Pamper your feet

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By Carolyn Henderson

If you want to hot foot it in this summer’s stylish sandals, start by treating yourself to a pampering pedicure or spa treatment. It won’t cost a fortune and your feet will look and feel great, whether you have half an hour to spare for an express pedicure or opt for a luxury treatment.

You don’t need to feel self conscious about exposing your less than perfect feet to scrutiny, as Louise Harvey, a therapist at SK Clinic and Spa, Bury St Edmunds, promised.

“I always tell my clients that there’s nothing we haven’t seen before!” she said. “And I love a challenge.”

At SK, clients have included celebrities such as supermodel Jodie Kidd and X-factor winner Alexandra Burke has also dropped in for a beauty boost. However, you don’t have to be a superstar to enjoy a touch of luxury, which can range from a whirlpool foot spa to what must be one of the most luxurious treatments imaginable, using ingredients such as caviar and jojoba beads.

A foot treatment with caviar? You might be forgiven for thinking that this is a leg pull, but Louise says it really works.

“It’s great for hydrating the skin,” she explained.

For something really different, try a treatment that is decidedly fishy, but proving popular with both sexes. This is a ‘fish pedicure’ available at the Aqua Sana spa at Center Parcs, Elveden and also at C & B Beautiful, Bury St Edmunds.

The treatment involves immersing your feet in a tank of warm water to allow the occupants – Garra Rufa fish – to remove dead skin. First, forget any horror films you might have seen about flesh-eating piranhas.

These fish are harmless and toothless and, says Aqua Sana manager Zoe Crawley, the treatment has proved to be a real his and hers success.

“It feels as if you’re sitting with your feet in a bath of champagne!” she said. “You can feel the fish nuzzling your feet, but it’s very gentle.”

Whatever pedicure system you opt for, finish the look with beautifully decorated toenails. You can opt for classic nail polish or the latest decorative technique, thin stickers that are moulded to the shape of your own nails to give a striking but smooth finish.

Heat-moulded nail coatings such as the celebrity favourite Minx are available throughout Suffolk and there are hundreds of styles, from metallics to intricate patterns with inset gems. The coatings are thin and flexible, so you need a skilled technician to apply them – but once they’re in place, the result is stunning.

Set off your perfect feet with the perfect shoes. This summer, you can choose from classic pumps, gladiator or caged sandals and the ever popular wedge style.

“Cage sandals are much more of a fashion item and you need nice brown legs to carry them off,” said Nicola Sexton, owner of Nicola Sexton shoe boutique in Bury St Edmunds.

This summer, Nicola has launched a range under her own name. “There are 14 styles that will work for all ages,” she said. “There is a flat ballet pump, a pump with a little heel and a very low wedge.

“They’re everyday shoes with a twist and I’ve had them made in Italy by a company I know well, which has been manufacturing shoes for 30 years.”

Nicola says that well-made designer shoes aren’t simply an indulgence, but can be an investment. “My personal favourite designer is Luciano Padovan and we’re the only UK retail outlet allowed to offer a collection,” she said.

“If you look after your shoes, they’ll last. I’m still wearing the first pair of Lucianos I bought, ten years ago. I’ve had them re-heeled and re-soled, but they’re just as stylish and incredibly comfortable.

“Every time I put them away, they go in their original box, with tissue paper in the toes. Looking after shoes isn’t difficult or time consuming, though.

“Patents are easy to look after, just spray them with patent leather spray, then buff with a duster. “With suede shoes and boots, always spray them with special suede spray before you wear them outside. Suede is much more robust than people realise.”

Fitflops, available in Suffolk from stockists such as Intersport in Bury St Edmunds, are guaranteed to have you feeling as good as you look. Designed to give you a workout whilst you walk, they are available in styles ranging from subtle to out and out bling and are said to help tone leg muscles and improve posture.

“I’ve got four pairs,” said Theli Dalrymple, owner of Intersport. “”They’re really good for people with back pain and plantar ligament problems, but you need to get them fitted properly.”

This article is from July’s etc magazine