A pedicure is a cosmetic treatment of the feet and toenails, analogous to a manicure. Pedicures are done for cosmetic, therapeutic purposes. They are popular throughout the world, and especially among women.Pedicures include care not only for the toenails; dead skin cells are rubbed off the bottom of the feet using a rough stone (often a pumice stone). Skin care is often provided up to the knee, including granular exfoliation, moisturizing, and massage.
People have been pedicuring their nails for more than 4,000 years. In southern Babylonia, noblemen used solid gold tools to give themselves manicures and pedicures. The use of fingernail polish can be traced back even further. Originating in China in 3000 BC, nail color indicated one’s social status, according to a Ming Dynasty manuscript; royal fingernails were painted black and red. Ancient Egyptians have been manicuring all the way back to 2300 BC.
A depiction of early manicures and pedicures was found on a carving from a pharaoh’s tomb, and the Egyptians were known for paying special attention to their feet and legs. The Egyptians also colored their nails, using red to show the highest social class. It is said that Cleopatra’s nails were painted a deep red, whereas Queen Nefertiti went with a flashier ruby shade. In ancient Egypt and Rome, military commanders also painted their nails to match their lips before they went off to battle.
According to the US Department of Labor, manicure and pedicure specialists earned a median income of around $20,820 in 2015. Most professionals earn an hourly wage or salary which can be augmented through customer tips. Independent nail techs depend on repeat business and consistent business to earn their livings. The most successful independent manicure technicians may earn salaries of over $50,000 per year.