Building a Better Manicure - Beauty Addict

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Building a Better Manicure

When I posted about the manicure from hell, many of you wrote in with horror stories of your own...tales of cuticles under attack, bubbling polish, and even being mocked by the nail tech. But the worst ones were the stories of infections, blood, and unclean tools. Salon hygiene is a serious issue, friends. We all know that Paula Abdul lost a thumbnail to infection after a bad salon experience, right? If it can happen to a former Laker girl, 90s pop icon and American Idol judge, it can happen to YOU!

Beautytech has a reprint of a newspaper article that details what to look for when evaluating the safety and cleanliness of a salon. Check out the list here. Does your salon measure up?

Now, on to something positive. If you're looking for a new salon that's serious about safety, a handful of US and international cities are home to Dashing Diva franchise salons. They take serious pride in their super-high standards for hygiene and sanitation.

These precautions will certainly put your mind at ease when you sit down for that mani or pedi:

  • Dual Washing of Hands with liquid sanitizer and water - for both you and the nail tech

  • Personal Manicure Kit with a brand new nail file, sanding block and orange stick

  • Metal implements sterilized in an autoclave after each use, and stored in individual sealed pouches

  • No whirlpool foot baths that can harbor dangerous bacteria

  • No razors or reusable foot files

  • Ongoing disinfecting of sinks and tabletops
The first Dashing Diva opened in the Village when I was just finishing up at NYU so, needless to say, I've had several manicures there and at other Dashing Diva locations. While I've always been impressed by the sanitation standards and the pretty pink-and-white decor, I never expected much from the actual manicure. I just didn't think a manicure from a "chain" would be any good - the same reason I don't go to Hair Cuttery for my cut and highlights. Fortunately, I've been proven wrong every time. I've always gotten clean, consistent, high-quality manicures at Dashing Diva.

I haven't had a pedicure there yet, but I'm really itching to. Why? In addition to the super-clean services, if you come in on a Thursday or Friday evening, you can sip on complimentary cosmos while your toes get pampered. I have a feeling I'm going to miss that foot razor that shears off calluses, but I prefer to do that at home's just too gross to have done in public, especially if you walk as much as the average New Yorker. It takes a toll on your soles!

As for polish selection, Dashing Diva has over 100 shades to choose from. As of now, only 8 of them - the Extra Virgin collection - are free of the "Big 3", which is a little bit of a letdown. I'm hoping it'll change eventually as the public becomes more concerned about DBP, toluene and formaldehyde. But for now, if it bothers you, you can choose one from the Extra Virgin collection, or bring your own.

See the list of Dashing Diva locations here.