What is a time of joy for many women was my darkest hour.
In the seemingly never-ending series of 'Natalie's Boring Health Woes," you may or may not know that at the moment my feet have swollen up again due to my course of steroids I'm banging to try and sort out my nasty Crohns flare-up. (I've written about it previously here, here and here if you want to catch up -- it's THRILLING stuff.)
This side effect is apparently very rare, but lucky old me seems to get it every time -- however, good old pharmaceuticals have my back and I'm now taking a bunch of other pills to counteract the side effects of the steroids. These include Furesomide, which make me pee out all the excess fluid that's collecting handsomely around my feet and ankles (and thighs for a distressing day or two) and Lansoprazole, for the heartburn.
So, my feet are feeling a little sorry for themselves, especially more so since I decided to cram them into a pair of boots at the weekend regardless of the fact that I couldn't do the zips up. But I totally styled it out!
Sometimes, when you've been a hermit for the past two months, you just need to take the pain over comfort. Feet, especially in the winter, are often forgotten under thick tights, in boots and slippers and socks. I for one, sometimes don't even look at my feet for days on end, and then when I do I am horrified.
With the exciting waft of Spring in the breeze, it's now time to start getting your feet sandal-ready so that you don't look like a Hobbit when it's finally time to ditch the 40 denier opaques and give your pedi an airing.
I spent yesterday attempting to get my feet looking reasonably human again, and despite the fact that they are still podgy, they are now soft, fragrant and looking a whole lot more pleasing to the eye. I might not quite be ready to go for flip-flops quite yet, but it's ONE STEP AT A TIME, PEOPLE.
Step 1) Exfoliate those bad boys.
In the shower, I used these Dr Organic foot scrubs in Organic Virgin Olive Oil and Manuka Honey (what? I've got two feet and i'm greedy) to buff away all the dry, flaky skin that has cropped up over the Winter. I love this range as the products are all natural and organic raw materials are used wherever possible. They don't use mineral oils, GM ingredients, no harsh chemicals, the don't test on animals and are vegetarian friendly as only by-products from animals are used -- for example in the Manuka Honey scrub I used (which smells delicious).
Another scrub I love is the Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub -- it smells like a summery cocktail. I just use a teensy bit on my heels and it does the job perfectly.
Step 2) Buff away cracked heels!
After drying off my trotters, I whipped out my MICRO Pedi which looks like a bastardised Lady Shaver but is in fact a battery powered micro-mineral roller which, when you turn it on, spins 360⁰, at 30 times a second, painlessly removing layers of hard, dry skin.
I have cracked heels, and was dubious that this would work, but it smoothed away all the lumps and bumps suprisingly gently. I was having such a whale of a time with it that I pinned Chris down and got him in a foot-lock so I could shave away all his hard skin too. Sexy times! Sexy HIGH TECH times -- sod the pumice stone, I've got a battery powered skin shaver!
Step 3) Moisturise.
Following the manuka honey theme (I am a sucker for honey scented products), I slathered my feet in this Manuka Dr Apinourish Foot & Heel Cream which is full of avocado oil and shea butter and has a refreshing, tingly effect that makes tired (and swollen) feet feel a bit less like they're going to explode into a million meaty pieces. I put it on liberally, and stuffed my hammy feet into a pair of woolly socks to let the cream work it's silky magic.
Step 4) Attend to those toe nails!
After letting the cream sink in, I decided to attend to my gross toenails. I hadn't painted them since November, when we went on holiday and people would actually see my feet, so I've been rather lazy and ignored them. They've been a rather wintery burgundy which does hide all ills, but seeing as the sun had actually been out for TWO WHOLE DAYS STRAIGHT, I got over excited and decided to pedi myself with this gorgeous spring shade from Essie, in Beach Bum Blu which is described as a "medium sea side blue pearl," which makes me love it EVEN MORE.
For photographic purposes, I've shown it here on my fingernails because try as I did, I couldn't make a close up of my toenails anything short of horrific. But they are currently working this shade, and I can't wait to try it when I have a less deathly pallor, too.
Eugh -- I can't stop looking at my nails -- I love Essie so much for this.
So there we have it, a few, quick easy ways to stop your feet looking as disgusting as mine did. Got any foot-saving favourites? Any tips on how to keep my swelling at bay, other than not being an idiot and wedging them into shoes they don't fit in to? I've got a tub of Epsom Salts that I'm going to give a go -- anyone tried them?
Me and my feet are a double-act on Twitter: @Natalie_KateM