Put your best foot forward

You may have ignored your feet all winter, but these products and services will get you sandal-ready in no time.
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By TOC Staff Photograph by Nicole Radja |
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The problem Dry feet
The Rx Vanilla-Almond Pedicure at Spa Space
The makeover Bringing my cracked, dry feet out of winter hibernation is always humbling. Judging by the other apologetic women who recently lined up for their inaugural spring pedis at Spa Space, I’m not alone. The West Loop spa’s Vanilla-Almond Pedicure ($55) was designed with dry skin in mind. After voraciously buffing away patches of hardened skin for what felt like an eternity, my technician massaged a sugar- and grape-seed-oil scrub into the skin, followed by an almond-oil and vanilla mask. Almond oil—reportedly the secret weapon that kept Cleopatra’s feet sandal-ready in brutal desert heat—is loaded with antioxidants that work the toxins out of the skin and soften and hydrate. Steaming hot towels further enhance the properties of the mask. A sweet-smelling, organic vanilla lotion adds a final touch of moisture, leaving my feet ready for the beach or, perhaps, the shores of the Nile. 161 N Canal St (312-466-9585).—Amy Carr

The problem Calluses
The Rx PedEgg
The makeover I have—scratch that had—one callus that was so bad, my entire foot would erupt in pain whenever I wore my Chuck Taylors. And who would’ve guessed that the solution would come in the form of a late-night infomercial? Anyone with a callus or two on their feet will be intrigued by the PedEgg, which claims to make your feet as smooth as silk. Even though it’s basically an egg-shaped cheese grater that shaves off dead skin, the small device doesn’t hurt to use. In fact, it doesn’t even tickle or feel uncomfortable. You just rub the Egg back and forth over callused skin, and its shell catches your skin flakes. (Yes, it’s gross to think about, but much better than flakes flying around while you grate.) After one quick and easy session with the PedEgg, my horrible callus is completely gone and my feet are flip-flop and Converse ready. $10 at pedegg.com.—Kevin Aeh

The problem Nasty nails
The Rx Sugar Daddy Pedicure at Mojo Spa
The makeover Thanks to an unusually thick big-toe nail and excessive dead skin at the edges of my cuticles, I err on the side of modesty when it comes to exposing my feet. But after the 45-minute Sugar Daddy Pedicure at Wicker Park’s Mojo Spa ($50) I’ve got my, uh, mojo back. The experience was nothing but sweet: I started by soaking my feet in a lukewarm bath. After sloughing my skin with a sugar scrub and forcefully scraping away the unwanted epidermis covering half the nail bed, the aesthetician touched up my toenails with a coat of natural polish…unfortunately, she failed to cure the thick-nail issue (“That’s nothing to worry about,” she reassured me). Still, I walked away feeling refreshed and ready to flaunt my feet. 1468 N Milwaukee Ave (773-235-6656, mojospa.com). —Nicole Radja as told to Jessica Herman

The problem Smelly feet
The Rx Thursday Plantation Tea Tree oil spray
The makeover I have a little dilemma: feet that sweat like a middle linebacker—and smell like one, too. I tried some over-the-counter products to combat the problem and one clear winner emerged: Thursday Plantation Tea Tree oil deodorant spray. With a daily application of the tea tree spray, I find that my feet perspire less, and they actually smell faintly herbal. The spray also works on shoes, so I used it on my sweat-saturated cork wedges from last summer. The next day, my wedges still have a faint tea tree smell—and a lot less of last year’s funk—making the deodorant spray my new summer companion. $8 at Merz Apothecary at Macy’s, 111 N State St (312-781-4000).—Martha Williams

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