One of My Best Beauty Buys. Ever!
Thu, 22 November 2012 12:02PM
I feel the need to rave about this contraption:
You’re thinking it’s a particularly chubby toe separator, right?
Well, you’d be wrong. Although it does do a brilliant job as a pedicure aid. (Speaking of which, I’ve just quickly slicked on the Bourjois 1 Seconde nail polish in Lavande Esquisse, one of the pretty new shades out in December, watch this space for our review!)
The correct answer is: it’s a toe stretcher.
Let me explain: Designed to be worn half an hour or so each day, toe stretchers are a prop that some yogis use to help them spread out their toes, and in turn realign feet, which makes for better balance. A handy thing if you’re hanging around in tree pose all day.
And they certainly do help with yoga practice. I started using toe stretchers when I was at my most yogic (ah, those were the calm old days, pre juggling full-time work and a family of boys), and I definitely felt that they helped me plant my feet more firmly on the ground.
Yogi-speak aside, toe stretchers have some very pleasant spin-off benefits.
From a health point of view, they help to strengthen the feet’s muscles (which are usually under-developed thanks to our big, bulked-up trainers which, some experts say, overly cushion – and weaken – our feet). They’re also meant to help with foot pain and bunions.
But the thing I most love about these rubbery numbers is that – at the risk of sounding super-superficial – they have made my feet soooo much prettier.
Every summer, I kiss the ground toe stretchers walk on. Because as I find myself gazing fondly down on my pedicured, sandal-clad feet, I realise how great they look compared to their former state.
You see, I spent many years squishing my feet into shoes that would make podiatrists run for the hills in horror. My feet looked fabulous when in said shoes. But come summer, when all I wanted to do was flip-flop around, I was almost too embarrassed to bare all.
My feet looked swollen and angry, and my toes were gnarly and pudgy, and squished together in a way that reminded me of my grandmother, whose toes have been so squashed throughout her long life, they actually sit one atop another. (Uh, sorry Nana, I hope you don’t mind me sharing that one).
And then toe stretchers walked into my life. Well, hobbled at first. Because I could only wear them for a few minutes a day at first. The exercise was really intense on my poor toes, which had never thought to stretch before. But after a few weeks, I was wearing my toe stretchers for half an hour or more a day. And after six months, my toes had totally straightened out. They looked like digits. Not peanuts.
So happy am I with my toes (really, who would have thought an extremity could bring joy? But ’tis true) that I don’t really need to wear the stretchers anymore. But I do because they feel so amazing on. You know how fabulous a good old-fashioned stretch is? Well, think about the last time you stretched your toes. Can’t remember, I bet? So, let’s do it together. Start by wiggling your toes to warm them up. Okay, now spread them out and apart, as far and wide as they will go. And say ‘Ahhhh’ … See! How nice does it feel?
I highly recommend them. As I’m sure would your podiatrist and yoga teacher. And probably my nana, too.