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LET YOUR SHOES SHINE

When it comes to metallic shoes, I have one hard and fast rule - the heel can't match the shoe. There's just something inherently tacky about silver shoes with silver heels; it's overkill that falls definitively into the too-much-of-a-good-thing category. Which means that metallic shoe shopping is a near impossibility for me as I scrutinize heels, hoping to find a sparkling silver sandal complemented by a wooden stiletto or a bronze gladiator atop a black spike.

Enter Michael Kors, who has been dazzling me more and more of late, and his Gansevoort Platform Sandal, above. The Gansevoort is the ideal silver sandal, boasting goldtone hardware, a silver leather body and a stacked sky high heel ($164.95 at Nordstrom). OPI's "Dim Sum Plum," a deep fuchsia from the Hong Kong collection, really pops with the metallic Gansevoort ($7.50 at opi.com).

The first pair of high-end designer shoes I ever owned were black Manolo Blahnik boots with silver chains that wrapped around the heels. My husband took me to Neiman Marcus with one job: Walk out owning my first pair of Manolos. And, as you can imagine, I obliged him. I wore those boots nearly every day that winter, come snow or sleet. By the end of the season they were completely trashed, but I can honestly say that I've never worn - or relished wearing - a single pair of shoes more.

This season, I'm lovin' my pair of snake and suede Manolo zip booties, above. They boast a gorgeous mix of details that are both on trend and on sale; marked down to $401 from $890 at Neiman Marcus. And since for me, as well as millions of women, Carrie from SATC inspired an infatuation with the likes of Manolo, Jimmy and Christian, it seems only fitting to pair these booties with perfectly pedicured toes in "Carrie," an oh-so-pretty pink lacquer from Julep Nail Parlor's Sex and The City polish collection.

Time to come down to earth - in price and heel height - after all, when I'm not in the PrettyCity boardroom, I'm chasing after two very active little boys. Call me nostalgic, but when I happened across Hale Bob's modern rendition of the traditional jellie, above, I was hooked. Not only are they supremely comfortable and kitschy-chic, but they are bona fide jellies. Get 'em for $46 at Hale Bob online. For fun, opt for a candy-colored pedi in "Jancyn" from Zoya, possibly the world's most perfect tangerine polish.

I've never met a stud I didn't want, and these studded gladiator sandals from Asos, above, are no exception. On sale for just $37.20 (previously $59.18), this strappy sandal in a flattering tan hue serves as the perfect nude palette for bright spring polishes. SpaRitual's Believe is a vegan nail lacquer collection boasting a stunning Spring 2010 collection such as "Yes I Can," a crisp green, at sparitual.com.

- 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.

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