His build-up was intense. "The BEST pedicurist in the world...you MUST try him...Everyone in London, Paris and New York is talking about him...PLUS he’s gorgeous!" So between Wimbledon week in London and Couture week in Paris, I arranged, with the help of Claridge’s Olympic Suite Health Club manager Ewa, to book an appointment in Paris with Bastien Gonzalez at the Hotel Bristol.

He’s adorable, a former ski instructor who at this early juncture in his career is unspoiled and teeming with ideas and ideals. He understands that it is primarily wealthy jet setters that have made his name, and he is aware that he could make a good lifestyle for himself by simply travelling the world to take care of his international clientele. But this is a young man with a plan of action, built on a marvelous service: the polish-less medical pedicure.

A little bit about the pedicure itself: Bastien watched his grandmother, in the south of France, buff her nails instead of polishing them. He thought the look was very beautiful, and later learned that it was healthier for the nails, as polish encourages infections. He studied pedicures in a special school and realized he wanted to take his knowledge of feet further. He developed a massage technique to aid the blood flow to the legs and feet. He uses a dentist’s drill to buff toenails to a translucent glow.
He employs various cutting tools to delicately remove calluses, but points out that some calluses are good. He shows where the three key fatty points under the feet are located, and advises these areas not to be cut for the sake and balance of the feet and the body. When a client’s pedicure is complete, the effects should last for six weeks.

Bastien’s dream is to train others in his method, develop products for foot care and ultimately open spas in various top fashion cities. He knows that he can fall back on his rich and faithful clients if his dream does not come true, but for now he is young, hardworking, and full of aspirations. His pedicure is divine, and one cannot help but admire his dedication and talent. I will book with Bastien when I return to Paris in October.

Bastien Gonzales at Hotel Bristol Paris and Claridge’s London.

Photography by Andrew Rogers