a rotating roller and five attachments to smooth, shape and buff your nails.
- Buffing Tool – Buffs nails to a natural finish
- Shaping Tool – Smoothes nail surfaces
- Emery Tool – Smoothes and shapes nails
- Fine Shaping Tool – Shapes and contours nails
- Cuticle Pusher – Keeps cuticles neat and clean
I thought that if anything was going to be able to get my toenails looking half decent, then this was going to do it.
First, I removed all the old polish using Cutex Nourishing Nail Polish Remover -- I always use this one as I find that others can leave my nails dry and weak. Not that you'd know it, looking at my gross feet.
I then inserted the buffing tool onto my Micropedi and buffed the nails, because I didn't read the instructions properly which tell you to do that last. So you should probably do that (but my toenails didn't fall off or anything, so all's good).
THIS was the most fun part. The cuticle pusher looks seriously medieval and slightly terrifying, but SWEET JESUS it's good. You roll it over your manky, hard cuticles and it pushes them back and obliterates any hard skin into tiny, sexy foot dandruff.
I should have added that it's best to do this over a towel, to stop that delightful foot ash from getting all over your carpet.
I then used the three different shaping tools to try and whizz some shape into the sad, broken tips of the nails.
After only about 10 seconds, they were done. PRAISE BE! I dusted off my feet and swiped a quick slick of OPI's Avoplex cuticle oil over each cuticle. I love this handy little tube.
Then, when trying to photograph my lovely shaped new toenails, I realised my feet still looked gross. I couldn't quite put my finger on why, until I realised they were actually really dirty. It was time to bite the bullet and have a bath. It may have been 45 degrees inside my flat, but nothing was going to stop me on my quest for beautiful feet, yo!
Although every second was sweaty hell, I did quite enjoy watching the real colour of my feet develop in front of my eyes. What I thought was a deep tan was in fact just weeks of dust.
For my summer-ready pedi I used a coat of Sally Hansen's Hard As Nails Hard As Wraps Powerful Acrylic Gel, let that dry completely and then applied two coats of Essie's lovely opaque pink Lovie Dovie.
I couldn't walk out of the house without some SPANGLE, because every floor is a catwalk, darling! I used Models Own's Hot Stuff from their mega sparkly, over-the-top-in-a-good-way Mirrorball collection. Buy it! It's insane.
I didn't use a top coat, because by then I had got a bit bored and wanted to play Candy Crush again. But more on that another time!
I've shoved my feet into my most spingly-spangly shoes and am proudly showing them off to all and sundry -- I am truly making the most of it while they don't resemble Christmas Hams.
So, the moral of this tale is -- DON'T NEGLECT YOUR FEET! And if you do, share the horror with the whole of the Internet, because shame ain't nothing but a five letter word.
Natalie's on Twitter: @Natalie_KateM