METRO PLUS

Beautiful hands and feet

ONE OF the most popular services at the salons today is the feet and hand care regimes of pedicure and manicure. "The purpose of the manicure and pedicure are to improve the appearance of hand and feet. Once considered luxury for a few, these are now services used by many. In fact women today use the services of a professional manicurist at the salon as part of a total well groomed look," says Laila Kakadea beautician.Manicure, the care of hand and nails, is an experience you can afford to indulge in, as a form of pampering the tired hands only to find soft and fresh pair of hands after a do. A regular professional manicure and pedicure is recommended, supplemented with home dos.

Do-it-yourself manicure: Remove old nail enamel with cotton wool and nail polish remover. Use an emery board to shape nails, moving from sides to centre with long strokes. Aim for a gentle rounded oval shape (avoiding pointed shape), and don't file the nail too deeply. Soak the hands in warm water with a few suds. Scrub gently under nail with a nailbrush to clean under nails. Use an orange stick or a cotton bud, but nothing metallic or sharp, to push back the cuticle at the base of the nail. Don't cut the cuticle. Use a scissor to cut a hangnail rather than pulling it out. Massage hands and nails with a hand cream. If you are planning to wear nail enamel, remove all traces of grease from the nail surface using cotton wool and a touch of remover. Apply a base coat to prepare the nail and to avoid yellowing of nails arising from darker shaded of varnish. Apply nail varnish, allowing time to dry between coats and removing any smudges with a cotton wool bud and solvent.

Hand care tips: "* Apply hand cream every time you wash your hands. The oil in the cream will seal moisture into your nails.

Beautiful hands and feet

* The most common cause for soft nails is exposure to water. Wear rubber gloves when doing the dishes.

* Never file your nail after a bath since this is when they are their weakest and likely to split. If you have weak nails, try painting your base coat and nail polish under the tip of the nail to give them extra strength.

* And for those velvety hands before the party, check this do for beautiful hands in a jiffy. Massage hands with lemon cream and rinse with warm water. Take some granulated sugar and mix it in small quantity of glycerine. Apply the mixture on the hands, from fingertips to the wrist, working the mixture well into the skin for 2-3 minutes. Finally rub the hands together and rinse under warm water. Viola! You have feather soft hands to flaunt at the party," says Laila.

For beautiful feet: Ideally the beauty care regime is one that spans from head to toe. "Foot care not only improves personal appearance, it also adds to the comfort of the feet. Pedicure or the care of feet has become an important parlour service because the toes and heels are more or less exposed at today's shoe fashion. Neglected toenails and rough harsh heels detract the finest of footwear. A pedicure is essential once in two weeks by a qualified podiatrist in a salon, and is beneficial as well," says Laila.

Beautiful hands and feet

Step-by-step pedicure: Cut the nails straight across with clippers and smooth sharp edges with an emery board. Soak the feet in a tub of warm water with some suds. Do not cut nails too far down at the sides, or too short. Clean under toenails with an orange stick, paying attention to the edges where debris can build up. Apply cream or cuticle remover at the nail base and gently push back the cuticles with an orange stick or cotton bud and never use any sharp instrument. Remove the remnants of cuticle remover with damp tissue or flannel. Dry feet. Massage feet and toes with a hand and body lotion. In case you wish to apply nail enamel, remove the grease with a touch of varnish on cotton wool. Using cotton wool as toe spacers to keep them apart, apply nail varnish.

A quick after-bath pedicure: The best time for a home pedicure is after bath when the feet are warm and pliable. Use a foot scrub all over and under the foot. Use a nailbrush to scrub the nails. Rinse with warm water. Massage with a foot cream-taking each toe separately between the fingers and thumb and work the cream gently on the toes to ease the joints. Wipe off the cream with a tissue and dip the feet in warm water and Dettol and rinse under cold water and rub briskly with Eau de Cologne. Finally dust with medicated foot powder," says Laila.

Home spa for tired feet: "For relieving fatigue at the end of the day, a simple remedy before going to bed or watching television is to soak the feet in a tub containing warm water and five tablespoons of Epsom salt. The methods are not only refreshing but they also keep feet in good condition. A little care and timely attention go a long way in assuring the well being of your feet. So why not give the feet the tender loving care they truly deserve," says Laila.