When I was growing up, my mom, a former beauty queen, chewed her fingernails, dyed her own hair and only used mascara, eyeliner and lipstick. She didn’t even have blush. She’d just dot her cheeks with lipstick and rub it in. Her beauty advice was limited to “wear slips” (see “Confessions of an Old Lady”) and “red is your power color” (this is not true nor has it ever been). We lived nearly an hour away from a spa. Bottom line: pedicures were not part of the family lexicon.
I think I got my first pedicure to impress my husband. By impress, I mean, gross him out less. I am a chronic flip-flop wearer. I change this up by going barefoot. Thusly, I have what my friend Tami refers to as “puppy pads.” That is a polite way of saying heels that resemble a geographic feature.
As with anything I do for the first time, the thought of going to a spa or salon filled me with high anxiety. Once I finally did, I suffered through bruising leg massages, shoddy paint jobs and questionable sanitation practices.
Here are some things I learned along the way:
Do your research.
Yelp salons and spas in your area and take the time to read beyond the stars. While a place may have earned five stars, not every technician is a five star nail artist, so try to book with someone reviewers positively mentioned by name. Look at the posted pictures–do you like the vibe? Does it seem clean/updated?
Don’t be afraid to change.
If you didn’t like your experience, don’t go there again. If you didn’t like the person with whom you had your appointment, book with someone else. I think as women, we tend to sacrifice in order to protect people’s feelings. Don’t settle!!
I always feel out of my league when I’m shopping in a fancy store (read: not Target) or getting a luxury service performed. However, my dear friend Coco, herself a hair dresser, shared a game changing line with me: “you’re the customer, they just work there.” I know this sounds super snooty. Hear me out. I tend to forget that I’m the one paying for the service, and I think sometimes those in customer service forget this at times as well. Don’t be afraid to politely request something be done differently. If you remain silent, you’ll feel frustrated that you wasted your money on something you weren’t satisfied with.
Look into trends you might want to try. Find pictures on the internet. Know what to expect from the products and services offered by the place you’ve chosen. Know that a regular manicure will last you to the car. Call ahead to make sure your technician can meet your needs (does gel, nail designs, what have you).
Once you’ve found your sole mate (get it?), book exclusively with that person. He or she will get to know your preferences and you will know exactly what to expect.
Now that I found my salon, I never go anywhere else. To me, it feels like the salon in Steel Magnolias, except everyone is From southern Vietnam.
I’m still learning, so what tips can you salon/spa veterans offer a newb like me?
P.S. I hope you have thoroughly enjoyed the medley of photos showcasing my digits and our flooring.