At last, the heart of the matter: trendy teal, classic blush or a simple high-gloss shine. Toe separators, either store-bought or handmade (a tightly rolled-up napkin or paper towel will work fine), make this step easier, but they're not crucial.
Whatever final look you want peeping out of your peep-toes, you'll start with a good base. This helps create a nail surface that is both smoother and more receptive to your polish. Apply evenly to each nail, and let it dry to the touch before moving on to the main act.
Now, paint your nails pretty. A good painting approach has four strokes: middle, sides and across the top. This should provide nice coverage without any pooling. You'll do two coats of color, keeping each one thin and even and giving ample drying time in between. Drying to the touch can take anywhere from about 1 to 5 minutes, depending on the product.
After the second coat is dry to the touch, swipe a top coat over each nail. This will help even out the color, add some extra shine and make your pedicure last a lot longer.
Done? Look at your work. If what you see is sheer (or opaque) perfection, you're done! If, however, you see some stray color, you'll finish up with one more step.