If you're going anywhere near flip-flops, a pedicure is mandatory. It's also much more pleasant than going at your gnarled toenails yourself with clippers and a bar of Dial. At the salon—preferably one with leather massage chairs—your feet will be sprayed with an antiseptic, then washed and buffed with a file to smooth any hard skin or calluses that have developed over a season crammed into wing tips. Your nails will be clipped and the cuticles pushed back. At upscale spots, the treatment will probably end with an invigorating salt scrub, a hot-towel rubdown, and a foot-and-leg massage. "We abuse our feet to no end," says Ann Marie Cilmi, director of training and education at Bliss Spa. "It's really important to take care of them." As for polish, some places may offer you a clear coat, but a buffing will make them shine just as much and you won't have to wait for the polish to dry—or risk anyone doing a double take at your toes.
The Time: 45 minutes
The Cost: $50
The Frequency: Once a month
The Emergency Fix
When a last-minute invitation leaves you no time to get professional help, use this three-step at-home routine.
1 | Face
In a pinch, a hydrating mask with ingredients like amino acids and vitamin C can stand in for a facial. Your face will look rested and your skin less sallow. If you don't have a mask, use a face scrub and a moisturizer that contains vitamin E or chamomile.
2 | Body
Thin out excess hair with a body groomer, which trims hair instead of shaving it. Note: Never attempt to clip your chest, back, or leg hair with scissors. It's impossible to cut it evenly and you'll wind up with bald patches.
3 | Feet
If you have time to do only one thing, trim your toenails. Snip them straight across and short enough that they're not longer than the end of your toe. Get rid of calluses with a foot file designed for dry skin so you don't have to soak your feet, and finish with foot cream.
Philips Norelco Body-groom ($40), target.com.
Kiehl's All-Sport Foot Cream ($16.50), kiehls.com.
Malin + Goetz Detox Face Mask ($38), malinandgoetz.com.
Bliss Diamancel Foot File ($38), blissworld.com.