Fancy Footwork

Peep-toes, flip-flops and strappy stilettos—almost every fun summertime shoe calls for pretty painted toes. And while pumice stones and polish can help prepare the feet for sole-bearing sandals, nothing beats a thorough spa pedicure for getting your clients' toes and feet into tip-top shape.

The pedicure area at the Blue Marble Spa at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina in San Diego
The pedicure area at the Blue Marble Spa at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina in San Diego

For many women, spa pedicures are a necessity, not a luxury, especially considering that only 19 percent of women consider their feet attractive, according to a study by BizRate Research. The same survey showed that more than half of the women interviewed—53 percent—said they have previously received a pedicure, and 23 percent get one on a monthly basis. According to the International Spa Association (ISPA), manicures and pedicures were two of the three most popular spa therapies purchased in the last couple of years.

So how do you get these women to come to your salon for their pedicures? Jan Arnold, co-founder of CND, suggests attracting guests by adding a fresh, seasonal pedicure to your menu. "A great way to liven up a pedicure service is to incorporate a summer-scented lotion into the massage," says Arnold, who recommends CND Scentsations in Mango & Coconut or Citrus & Green Tea to transport your clients to a veritable tropical island from the comfy confines of the pedicure throne. "By adding a specialty scented product, pedicure services get a makeover and clients get a mind and body boost to boot," she says.

As temperatures climb, it's best to leave the bottles of cranberry-, merlot- and burgundy-colored polishes on the shelves, and offer your guests this season's best pedicure shades: clear pastel tints, shimmery champagnes or opaque, bright shades of poppy, clementine, purple or retro white. "These vibrant colors scream fun," Arnold says. "They provide a dose of radiant energy and celebrate the return of open shoes." Some good collections to try: FlashPoint, four sizzling hot shades from CND, and Mod About Brights, six groovy, vivid colors from OPI.

According to Arnold and the nail experts at CND, one trend to stay away from this summer is the classic French Pedicure. For a fun, updated take on the traditional French version, Arnold says to combine a glossy pink or turquoise highlighted nail with a white tip. For the boldest of clients, suggest a white nail with a black tip—CND showed the look at L.A.M.B. this season.

Once you get clients in your door, make them feel extra special by creating a relaxing, comfortable pedicure area they can escape to. Michele Pelafas, owner of an eponymous salon and spa interior design firm based in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, IL, says custom-built pedicure units are continuing to grow in popularity because they can be designed to fit and enhance a salon's business model or brand to make a unique visual statement. "Plush arm chairs, residential-type seating and sofas are taking the place of large, over-sized equipment," Pelafas says. "With this type of set-up, the focus is about the experience rather than the equipment."

And in the end, it's really the experience that keeps clients coming back to your salon for pedicures, long after sandal season ends. "We take into account everything from how the guests are greeted to where they store their shoes to how they select their polish when we design a pedicure area," Pelafas says. "We even suggest providing lots of extra pillows so that clients can change their environment with the switch of a cushion." —CARRIE WATSON


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