Ever go into a nail salon for a pedicure, pick a color, get rushed into a elevated massage chair –feet positioned into a tub– and start questioning all the instruments being used for the service?
It’s kind of the worst feeling. Especially when going in for a treatment that should be relaxing. Shoot, you paid for it. Why should you have to question their practices?!
Well, unfortunately, the proof is in the lawsuits. Every salon is not created equally. And if you’re going to get your hands and feet professionally pampered (as you should– treat yourself!), then you should be smart about where you go.
A personal favorite of mine is Eve Salon in Greenwich Village. The boutique spa not only does pedicures, they also have a full service menu of pampering options from facials and massages to wax treatments. And one thing they take pride in is their level of cleanliness and care for clients. They’re one of those salons that give complimentary nail file packets and expect you to bring your custom kit in every time you get your nails done.
Despite the winter pedicure slump, we decided to chat with nail technician Eliana Gaviria about what we should all know about pedicures.
On the benefit of incorporating peppermint into pedicures, particularly in the winter: “Peppermint is antimicrobial, anti-stress, and an energy booster –all things we need during the crazy holidays and then the dark depressing winter months.”
On how often to get a pedicure during the cold months: “Ideally you should have a pedicure every 3 weeks –year round. In the winter people tend to dry out and you need a good exfoliation and lotion-ing up to help keep your feet from looking like a troll’s.”
On the biggest misconception about nail care in the winter: “Many people think that since no one sees their feet there’s no reason for a pedicure. Not true. Your tootsies need love year round. Plus, when people have pedicures less frequently, the polish will dry the nail out (if not changed). It’s not a bad idea to use the winter months to give your toenails a break from polish but it doesn’t mean you should neglect your feet entirely.”
On a bad sign when going to a salon and what should salons be doing to sanitize: “Always make sure they’re not using the same files and other non-sanitizeable (anything not metal) instruments on more than one person. If you don’t see them give you a fresh nail file and wood stick you should run. Pummice stones – another RED FLAG – RUN if you see a pummice stone that wasn’t just taken out of the package and then thrown out immediately after use. They are SO porous there is NO way to sanitize them. Make sure they’re taking time to thoroughly clean the pedicure baths. Very nasty microbes can live in piped systems so try to go to a place that has a pipeless system, if they’re jetted or just a tub with no jets at all. Licenses are good but it doesn’t guarantee that they’re doing the right thing. Gloves, masks, lots of disposable items – all indicate a commitment to hygiene. It also shows how much a salon cares about their workers – they’re the ones most at risk.”