At-Home Pedicure Tips

Need to get sandal-ready, stat? Try these four pro tricks for a salon-perfect look -- no appointment necessary!

Get Smooth

To slough off tough skin when you're time-crunched, skip the soak, and slather on a callus-removing cream that contains alpha hydroxy acids. Use a foot file to smooth rough spots. Then gently push back softened cuticles with a cuticle pusher. Try: Deborah Lippmann Get Off Callus Softener ($38;

Hydrate Right

Look for a fast-absorbing formula and massage it all over feet, then swipe nails with remover to strip residue from the surface. This will help the polish adhere to your nails and resist chipping. Try: Curél Foot therapy Lotion ($6.99; drugstores) and Cutex Nail polish Remover pads ($3.99; drugstores)

Shape Up

"Trim nails straight across, keeping the length even with the tip of your toe," says Deborah Lippmann, manicurist and founder of the eponymous nail care line. Go any shorter, and you'll run the risk of an ingrown nail. Also key: Soften square corners with a fine-grit emery board.

Be Bold

"It's easier to get used to bright shades when they're worn farther away from the eye," Lippmann says. This season's must-have hues: blue, green, and classic red. Try: OPI Nail Lacquer in Eurso Euro ($9; for salons), Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Nail polish in Mint Sorbet ($2.99; drugstores), or Essie Nail Polish in Sunday Funday ($8;

Learn how to apply a DIY gel manicure.


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