Well, I’ve worked as a manicurist for over 14 years, owned a popular West Hollywood Nail Salon and worked on A-list clients like Mary J Blige, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, traveled the world for nails and even Paris Fashion Week and I have yet to see pizza or pasta served at any nail salons in the whole beauty world.

This would be a dream come true for me, as I am a born and raised Jersey Girl. Living and working in Los Angeles for the past 14 years, I’ve been so severely deprived of any good East Coast carbs- pizza, bread, bagels etc. I’ve had my fill of kale, smoothies, tacos and great sushi though! So you see, nail polish colors, fashion, shoes and pizza are always on my mind. So why am I asking you this question about pizza at nail salons?

CREDIT: Richie Carreon

It is because there are a number of nails salons that have cheese graters in them! When I see a cheese grater, my hands instinctually go reaching for a napkin to tuck into my shirt collar to act as a bib because we about to get busy on some yummy pasta or pizza.

Many of us, both male and female LOVE to get a good pedi.  It’s relaxing, refreshing and just gives you that sigh of relief like, “I am complete now and ready to face the world!” Here’s the thing: I am here to tell you- CHEESE GRATERS ARE FOR FOODS NOT FEET!

When they pull out that large grater during your next pedicure ready to grate your feet, put on the brakes and kindly decline. Yes, I know may be easier said than done as some places are a bit more pushy than others. Their focus does not seem to be on top-notch customer service but rather fulfilling a McDonalds-like scale quota of 1 billion served.  You are in control, say NO!

Take it from me, remember I’ve been around the world, visited over 300 nail salons, shopped at numerous nail supply stores and have given thousands maybe 10,000+ pedicures- a cheese grater is best used at Sunday dinner, not during your weekend pedi. Yes, large nail supply stores lined with boxes full of supplies do have cheese graters for sale but guess what?!  They are misplaced. They are designed to be sold at a restaurant supply. The packaging itself proves this. The marketing package has a picture of a lemon with lemon zest, block of chocolate with shavings and a wedge of cheese with grated cheese—NO FEET! There is no foot and no mention of a foot on that grater packaging. Says, KITCHEN AID right on it, not BEAUTY AID.

It does not aid your beauty needs. It actually causes more harm than good. Scraping feet with tools not intended for that specific purpose cuts (whether microscopically or visually) the skin in such a way that causes more trouble than it’s worth. Grating the skin like this causes the body to go into “emergency mode,” resulting in the skin growing back quicker and thicker for protection and self  preservation. So once this grating begins you are in a catch 22. Your feet may feel smooth for the moment but behind that smoothness internally your body is ramping up to produce skin replacement building back that abrasive assault it just encountered.

Next time you’re at the nail salon- say no to the grating! Opt for the foot file instead.  It is the one that has a sandpaper-like texture. One side is course for large skin build up and the other fine grade is for smoothing. Callus softener can be applied to feet prior to using the foot file for optimum results. The word foot file is a tell tale sign. Callouses and skin build up are meant to be filed and smoothed down not grated, cut or removed.

I tell my clients to do their homework too. I suggest in between pedi maintenance and not to be over zealous. Once or twice per week at the end of your shower/bath, do about 8-15 light swipes on heels, balls of foot (and side big toe if needed) beginning with the coarse and finishing with the smoother side. Some salons may allow you to bring your own foot file as well.

Whatever you choose: Say no to the grater in the salon and YES to it when a bowl of good ole pasta is sitting in front of you. Save me a bite!


Be sure to head back to Sheen Magazine every Saturday for the whole month of April for more tips and tricks from Naja herself!

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