One of the luxuries of being a girl is all the pamering - hair appointments, shopping trips, manicures, pedicures and all sorts of other lovely things that make us feel super special.
But does it have to cost a fortune? Can you go for the cheaper option but still get great value?
This week we're testing out nail bars. Is there a difference between the fancy spa and cheap nail bar? At the average fancy spa a manicure will cost $40, but at the inexpensive nail bar it's about $15. Once you add a tip you are looking at $45 vs. $18. Is it worth it?
for manicures expensive does not mean better
Recently we tested out Elmwood Spa to see if it was worth the price difference. The facilities at the spa are lovely - there is a wonderful change room, water treatments that make you feel so relaxed, and flavoured water and apples everywhere. But, when it came time to get the manicure we were ushered down into the basement - and seated in a room with 20 other women cramped in little chairs getting manicures and pedicures. It was anything but glamourous! Trying to keep an open mind we chatted with the manicure ladies and people watched the other patrons.
The manicurist trimmed our cuticles, shaped our nails and painted away using the Elmline products - a brand specific to this spa. The trimming and shaping were ok, although not as thorough as expected, but the nail varnish was awful! It was streaky, clumpy and just would not even out. And we were paying $45 for this! We asked the manicurist to remove the polish and start again with a recognized brand - OPI. This polish went on much better, smoother and didn't look like dollar store varnish. When we were done with the treatment and it was time to pay the friendly receptionist asked how we liked the manicure. It was time to be honest - "It was the worst manicure we've ever had". We were told the manager would call to see how they could make it better, but they never did.
Over at the inexpensive nail bar we had a manicures and pedicures. As expected the place was busy, loud and crowded and the manicurist didn't have the same gentle approach as at Elmwood spa, but the results were fantastic! Our nails were trimmed well, our cuticles never looked better and the polish was applied perfectly. Some naysayers avoid cheaper nail bars saying they are unhygienic - but all you have to do is use some common sense (i.e. if there are used needles on the floor it's probably not a clean place) and if it makes you more comfortable just ask for any tools used on you to be sanitized with alcohol.
So if you are looking for a great manicure the cheap nail bar is a better bet. It may not be as relaxing as the spa, but you will have great looking nails, and you'll have saved yourself a few bucks!