Happy Feet

Get pretty, polished toes in four simple steps no appointment necessary.

nail file
Get pretty, polished toes in four simple steps — no appointment necessary.
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nail file
Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
Best Foot Forward

Get pretty, polished toes in four simple steps —no appointment necessary

"From reverse French nails at Prabal Gurung to neon brights at Tracy Reese, eye-catching polish is this summer's best accessory," says celebrity nail guru Jin Soon Choi, who lacquers the likes of Scarlett Johansson and Anne Hathaway. While a relaxing beach getaway can instantly deliver on the promise of a golden glow and tousled waves, summer-ready feet require a little more effort. Here, Choi's step-by-step guide breaks it down.

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tweezers
Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
Shape Up

After removing chipped polish, trim nails straight across with steel clippers and smooth uneven edges with a fine-grit emery board or metal file. Opt for a slightly rounded shape to prevent painful ingrown nails, advises Choi. Then, lightly buff out ridges and any discoloration on the nail plate with the coarse side of a four-way buffing block.

MC TIP: Constantly sporting dark polishes can turn nails a yellowish hue. To lift really stubborn stains, try using teeth-whitening strips or bleaching gels on nails for 20 minutes.

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foot soak
Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
Super Soaker

For the full spa experience, fill your tub with warm water and soak feet for five to 10 minutes. Go all out by adding a few drops of uplifting essential oils (like antibacterial tea tree) or a pinch of mineral salt to help rejuvenate tired feet. Massage cuticles with a nourishing vitamin E oil and gently push them back with an orangewood stick.

MC TIP: Trim cuticles only if necessary —like in the case of a hangnail, warns Choi. "It's never a good idea to cut the cuticle at the base of the nail, as it will likely tear and ruin a great pedicure."

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exfoliator
Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
Smooth Operator

Slough off dry patches from your knees to the soles of your feet with a sugar- or salt-based scrub infused with hydrating glycerin and sweet almond oil. To smooth trouble spots and hard calluses on heels, Choi recommends using a pumice stone on damp skin.

MC TIP: Create your own scrub by combining 4 tablespoons of granulated white sugar with a tablespoon each of coconut and olive oils.

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nail polish
Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
Get Polished

"Prepping nails properly is key to ensuring a chip-free, long-lasting pedicure," explains Choi. Start by taking off any greasy residue with an acetone-free remover and applying a strengthening basecoat. Next, swipe on two thin layers of polish (allowing two minutes between each) before finishing with a quick-drying topcoat. "Pay extra attention to the tips, since that's where lacquer tends to peel first."

MC TIP: Keep your nails looking fresh by applying a high-gloss topcoat twice a week to protect polish and restore shine.

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