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After a winter of working out and getting into shape for summer, we all want to put away the pantyhose and slip on the sandals. To ensure that your feet look as fit and healthy as the rest of your body, here are a few simple and inexpensive tips.

Soak your feet in warm water and Epsom salts or baking soda for about 20 minutes. It is much easier to care for your feet and nails when they are soft from the soaking. After towel drying your feet, start with a pedicure, but remember, when cutting your toenails, cut straight across and do not cut below the toe level, i.e. the nail should protrude slightly above the edge of the toe. This will avoid those nasty ingrown toenails. Once your nails are trimmed, apply a pastel shade of polish to your toenails to complement your summer wardrobe. If you're not real steady with the polish brush, you can purchase a set of "foam rubber" toe separators at most dollar stores. This will help keep the nail polish on the nail rather than on the toe.

When your toenails are completely dry, it's time to work on the bottom of your feet. Invest in a pumice stone or a foot file to work off the hardened spots on the soles and balls of your feet. Remember that your feet work harder than any other part of your body and support you throughout the day, therefore the wear and tear that they take is not going to disappear overnight. A surefire way to speed up the sole-softening process is when preparing for bed, slather your feet with Vaseline, cover them with plastic wrap and put on a pair of socks – this is just like a facial for your feet!. In the morning, you'll already notice a difference.

Once your feet are ready for the slinky slip-ons, be sure to use a foot lotion (I suggest Peppermint lotion), before putting on your sandals. Your feet will feel great and smell delightful all day long.

Now that you're ready to romp barefoot, make sure you keep your feet in good shape. Caring for your feet should become an essential part of your beauty regimen. Soak them as indicated above at least twice a week – and don't forget the weekly "foot facial."