How to make your pedicure last longer

We ladies dish out anywhere between $30 and $60 (or more) for a pedicure and with our toes showing so much in the summer, we tend to get them much more often than in the winter. But how do you make them last longer? How do you keep the polish from chipping and your feet soft and smooth? Even just an extra week or two per pedicure can add up to significant savings.

I did some research and came up with a guide to get the most out of your pedicure and make it last a little longer! For more information about caring for your footsies, check out this great article from Real Simple magazine.

Socks: Your new best friend

Obviously, you don’t want to wear socks when you go out because it covers up your pretty toes! But the second you walk in the door, switch from flip flops to socks. Even better, rub some of your favorite lotion on your feet before putting the socks on.  Pedicure Saver: Prevents dry feet.

Have a clear coat on hand

Depending on how your polish is looking, have a clear coat ready for touch up, especially for swipe around the tip of your toes to seal the polish and prevent cracking and chipping. The Sephora Mirror Shine Top Coat will help hide any small chips and prevent new ones. If you got shellac on your toes, check out this article on Shellac Manicure Maintenance and apply those tricks to your toes! Pedicure Saver: Chipped Polish

Invest in the best foot file around

There are foot files and then there are foot files. This foot file is the real deal. I tried all sorts of pumice stones from $2 to $20 but when I splurged on the Diamancel file at Sephora, I threw the rest away. The full size (shown below) is $49, but the smaller size is available for $29. Pedicure Saver: Calluses and dry heels

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Massages with Arnica Gel

Last night, after a very stressful day at work, I treated myself to a massage at Elixir Massage in Denver. This was my third trip to Elixir and my first massage ever with Arnica Gel, a cooling and less medicinal-smelling version of Icy Hot that is spread over an area right after it is massaged. It was amazing! The massage itself was fantastic and the additional of the cooling, tingling gel was a huge plus. I could feel the circulation increasing as it cooled and refreshed my computer-worn muscles.

 

 

I’ve always loved going to Elixir massage in Denver because they really have it figured out. All they do is massage. No facials, nails, haircuts or laser hair. It is 100% massage. They know what they are doing and their therapists are some of the best around. For only another 3 days they are celebrating Spa Week and you can get some of the featured 60 minute services for a bargain price of $50. Amazing!

If you want to give arnica gel a try at home, click the photo above for a great price on a concentrated version. However, the drugstore versions do have some of the “icy hot” smell to them. While it isn’t strong it’s certainly there. Other brands I found that make similar products but with a more refined smell and other added benefits are these:

L’Occitane Revitalizing Leg Cream with cyprus and arnica for $25

 

Elemis Muscle Reviving Gel with camphor, arnica, cyprus and menthol. Spa-grade product available for $55

 

 

And a cellulite vanisher from the Neiman Marcus beauty counters!  Omorovicza gel includes caffeine, arnica and other potent ingredients to really boost circulation and moisturize to completely get rid of “dimples”. $85 for 5 ounces.

 

My first eyebrow waxing experience

Believe it or not, I’ve never waxed my eyebrows. Well, up until last week! They either needed some serious plucking or a quick wax so I scheduled an appointment across the street with Jenn at the Oxford who is also my go-to facial gal. I’ve always heard mixed reviews about eyebrow waxing. Some say that it hurt so much the first time they’d never do it again and some say they will never pluck their brows again.

Well after my brow wax, I fall into the second category and will be saying goodbye to my tweezers!

The whole experience took less than 15 minutes. I was in, waxed and out before I knew it. Jenn used a slightly warm wax and after applying would edge it off just slightly (pull just 2-3 tiny times on the edge of the strip) then pull it all the way off in one quick motion. Did it hurt? Honestly, not really. After waxing the top, bottom and center of my brows, she cleaned up any stray hairs with tweezers and then I was out the door.

I was concerned I might have a little redness after the waxing so I scheduled my appointment in the evening. I easily could have gone right back to work because there was no redness, lingering tingling or anything I’d heard from friends with waxing horror stories.

I’m interested to see how long it lasts! Typically, I would use the tweezers to catch stray hairs every other day. After 5 days, I have a few hairs I might tweeze but certainly am not ready for a wax again. Do you wax your brows? Let me know in the comments!

Shellac Manicure Maintenance

I was sitting with a few of my girlfriends a few weeks ago and we all had shellac manicures. When one of them mentioned her shellac always chips within a day or two, the whole table chimed in and said they always have the same experience. I asked if they use the oil on their shellac and was immediately met with blank but interested stares that said a clear “No idea what you’re talking about.”

Moral of the story: if you get shellac and you don’t use Solar oil daily, you’re missing out.

Solar oil is a fabulous and natural blend of almond oils that smells great and literally absorbs into your cuticles and shellac (shellac is porous, the new OPI gel manicures are NOT, which is why they tend to weaken your nails much more than shellac) and keeps your shellac from cracking, chipping or just plain drying out. As you wear shellac, it shrinks and dries, which is why Solar oil is absolutely necessary to keep it looking perfect for the full 10-14 days.

How do you use it? Everyday, brush it across the base of each nail, rub it in and you’re done! I like using it right before bed so it has all night to absorb and moisturize.

And at $7-$8 per bottle, it’s one of the cheapest beauty investments you can make! Enjoy!

This week in beauty

It’s been a big week for random beauty treatments. I went to a wedding last weekend and needed to catch up! All in all, I received my second upper lip laser hair removal treatment, a facial, a shellac manicure with rhinestones and a spray tan. And I’m exhausted. Okay, totally kidding.

Check out my nails…

Nails

Love them!

The spray tan was the newest experience in my beauty testing and I’d never actually spray tanned before. I went to Zolarium on Blake St in downtown Denver and here are my thoughts:

1. Thank you to my friend Michelle, a veteran spray tanner, who gave me great advice!

2. I wanted to take a shower sooooo baaaadly but one of the keys is to let it sink in for 24 hours. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a very splotchy tan.

3. After about 4-6 hours, it really begins to absorb and you no longer feel sticky.

4. Don’t wear socks right after your tan or anything tight that could rub off a lot of the tanner.

5. I loved it. I had a perfectly, light golden glow with no orange or streaks.

Upper Lip Laser Hair Removal Hurts Like Hell

…just in case you were wondering.

So if you saw my post a few weeks ago, I wanted to bite the bullet (little did I know how true that statement would be) and get laser hair removal on my upper lip. Even with really lightly colored hair, for some reason you should still see very tiny hairs on my upper lip. Gross! I had my first laser hair removal appointment recently and it hurt. A lot more than I thought it would. This wasn’t my first foray into laser.

I had my bikini line done last year. And while that hurt, I came to the conclusion that having it done on your face hurts a helluva lot more. It absolutely felt like a rubber band snapping and it makes your eyes water. My skin felt very hot, which wasn’t necessarily as noticeable when I had my bikini line done.

I forgot to mention, up until this point, I’d used Olay Facial Hair Removal Duo. It worked extremely well. It begins with a moisturizing stick and then the white hair removal cream follows. You can buy it here from Target.com for $22.

While it smells awful, it works great and for me, results lasted about 2-3 weeks. But I was ready for a more permanent and apparently more painful solution.

Ahh the price of beauty.