Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summertime thoughts...

Hey readers and followers, how has your summer been so far? It's been sunny and wonderfully hot here! I say it that way because we have not really had very warm summers the last few years, and this one is a welcome change.

And, summer can be really hard on your feet, depending on what you do to them. Here are a few summer tips for keeping your toes and pedicures in tip-top shape! And these are for anyone - women or man - who wants to have great looking and great feeling feet!

* Use moisturizer - especially at night. If your feet are really getting dry and crusty, you can even wear a pair of light socks after applying lotion and it will give them an extra deep treatment while you sleep. Make sure you rub lotion in and around your cuticles, between your toes, and on heels and any callouses that may be starting to build.

- you can even rub a little olive oil into your cutilces and the pads of your feet for a longer-lasting type of moisturizing that will feel great too.

* Respect the sun! Your feet may look great with a deep summer tan, but they will also dry out faster, and you increase the chance that your skin will become wrinkled and lose it elasticity over time. Use a lotion with the appropriate amount SPF factor when you are going to be outside for extended periods.

* Don't change polish too often. Actually, it's not the polish but the remover that will dry out your skin. Once you do remove any old polish, soak your feet in warm water with a little Dreft to soften them before polishing again. It's a nice treat and it will help protect your skin from the chemicals present in nail polish. Make sure you lightly brush the nail surface with remover to remove any residue before polishing though!

* Use a good basecoat before polish. It will help condition and strengthen your nails and keep them from staining. I like OPI Nail Envy, but ther are many others available that will do the trick.

- here is a tip: apply one layer of topcoat over the base coat, before applying the polish. This will provide a very smooth surface on which the polish will just glide on and look like glass. Use a final layer of topcoat when finished applying the color too for a perfect finish. I like Seche Vite because it spreads like butter and evens out any imprefections before it sets. And, it sets in minutes to the touch which I find totally amazing!

* Wear flip flops after a pedicure for a few hours to give your polish a chance to harden. If you are polishing your nails at night, do it early enough so that you have at least an hour before going to bed. That way, the perfect pedicure you worked so hard on will survive the sheets.

* Try layering colors. Using a base of a deeper color and applying a lighter sheer polish over it can sometimes result in a really cool, almost 3D effect. You can even try layering parts of the nail to give it a graduated shading effect. There are many websites with instructions for doing this, just do some searching. Wearing a unique and eye-catching pedicure is a lot of fun and makes wearing that favorite pair of sandals or open shoes even that much more enjoyable.

* Schedule a pedicure at least once a month. Why not? You deserve a treat at least that often! Spa pedicures are a total treat too, but you don't have to splurge every time. Twice a month is perfect if you don't want to do your toes yourself.

* Get Bold! Try a color that you normally wouldn't. Heck, it's summer - go for the neon orange or bright tropical blue for a change. Those bright, fun colors look great on tanned feet with summer attire!

* Get your SO into it too. Whether you are a woman or man, you will definitely increase the enjoyment if you share this experience and interest with a partner. Some men may not go for the color yet, but there are few who would not enjoy a relaxing pedicure - and having feet that feel softer and look better.

*** Gals, I took a quick telephone survey of fourteen nail salons this week here in the upper midwest, and they tell me that yes, they all have an increasing number of male clients who wear colored polish on their toes. It seems that about 60% of the guys were encouraged to try it by their SO, about 20% started after the nail tech suggested they try it and the remainder just did it on their own.
With a little encouragement, your guy could make the leap and try something that many other guys have found to be quite satisfying and fun!

I've taken to wearing muted silvers and grays lately for some reason, and I have found a few that I think work well with the summer sandal look:

...yeah, I know, my cuticles could use a little moisturizing too...

Well, enjoy your summer and take some time to have fun. Life's too short to let this one get by without a little splurging, right?



  1. By the way, what color are you wearing and how many coats is it? The color goes well with those flip flops.

  2. Thanks for more great summer tips! I've actually not really heard mention of putting a layer of topcoat over the base coat (that seems like it would work as a great ridgefiller, without having to spend money on that specific product). Also, great job on the phone survey. You are most definitely dedicated to spreading the nail polish awareness - thanks for that! (And nice toenails, the muted beige/silver looks good on you.)

  3. How timely. My wife and I wore China Glaze "Orange Knockout" to three different pool parties this weekend. It really goes good with the tan, and it really knocked the socks off of a lot of folks, specially the ones that weren't prepared for a man wearing polish.

  4. DesertNails8, thank you very much for the compliment! I am really sorry that I can't tell you what polish this is, because it is one that I mixed from three others. I have trouble finding colors that I like in the stores (probably because I am looking for colors that look good on a guy), so I tend to alter colors that I find are close. It's a pretty cool way to discover some unique shades - try it!

    Cyan, thank you too for your kind comments. Yes, it really does provide a very smooth base for the color. I like the way it does not tend to bunch up the polish like what happens sometimes when you are going over just a basecoat. And the end result looks totally perfect and amazingly smooth!

    Kevin - that is Awesome! You two are an inspriation to us all! Your positive experience may surprise many, but it totally inline with what I have experienced too. I bought "Orange Scream" by BB Couture and really liked it - then my wife stole it and now she wears it! Orange is an awesome summer color for toes.

    Another result I discovered from the survey of nail salons is that more couples are having nail services done together too. Colored polish is still a little new for most of the men, but it sounds like the salons are suggesting guys try it - probably to help boost business.

  5. Jake,

    I found a new orange you will like. I have been wanting BB Couture Man-Go for a while, but it never seemed to surface. "Shock Absorber" was close, but just not there. At lunch today, I was at my local CVS picking up a prescription for my wife when I saw it. It is a fairly new label called "10 Professional Nail Lacquer", in their color #429, "Orange You Glad I Said Yes". This is closest to the swatch of Man-Go on your Flickr account than I have ever seen, and it only cost $3.99. Better than that, it covers in one coat. Check it out if you get a chance. I am wearing it right now, with Seche Vite, and "Matte About You" topcoats on alternate toes, and both of them are stunning. The matte topcoat gives it a really nice satin sheen.

    Best to ya,


  6. Thanks Kevin - I will definitely give it a try!