Shop Talk

SHOP TALK: It’s pedicure season!

Shop Talk is written by OM senior editor Dayanti Karunaratne and Sarah Fischer, OM account executive and fashion maven.

Dior Vernis ($24, at department stores) in “Psychedelic Orange” Photography by Carlo Mendoza, courtesy

It’s June — yay! Finally, it’s the season for breezy dresses, bare legs, and open-toed shoes. This weather just makes getting ready in the morning so much easier … right? Well, almost.

While it’s true that summer fashion is generally less fussy than fall layered looks, and less stressful than dressing for a spring like we had this year, there are elements of style that arise when we decide to show a little more skin. And though we’re not quite ready to tackle the contentious issue of body hair, it was brought to my attention that some people find uncared for toes a little distasteful. In response, we decided to start the discussion — and ask for advice from Shop Talk readers!

For our part, we like painted toes. It’s a fun way to accessorize — especially because it seems totally acceptable, even encouraged, to wear a colour that doesn’t match with the rest of your ensemble. Plus, it hides the dirt that comes with real summer fun!

It also requires one to sit still for awhile. Whether you’re catching a few extra minutes with the paper in the morning, or booking a day at the spa, down time is important.

Then again, it’s not like we’re really taken aback by toes that aren’t prettied up.

Are you? How often do you go for a pedicure? And what are the real benefits to having a pro work on your tootsies?

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  • DeeDee Galore

    “…it was brought to my attention that some people find uncared for toes a little distasteful.”
    - Can I guess who that was? Perhaps the only male colleague at Ottawa Magazine? ;->

  • Misa

    Every woman should take the time to pamper herself by getting a pedicure! It’s such a small, but glorious, luxury. It forces you to stop, sit still, read a magazine, and take care of your feet, which sustain a fair amount of wear and tear from all the walking, running, and working out we do. It’s even nice to get one done in winter when few people will see it, because it’s a nice reminder that warmer days are ahead. And when the warm days do arrive, colourful toes make you even happier to don your flip flops and open-toe shoes.

  • jane

    My friend’s mother had a saying, “No hose, paint those toes.” Which is funny today because no one ever wears pantihose anymore! When I was a teenager, my mother said that only “women of the night” painted their toenails. Of course, that made me want to paint mine all the more! The more outrageous the colour, the better, as far as I am concerned.

  • Dayanti Karunaratne

    Love that expression! Maybe ‘no tights, trim them right’ ?!
    (In any case, my mom paints hers to hide the dirt ;)

    Yes, I was into ‘nude’ on the toes for awhile… and then I went to Hawaii. Like Misa, I equate bright toes with warm weather. Good tip to do them in the winter to boost spirits!

    … and no, our male expert has yet to comment, openly about his foot opinions…

  • Lisa Schmidt

    I think the majority of women would agree that painted toes are pretty and that getting a pedicure is a great experience – but unfortunately many women don’t think about how harmful it can be.
    When women ask me what the most toxic beauty products are, nail polish is always near the very top of my list. Many companies are now coming out with polishes that are ‘free of the big three’ – meaning that they don’t have the three really bad ingredients found in mainstream nail polish; those are definitely a better option, but the best and healthiest option is water-based nail polish. It goes on beautifully and lasts quite a while on toes…it’s a great healthy option for every woman, and especially for kids (please do not put ‘regular’ nail polish on your kids! It’s so bad for them!).
    If you’re looking for an amazing pedicure with water-based polish, check us out at, or you can buy it at Or, if you just have questions about nail polish ingredients (or anything else), please give us a call – we’re happy to help you on your way to a healthier lifesyle!

  • Dee Campbell

    Ok Lisa, I’m sold. I just got an Aveda mani/pedi today, so I will get my next one at Lilou Spa! I had no idea you existed, so thanks for sharing on here!

    Dayanti? Misa? Jane? You in for a big-three-free mani and/or pedi in about a month?

  • Dayanti Karunaratne

    Yes! I especially like the idea of it lasting haha
    But seriously, I know there are a lot of moms who let their kids fool around with nail polish, and I have thought it was a cute way to let boys get fancy + colourful. Forgot about the fumes :|

  • Emma Forbes

    Painted toenails- let’s hide yellowing and grime…

  • Jan Bradley

    Fat women- do they go on a diet to make themselves more attractive? No- they paint their toenails.

    Yes, I can see it now- “I didn’t notice that Miss Obese had fat hanging around her sweaty armpits. All I saw were her toenails painted in the colour of roasted vomit. So I married her.”