Pedicure Adaptations

The pedicure can be modified and updated in many different ways to offer a relaxing

treatment which many clients will enjoy. You should not be afraid to try new things as part of your pedicure, as giving the client more choice will mean that you cater for all.


If you are still stuck for ideas, contact your pedicure suppliers, as many will have specialist spa and luxury lines.

You must remember that the same contra-indications will apply to these treatments.


In this module we will introduce various treatment adaptations which will include:

• French Pedicure

• Male Pedicure

• Exfoliation

• Warm Oils

• Paraffin Wax

• Hot Booties

French Polish

As an alternative to a full colour varnish, the client may prefer a French polish. The French look is a simplistic style, which includes white polish at the free edge of the nail, with a pale pink or peach translucent polish across the rest of the nail plate. The exact shades of the polish vary from client to client, and also with changing trends. Many prefer a bright white tip to catch the eye, whilst others prefer subtle tones for a more natural effect.


Once the nail has been properly prepared, and a base coat applied, the decision as to whether to apply to apply the pink or white polish first is really yours. By applying pink first, you will have brighter tips, or, if applying the white first, you will achieve a more natural look. Again, the number of coats applied will depend on the style that the client is looking for, and the shade of varnish you are using. Once the pink and white varnishes have been applied you need to finish off with a top coat.

The key to a great smile line is confidence. If you take your time, and remain steady you will see much better results. When beginning to paint a smile line, ensure that your hands are well supported, you are holding your brush properly and that you are comfortable. Keep a bottle of remover or corrector nearby – even the most experienced technicians make mistakes some times, and there is no shame in touching up your work, or starting again.


To start with, make sure you only have a small bead of nail varnish on your brush. To load the brush too heavily will make the white seem too thick and difficult to control. Too little nail varnish will mean you cannot complete one sweeping action, and will have to break halfway across the nail. When applying the varnish, start as close to the side wall as possible, lay the brush on the nail and try to make one gentle sweeping action across. By keeping your hand steady and trying to paint the line in one movement, you are more likely to achieve a crisp smile.


For those with less confidence, try painting a ‘V’ from the side walls to the free edge. This is quite simple as it is just two straight lines. Then use the ‘V’ as a guide to complete the rounded edge of the smile. The angle of the smile line should not follow the free edge. Instead, you should try to mirror the cuticle line. This will avoid a smile which is either too flat or too deep.


Male Pedicure

Pedicures are now becoming popular with men who want to keep their feet looking good without appearing too feminine. It is important to remember that although the pedicure can be modified to be more masculine, as with your female clients, every man is different, and some may want what others may not. Ensure that you do not make too many assumptions, and check what the client would actually like.



You can exfoliate the client’s skin as part of the massage routine if required. Apply the exfoliant prior to the massage to expose new cells and aid the absorption of the massage cream. Not only will this service remove dead skin cells, it will also improve skin texture and colour as well as increasing blood circulation. You must ensure that all abrasive particles from the exfoliant have been removed with a warm, damp towel before continuing the pedicure. This form of pedicure provides wonderful relaxation and relief.



Additional Extras

The wax is generally a blend of paraffin wax and beeswax, but can sometimes also incorporate essential oils. To ensure that it is soft enough to apply, the wax needs to be melted to a temperature of 50-55 degrees Celsius.

The temperature of the wax should be tested on the arm of the therapist before applying it to the client. The paraffin wax heater is thermostatically controlled and takes up to thirty minutes to heat the wax fully. This must be taken into account when preparing for the treatment. The benefits of paraffin wax are numerous, as it can stimulate the circulation, improve skin condition, improve dry skin, relieve the pain of arthritis and rheumatism and deep cleanse the skin.

The wax should be heated and a small amount decanted into a separate bowl to prevent cross infection of the wax heater by double dipping the brush. After sanitising the feet, apply the wax to the feet using a clean brush, building up sufficient layers of wax to cover the skin. Then place the feet into plastic protectors and wrap in warm towels for around 15 minutes.

The client’s feet should then be unwrapped, and the wax should be peeled off and disposed of, before the rest of the massage and pedicure continues.


Masks can be used to either moisturise or rejuvenate. Several layers of the mask should be applied before placing the feet inside electrically heated booties to enable it to penetrate the epidermis.

The booties can also help to decrease joint stiffness, improve the condition of dry skin and improve the skin colour and blood circulation. The boots are normally used after an additional service.

The feet should be wrapped in a plastic protective covering and placed inside the boots for approximately 15 minutes. Remove mask and apply massage cream. A combination of these treatments can be put together to produce a ‘spa’ pedicure treatment.


Pedicures are now becoming popular with men who want to keep their feet looking good without appearing too feminine. It is important to remember that although the pedicure can be modified to be more masculine, as with your female clients, every man is different, and some may want what others may not. Ensure that you do not make too many assumptions, and check what the client would actually like.


If you are going to amend your methods, remember that most men usually will not require varnish. When massaging, try to use an un-perfumed lotion or oil rather than a cream, and remember to use deeper movements. This is the perfect pedicure for those short of time or money and can be adapted for children’s pamper parties. After sanitising the feet, massage the cuticle cream gently into the cuticles, before pushing them back. Remove any non-living tissue from the nail plate and then file the free edge of the nail. Remove any excess cream from the nail plate and buff the nails.

Then proceed to give the client a therapeutic foot massage, before applying the nail varnish of their choice. This is a simple method to offer which can be a great way to introduce clients to the treatment, and to allow them to have regularly maintained feet.


Adding nail art to a pedicure is a great way to offer something unique. The option of offering nail art provides the technician with many different opportunities. Nail art can be a great seasonal service to offer at times such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or during major sporting events. This helps clients get into the spirit of things with something fun and unusual. Nail art is not just for those with an artistic flare, it can simply be made up of stripes and flashes of colour, or something more intricate. Don’t forget, you can also add things such as gemstones, foil strips, feathers or transfers to give the nails that little something extra. To help promote the service, try putting together a board of you designs so that clients can see what their nails could look like. To be insured to carry out nail art treatments you will need a separate qualification in nail art.


You should always ensure that you give clear and thorough aftercare advice to your client at the end of every treatment. This can include advising the client about any retail products which may be beneficial to them. You should stress that the effects and appearance of the pedicure will last longer with care. The client should wash their feet with a mild soap which does not dry the skin and should dry them thoroughly with a soft towel. A good foot cream or lotion should be used after washing.

The client can reduce the risk of infection by washing their feet on a daily basis and drying thoroughly, paying particular attention to the area between the toes. The application of talc or foot powder will also help to absorb moisture. The client should also be advised to change their socks, tights or stockings daily. The client should also avoid using nail varnish remover too often. One of the main causes of disorders of the feet is due to poor footwear. The client should be advised to wear shoes which fit properly and do not pinch.