I tried out Pastel Nails, a salon with decent Yelp reviews in my neck of the woods, hoping it would be my new once-a-month hangout.
The atmosphere is better than what you would expect, considering its location — an unassuming strip mall on Melrose. The interior is open and airy with a green and pink color scheme. The light fixtures and other design elements are definitely on the girly side; a feminine space, to be sure. There are some manicure tables along one side of the salon for those who are getting manicures only. Spa lounges are arranged along the opposite wall.
Pastel Nails has a sizeable collection of colors; a good combination of OPI and Essie, including new collections. They have a wide array of gels to choose from, too.
Service & Skill
The service is difficult to review, since there was very little of it. My pedicure was pretty good, and I was satisfied with it. My manicure, on the other hand, was a very different story.
Looking back, I see that my polish removal was foreshadowing what was to come. I was wearing a denim blue polish... and I still am wearing some on a couple of my cuticles, because it was not properly removed. And speaking of my cuticles, what happened in that regard is what made me sigh to myself, "Yes, a review. A review must be made."
I was cut during the cuticle trimming process. I understand that mistakes sometimes happen; I've cut my own cuticles on occasion. But I was cut twice, on two different fingers. And that doesn't seem like an isolated incident. What that sounds like to me is carelessness.
My middle finger bled enough to fill the space between my nail and my skin. I wasn't gushing blood by any means, but the bleeding was definitely noticeable. I wondered to myself, what would she do? There's a little potion you can put on wounds like that to clot the blood very quickly. She did not opt for that. Instead, she cleaned my bleeding fingers off with acetone. You know the old phrase, "like salt in a wound?" Yeah, it felt a little like that. (And, as a side note, there was no apology uttered; no eye contact; no speaking at all, actually.)
And the paint job... was messy. The amount of polish that made it onto the skin surrounding my nails can only be described as "unprofessional." Sometimes manicurists move fast with lacquer, but come back around with a small brush to clean up. Not this time. And the top coat was OPI, which is fine, but the product in the bottle was so thick and tacky, it looked like hot glue. Unsurprisingly, my manicure was left looking very bubbly.
I looked back at an old post of mine, and the following quote haunts me...
One of my special hatreds is paying for a professional manicure and, when it’s complete, examining it to find that I could have done a better job myself. For free.
When the salon owner passed by me, I called her over, saying "Excuse me?" She came to my chair and stood expectantly. I held out my hand. "This manicure... was not very good. There is a lot of polish on my skin — can you see? — and I was cut two times." She examined my fingers and said, "I can do clean-up for you, but I can't do anything about the cuts." And with that, she dipped her thumbnail in acetone, used it to get rid of a paint spot I'd pointed out to her... and walked away. Um, case closed I guess?
Pastel Nails is $30 for a manicure pedicure combo.
I cannot recommend Pastel Nails to anyone.
Stay Shiny, Francesca