feet beat

Dancers Share Secrets About Fixing Up Your Gnarled Feet

Photo: Erik Isakson/Corbis

What sparks both joy and dread when the weather warms? Sandals — especially if you haven’t taken a look below your ankles since last fall. While your feet hibernated in boots, they acquired bunions, cracked heels, or splintered nails. Or worse, maybe they got soft, and in a fit of excitement on that first warm day, you slipped them into leather sandals or new loafers with no socks, only to find them blistered and bloodied an hour later. If you’ve exhausted traditional remedies, like gritty scrubsexfoliating creams, and foot files, consider some well-timed advice from dancers, who call messy feet an occupational hazard. Just imagine what your feet would look like if you spent your workday on pointe. To find out how to fake pretty feet, the Cut asked these pros for the remedies they turn to when a simple pedicure isn’t enough. From body makeup to vinegar soaks and fake nails, click through the slideshow for the best advice on how to take your feet in public and hold your head high (or look down, because your feet are so gorgeous).

Photo: Courtesy of Dermablend

Covering Up Scars and Bad Blemishes

Aubree Brown, Dancer, Ailey II: “I just started using Dermablend, which is a makeup cover for scars, tattoos, and other skin imperfections. I use it for my legs and feet since I scar and bruise easily from dancing. Its flawless coverage stands out more to me than any other concealer I’ve used. It camouflages extremely well with your skin tone and it lasts for a long time compared to other concealers and foundations.”

Photo: Courtesy of Aromatherapy Associates

Softening and Moisturzing Rough Soles

Allyson Carr, Dancer, Mamma Mia: “I always scrub my feet in the shower with a pumice stone and lavender bath oil with it. It helps make my feet smooth and touchable and the lavender scent is soothing. Then I rub coconut oil on them before I go to bed — it keeps them hydrated and feeling amazing.”

Photo: Courtesy of Bragg

Repairing Cracked Heels

Jennifer Locke, Dancer, In the Heights: “A really good friend of mine who is not a dancer, but equally passionate about having cute feet, introduced me to apple-cider-vinegar soaks. It helps to soften and smooth feet and repair cracked heels. Something about the acidity helps, but I always mix it with lavender oil to offset the smell.” 

Photo: Courtesy of Sabon

Masking Sweaty and Smelly Feet

Lauren Reina, Dancer and Instructor, Physique 57: “To keep my feet dry and smelling fresh, I put deodorant on the bottom of them. I love putting on Sabon’s foot scrub and cream at night, too!”

Photo: Courtesy of KISS

Replacing Splintered or Bruised Toenails

Vanessa Dunn, Dancer and Instructor, Cardio Barre, Ballet Bodies: “When things get really bad, like a bruised toenail — there’s always fake nails! We do it to our hands, why not feet!”

Eliminating Hairy-Hobbit Toes

Halle Morse, Dancer and Actress, Mamma Mia: “I shave the hair from my big toes.”

Photo: Courtesy of Johnson & Johnson

Hiding Burns, Bruises, or Bunions

Riccardo Battaglia, Dancer, Ailey II: “When I get burns and bruises from dancing on stages around the world, I put Elastikon or Band-Aid tape and a little bit of makeup on my feet and toes to hide the imperfections.”

Photo: Courtesy of Sally Hansen

Faking a Missing Toenail

Lainee Hunter, Dancer and Instructor, Physique 57: “Sometimes my pinky toenail will fall off so I just paint the skin with nail polish to blend it in with my other toes. Putting tape [painted like a] toenail works, too.”

Smoothing Over Cracked Heels

Rockell Williamson-Rudder, Dancer and Founder of Xtend Barre: “Use Lucas’s Papaw Ointment for cracked heels and an instant foot makeover. It’s a cult product from Australia. The ointment is healing and soothing. It’s a little messy, though, so pop a pair of socks on after lathering your heels with the ointment. You’ll notice results after a few days: softer skin and restored cracked heels.”

Dancers Share How to Fix Up Your Gnarled Feet