The world of male grooming can be a daunting place. With a myriad of product types and treatments available, it’s hard to know what products you need to be using and what treatments are right for you. This is why at THEGAYUK, we have sent our beauty expert Thomas Swallow to try them out and decode the enigma of male grooming.
Carry on reading below, to hear about Tom’s experience getting a pedicure. Missed the other instalments of this series? Click here to find out about Tom’s previous adventures, where he tried intimate waxing, a dermalux facial and tinting/threading.
With summer well and truly here, along with a few comments from the girls in my office. This week I decided to jump into the world of pedicures and get my feet ‘summer ready’. To be fair, it really needed to happen, they weren’t looking cute! Now if you’re like me one of the reasons I don’t usually get pedicures, is because of the way they are typically marketed as a women’s beauty treatment. Well, newsflash to the world, men have feet too and let’s face it, fellas, all our feet could probably use a bit more TLC. This is where Aldwyn & Sons come in. A men’s pedicure and manicure parlour based in London, that not only will leave you feeling fabulous but give you vibes of Victorian gentleman’s club decadence on the journey.
So what is a pedicure?
A pedicure is simply the maintenance and general upkeep of your feet. It’s not to be confused as a treatment for foot conditions but as a preventive measure of them. For the treatment of any foot conditions, please consult your chiropodist. Your pedicurist will not be able to help in these situations. Generally, a pedicure will involve the removal of hard skin, the clipping/shaping of nails and maintenance of the nail bed/cuticle. Nothing inherently ‘girly’ about it, eh?
So first of all, I would just like to say thank you to Aldwyn & Sons for helping with this feature. I genuinely couldn’t recommend them enough if you are in London definitely give them a visit. By the end of this feature, it’ll be clear why you should. They truly go above and beyond.
When entering Aldwyn & Sons, you are greeted by the aroma of fresh coffee (one of my favourite things) and a very helpful barista, that will guide you to the treatment room. Now I know this sounds a bit bizarre, but this is because the parlour is located at a hub of male grooming. You have Sharps the barbers on-site and their artisan coffee shop, in case you need that extra pick me up. All in all, I could be quite content spending my entire day here.
Once you get to the treatment room though, you’ll be greeted by the very dapper Aldwyn, and he will get you settled in for the pedicure. Offering you your choice of hot drink from the coffee shop, as he prepares the foot bath to soak your feet and take all your cares away. Especially great after the morning run, I’d just done!
As you sit there, letting your feet soak and enjoying your caffeinated beverage of choice. One thing you instantly notice is the relaxing aesthetic of the treatment room. It truly does remind me of a Victorian gentleman’s club, and I’m more than ok with that. It’s masculine and refined but without the toxic stereotypes of masculinity today. A place men can go, feel relaxed and enjoy the experience of taking care of themselves.
After your feet have been thoroughly soaked, Aldwyn will go on to start clipping your nails and shaping them. The advantage of this is the control this gives over the direction of nail growth. Especially useful in the avoidance of ingrown toenails, which trust me, are best to be avoided!
Following this, he will go on to add cuticle remover to soften your cuticles and then proceed to push them back, clip them and tidy up your nail bed. By doing this, we avoid any build up of bacteria and ensure healthy nail regrowth. To finish this step of the manicure, Aldwyn went on to apply cuticle oil to my nail beds before letting my feet soak some more. This process conditions the cuticles and nail bed. Leaving a perfect canvas for nail regrowth in the future.
Once my nails had been suitably pampered, it was then time to focus on removing the hard skin on my feet. Which were now in a prime position to have the hard skin removed, following the foot bath. To do this, Aldwyn used a foot file and gently removed the top layers of hard skin, following up with a foot scrub and moisturiser combo to condition and soften the feet. He explained to me during this step that it is never a good idea to entirely remove all hard skin from our feet. As it acts as a protective barrier, during our day to day lives. Instead, it’s best to manage the hard skin, removing only the top layers and in doing so, maintaining the overall appearance of our feet.
The next and final step of the pedicure was probably the most relaxing thing I’d done this year. It was time for the foot massage, and honestly, this man is magic with his hands! Based upon the reflexology points in your feet, you will honestly just melt into your chair at this point. Definitely take the extra time and go for ‘The Modern Footman’ treatment, you won’t be disappointed.
With this final step done, my feet were now ‘summer ready’, and I have to be honest, they felt pretty damn amazing. So it’s definitely a part of my grooming routine, that I’m going to upkeep in the future.
As usual, I think it’s essential to advise you of any of after-care for the treatments I try out, and in this case, there really isn’t any. Just make sure to keep on top of the moisturiser and nail care in between appointments, to keep your feet looking fresh all summer long!
As always we can’t speak for every clinician in the country, but for Aldwyn and his team, the pricing is as follows:
The Modern Footman: £50.00
A pedicure consisting of nail and cuticle work, foot filing, exfoliation and moisturising, followed by a foot massage.
The Quick March: £40.00
A pedicure consisting of nail and cuticle work, foot filing, exfoliation and moisturising.
Follow on Aldwyn & Sons Instagram
If Carrie Bradshaw lived in London and had a penis, she’d be a pretty close match to myself. Twenty-something journalist making far too many mistakes in love and with a passion for grooming, fitness and fashion.