FROM MY ANKLES down there’s an entire history of self-loathing.

There’s the pesky flat arch, coupled with a giant bunion and crumpled toes that look as if they've emerged from the darker regions of a Steven King novel.  

I’ve operated a strict ‘don’t look, don’t touch and don’t look the bunion directly in its eye’ policy for some time

“Well, rather your ugliness in your feet than your face,” was my grandmother's response to any mention of her painful hammer toes. These are words I’ve lived by. Her orthapedic shoes I’ve evidently filled.

It was after a former boyfriend said he loved everything about me - except for my size 7 'monstrosities' - that I chose to ignore my feet. I’ve operated a strict ‘don’t look, don’t touch and don’t look the bunion directly in its eye’ policy for some time. The neglect is clear to see (below). The slapdash-chipped nail polish, done in a rush, is simply careless.

BeforeJudge me not: my chipped, dry, neglected feet (before) 

Yet, this week I’ve bought new sandals. In dire need of a pedicure, Victoria Beckham’s well documented bunions have provided some gentle condolence for my own feet. They won’t be perfect but they can look better, surely?

New nail and brow salon, Nailista, on Police Street (just off Deansgate), appeared to be up to the challenge.

It’s modern and minimalist with dashes of feminine accents across the walls and shelves filled with a rainbow array of nail polishes. As a dedicated nail salon, employing ‘nailistas’ instead of jack-of-all trades beauticians, it suggested it would produce the most knowledgeable manicure and pedicure techniques. 


Pedicure prices ranged from £11 for the 'perfect tootsies', a simple file and polish, to £40 for the ‘full jet set’. Completely naive to the pedicure world, I would learn that there’s ladies who get acrylic falsies for their piggies. News to me. 

I went for the middle of the range ‘ready for the runway’ pedicure which included a foot massage and scrubbing away the grim flakes from dry soles. 

Downstairs at Nailista is a pedicure room and I marvelled at the calming, yet clinically functional space. 

Pedicure Room, NailistaPedicure Room, Nailista


Nalista takes a spa approach to its service, I was offered hot drinks and was allowed time to browse the nail selection. My 'nailista' Adele was also extremely adept at consoling me about my lifetime of foot-hatred. 

“Every woman gives the same disclaimer when they come to get a pedicure," she said. "They say they have dancers feet or that their toes are horrible, most of the time there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them.”

She confirmed mine, with a little more TLC, aren’t the ugly little gremlins I considered them to be. “There’s dryness on the soles but they’re not cracked and you’ve been using nail polish without a base coat so they’re a little stained, but they're fine.”

Fine? Lie to me Adele, if you must.

Dsc_0481Ready For The Runway Pedicure (£25)

The experience began to become less about the look of my feet but how relaxing the pedicure was. There’s welcome personal touches - a little fluffy brush to dust down feet and a hot sock to dry your toes and keep them warm.

Black Cherry Nail PolishO.P.I black cherry nail polish

Adele, although claiming to not know much about reflexology, was also able to pin-point through massage that I'd been experiencing problems with my back.

For £25 I felt Adele's service was above and beyond. 

She removed my stale paint job and prepped my feet for transformation by soaking them in warm water, then buffed, clipped and smoothed them back to life. After applying the O.P.I black cherry chutney polish she allowed me to relax while they dried. 

Unfortunately, Adele could not perform magic to fix the hideous bunion on my left foot, but identified other issues only a chiropodist would usually notice. She succeeded in making me feel a little more at ease in an open toe sandal. 

I felt a surge of confidence; they looked as good as I thought my feet could ever look. 

Finished Pedicure, NailistaFinished pedicure, Nailista

While speaking to other customers, I found Nailista's popularity to be growing, and with the service I received, rightly so. The salon only opened in September last year, but it has already developed a loyal customer base.

I too will be back. Finally, I can hold my head up and put my best foot forward.

The right foot, the evil bunion is on the left. 

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7 Police Street, Manchester, M2 7LG

0161 839 6207

Opening hours: Sun 11am-5pm, Mon-Wed 10am-7pm, Thurs- Fri 10am-8pm, Sat10am-7pm 


Score: 18/20 

Product: 9/10 Amazing space, great range of services and lots of polish choice

Effectiveness:4/5 Didn't have tools to remove some hard skin (euh) but appearance is great. 

Service:5/5 Adele went above and beyond.