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Luxury at your feet

fashion and trends Updated: Dec 11, 2011 01:06 IST
Ankita Bahl
Ankita Bahl
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Ever thought that a simple pedicure session that you usually head for when you are all stressed and drained out can be compared to a rare art form? Internationally acclaimed pedicure expert, Bastien Gonzalez from France certainly thinks so.

Gonzalez, who was recently in the Capital to launch his salon at The Oberoi in Gurgaon, is known for his glamorous and unique approach to foot therapy. His experience as a foot specialist working in places such as London, Paris, New York and Dubai, has conferred him the privileged status of ‘foot virtuoso’. A Bastien Pedicure in the city at the Oberoi would cost Rs 4,900. “Saying you got your first ever pedicure at the Pedi:Mani:Cure studio by Bastien Gonzalez is a like saying your first car was a Ferrari! You instantly sound spoilt and in fact you are,” says the foot expert, adding, “As a good barber works on dry hair, a good pedicurist works on dry skin.”

foot spa

Gonzalez has a string of private clients in LA who fly him over. He often has a waiting list of up to six months. He tends to the feet of some of the richest and most famous people in the world, but he refuses to name any.

Gonzalez handpicks and trains each member of his team to his treatment protocols. “Last year I worked on 22,000 nails,” he says with a smile. The Bastien philosophy goes beyond pampering and painting nails (in fact Gonzalez doesn’t want you to wear varnish for more than three consecutive days). “Nails don’t need to breath. They are dead. What needs to breathe is the skin under and joining the nails. The nails are here to protect the most sensitive part of the skin,” he says.

Gonzalez has designed unique treatments for by combining his skills of French podiatry with a range of premier products. His treatment takes a full hour and a half and there isn’t a bottle of nail polish in sight.

It involves scalpels (to scrape off hard skin and calluses), drills (with tips made of diamond dust to sand the face of the nail completely smooth), marble dust (to rub into the nail), chamois leather polishers (to buff the nail into a gleaming shine) and, finally, a healing foot and leg massage (to increase the flexibility of leg muscles and the elasticity of the skin). His signature treatment ends with reflexology to increase circulation, which, according to Gonzalez is the best cure for weary travellers.

“If you come for one of my treatments, listen to my advice, you’ll have baby feet for the rest of your life,” he promises.

Foot care tips

You must dry your nails with a towel one at a time after taking a shower or washing your hands.

Don’t use scrub as a foot cream. It might burn your skin. You need to be gentle with your skin.

Never use harsh cleaning products and nail varnish. Do not compromise on the price of skin products as cheaper items may contain harmful chemicals.

Poor nails can indicate nutrient deficiencies or other health issues, so it’s important to look after them by including the right food items in your daily diet.