There are dainty toe-polishing spas services. And then there are these no-holds-barred approaches to finessing the feet with tools worthy of a general contractor or a samurai or Uma Thurman in "Kill Bill." Would you dare to bare your feet for one of these treatments?
Pedicure with a Power Tool
Bastien Gonzales isn’t a pedicurist. He’s a podologist, a French nursing degree that focuses on the feet. He’s also an advocate of all-natural nails. His technique: buffing nails to a high shine with a shammy and Black-and-Decker-like set of whirring and spinning tools for toes. The hour-long effort (price varies; about $200) leaves you with the hardest-won look ever won – naturally gorgeous, perfectly au naturel toes. Available internationally. www.bastiengonzalez.com
Pedicure with a Paint Roller
The J Sisters, who brought Brazilian waxing to New York City (and North America), are also famous for a pedicure that shares an everything-must-go theme ($65). The toenail shaping, cuticle cutting, and sole-shaving may defy some county health codes, but it’s a staple for clients who compare this serious service to car detailing. The finale? A deliberately quick-and-sloppy application of polish, all over the top of the toe. Ironically, it takes a fraction of the usual time to apply and dry. That’s because it’s the method’s use of a thinner coat of polish, say the Sisters. (I’m pretty sure they’re right.) Available at the J. Sisters, New York City, www.jsisters.com
Pedicure with Exceedingly Sharp Knives
Sharp knives, wielded by confident therapists. That’s the gist of a Shanghai pedicure (CNY300), which is technically a Chinese medical treatment. The variously sized stainless-steel knives used to scrape and scour your soles quickly create a small pile of debris (and mortification) where your calluses once were. It’s likely illegal in most countries – and not recommended at most hole-in-the-wall places that do offer it. But the results of this treatment surpass by light years pretty much any pedi with a pumice stone on the planet. Feet remain soft and smooth for weeks. Available at the Yuan Spa at the Hyatt on the Bund, Shanghai, shanghai.bund.hyatt.com
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