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25 January 2012

The Man Behind The Brand: Bastien Gonzalez

Bastien Gonzalez

Feet are a little like marmite: you either love them or you hate them. Bastien Gonzalez, the founder of luxury footcare brand, Reverence de Bastien is well and truly in the former camp. There’s not a thing about feet this man doesn’t know, all 26 bones, 51 muscles, over 100 ligaments and he’s intent on educating the rest of us on them.

You trained in podiatry and chiropody, what was your inspiration for going into the cosmetic side of foot care?

I’ve had really tough times in my life, but work was my therapy, it helped me forget all my problems, and it was the hard work that eventually helped me become successful. I used to have 20 clients every day, six days a week - you had to book months in advance. My life was great, I was living in Paris, making good money and I had a very respectable client list. But I still felt I should make a difference. Then one day, I saw my grandmother polishing her nails - they were so shiny. She was 92 years old at that time and she told me at her age it’s not nice to have nail color, so she polishes them. I asked myself why I wasn’t doing that to foot nails, so I started to develop this concept of true treatment.

Was the move into hand care a natural one to make after foot care?
It was a natural step to offer to our clientele the same level of quality for both hands and feet. But the perfection lies in the DUO treatment: a four hand synchronization on the hands and feet that makes you float in the air.

Your pedicures are famous worldwide, what makes your approach to hand and foot care so unique?

The “Pedicure de Bastien“ is a unique and holistique approach based on 3 steps:

1. The nail with a natural beauty where the finish gives a beautiful and shiny result. It will stay for months.
2. The skin with a genuine treatment approach: all calluses or dead skin disappear without any pain.
3. The mobility, after a long massage, from toes to knee where we restore a great sensation by liberating all tension. It is a pedicure treatment you can’t reproduce at home.

Is that what made you want to design and create your own product range?

Yes. I wanted to develop a range of good quality products, in harmony with my philosophy, ´treatment, beauty, and well-being´ of nails, hands and feet. Each and every product is as natural as possible with essential oils, antioxidants, minerals and of course, a good scent. If a foot cream doesn’t smell good you will get use it once and then put it under your bed and forget about it. A foot, or hand cream, with a great smell and a nice texture, that works, you will use it every day! For me, it’s not enough to create efficient products, I want people to use them and follow the simple motto: add the secret of the French beauty a little bit every night.

Lastly, if you could give readers one top tip for keeping their feet in good condition, what would it be?

More than a technique we try to educate our clients and make them aware that looking after their feet will solve lots of their health problems. I would never tell a client not to wear high heels. A woman should wear high heels, but she should also have a regular massage to liberate the joint and help the circulation. Massage every night for 20 seconds. Start by stretching the toes and finish by re-pumping the fatty cushions under the feet.

Tempted to put
Mr. Gonzalez to the test?

Text by Victoria Hall

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