These Feet Are Made For Walking

We Asked! Vol. 7: These feet are made for walking

Our feet take us everywhere we go, so why are they one of the last parts on our body we think to take care of? We asked three #DowntownKelowna foot experts about taking care of our feet with a pedicure.

Please tell us who you are, where you work, and what you do here?

I’m Wendy Galic-Tower and I work at Europa Salon and Day Spa and I’m the esthetician here.

I’m Jamie Cure and I work at the Spa at the Delta Grand and I’m an esthetician.

I’m Anita Shonwise and I’m an esthetician at Amici’s Hair and Body Spa.

How did you get into the business of feet?

Wendy: I always wanted to be a hairdresser and my sister decided she was going to do that so I thought let’s do something different. I kind of like the whole facials, manicures, pedicures and waxing all that kind of stuff, so I thought I’ll go that route and go into esthetics and now I just love it.

Jamie: I was always inclined into esthetics ever since I was a kid. I always did my own nails, picked at my brother, picked at boyfriends. You’re either into touching other people, being able to have contact with other people or you’re not.

Anita: It’s part of the package when you’re looking at becoming an esthetician that’s usually included in the training.

How long did it take you to get good at pedicures? Who did you test on?

Wendy: A few years. I tested on my sister, my mom and anyone that was willing and able. (laughing)

Jamie: We worked on each other in school actually. So I think to do a really good pedicure like where I felt confident would have been at least a year of working.

Anita: Pretty fast, I’m a fast learner. I was trained at my school and when I came here the senior estheticians at the time showed me how Amici’s did their pedicures which was really good. There are a couple of different ones you can do for different packages, so they were the ones that trained me what to do, what not to do. I would say in a matter of months I was very good at them. I practiced on siblings and my mom.

How often should someone get a pedicure?

Wendy: Every four weeks is ideal, or sometimes up to six weeks depending on if they take care of their feet at home.

Jamie: Depends on the person. Depends on what they do on the feet, how good they are and what type of shoes they are wearing.

Anita: I’d say once a month at least. I do have some clients that do every two weeks. Some people have blood circulation problems in their feet so having a pedicure regularly promotes blood circulation and releases tensions in the muscles and considering our feet take us everywhere they’re often forgotten about.

What is the best length for a pedicure?

Wendy: To do a really good job they would have to be in here for a minimum of 45 minutes for sure. Anything less than that and you’re not getting everything. That said, ideally if you have the time, a pedicure should be an hour and a half.

Jamie: I think at least an hour. That’s an enough time to get a good massage to do everything properly without missing or skipping anything.

Anita: For our express pedicure, which is for people that just want to get in for the quick foot scrub and we still clean their cuticles, trim their nails and all that, is generally speaking about 45 minutes. If they’re doing the full pedicure which includes everything and that’s with the gel toes, they’re probably looking at about an hour and a half to an hour and 45 minutes.

Why are guys scared to get a pedicure?

Wendy: They think it’s a girl thing but it’s not.

Jamie: I think they have the illusion that they have to have polish on or that it’s just a womanly thing to do but they have the exact same issues that women have. They have the callus and they have the dry feet. Here we are allowed to serve alcohol so as soon as you ask them, “did you want to order something to drink?” They’re like, “oh” Yes, they’re into it for sure.

Anita: They think it’s very demasculating. They are very scared of looking feminine. That being said once you get a guy in for a pedicure they are then in love with it.

Who gives you a pedicure?

Wendy: Well, right now I don’t have anyone working beside me so I give myself a pedicure but I have a few friends that are estheticians so I can coerce them into coming in and we trade.

Jamie: Some of my co-workers do, or I’ll end up doing my own.

Anita: Once in a while my co-workers.

Ever refuse to give someone a pedicure?

Wendy: No, no, I’ve never had anything really bad.

Jamie: No actually.

Anita: No. Generally speaking most of our clientele that we get here we don’t ever have an issue with them. We really watch for worts or fungus, we’ll wear gloves and then we’ll do extra procedures to sanitize and clean everything. If it was a situation that there was a really bad fungus and they were doing nothing to take care of it or have it treated then in that case I would just let them know due to the hygiene standards we wouldn’t be able to do that.

Ever had someone walk out on a pedicure?

Wendy: Never.

Jamie: No.

Anita: I did have a very old lady who got mad that there was a step she had to walk up on and decided she was not going to have it because she had hip surgery.

Which is the most relaxing on your foot, the oils or paraffin wax?

Wendy: If the oil is with a massage then it’s the oil, but if it’s just the oil or paraffin wax then probably the paraffin wax. And we have a really neat paraffin system by not dipping into the same bucket everyone else is dipping into. It’s your own personal foot sleeve that has the paraffin in it, so it’s kind of cool.

Jamie: We actually don’t even use paraffin because it takes too long to breakdown in the environment and we try and keep the spa a green spa. So we use scrub and a mask instead of the paraffin, BUT a paraffin is amazing, and if you had your own paraffin pot, that’s awesome.

Anita: I would say the sugar scrub and then the massage. The paraffin wax is nice but I think its more relaxing to have the knots and the tension in the soles of the feet kneaded out. The heat is really nice but you’re going to get that heat aspect by soaking in the pedi-water so most people definitely prefer to have the sugar scrub and there are the shea butters, the coconut oils so there’s oils in that and we’ll use that in most of our pedicures.

Does it tickle?

Wendy: If you’re ticklish it can, but you just have to use a firmer grip.

Jamie: With a feathery touch yes for sure it would tickle but we use a firmer touch for the people that are ticklish and everybody’s ticklish on the ball of their foot basically. You work through it.

Anita: Most people. I’d say more that 75% of people can’t handle the foot paddle on their feet especially in the high arch area, most people have a really hard time sitting still.

What’s the most popular colour to paint your toes?

Wendy: I would probably say red. Men generally like red toes so women generally paint their toes red.

Jamie: Red. I had a woman say to me once that her husband said that red toes are sexy and she said for 20 years that’s the only colour she’ll put on. Not every women can have polish on their fingers whether their job or other reasons but it is the one thing on their feet that they can be bold and be out there.

Anita: I would say hot, hot pink. We do a lot of neon colours and they are really popular especially in the summer. So when it comes to those neon colours I find that hot pink is usually the one people want the most.

So if your feet need a break or some love or perhaps a fresh colour start with Europa Salon and Day Spa, the Spa at the Delta Grand or Amici’s Hair and Body Spa in #DowntownKelowna. For a complete list of spas, look here

Interviews have been edited and condensed by the Downtown Kelowna Association.