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Pedicure Ideas

by Jennifer Blair, studioD

When warm weather rolls around, flip-flops, sandals and open-toe shoes become the order of the day -- which means plenty of exposure for your toes. Keeping your toenails trimmed and polished can make your favorite summer outfits look just a little more put together. When it comes to choosing a look for your pedicure, it's time to be creative -- unlike finger nails, which are exposed all the time, you can cover up a bright color or creative design on your toes at the office, so there's no excuse not to be bold.

French Style

A French manicure is an elegant, sophisticated way to paint your nails that works with any outfit or for any occasion, and you can recreate the look when you want a simple, classic look for your toes. For the most traditional look, pale pink usually is used as the base coat, but a beige or peach shade also can work. Once the base coat is dry, use an opaque white polish to paint a line across the edge of your toenail. If you don’t have a steady hand, you actually can purchase stickers that you place on your toes to serve as a guideline. The white tip and pink base are the traditional French-pedicure look, but have fun experimenting with different colors -- you might do a pale-blue base and lilac tip or a hot-pink base and a yellow tip.

Graphic Designs

Nail art is a fun way to personalize your manicure, and there’s no reason why you can’t try a similar look for your pedicure. All it involves is using nail polish to paint a graphic design on your nails. Keep the look simple by going for a striped design or by purchasing a special dotting tool to create a polka-dot pattern on your toes. If you’re artistic and have a steady hand, try more elaborate designs, such as painting hearts, stars or flowers on your toenails. Even if you’re not artistically inclined, though, you can enjoy the look. Purchase a nail-stamping kit, which allows you to stamp specific images on your nails with polish. For an even easier approach, nail stickers are available in a variety of elaborate shapes and designs that can dress up painted toenails with images like cupcakes, butterflies or skulls.


If you want a simple way to add pizazz to your pedicure, consider an ombre look with the colors becoming progressively darker across the toes. Start by choosing a general color for your polish and find five shades within the family. For example, you might choose a pale pink, a baby pink, a rose, a bubble-gum pink and a hot-pink polish. Paint your baby toe in the lightest shade and polish each subsequent toe in a different color, going from lightest to darkest so the colors gradually become deeper. Repeat the process on the other foot for a look that’s simple but striking.


When you really want to make a statement with your pedicure, adding a little bling can do the trick. For a simple look, apply a glitter topcoat to your favorite polish color to add some eye-catching sparkle. If you want a more elaborate look, purchase small rhinestones designed specifically for use on the nails and use nail glue to add one -- or more -- to your toenails. If adding a glitter topcoat or rhinestones to all of your toes seems like too much, choose one or two nails on each foot to serve as accent nails and only do your sparkly design on those toes.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images