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Issue Date: April 12, 2009

5 things
you need to
know about


1. Ask hygiene questions in advance. How are the instruments sterilized? Manicurists should remove them from an autoclave or sterilizing liquids right before they use them on you, says Marcy Street, M.D., an East Lansing, Mich., dermatologist.

In between pedicures, keep feet smooth by using a foot file.

2. Bring your own supplies. If your salon doesn't offer a personalized nail kit for supplies that can't be properly sterilized (nail file, toe separators, nail tips), then buy a kit that you can bring with you every time you get a pedicure, Street suggests.

3. Tote flip-flops, too. It takes a while for polish to dry, and you don't want smudges on your toenails, says Ji Baek, owner of Rescue Beauty Lounge in New York City.

4. Start with a good foundation. The manicurist always should apply a clear base coat before putting on the colored polish. "It protects your toenails from staining and discolorations," Baek says.

5. Maintain the look. It's important to exfoliate using a scrub and a foot file and to moisturize your feet between pedicures, Baek says. "If you want your polish to last, put a clear top coat on every three days," she says.

-- Andrea King Collier

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