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Beauty Stop

Keep your toes in step with these pedicure tips

While a chipped manicure may hurt you in the boardroom, a bad pedicure, or lack thereof, is more likely to hinder you in the bedroom. After all, there's nothing sexy about funky feet, especially when cooler weather hits, skin dries up, and said feet start scratching the sheets as you slip between them.

Here's my go-to guide for keeping toes oh-so-pretty no matter the season.

At-home maintenance

Between spa pedicures, maintain pretty feet with exfoliation and hydration.

Skip the scary at-home razors (the kind most salons aren't even supposed to be using) and opt instead for Microplane's Foot File; $14.95 and up at microplane.com. This best-in-class implement banishes dead skin with aplomb, without risking serious injury at the hands of razor blades and too sharp edges. I recommend the XL Pro ($24.95), because cartridges can be replaced, making this tool an investment that will smooth skin for years.

Keep feet hydrated by applying a rich cream at bedtime, every night, and donning socks to seal in the moisture. While you can purchase special pedicure socks that work well, if done nightly, plain old gym socks should do the trick. While some beauty insiders swear by using Desitin (yup, the baby butt cream) on feet, I prefer Theraplex FT Exfoliating Foot Emollient Callus Treatment, an ultra-rich product specifically designed to treat callused feet ($21 at theraplex.com).

Top 5 tips

Whether polishing up between professional visits or opting for DIY pedicures, here's my list of five tips you'll need to get the job done.

1. Swipe soon-to-be polished nails with polish remover to banish excess oils before applying lacquer.

2. If polish separates in the bottle, roll the bottle between the palms of your hands to mix the lacquer without causing bubbles.

3. Correct polish blemishes with an oh-so-handy manicure mistake eraser. I like the "Erase" pen from 5 Second Nail, sold for about $6 at CVS.

4. To dry nails quickly when you have places to go — or if, like me, you're just impatient — aim a blow dryer set on cool at toenails for about 30 seconds and then apply cuticle oil.

5. To remove dark polish, such as my favorite hue of the moment, OPI's "Lincoln Park at Midnight," use an acetone polish remover. Acetone-free removers are gentler to nails but won't do as thorough of a job at removing richly hued lacquers.

Think globally, pamper locally

Celebrities travel the world, enjoying the best pampering treats available, but A-list services are also available right here in Tampa Bay, if you know where to go.

Kate Hudson reportedly opts for the $70 Pedi Colada Pedicure at Bliss in NYC. Locally, head to Avalon Med Spa in New Tampa where the Signature Lavender and Rose Pedicure ($70) features a lavender soak, real rose petals and a hydrating massage with essential oils followed by the application of lavender paraffin.

Anne Hathaway is rumored to adore "The Musk Try" pedicure in L.A. A must-try in the Bay is the divine Warm Stone Pedicure ($55) at Tranquility Wellness Spa in St. Pete. The traditional pedicure is finished with a muscle-melting massage using heated basalt stones.

— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of tampabay.prettycity.com, a guide to all that is hip and happening in local beauty. Need beauty advice? E-mail her at carolyn@prettycity.com.

Keep your toes in step with these pedicure tips 01/21/10 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 5:00pm]

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