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Get your feet ready for sandal season

Molly Cerreta Smith loves writing about all things mommy, parenting, food, health and travel. When she's not staring into the face of her Mac, she loves to hike, read, do messy crafts with her kids and compete in BBQ competitions with he...

Pretty pedis

Summer's afoot! With the sultry season comes going barefoot in the sand, donning sexy sandals and... dealing with dry, cracked heels? No way! Vangie Wilson, part of the management team for Scottsdale's new  20 Lounge nail bar and boutique, and Debbie Buzan, nail tech for the luxury-meets-affordability salon, suggest the following tips.

Pedicure

Start your sandal season off with a pedicure.

Get or give yourself a pedicure about every four weeks. For those who are headed to the beach or will be vacationing quite a bit, Buzan suggests having gels applied to the toenails, which can extend the life of your polish -- sans chipping! -- up to eight weeks.

Make exfoliating part of your regular routine.

When it comes to keeping your heels crack-free through the summer, Buzan suggests putting a pumice stone in your shower and making sloughing your feet/heels part of your daily beautification routine. But don't blame dry feet just on the weather; Buzan says that one of the main causes of dry feet is walking on tile or hardwood floors. Her secret tip? "Wear socks when walking indoors to help keep them softer."

Soak it in.

Apply a hydrating lotion or sugar scrub to your feet, them wrap them in warm, wet towels to let the product really soak in. Try the Get Fresh line of hydrating products, including the Totally Soaked softening foot gel, Down'n Dirty foot scrub and the Rescue Me intensive foot repair crème. Buzan is also a huge fan of olive oil. She suggests rubbing it on your feet at night, then wearing a pair of socks to bed to let it penetrate the feet. "It's also really good for dry cuticles," she says.

Go green... or blue or orange.

"Matching the polish on your hands and feet is not in," says Buzan. So, feel free to maintain a sensible French manicure on your hands and have fun with your feet. She encourages people to step outside the box when it comes to the color they select for their toes. "It's not permanent. Why not try something new or a little different and broaden your options?" she prompts. In that vein, OPI introduces its 2010 Hong Kong Collection, including Jade is the New Black (green), Suzi Says Feng Shui (blue) and Hot and Spicy (orange). She also suggests trying a twist on the classic French by replacing the traditional white tip with a fun and funky color that screams summer.

Polish basics

  • When you are preparing to polish, be sure to remove all traces of previous polish with an acetone polish remover.
  • Buff the nail to remove leftover oils.
  • Roll the polish in your palms rather than shaking it before application.
  • Let each coat dry completely before adding another coat.
  • To avoid nail discoloration, always wear a base coat before applying color, and change the polish on your toes every four weeks.
  • To make the most of your new color, follow up with a topcoat, such as OPI RapiDry TopCoat.

This summer, be proud to go bare -- barefoot, that is! With these simple tips, you can keep your kicks in sandal shape all season long.

More pampering tips for your feet & legs

A guide to pampering pedicures
Tips for pampering your tired feet
Do's & don'ts for safe pedicures

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