Is it even summer if you haven’t posted the ubiquitous toes in the sand photo? And if you haven’t is it because your toes are looking a little worse for the wear? Good news: We found the easy hacks that ensure your feet look and feel beautiful all summer and the fun beach pedicure designs that will have you sand- and surf-ready, no matter where your feet take you.
The best hacks for sand & sandal ready — stat
Remove calluses with a ceramide cream
That rough skin on the sides of toes and bottoms of soles tends to get worse with each passing winter because of moisture loss in skin as we age, says podiatrist Suzanne Levine, D.P.M. Her advice: Before bed, soak feet in warm, sudsy water for 5 minutes, then towel-dry and apply a cream containing ammonium lactate (which exfoliates), ceramides (which restore skin’s moisture barrier) and hyaluronic acid (a powerful humectant). One we like: CeraVe Renewing SA Foot Cream (Buy from Amazon, $13.41).
Next, cover feet loosely with plastic wrap and slip on clean socks. In the morning, take off socks and plastic and rinse feet. Then while feet are wet, use a foot file in a gentle sawing motion to remove calluses instantly and painlessly.
Tip: If you don’t like sleeping in socks, just leave the cream on for an hour; repeat twice that week for similar results.
Brighten yellow nails with a denture soak
Nail polish use, age and daily rubbing of toes against the insides of shoes can all cause nails to yellow, says Anthony Youn, M.D., author of The Age Fix, who specializes in low-cost DIY beauty remedies.
The surprising hero: denture cleaner — its sodium bicarbonate and citric acid help strip and “lift” the yellow tinge. Simply fill a basin with 2 cups of warm water and drop in a denture tablet, we like CVS Denture Cleanser (Buy from CVS, $4.19 for 40 effervescent tablets). While it dissolves, dip feet in and soak for 10 minutes, then scrub toenails with a clean dishwashing sponge. Repeat 3 times a week for brighter toenails within 3 weeks.
Heal cracked heels with avocado
Cracks along the heel look unsightly, and they can be painful too! Dr. Youn’s fix: Cut an avocado in half and scoop out the pulp. You’ll be left with the avocado shell, which fits perfectly over the heel — use it to rub each heel for at least 5 minutes to exfoliate away the top layer of dead skin cells.
When done, let the avocado residue on your heels dry — the omega-3 fatty acids in the pulp will moisturize and nourish skin. Then rinse feet with warm water. Doing this twice a week will soften heels in as little as 2 weeks. Bonus: Make a salad or guacamole with the pulp you scooped from the avocado — the omega-3 fats help boost skin’s hydration from the inside out.
Beach pedicure nail designs that wow
Now that your feet and soles are soft and sandal ready, try one of these fun beachy designs.
1. Striking sparkling waves
“The ocean-blue waves and sparkling water make you think of a refreshing sea spray,” says celebrity manicurist Patricia Yankee, who has painted the nails of celebrities like Priyanka Chopra, Katy Perry and Kim Kardashian. Bonus: “The upward wave peaks pull the eye inward to visually slim your feet!”
Get the look:
- Paint each toenail with two coats of light blue polish, like essie Nail Polish in Blooming Friendships (Buy from CVS, $10); let dry.
- On each big toe, use a marine blue nail art polish, like FingerPaints Striping Polish in Aqua Artist (Buy from Sally Beauty, $3.89) to make a scalloped wave pattern at the free edge.
- Dip a toothpick into clear top coat, use it to place clear rhinestones, like KISS Nail Art Rhinestones (Buy from KISS, $9) around the waves, creating an ocean mist. Finish with top coat.
2. Pretty hibiscus flowers
“Colorful hibiscus flowers are beautiful and make you think of an island getaway!” says manicurist Leezy Amado.
Get the look:
- Paint each toenail with two coats of lilac nail polish, like ella + mila Nail Polish in Macaruin My Diet (Buy from Walgreens, $9.79); let dry.
- On your big toes, use hot pink nail art polish, like China Glaze Stripe Rite in Polka Dot Pink (Buy from China Glaze, $6) to make five heart shapes in a circle, points facing inward; let dry. Use yellow nail art polish, like Color Club Nail Art Striper in Yellow (Buy from Color Club, $4) to make the long “pistil” coming from the center of the flower and small lines on each petal and dots above the pistil; let dry.
- Dip a toothpick into clear top coat, use it to place a clear rhinestone in the center of the flower. Finish with topcoat.
3. Splashy beach towel stripes
Love the bright colors and stripes on your beach towel? Add them to your toes with this simple design.
Get the look:
- Paint big toenails with white polish, like SinfulColors Bold Color Nail Polish in Snow Me White (Buy from Target, $1.99), then paint the rest of toenails two coats of coral orange polish, like Zoya Nail Polish in Cora (Buy from Zoya, $12); let dry.
- On the big toenails, use orange polish to create a large horizontal stripe close to the cuticle. Then, use a red nail art polish, like Color Club Nail Art Striper in Red on Red (Buy from Color Club, $4) to draw two thin horizontal stripes, leaving a wide gap between them; let dry.
- Use a turquoise nail art polish, like China Glaze Stripe Rite in Bauhaus Blues (Buy from China Glaze, $6) to draw two thick horizontal stripes (one between the two red stripes and one below the second red stripe), then add a thin turquoise stripe between the bottom turquoise stripe and the orange stripe; let dry. Finish with top coat.
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