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Friday, November 19, 2010

Nail Salons

FYI - this is going to be a total girl-centric post. You've been warned.

I'm a sucker for some girly pampering; nails, massages, facials, etc, I enjoy them all. These types of services I assumed would be exactly the same, only cheaper here, and I was 50% right. As far as nails are concerned, they are generally cheaper. The biggest difference is the was pedicures are done (sometimes without water!) and the range of services available depending on the salon. It's been interesting trying to find any sort of information on nail salons in the area, there really isn't much out there to be seen.

I have only tried a couple of places, but here are my thoughts on the few places I've been:

The Nail Company
Riobamba 1164
I really like this place - it's clean, the people are nice and the prices are right. There are two locations, I've only been to the Barrio Norte location, but it's the best all around experience out of the salons I've been to. So far as I can tell there are no walk-in appointments, so be sure to call first. There are several different types of manicure and pedicure services ranging from basic to paraffin dip to the "super perfect" which includes paraffin, exfoliation and a massage. The facility is quite nice, but they are missing the great massage chairs with an attached foot bath like they have in the US. Instead you get a plastic portable foot tub (like the one every mother has received for Mother's Day at some point), but it serves it's function just fine. They also use all of their own products, which are nice, but I still prefer the O.P.I. brand polish since there are so many additional color choices in their line.
Products: B+
Services: A
Facility: A

Nail Designers
Juncal 1615
Nail Designers was recommended to me by a friend, and they gave a good pedicure, with one strange twist. They didn't use any water. I sat in an extremely nice recliner and put oil soaked cotton on different parts of my feet and then used a scalpel to scrape away callouses. Not the potato peeler thing that I'm used to, an actual surgeon-style scalpel. I was petrified. Imagine a full on scalpel on completely dry skin. Scary. That and there was no massage included with the pedicure, even though I requested a massage ahead of time. They had a number of colors choices, and their products were of good quality. The price was right, 60 pesos (US$15), but without water or a massage, I have not returned.
Products: B
Services: B
Facility: B+

Yin Yang Pie
Arenales 2189
This hilarious named salon is really great for massages, but the pedicures leave some things to be desired. Like Nail Designers, they are also on the list of salons that don't use water, and that just generally freaks me out. In addition, the chair was not all that comfortable. They did use great products and when I asked for a massage to be included with the pedicure they gave me a 30 minute, lay-down foot and leg massage that was amazing. I will be back for the massage, I'll stick with another salon for the pedicure.
Products: A
Services: Pedicure: C / Massage: A+
Facility: B

Av. Quintana 432
This place is actually more of a hair salon that offers nail services, and the services they offer are decent. The pedicure was basic, no frills or massages, but there was water involved so I was a happy girl. The real downside of this place was their products, the basket of polish that they gave me to look through could have come from a little girl's dress up collection.
Products: D
Services: Pedicure: C+
Facility: B

There are a zillion places to choose from in the city and I'll probably keep trying until I find the perfect pedicure. For now, I'll stick with The Nail Company for my manicure and pedicure needs.

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