Natural Living

By Laura Peterson

If you’re as natural-minded as me, you’ve got a dilemma on your hands (and feet) regarding mani-pedis. How, oh how can we avoid those highly toxic nail polishes but still have pretty colored toes accentuating our Christian Louboutin sandals? And how, oh how can we enjoy the spa experience while making sure nothing but natural goodness smothers our precious digits and piggies?

My Designer Granola friends, I have found the solution down on West Broadway and Franklin Street. Sweet Lily Spa is a dream-come-true for both natural and conventional-minded mani-pedi seekers alike.

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Visiting Sweet Lily is almost like visiting your grandmother’s house — overstuffed, floral-patterned sofa and chairs, white-washed tables, a rocking chair, a huge antique mirror resting against the wall, candlestick chandeliers and WWII-era tunes on the stereo. All that’s missing is an old fashioned pitcher of water and… oh wait, there it is, next to the coffee urn and teapot. The salon gives off a refreshing air of innocence and purity without being too uptight. It’s homey.

My recent visit to Sweet Lily also commemorated my first pedicure of the season. After a long winter, that first pedicure requires a delicate balance of tough and gentle treatment to prep and ease feet back into light-of-day condition. Taking a seat in one of the comfy armchairs, I selected the Coconut Pineapple pedicure which just evoked the perfect warm-weather mood I was seeking. I was presented with an old fashion white basin filled with warm pineapple juice, with chunky slices of pineapple perched on the sides like a gigantic tropical drink for me to soak my feet in. Now let me tell you, between the warm pineapple juice soak, coconut sugar scrub and coconut cream moisturizing massage over the course of the 60 minute treatment, it’s no wonder I was both lulled into total relaxation and craving bundt cake. My pedicurist (ironically named Lilly) was wonderful, and her foot and calf massage almost put me to sleep. I honestly didn’t want to walk on my feet after the treatment, but no one would carry me (sadly, they do not provide that service and would not entertain my suggestions that they start).

Perhaps the most satisfying part about Sweet Lily though is that they only use non-toxic nail polish, like Zoya (which happens to be the longest wearing natural nail lacquer available). Their polishes contain no formaldehyde, toluene or dibutyl phthalate, which means they’re safe for pregnant women and extremely obsessive Designer Granola types. I love it!

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Brides take note: Sweet Lily is also the perfect spot for bridal showers, bachelorette parties or wedding day primping. Owner Donna Carlon had her own bridal shower there and her mother-in-law, who was working the front desk during my visit, said she’s “not just saying this,” but it was a blast! Sweet Lily will provide you with exclusive use of the salon for the duration of your event, with a Sweet & Simple Pedicure for each guest, a Hot Lavender Cream Manicure for each guest, unlimited champagne, white wine and non-alcoholic beverages, and an assortment of finger sandwiches, fruit salads and gourmet desserts. How absolutely adorable does that sound?

OK, it does get even more adorable. For girls 12 and under, Sweet Lily offers The Little Miss Mani. So how about treating the Flower Girl to an all-natural manicure before the big day? Even those cute little thumb-suckers can rest assured there won’t be any toxic nail polish in their mouth or tum-tum.

Sweet Lily Spa is located at 222 West Broadway, between Franklin and North Moore. Schedule appointments or book a party by calling 212.925.5441. Check out their website at http://www.sweetlilyspa.com

Originally published May 2006
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