How much would you pay for a nice pedicure? $40? $80, even? What about 1500 big ones? That’s what world-famous pedicurist Bastien Gonzalez charges his celebrity clients (who’ve included Gwyneth Paltrow and the Doha Royal Family, for your information). Safe to say, this guy knows feet.
We caught up with the Scholl Wet & Dry Foot File (available now) ambassador to talk about what he’s thinking about your feet as he tends to them and what constitutes a pedicure the cost of a small car.
I’ve always been self-conscious of my feet, what’s really going through your head when you’re giving a pedicure?
“As a pedicurist who has been up close and personal with thousands of feet, I LOVE bad feet and the challenge they give me. There is nothing like the smile on a woman’s face when she sees a cured nail or a vanished callous. Also the knowledge that it will never come back if she follows my advice is extremely rewarding. Women can be confident knowing that I will have already seen a lot worse over the years.”
You've given pedicures to some of the world's most famous celebrities, can you give us any insights into what they asked for?
"They usually just say 'make my feet beautiful and healthy'. Working at Dubai International Film Festival or Cannes Film Festival or Singapore WTA Final, we meet a lot of celebrities and they are all worried about callouses on the heel or toes as a number of journalists are always looking for opportunities to point out ugly cracked heels.
We have already saved some of the most beautiful actresses and I am sure many more will come as they continue to wear these high high heels. High shoes keep my business going and will continue to feed my business for many years to come."
WATCH: Mamamia TV show us how to pull off colourful, print nails. (Post continues after video.)
What are a few simple things we can all do to our feet to make them look/feel better?
"It’s really very simple; ? love your feet.
1. Integrate them in your daily routine? every night using some water-based moisturiser.
2. Play with your toes.
3. Re-pump the fatty cushions which can be aggressed by flip flops. Think of them like pillows on your bed. You fluff them up every night but by the time you’ve slept on them all night they’re flat. You can do the same with your heels.
4. Put a little oil on your nails when you take off the varnish. You must take it off every three days.
5. If you are going out for a big night, use talcum powder on your feet beforehand to reduce the friction."
A quick poll of the office found that the most we've paid for a pedicure is $80. Please tell us what a $1500 pedicure involves?
"A pedicure is not painting the nail; rather it’s curing the nail. Out of 58,000 pedicures last year we did in my "PediManiCure Studio by Bastien Gonzalez",? 95 per cent of women requested nude, natural nails upon completion of the treatment.
First we clean the skin as the base of my concept. As we want to make sure we clean it perfectly we use a blade, but I would never advise you to do this at home or allow women in cheap high street salons to do this if they are not qualified. If a woman in a salon takes out a blade, you must say no!
The best way cleaning your skin at home is using Scholl’s new Wet & Dry Foot File as it is waterproof, so use this at the end of your bath or after you’ve soaked your feet for 10 minutes for optimal results. Use the tool gently on the surface of your skin and let it do the work.
The best and most important part of the Pedicure de Bastien is the foot and leg massage which restores the the leg muscles and the mobility of the joints. It also restores blood circulation, elasticity of the skin and repumps the fatty cushions underneath the feet.
The whole program lasts one hour and the very important part is that we explain what we’re doing at each step, educating our visitors and helping them avoid making the same mistakes again. I am very happy if I never see my customers again as I know I have done a good job." (Post continues after gallery.)
Can you tell us a bit about how you became a world-famous pedicurist?
"In Paris where I started my journey 17 years ago, some regular clients in one of the most affluent areas of Paris where I set up my studio invited me to come to New York and then London, followed by LA and then word eventually spread to elite clientele including a number of Arabic Princesses. I was just 27 and I was suddenly travelling the world for some of the world’s top names with whom price didn’t matter, all that matters is that they had the best."
What pedicure trends do you see set to go big in 2016??
"Hopefully an increase in education. In reality, we’ll probably see more customers coming to see me because of the damage they’ve caused by pushing back cuticles or filing the skin too deeply and too hard."
Bastien Gonzalez is Scholl's ambassador for the new Wet & Dry Foot File which is available now, nationwide.