One of the best parts of summer is being able to run around nearly-barefoot. No shoes that match your outfit? No problem! You can throw on a simple pair of sandals, or say fuggedabout it and ditch the toe-trappers (as I like to call stuffy, suffocating shoes) altogether. But what should you do between pedicures to keep your feet looking fresh, so that you don't have to be embarrassed to wear open-toed shoes? I've got you covered, ladies and gents.
The only problem with summer is that your feet can get really gnarly when they're regularly to exposed to the elements of summer. We're talking chipping, peeling, dried out, all-around ugly toes. This requires regular pedicures to keep them looking decent enough to show to the world in open-toe shoes.
Unfortunately things can get expensive and not all of us can afford to make it to the salon every two weeks (which is what most nail aestheticians recommend), nor do we want to spend an hour sitting in a pedicure chair that often when it's 80 degrees and sunny outside. Here are a few things you can do between pedicures to make them last as long as possible, and to keep your feet sandal-friendly all summer long.
1. Regularly Reapply Topcoat
Sally Hansen Topcoat, $6.99, RiteAid.com
The best way to keep your polish from chipping is to reapply a topcoat every few days. This will keep your pedicure shiny and strong, which means you won't have to get your toes done as often. This one from Sally Hansen is quick-drying, so you can use it as the last step in your getting ready process before you walk out the door in the morning (just make sure you don't smudge it under closed-toe shoes!)
2. Use Cuticle Oil
Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme, Lemon, $5.99, Drugstore.com
Carry cuticle oil, like this lemony-fresh one from Burt's Bees, in your bag, and apply to your toes whenever you feel them getting dry. Massage the oil into the ridge where your nail meets your skin, the same way you would if you were giving yourself a manicure. It won't ruin the already-applied polish — it will actually make it look extra shiny and fresh.
3. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
L'Occitane Shea Butter Foot Cream, $28, Sephora.com
All summer long, your feet are exposed to the elements — sand, sun, sweat, salt — you get the idea. These all inevitably contribute to drying out your skin, and can lead to cracks and peeling on the bottom of your feet. To combat this (mostly because it looks really gross when your skin is flaking off in your flip flops) moisturize regularly. Apply a liberal layer of foot lotion, like this one from L'Occitane, before bed, massage your feet luxuriously (or have someone else do it for you...) and shove them into a pair of cozy socks to seal in the moisture.
4. Wear Socks
Under Armour Women's 6-Pack No-Show Marled Socks, $19.99, BeallsFlorida.com
Relax, I don't mean you have to wear socks to the beach or with your cute new strappy pumps, but when you have an opportunity to give your toes a break from being exposed, embrace it. Make sure you wear socks with sneakers to prevent unnecessary sweating, which will cause bacteria to get stuck around your feet (and also because, ew). Socks will absorb the moisture from your feet and keep them dry, which will ultimately prevent them from getting gross and cracked.
5. Stay Out Of The Pool
I know — this is sad. But chlorine can actually shorten the lifespan of your pedicure, not to mention that it can dull the color of the polish you've chosen. Keep your toes out of the pool (if that's even possible...) or use a UV topcoat on your polish to protect it from fading in the sun.
6. Splurge For Gel Polish
UV Nails LED Lamp And Nail Polish Set in Lovin Life, $59.99, Groupon.com
Yes, gel is more expensive (usually about $10 extra) but it really, really does last longer. In the summer, #treatyourself to a gel pedi to ensure that your toe polish will last longer than it would with normal polish — usually up to three to four weeks.
7. Give Yourself A Beach Pedicure
What's the freest, easiest way to exfoliate the bottom of your feet? A no-frills beach pedicure. Stand in the sand with your toes in the water and shuffle your feet around. This is a completely natural way to get rid of dead skin, and it feels amazing. Who doesn't love having the waves splashing up against their toes?
Images: Pexels; Courtesy of Brands