We’re obsessed with his products, and when it comes to treating your hands, feet, and nails, there’s no better expert than Bastien Gonzalez. The French podiatrist turned manicurist-to-the-stars has studios everywhere from London to Baku, Azerbaijan. Here, we talk manis, pedis, and more…
Why did you make the move from just podiatry?
I wanted to offer more than just a medical pedicure—to focus more on the nails—and so I developed the Pedicure de Bastien. We work on dry (instead of wet) skin as it’s much more precise, and we never push the cuticles, which inflames the skin and builds calluses. Soon enough, clients wanted the same treatment for their hands, so I developed the Manicure de Bastien.
What was the inspiration for your product line?
To offer the perfect foot cream. Most of them are based on glycerin and lanoline, which aren’t very good at moisturising the feet. I spent two years creating the formula for my foot balm, Le Baume. This year marks its 10th anniversary. As a water-based cream, it really penetrates the epidermis to provide the hydration that it needs. Meanwhile, zinc and marigold protect the nail structure, watercress extract soothes the skin, sage extract prevents perspiration, and a mint derivative creates a cooling effect.
Our latest obsession, Unguent For Nails & Cuticles, is in the Jan Birchbox – tell us more?
I worked with a chemist to create a naturally active formula, and toward the end of development I wanted to add a gourmandise touch – I told them, “It needs to be pink and sugary.” The unguent contains different essential oils to help keep the skin soft, as well as arnica, a healing ingredient. Use it daily as a conditioning mask—it will remove hard cuticles, like magic.
What is the biggest problem you see when treating your clients’ hands and feet?
Calluses—due to pointy shoes, and also too much buffing with a pumice stone. The skin builds calluses to protect itself and you lose skin elasticity, which is most important. This is so easy to change!
Also, nails get dry and yellow from too much colour. We can make them beautifully shiny and smooth, but you need to respect some basic principles, and always use a base coat.
Stay tuned for Bastien’s tips for your hands & nails, and treating your feet, coming up later this week!