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The manly pedi

Jonathan Takiff risks da feet and emerges victorious (or at least well-groomed).

The manly pedicure.
The manly pedicure.Read more

THIS GUY loves girls in flip-flops, their twinkly toes popping with color. But will the ladies smile when they see me flashing my newly buffed tootsies?

Truth is, I knew so little about pedicures I thought a "mani-pedi" was the male version of the species, rather than shorthand for a combo hand and foot treatment. And, like most guys, I thought, "Who needs this? I cut my toenails pretty regularly."

But the gang at Lacquer Lounge, a supercute new "nail bar and beautique," at 5th and Fitzwater streets, showed me how proper foot care boosts your appearance and confidence.

The place is pretty in pink and white, with chrome accents and wood and mosaic floors. And the team, led by owner Lisa McElhone, is superfastidious, using footbath liners and nail-care tools sterilized like your dentist does.

Ain't no fungus among us here!

Apart from the remedial filing of a couple of nails I'd cut too close and jaggedly, the umpteen-stage, $35 Lacquer Signature pedicure was painless and pleasant.

Even the dreaded cuticle shaping went like a charm. This part of the makeover made the most difference in putting my fashion feet forward.

There was only so much my attendant, Mary Mullen, could do with the lifelong callouses on my big toes, but cleansing goop and pumicing on the heels and bottoms of my feet left me ready and willing to flash 'em in some flip-flops on the beach.

The 40-minute treatment's capper - a much-kneaded foot and calf massage - was so relaxing I started to nod out in the chair.

Like Arnold Schwarzenegger might growl (in a quite manly way): "I'll be back."