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Sandal Season – Pretty up the Tootsies

After waiting so long for spring, it's time to savor the season by enjoying the warmer weather and the beautiful sight of everything beginning to bloom. While you don't want the spring to pass too quickly, if you've bought some cute sandals already this season, you need to start thinking about getting your tootsies ready for summertime. During the winter, our feet often suffer, and it can take several weeks to address the damage that they sustained from dry air and sweating inside boots for months. To pretty up your tootsies and be ready to wow when it's warm enough to break out the sandals, follow these easy tips.

- Conduct a pig inspection. The first step toward improving the look of your piggies is to find out what needs work. Lie down on your back, raise your legs over your head and look at your feet. Then, sit on a chair and examine the tops, sides and soles of your feet up close. In addition to just focusing on what needs fixing, make yourself notice one nice thing about your feet as well.

- Tackle calluses. If you have rough, thickened skin on your feet, invest in a foot file. This tool allows you to gradually shave off the thickened skin. Use your file no more than three times per week and be careful not to apply too much pressure to avoid irritating your skin.

- Treat nail fungus. Brittleness, crumbling and discoloration are signs of the presence of nail fungus, microbes that colonize on your nails. There are many brush-on solutions available to help you destroy the fungus and get your toenails back in shape. Follow the directions on the packaging and be sure not to over-apply any treatment.

- Exfoliate your toes. Even if you don't have calluses, dead skin is likely to accumulate on your feet. Use a body scrub or a foot scrub twice per week to remove cellular debris and keep your feet smooth and soft.

- Soak your cares away. If your feet are aching at the end of the day, it's likely your skin is also paying the price for standing all day or wearing tight shoes. Soak your feet in bath oil, a foot treatment or bath salts to ease inflammation and soothe skin irritation.

- Give your pigs a drink. Just like your complexion, your feet need moisturizing twice per day to look their best. Aim to apply your moisturizer right after you bathe or shower and at another time during the day. For very dry feet, use a rich body butter or intensive foot treatment right before bed and then put your socks on to reap the benefits of the ingredients while you rest.

- Get a pedi. Even if you prefer do-it-yourself polishing, get one professional pedicure just before sandal season. This will get your toenails perfectly shaped and make it easy for you to maintain them all summer long.

- Pick your polishes. Stock up now on the pedicure supplies you'll need for your at-home pedis. Make sure to purchase a topcoat, a base coat and remover as well as your favorite shades. Hot colors for nail polish right now include cream, black, coral and lavender. Two-color polish looks with different polishes placed side by side and colored tips paired with neutral polish are also in fashion right now.

Now that you know the secrets to having sandal-ready feet, it's time to get those piggies into shape. Don't view your foot care routine as work; remember that taking good care of your toes is a fun way to spoil yourself. Your feet deserve to be pampered, and so do you.

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