8 of the most common mistakes nail salons make, according to Oprah Winfrey's personal pedicurist of 12 years

8 of the most common mistakes nail salons make, according to Oprah Winfrey's personal pedicurist of 12 years
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Manicure
Gloria Williams, Oprah's pedicurist for 12 years, told Insider the eight most common mistakes she sees at nail salons. Seksan Mongkhonkhamsao/Getty Images
  • Insider spoke to Gloria Williams - Oprah Winfrey's personal pedicurist for the last 12 years.

  • Williams, who has 30 years of experience, revealed the most common mistakes she sees nail salons make.

  • Manicurists should roll a nail polish bottle instead of shake it, and hot stones aren't COVID-safe.

Gloria Williams has been Oprah Winfrey's personal pedicurist for the last 12 years.

Oprah Winfrey
Williams first met Winfrey at the Harpo Studios spa. Themba Hadebe/AP Photo

Williams — who has also tended to the toes of Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, and Julia Roberts — told Insider that she first crossed paths with Winfrey while working in the spa at Harpo Studios, Winfrey's production company, nearly two decades ago.

Winfrey decided to make Williams her personal pedicurist in 2009.

"She said, 'That's it, only Gloria is doing my feet,'" Williams recalled. "And the journey began."

Williams still sees Winfrey once a month for her pedicure — "she loves earth tones" — and now runs Footnanny, a line of premium foot-care products that have appeared on Winfrey's "Favorite Things" list for the last seven years in a row.

Williams has been in the nail business for more than 30 years - and she's seen it all.

Gloria Williams, Oprah's pedicurist
Williams has also tended to the toes of Michelle Obama and Julia Roberts. Gloria Williams

So Insider asked Williams to spill on the most common manicure and pedicure mistakes she's seen at nail salons.

Presentation is key when it comes to a good mani or pedi, so everything should be ready when you arrive for your appointment.

Manicure
Williams said "presentation is number one" for a good manicure or pedicure. Seksan Mongkhonkhamsao/Getty Images

"The presentation is number one," Williams said. "The water should be ready for you with bubbles and warm, perfect temperature, towels rolled."

"It should be a spa-like feeling," she added. "A whole atmosphere."

You should receive a consultation before the pedicure begins.

Pedicure
Williams said a pedicurist shouldn't put your feet in the water before doing a consultation. PixelCatchers/Getty Images

"Another mistake I see is that they'll put the feet in the water before doing a consultation," Williams said.

"You have to look at someone's feet prior to submerging them into the water."

Cleaning polish with their own fingernail is another common - and unsanitary - mistake that Williams has seen nail technicians make.

Manicure
Williams said your fingers should be cleaned with an orange wood stick (pictured) or disposable brush. Voyagerix/Getty Images

"It should be done with an orange wood stick or a disposable cleaning brush," Williams said. "And not a reusable one."

Unlike James Bond's favorite martini, nail polish bottles are not for shaking.

Nail Polish
Technicians should roll a bottle of polish before using it. Seksan Mongkhonkhamsao/Getty Imagess

"Another common mistake I see is that they'll shake a bottle instead of roll a bottle," Williams said.

Williams said she would never use consumer-grade polish during a salon manicure or pedicure.

Nail Polish
Williams said your professional mani or pedi should include "professional-level product." Sellwell/Getty Images

"What you see at a CVS or Walgreens, those types of products, they're great for consumers," she said. "There's nothing wrong with them. But for the professionals, we need the professional-level product."

Williams said her favorites include CND and The GelBottle, which is a vegan polish.

Hot stone pedicures may feel great, but they're not the safest during COVID.

Hot stone pedicure
Williams said hot stone massages should be avoided during COVID. Gubcio/Getty Images

"I think that right now, while we're still in COVID season, you should avoid someone using hot stones on you if you don't have your own personal set of hot stones," Williams said.

"If they're using a community group of hot stones, you're not sure how they're cleansing them," she added. "So it's best to avoid anything that doesn't allow you to have your own set."

Dry buffing can also spread unwanted germs.

Foot buffing during pedicure
Dry pedicures are more likely to spread germs during the buffing process. JackF/Getty Images

If the spa offers a dry pedicure — meaning your feet aren't soaked in water first — Williams said germs could spread during the buffing process.

"If it's not a one-room place, you can spread the foot dust from one person to another," she said. "In a professional setting, it's not good to have foot dust flying in the air because those are carriers, and with COVID that was a big thing."

"In states where you don't have to wear a mask, dust can be carriers," she added. "So with dry buffing, you have to be careful. If everyone's not wearing a mask, that's not a good thing."

And Williams doesn't recommend getting gel polish with a dry pedicure.

Pedicure
Williams doesn't see the purpose of doing a completely dry pedicure. Petrenkod/Getty Images

Williams said it makes sense to apply gel polish before a paraffin treatment because it's a lot more sensitive than regular nail polish, so your nail bed has to be free of any oil.

But Williams doesn't see the purpose of doing a completely dry pedicure.

"As far as doing your gel polish dry with no water on it? No," she said.

Read the original article on Insider

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