I'm not really good at applying nail polish. So a lot of times, I'd rather have my nails done in a nail spa. Like my fetish for trying out different sunblocks, I also like trying different nail spas, so here is a review of the different nail spas I've tried. I'm sorry I don't have any pictures. :(
My criteria for a good nail spa: Must have good ambience, nail polish, and service for a reasonable price.
Branch: Robinson's Place Manila (Other branches are in SM North Edsa and SM Southmall)
Nail Polish: Bobbie. Add P10 for Essie (Essie's colors are quite limited, so it might be a problem for people who like bright colors. But since I'm a neutrals kind of girl and I love french tips, this is no problem for me).
Top Coat: Bobbie Quik Dry.
Nail dryer? None.
Ambience: I like the ambience of this place. The theme is Indian-inspired so there is a lot of heavy drapery. Each client has a private cubicle, each with its very own lazy boy (and a floor sink)! Yes, I'm a sucker for a lazy boy! Yes, It's so comfy so I really feel relaxed.
Service: Since Relaksasi is more of a massage and wax place, they don't offer any other nail services aside from the usual manicure and pedicure. I got the pedicure, which costed P100 (around $2.00) and then added P10 for the Essie nail polish. The attendant was gentle on my feet, and I was pleased with how my nails looked like. The only thing that went wrong is that before I came in, I was asked if I wanted cold or hot tea. I told them I wanted cold, but I never got that tea even after I finished my pedicure. No biggie though, since I'm not a tea person anyway.
Would I go back again? Yes! This is really value for money, but since Manila is very far from me, my next visit will be a very long time from now.
2. Luxe Nail Lounge
Branch: Robinson's Galleria, Ortigas, Pasig City (This is actually the only branch)
Nail Polish: A lot of Orly, OPI, China Glaze, Essie and some other brands that I'm not familiar with. A little Revlon, Sally Hansen and even a few premium polishes that will cost an extra P60-P100 (around $1.40-$2.00)
Base Coat: Essie base coat
Top Coat: Orly Won't Chip
Nail Dryer: None.
They have a variety of other nail treatments such as the Orly No-Bite which will cost an additional P10-P30.
Ambience: The place is spacious enough so I didn't feel cramped. The lights were dimmed but not to the point of being dark. There are a lot of couches with different styles. Some are good for one, some are good for two. The receptionist told me that they were aiming to create an atmosphere where the customers can choose what type of couch they would sit in. Note though that although the couches look really nice, they're actually not that soft.
Service: Before I go to the actual procedure, may I just add that they also have WiFi (I'm not sure if it's free though) and they also have a selection of imported magazines that are up-to-date. Anyway, moving on to the pedicure, I chose the Express pedicure, which can be misleading because it's not really express. At first, my feet were soaked for around 5 minutes. Then, my feet were shaped and cleaned. The attendant was very gentle on my feet. She really took her time. Then she massaged my feet for maybe 10-15 minutes. The massage was really relaxing. It did a good job in relieving my tension. Then lastly, she applied the polish. The express pedicure costed me P220 (around $4.40) plus P15 for french tips so I paid a total of P235 (around $4.60). The express pedicure is actually not the cheapest pedicure. The basic pedicure, which consists of just cleaning, shaping and nail polish application costs P180 (around $3.60) but I don't actually mind paying the extra P40 for the massage because it was really good.
Would I go back again? Yes! Plus, this is near my place.
3. The Nail Loft
Branch: Brgy. Sacred Heart, Quezon City (There is also a branch near Greenhills)
I went here because it was walking distance from Lay Bare, where I get my waxing done.
Nail Polish: Orly, OPI, Essie and China Glaze. Sally Hansen and Revlon are also available but will cost extra.
Base Coat and Top Coat: Both Orly but I've forgotten what kind.
Nail Dryer? None.
Ambience: The ambience was just okay. It's actually very small so I felt cramped up inside. Since I was there during the day, there weren't much lights so I found it too dim inside. Plus I sat in a long couch and there were two people beside me and there wasn't much elbow room, so yeah, it added up to the cramp-ness I felt.
Service: I got a little turned off because I just availed of the GM pedicure but the attendants kept on suggesting that I also get a foot spa, even when I already said no a couple of times. Anyway, on to the pedicure. It actually started with the attendant putting lotion on my arms and then giving me a little massage. However, during the actual pedicure, there was pain involved, but no wounds. The nail polish application was good though. After my pedicure, I was served complimentary hot tea. I paid P150 ($3.00) for the GM pedicure.
Would I go back again? Maybe, if I'm not in the mood to shell out money.
4. Princess Nails & Spa
Branch: AIC Grande Tower, Ortigas, Pasig City (This is the only branch and is only around one month old)
Nail Polish: Orly, Essie, OPI, China Glaze, a little of The Face Shop and some local polishes
Choices: more than fair
Base Coat: CND Base Coat
Top Coat: CND Hi-Gloss Top Coat
Nail Dryer? Yes.
Ambience: This place is really for the uber-girly girls because it has pink everywhere. The seats for the pedicures are even hot pink with polka-dot pillows. It's very bright though so it's not very relaxing. Since I had a manicure done, I just sat in a chair while the manicurist did my nails in a table. The attendants told me though, that they'll be replacing the hot pink seats with white. Note though that the manicurists are really quite chatty, so if you'd prefer that the attendants don't talk much, then this place is not for you.
Service: I availed of their nail art. Their nail art is just manually painted on, it's not the type with stamps and molds. Take note though that they only have around 6 nail art pens. Hopefully they'll add more. My only regret is that my nails weren't long so they couldn't do much with my nails. The manicure consisted of the usual cleaning, then application of lotion. After that, they painted my nails. The last step was to transfer to another spot to have my nails dried. I was happy with my nail art, especially since it was my first time. The nail art is very affordable. I only paid P250 ($5.00) all-in-all. They don't offer additional rhinestones or pearls for your nails, though.
Would I go back again? For nail art, yes, because this is very affordable; but if you're going for a regular foot spa, or mani/pedi, there are other places that offer better ambience for around the same price.
5. Get Polished
Branch: Brgy. Sacred Heart, Quezon City (The other branch is in BF Homes, Paranaque)
This just opened this month and is currently on a 15% off promo on all services. This is convenient since it's in the same building as Lay Bare, which I mentioned is where I get my wax done.
Nail Polish: Orly, Essie, OPI, China Glaze and The Color Club
Base Coat: Yello-Out
Top Coat: Orly clear coat
Nail Dryer? Yes.
Ambience: This place is very pastel-colored, which is nice I'm into since I like pastels. There are individual off-white couches for each customer. The lighting is just right. Yes, I felt relaxed.
Service: I wanted to get the Totally Polished Pedicure, but since they didn't have a paraffin machine yet, I availed the Get Polished Moisture Pedicure instead. It was long procedure. At first my feet were soaked in a foot bath, and then I was scrubbed with the scrub of my choice (There were around 6 scrubs to choose from; I chose eucalyptus) and then my feet were exfoliated manually. After that, they cleaned my feet. I can't really say that the cleaning was pain-free, but each time I twitched a little, the attendant stopped to adjust to me. Then, they place a shea butter treatment on my feet (which felt minty!), wrapped in plastic foil and then placed in heated booties for 15 minutes. After that, they applied CND Vanilla Shimmer Lotion on my feet. They also massaged my feet, but I can't remember if it came before or after the shea butter treatment. The massage was just okay. I can't really say that it relieved all tension. After applying the nail polish, they brought the nail dryer in a trolley so I didn't have to transfer seats. The trolley wasn't very comfortable though, since i couldn't put in my feet properly. I was satisfied with the pedicure. My feet felt softer after the treatment. The Get Polished Moisture Pedicure was actually P470 (around $9.40), but since there was a misprint in their main list (it read P450), the receptionist gave it to me at P450! Yey! And since there was an additional 15% off, I only paid P382.50 (around $7.60) for everything. Not bad, ehh? They also have a loyalty card wherein you get a few throw-ins for free after a certain number of visits.
Would I go back again? Yes. Although I can't really say that I fell in love with this place, it's still a good place to visit.
Other nail spas I want to visit: Nail Tropics, CANS and Dashing Diva.
What are your thoughts on this? I'd love to see them.