Tuesday, March 20, 2012
We've been in London for just over a year now, and in that time I've probably had more pedicures than I'd had in my life prior to the move. The weather is significantly drier and warmer than I'm used to which sounds lovely, but it meant that my toes, my Most Disliked Body Parts, were on display day in, day out all last summer.
Since you can't move in London without tripping over a nail bar and many operate on a walk-in basis, charging about £20 for a 45-minute feet treat, my coping mechanism was to stop in for a pedicure when my feet just got too fugly to bear.
It may only be March but temperatures here are seriously on the up - it hit 17°C in the city last week and is to get up to 16°C today - so on Thursday I took myself off to Nail Studio between Finchley Road tube station and the O2 Centre for my first pedicure of the season.
I've passed the place several times and liked the look of it, and in contrast with two nearby nail bars it is always, always busy.
First impressions were good: five manicure zones, three proper pedicure chairs, two big flatscreen TVs and plenty of polish stations heaving with bottles of classic and new OPI shades (including a load of glitters which pleased me greatly but is actually something you don't see all that much in salons.)
After only a little bit of dithering, I opted for Siberian Nights, a deep blackberry-ish purple creme, with a topping of the glitter party that is Show It And Glow It.
My very nice therapist (not too chatty, either with me or the other staff - I frickin' hate having a treatment where I'm made to feel like I'm getting in the way of a good natter) filed my nails and sorted out my cuticles before treating my hooves to a little jacuzzi bath, exfoliation, and foot and lower leg massage before getting down to the business of painting the nails perfectly. So far, so bog standard, you might think, but my final pedicure of last year fell at the final hurdle when the therapist made a right hash of the painting end of things - getting it all over my sidewalls and cuticles, not capping the free edge with polish to prevent chipping, leaving uneven borders of bare nail at the side edges - so I appreciate it when someone really takes care to get it right.
Had I not been so busy watching music videos while she worked, I'd probably have asked my therapist to pay a bit more attention to the hard skin on my big toes, since I discovered when I got home that they weren't as silky smooth as I'd expect. That's my only gripe, and since I don't think there would have been any issue with my asking her to go at them again I would be happy to go back.
The SPA Pedicure at Nail Studio costs £23. See nailstudios.co.uk for salon info and full treatment/price list.