Updates: For more additions regarding Manicures & Pedicures, see these posts:
Back home in LA, my Saturday morning ritual would be to grab a vanilla latte from Coffee Bean and get my weekly mani-pedi with one of my girlfriends. One of the best parts of this ritual was that we could give ourselves a little pampering and preparation for the weekend without breaking the bank.
And then I moved to London! Why is it that getting a manicure and pedicure here feels like I have to (a) give up my first born to get an appointment and (b) skimp on the rest of my weekend plans because I just paid a small fortune to have one coat of Essie’s Mademoiselle painted on fingernails?
Furthermore, with the weather here-especially in winter-and the quality of the water-it’s an absolute must to have our cuticles and dry skin looked after!
The good news is that the Brits are starting to get the hang of it. Here are some places I have tried-and my two cents about them:
I really do love Bliss as a general rule, but I tend to only go for nails if I have a friend in town and want to have a special treat. The nail treatments are great-especially the pedicures-and the technicians take their time ensuring your fingers and toes look fab. I also find that with a good topcoat, these manicures tend to last a fairly decent time! That being said, a Bliss basic pedicure is going to set you back £55!
Adamina is great. (Posting soon to come on my esthetician, Mariana who I love!) One afternoon while very pregnant I sat in the nail lounge and had the full works while watching For Weddings and a Funeral. The girls here are all really sweet, and you can sip tea while watching a wonderful selection of girly TV shows and movies. I would love to go back and do this with a girlfriend, however last time I checked they only had one nail technician, so not only do you need to make sure you book well in advance, you may not have the option of going with a friend. Overall a very lovely treatment!
The Nail Spa in South Kensington does a very nice manicure and pedicure. However, I tend to find them a little pricey for what it is-just the basics. That said, it was my go-to place for quite a while when I was in desperate need of a manicure-as it was less expensive than Bliss or another similar day spa. Additionally, it seems like a place that you should just be able to walk in to, but is always too busy to take you without an appointment.
The Chelsea Day Spa has added a nail bar, and is currently doing £5 off any treatments. The Chelsea Girl manicure runs for £30, but you can save some cash and time by going for the mini-manicure at £22.
The Nail Boutique
American Girls, this is my new spot! The Nail Boutique opened in the Chelsea Farmers Market on Sydney Street in spring of 2010. John and Kew, the two main technicians are really lovely and are desperately trying to hire more and more staff, as they are getting very popular with the local Chelsea women. The Nail Boutique has the good pedicure spa chairs, and they do a very nice job. A manicure and pedicure together will cost £40, but it’s one of the best deals I’ve found. The Nair Boutique doesn’t have a website up and running yet-but you can book and appointment by calling 020.7351.1166.
Harvey Nichols-Champagne Nail Bar
If you want to add a special treat to your day of shopping, enter HN on the ground floor and put your name on the waiting list to have your nails done while sipping a glass of champagne. There is also an eyebrow treading bar right next door if you want to kill two birds with one stone. HN’s main number is (0)201.235.5000 or you can find the Knightsbridge store at www.harveynichols.com.
Hands down one of American Girl’s favorite places in London, (and more postings to come soon in the shopping and eating section!) I had a nail emergency one Friday afternoon and needed a mani-pedi for a party that night. Bluebird was the only place I could get in-yes-if you didn’t know before you know now-there is a mini-spa tucked in the back of the boutique on the ground floor! The problem-a pedicure will cost you £50 and I find the whole laying on a massage table while someone does my nails is a tad awkward. The flip side-you can get an express mani for £20 and check out the new Marc Jacobs collection on your way out!
If you’ve found a great nail-spot, please do let American Girl know by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.