For $66 and one hour and 45 minutes of your time, the staff at Wet Paint Nail Spa in Cambridge, Mass., will inspect your feet for calluses, ingrown nails, cracks, and other symptoms of hard use, give you a fabulous pedicure, and teach you proper care of the feet at home. Called the Fit Feet Pedicure, the service was created by owner Michelle Phoenix at the behest of her cousin Stephanie. “She’s a year-round sports nut and her feet are always in tough shape. I had her come to the shop, get a pedicure, and make notes about what she’d like added,” says Phoenix. “After asking her a ton of questions about her activities, I was able to give her advice on footwear, socks, how often she should get new sneakers, and what sorts of ailments she could treat herself and which ones required a visit to her doctor. I was even able to tell her whether she should see her primary care doctor, a podiatrist, or a dermatologist.”
Realizing that the most important part of this particular pedicure was the client interview, she fine-tuned the questions further after speaking with her doctor and a podiatrist. Before the pedicure begins she examines her clients’ feet very carefully, making note of freckles and moles, athlete’s foot, nail fungus, calluses and blisters, and anything else. Where appropriate she gives them advice, or refers them to a doctor.
The pedicure itself is like a facial for the feet. “I use a callus eliminator, not to remove calluses, but to soften the dry skin on the surface of them. Then I slough the dry skin away, either with a paddle or my e-file, do a sugar scrub, and wrap the feet in hot steamy towels,” she says. “ After removing the towels and any scrub that hasn’t melted, I tidy up the nails and cuticles, do a moisturizing massage, apply a kaolin clay and white tea mask and then wrap the feet in gauze that’s been dipped into paraffin. After that’s removed, I wipe the remainder of the mask away and polish the toes.”
The typical client for the Fit Feet Pedicure is a runner, says Phoenix, but she also has clients who ballroom dance, play year-round soccer, or just work on their feet like nurses and teachers.