Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Hampered Pamperer

I love having a pedicure.  A good pedicure is one of the greatest joys in life.
When I was in college, I gifted my mother a her first pedicure.  I couldn't believe she'd never had one!
Afterwards, mom finally understood.  She'd never known that a pedicure is about so much more than putting nail polish on your toenails.  It's about the pampering.  The massage chair.  The exfoliating scrub/leg mask.  The removal of gross dead skin.  And most importantly, the heavenly leg and foot massage.  Pure bliss.

After hearing me wax rhapsodic about a lovely pedicure, does it surprise you to hear that I've never had one in the UK?  Yep.  I've lived here for almost 2 years and haven't indulged in one of my most favourite treats once.  I've actually had (I'm pretty sure) just one pedicure in those 2 years.  Oh my!  The tragedy of it all!

You see, that one pedicure was from a place called Isle Pedispa in Houston, Texas.  This place is totally tha shiz.  It is so good.  And that's part of the problem.  Now that I know how good it should be, I'm afraid to accept substitutes.  Isle Pedispa is a place my mom (a total convert now) found.  She's had both of her knees replaced, due to rheumatoid arthritis and so hygiene was of the utmost importance for her pedicures.  This place is meticulously clean and absolutely glorious.  The selection of "flavors" for the pedicures is extensive and, though the cost is higher than the average nail job,  it is well worth it.

It seems (from what I can tell) that most pedicures here in the UK are more just polish jobs, rather than the pampering spa experience I'm craving.  There are nail salons around (many proudly named something to do with USA or America), but frankly most of them look a bit cheap and crappy (and chavvy).  Hair salons offer pedicures, but I find them intimidating for some reason.  I know there are spas around, but.... I'm nervous.  Afraid to have a bad pedicure.  I have no idea where to get a good one in Manchester.  I don't want to waste money on an experience that disappoints me.  A real problem, I know.

I'd really love to indulge in a pedicure during the last weeks of my pregnancy.  I'm currently sporting the sad remains of a months old bright pink self-painted job.  Seriously, it's like a few chips of paint left on my big toes and that's it.  And though my ankles haven't experienced any swelling thus far, my pregnant self could sure use a nice foot rub.

Are you a pedi fan?
What's your favourite part?
So, dear readers, any tips on places to try?
Where do I go for the best pedicure in Manchester?


  1. You make it sound so tempting, but I'm always stopped by the problem of feeling awkward/apologetic about making someone interact with my feet. I don't think I could enjoy it.

    I don't think it's a weird complex about my feet because I feel similarly, if to a lesser degree, about manicures. I feel shame about my ugly nails and cuticles and do not want them to be inspected closely.

  2. That is one of the things I enjoy about living in Kenya. The manis/pedis are decent and super inexpensive. You can get both done WITH a massage for less than $20. I have given up the massaging chair though since they charge extra (I'm guessing to cover the extra electricity?) and I don't really find them all that relaxing.

    I say splurge and do a spa day. You should get one of those special pregnancy massages and do the whole shebang. Spas are your friend. And if it sucks then find a new one to try next month.

  3. Living in CA I used to get pedis all the time, at least once a month. Since I've lived in the UK, I've only gone once and it was...weird. They don't seem to clean your nails like they do in the States. It's a basic cut, polish & paint. I can do that at home.

    I'm thinking I'm going to try one of the "American" salons here. I'll let you know if I get foot fungus.

  4. @Moe- I'm glad that I wasn't totally making up that the pedis are just cut, polish and paint. I agree... I can totally do that myself. What's the point of paying someone else to do it?
    Good luck not getting fungus. Keep me posted :)

  5. I had my first pedi for the wedding, at age 26! What was I waiting for?! It was so amazing, but sadly I haven't had once since! I'm totally going to get another one soon though, and I'm using pregnancy as my excuse. I love the leg/foot massage part! :)