Summer Sandal S.O.S.

July 2, 2012 at 11:48 am , by

It’s officially sandal season, which means no more hiding. Yes, flats are still perfectly acceptable, but why not let your toes feel the warm air too? Even though cold weather wreaks havoc on our skin, summer slaps your feet with some harsh hits too. We’ve all had a cracked heel emergency at some point. Chicago-based dermatologist, Brooke Jackson, M.D. shared a few tips for getting your tootsies in tip-top shape.

Platform wedges don’t look so cute when you have dry, cracked heels. Use a pumice stone or gritty exfoliant once a week and apply a cream with AHA’s at night to keep them smooth. Jackson recommends CeraVe SA Renewing Lotion or Amlactin Plus.

Giving yourself a pedicure? Prevent ingrown toenails by cutting your nails straight across. Don’t try to cut or file the nail into the sides of your toe.

Apply sunscreen on the tops of your feet. “I see patients every summer who forget to put sunscreen on their feet and they get burned on the tops of their feet,” says Dr. Jackson. “Skin is skin and any skin which is exposed to the sun needs to be protected.”

Breaking in new sandals? Blisters and chafing are caused by rubbing and friction, so apply a product like Gold Bond Friction Defense to areas of the foot that feel friction before irritation as prevention. You can also use this on irritated and burning feet to treat and soothe skin.


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Nailing It: Summer Mani Pedi Favorites

July 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm , by

Anyone who knows me—or sees me a few times a week—knows my obsession with nail polish. There’s simply no hiding my lacquer love. (I nearly passed out the first time I saw shatter nail polish!) And though I make sure my toes are meticulously painted even when they’re tucked away in winter boots, now that we’re smack in the middle of sandal season, my fixation is at an all time high. Here, my summer color theories:

You can’t go wrong with any bright ROYGBIV shade, but pastels and nudes are just as fun. And toss those old-school rules out the window: Fingers and toes do not have to match. Instead, pair colors that complement each other. Say, a sunny yellow and a vivid pinkish coral.

Right now, I am drooling over Sally Hansen Salon Effect Real Nail Polish Strips in Girl Flower (these last super-long and you don’t have to wait for them to dry!); the entire Pirates of the Caribbean OPI collection (great pastel colors); and of course, OPI’s Shatter in navy and black. I plan on expanding my Shatter collection with the newer turquoise and red shades.

Of course, your feet need a little prep work before you swipe on your color of choice. A few easy steps: First exfoliate (try Thymes Essentials Foot Scrub) , to soften heels and soles, and get rid of dead skin. Once you’re sloughed and rinsed, slather on a foot moisturizer (AHAVA’s Dermud Intensive Foot Cream is great), file your nails to your preferred shape and lightly buff out the most egregious ridges. Next, be sure to remove any traces of old nail polish (and newly applied lotion) with a non-acetone remover and cotton pad. Finish with a base coat, two coats of color and a topcoat. Et voilà! Go show off those pretty tootsies!

Shades from left to right:

Sonia Kashuk Nail Colour in Tutti Frutti

Barielle Shades in Gotta Have Fate

TopShop Nails in Bee’s Knees

Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Fast Dry Nail Color in Lickety-Split Lime

OPI Nail Lacquer in Mermaid’s Tears

Deborah Lippmann nail polish in Glitter in the Air

SpaRitual Nail Lacquer in Surreal

Duri Cosmetics nail polish in Pocketful of Rainbows

Beauty Coach: 5 Minute Foot Massage

October 15, 2009 at 11:30 am , by

ss_101379395Does anyone actually read the instructions that come with newly purchased creams, cleansers and the like? Confession time: I usually don’t. When the product is pretty straightforward, I just recycle the directions with my junk mail.

Don’t get me wrong, I do follow directions, but they are almost always printed on the back of the bottle and I’ve never been one for filing. If the product is more complicated, i.e. needs to be plugged in or operates on batteries, I will tuck it into my “random documents” folder. It’s crammed with take-out menus, my ricer cooker warranty and dry cleaning receipts, so it may take me a while to actually find it.

footcream_packaging_openThe only set of directions I can truly produce on command is a little card that came with my Orna Foot Cream. The card has illustrated directions on how to massage your ankles, heels, soles, arches, balls and toes in five minutes. (The cream itself is an amazing formula which absorbs quickly, so your feet don’t feel greasy). I keep them both on my nightstand next to my favorite lip balm and hand cream. I recommend doing the massage after a long day of stomping around in heels or boots. Now that boot season is back, that’s just about every night for me. (And just because your sandals are in storage, it’s no excuse to let your toes go! Keep your feet looking great with these easy pedicure tips.)

Have you ever saved any beauty instructions or do you have a favorite tip you learned from a product’s packaging? I’d love to know!