Linda Valadez, a nail technician at The Polished Image of Coronado in Coronado, Calif., was ready and willing for the challenge. Her assignment?
Our pedicure makeover client despaired of ever having toes fit to by seen in public. But now, after seven months of expert care from her nail technician, she’s kicking up her heels.
Linda Valadez, a nail technician at The Polished Image of Coronado in Coronado, Calif., was ready and willing for the challenge. Her assignment? To help our pedicure makeover client Diana D., who wants her identity kept secret, as her habit is too embarrassing for her, kick the bad habit of picking at her toenails and learn to love the look of her feet. For years, Diana, who has had the “picking” problem since she was a teenager, would only wear closed-toe shoes because she was self-conscious about the appearance of her feet, and was always too embarrassed to get a pedicure—until now.
Diana agreed to let Valadez, who already did her nails, transform her toes. Read on to find out Valadez’s details of what happened.
May 20, 1995 Diana has been a client of mine for awhile so I was already familiar with her lifestyle and habits. As a police officer, she is very active and under a lot of pressure. I believe she picks at her toenails because of nervousness, stress, and sometimes boredom. Diana’s picking caused her to rip off her toenails; the very short nails would then cut into the sides way too much. Her toenails had a lot of cuticle growth and the nail surfaces had ridges. She had calluses, blisters, and peeling skin on top of her two middle toes and on the sides of both big toes due to improperly fitting running shoes. I suggested she buy a pumice stone to use on the problem areas of her feet and also apply a moisturizing lotion daily to soften her feet. Following are the steps I did for Diana’s very first pedicure:
Step 1. Since there was no free edge to clip, I filed the edges of her toenails until they were smooth.
Step 2. I used cuticle remover and pushed back the cuticles. Then, I nipped the excess cuticle growth.
Step 3. I lightly buffed the nail surfaces to smooth the ridges. Next, I used Flowery’s Swedish Fot Fil to smooth down her calluses.
Step 4. I massaged Diana’s legs and feet with Matrix’s Fit Feet, then applied a foot cream for dry feet.
Step 5. Next, I polished her toenails. I began with Orly’s Ridgefiller because it leaves a smooth finish. Then, I polished her toenails with OPI’s Malaga Wine. I finished with Seche Vite’s dry-fast top coat.
Diana’s thoughts after her very first pedicure: “It was a very humbling experience because my toes looked so bad and I felt that I couldn’t get my feet into the pedicure tub fast enough. The pedicure was very relaxing, pampering, and fun. After it was done, my feet actually looked presentable.”
June 8, 1995 Diana’s toenails were still short, but they were looking better. Her blisters had completely healed. This time I only had to lightly file her toenails to get a nice, squared shape. Next, I followed the same steps as her last pedicure.
July 6, 1995 After seven weeks, Diana no longer had bumpy nail surfaces, and her toenails were growing. The nails on her big toes, though, still cut in too much on the sides. Diana had had a relapse and was getting the picking urge—probably because her toenails were longer than usual. So I clipped her toenails short and nipped away the excess cuticle growth. I used the Swedish Fot Fil to soften the bottom of her heels, and Diana liked it so much that she purchased one to use in the shower. Because Diana had shared with me her urge to pick, I had to confess that I have the same problem. I told her to put on socks when she is at home instead of walking around barefoot, which really helps.
August 2, 1995 Oops! Diana had a stressful week and took it out on her toenails. One day she even ripped the free edge off of her left big toe. Consequently, the nail was very short and round, and she had a painful hangnail piercing the inside of her toe. I nipped the excess cuticle growth and carefully nipped the hangnail, which immediately alleviated the pain. Then, I continued with the pedicure as before.
September 2, 1995 Diana’s toenails are still very short. The hangnail was still bothering her and her left big toe looked infected. I suggested she apply Neosporin (which I should have done at her last pedicure as a preventative measure) and begged her to leave her toenails alone. Then, I continued with the usual procedures.
October 3, 1995 Diana’s toenails looked pretty good, although both big toes were still tapered in a little too much on the sides. Since her last visit, Diana did not fuss with her toenails at all. Her left big toe had completely healed, and her toenails had a nice length and the sides were growing out. This time I polished her toenails with OPI’s Marooned on Mammoth.
November 13, 1995 We had one last appointment to meet perfection. I had wanted the sides of her big toes to grow out a little more than they did. Actually, her toenails were quite long so I clipped them. Diana had a slight relapse, though, and tore a nail on her right foot. She prevented it from being a problem by wearing socks around the house and by making a concentrated effort to leave her toenails alone. The tear was halfway down the length of the nail, but I didn’t want to clip it that short or we would be back to where we started, so I applied a silk patch. Diana brought her own polish color so she could do a touch-up if needed. Her feet looked beautiful.
Says Diana, “I enjoy getting pedicures and will continue to get them. Pedicures have really helped me to take care of my feet and not abuse them. I can wear open-toed shoes now, and be proud of my feet.” Diana’s final comment on why she now always chooses red polish for her toes sums up the success of her makeover: “Because its pretty and it brings attention to my feet.” A far cry from doing everything she can to hide them. Mission accomplished.