A professional pedicure the way to a man's feet

December 31, 1992|By Scott Walton | Scott Walton,Knight-Ridder News Service

From time to time I tease my new bride by re-enacting the funniest scene from Eddie Murphy's film "Boomerang." When she's in bed, under the covers, I mischievously reach down to uncover her toes.

In "Boomerang," Eddie Murphy checked toes to determine whether a woman was suitable for marriage. She could be knock-down gorgeous, but if her toes bore the scars of mercilessly tight high heels, he was out of that bed faster than you could say bunions.

Lucky for me, my wife has never pulled back the covers to look at my toes. I never realized what a sorry state my feet were in until I placed them in the skillful hands of Maybelline Williams, owner-operator of the For Men Too Manicure-Pedicure shop in downtown Detroit.

Getting a pedicure isn't something most men do. "Men think pedicures are for ladies only," Ms. Williams said while she pre-soaked my dogs in a foot massager filled with warm water, disinfectant and Swedish Clove foot bath.

"It's not about cotton balls between the toes and pink nail polish. It's about care for the feet and total body grooming. And if it's done right, a pedicure can relieve stress."

After soaking my feet for 10 minutes, she massaged them with a sloughing lotion to loosen dead skin that had accumulated and hardened to form a protective but unsightly armor. Left unattended, that thick layer of skin can crack and become infected.

I cringed when she produced the large emery file she would use to scrape away calluses on my heels and toes. Actually it only tickled, and I felt instant relief. Cleaning and trimming my toenails, and pushing the cuticles back were the final steps.

"You have to be careful not to clip the nails too low -- especially in the corners," Ms. Williams cautions. "They could grow back down into the skin otherwise. When clipping your toenails and fingernails, it's best to leave a little of the white showing."

Hearing that, I clenched my fists so she wouldn't see that I'm a hopeless nail-biter. I willingly shelled out $25 for the pedicure; but $12 for a manicures would have been wasted on me.

* "No man of style can properly present himself if he has aching feet . . ."

That excerpt comes from the new book "Men of Style: The Zoli Guide for the Total Man" (Villard, $19.50) written by Donald Richardson with aid from New York's Zoli Modeling Agency. It's 150 pages of simple, no-nonsense advice on male grooming, and a welcome addition to the limited selection of books on the subject.

The book is full of equally practical advice on fitness, diet, clothing selection and upkeep.

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