Sometimes, it boils down to manicure vs. electric bill.
Considering the heat, the latter is probably more important. Still, some folks are pretty hard-core concerned about their nail health.
If you're among that group, here are a few tips we wanted to share, plus some products, both new and tried-and-true.
"Summer nail color is all about scorch and spice," said Amanda Viles, marketing director for Saks Fifth Avenue at Utica Square.
To complement bronzed skin, turquoise blue and electric yellow give a spark of color and fun to your nails, she said. The store's YSL and Chanel lines offer limited-edition bold nail colors this season, but they are always offset with tempered and subtle shades of pink and nude, like Beige Patale and Morning Rose.
But does it come with a cape?
Forget Superman. Tweezerman is a superhero, at least in the world of nail care.
We've been fans for years, and we like the new, sleek-designed Key Essentials folding nail clipper, a definite summer must-have.
An elegant solution to the standard steel clipper, this newbie features a built-in nail file and cleaner attached to a convenient keychain and is housed in a pink leather storage case that folds flat to carry. The ultra-sharp blades shear nails with clean, accurate precision.
Find it ($12) at Ulta and Ulta.com.
This really bites
Are you a nail-biter?
If so, and you actually care a thing about stopping, Orly makes a product called No Bite, a bad-tasting, clear color bite-deterrent that also promotes healthy nail growth.
Enriched with natural pearl for enhanced shine and durability, it can be used alone or over nail polish.
It's good for men and women, and it dries to a natural-looking finish - no shiny stuff, guys. Plus, it doesn't wash off with water.
You can find it ($7-$8) at some Sally Beauty Supply stores, as well as SallyBeauty.com. Coats in summer
If you plan on spending most of your summer in a pool or the ocean and want to make the most of your mani/pedi between visits, be sure to add an extra clear top coat to protect the color from chipping, suggests East Coast nail expert Skyy Hadley.
The top coat will seal in the color and prevent it from chipping too soon, she told us in a recent email exchange. Do not use a protein or nail strengthener over your color, as this will cause the polish to crack and chip easily.
Before giving yourself an at-home mani/pedi, remember to exfoliate the dead skin from your hands and feet. Try Bath & Body Works' True Blue Spa 60-Second Manicure Hand Scrub ($12) and Smoothing Foot Scrub ($15) for spa perfection.
Cream of the crop
One of our favorite hand creams of all time comes from Clarins
It's a nail and hand treatment miracle worker that makes your hands smooth and supple. The formula includes black root, which stimulates, revitalizes and softens; shea, which protects, moisturizes and softens, as well as serves as an anti-free radical; and myrrh, which strengthens, moisturizes, revitalizes and soothes.
You can find it ($30) at Dillard's and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Skyy Hadley, owner of As U Wish Nail Spa in Hoboken, N.J., suggests avoiding pumice stones because they trap bacteria.
Instead, try a diamond file. If you have blisters, leave them for the professionals - you'll end up doing more harm than good if you try to pop them.
Hadley suggests at-home milk bath pedicures for sandal-ready feet. Here's how you do it:
In a large bowl or foot bath, mix about 3 cups of hot water with 1 1/2 cups milk and 1/2 cup sugar. This will add moisture and help prevent calluses.
After feet are fully exfoliated, rinse and moisturize with a non- greasy lotion, and begin putting on the polish.
At-home spa pedicure
Give yourself a pampering nail experience at home with these tips from NailCareGuide.com:
1. Soak away stress. Fill a tub or foot bath with warm water and drop in 1/2 ounce of your favorite bath salts. Sea salts are a good substitute if you don't have bath salts on hand. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and soak your feet for 10-15 minutes. The salts will soften up dry skin and calluses, while the olive oil moisturizes.
2. Banish dead skin and calluses. Massage an exfoliating body scrub such as Tend Blends Creative Juices Sugar Fix ($28.50, tendblends.com) into the bottoms of your feet. Leave the scrub on, and use a pumice-like surface to buff down calluses and slough away dead skin cells. Rinse your feet with cool water.
3. Trim nails and care for cuticles. Trim toenails, cutting them in a square shape to prevent ingrown nails. Gently push back cuticles with an orange stick. Never cut your cuticles - they are necessary for keeping bacteria from entering the skin.
4. Moisturize and massage. Dry off your feet with towel and apply an invigorating foot cream such as Dr. Scholl's Peppermint Foot and Leg Lotion (about $5, drugstores). Massage in long upward strokes, moving from your toes to your calves.
5. Finish with polish. Apply a base coat and two coats of your favorite polish, followed by a top coat. Let your nails dry for at least half an hour, then rub a dab of oil into your cuticles and nail beds to moisturize them.
For more, visit tulsaworld.com/nailcareguide