Monday, June 04, 2007

Mani and a Pedi and Fresh Self-Confidence

After a six month search I think I may have finally found a nail salon that I will frequent. You laugh? It was a serious hunt in my newly adopted neighborhood.

Getting one's nails done is rarely just about base coat, two coats of color, and a top coat. That--I can do at home. Getting one's nails done is about slowing down, being pampered, and gaining a coat of self confidence in a sassy shade.

There are smells inherent when walking into a nail salon: polish, acetone, soap, rubbing alcohol and lotion. After a couple of trips, you become used to the pungent combination and associate it with the relaxation about to come. As a result, I can walk into a nail salon and immediately I'm calmer and happier.

A good nail salon is clean, nicely decorated, staffed with efficient and friendly technicians and it's somewhat busy. It doesn't need to be packed wall to wall (though for a good manicure, I've been known to wait)--but when I'm the only person in there for nearly an hour when it's a normal time that there should be customers--it makes me a little nervous.

Within those walls, women and men come for the pampering. To have tired hands and feet soaked in a warm bath, scrubbed (feet) or gently washed (hands), wrapped in a hot towel, lotioned and massaged is incredibly decadent. Cuticles are delicately trimmed or pushed back to prevent hangnails. And then polish is applied or they are buffed to a beautiful shine. Finally you settle into a chair by an ultraviolet dryer with fans and, at a lot of places, you get a minute of a shoulder massage.

Having your nails done requires you to slow down for an hour. No one wants a manicure ruined--especially when you're paying a fair amount of money--so you take the time to ensure that it's dry. There shouldn't be a rushed atmosphere in a nail salon, even when it's busy. You should be able to shut down for a while, maybe even turn off your cell phone (who wants to go digging in a purse with wet nails?), and flip through the latest fashion magazine.

When I walk out of a manicure (or a mani/pedi combo), I always feel more confident. My hands look good and, even though the polish is dry, I'm still much more conscious of my hands and going digging in purse. I feel prettier and it makes me happier to deal with others--as long as they aren't messing up my hands or stepping on my toes.

My manicures usually look "decent" for about ten days--and that's with me doing everything I normally do, including typing, dishes and (last night) dismantling a desktop tower and pulling the hard drive. I'm more likely to wear the paint off than to chip it. It's more expensive here than I 'd like but there are days that it's very worth it.

Oh--the place? on Halstead

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Hedgehog.

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