By Linda Kirkland
Think about it, when you go for a mani/pedi what are your major complaints about the experience? Sisters Micki & Susan Nam shared the same concerns when they were frustrated in not being able to find a salon which met their standards of cleanliness, friendliness and less than perfect manicure. Voila Polished Beauty Bar was born founded by the two sisters.
At first I was skeptical. What could make this spa stand out from the crowd of nail salons that line the corners of every street in New York City? The sisters have tirelessly researched, and implemented their educated choices in designing the spa, the quality of the products, the skill of their staff and curating the most sophisticated nail color selection. They are passionate about what they do and you can feel it.
Polished Beauty Bar is clean. You enter a Zen inspired tranquil space. Susan the co-owner greets you immediately with a smile. She knows all her loyal clients by name. The first thing you notice there is no odor of chemicals. The air is filtered through an EnpuTech Cleaning system, which goes thru nine air cleaning steps removing more than 90% of the air -bone chemicals. The tools are autoclaved which means a high-grade hospital sanitizing solution is applied to the tools, they are sealed in a sanitizer bag and in the final step, subjected to high-pressure saturated steam at 121 degrees C for 14-20 minutes.
The pedicure chairs feature two-massage options: one for your tired back and one for your overworked gluteus maximums! The footbath jets radiate an LED light to eliminate germs and bacteria. Many of the salon’s clients specifically frequent this salon weekly because they have special concerns such as allergies or are pregnant. I just want cleanliness.
Polished Beauty Bar features products that are toxic free. The Pharmacopia’s aromatic therapy line of body and massage oils are natural and organic, nothing synthetic. They are made of lavender to reduce stress and fatigue. Roman chamomile is combined to calm and heal irritated dry skin. I loved that the bath salts, body oil and lotion that were used during my mani/pedi were not only therapeutic and hydrating, but in addition, I was seduced by the sensuality of the experience. It is no surprise that Pharmacopis’a body lotion is well known as a beauty editors favorite pick.
Although it might be green, the salon is on the cutting edge of fashion trends “provided they combine health and quality for the client”, says Susan. There is a choice of polish removers: Zoya’s 3-in 1 Remove + which gently cleans, conditions and prepares nails for a base coat while moisturizing the nail plate without any chemical odor. For clients allergic or sensitive to acetone, a soy based polish remover is offered as an alternative.
Impressive was the choice of Zoya nail lacquers. The spa carries the largest selection in the city of this toxic free (of formaldehyde, toluene, DBP) nail polish. In total, the salon has a choice of over 1,000 colors. Susan is passionate about color and combines half used bottles of polish, with other colors to make custom-blends. As they are unique and can only be created once, she gives them away to clients for a weekly touchup. Be aware Susan told me her clients had one complaint – too many choices of color. No concerns here. The choice is made easy with the use of Zoya’s color spoon which allows you to place the color directly on your nail without application. Or you can take advantage of the knowledgeable staff, whose trained eyes can select the perfect color for your skin tone, personal style, or trendiest shade for the adventurous.
I’ve always wanted the long nail look while keeping my nails a reasonable length so I could exercise, cycle on my bicycle throughout the city and practice yoga without breaking a nail. Susan shaped my nails perfectly just by following its natural silhouette. A week latter, no breakage no chips, no ragged cuticles.
Polished Beauty Bar goes to great lengths to challenge the status quo. Are you ever bored while waiting for your nails to dry? Leave too soon and then get smudged? The salon has a large flat screen TV, playing not a soap opera, cnn or cnbc, but instead, old classic movies that we hunger to watch over and over. The time I was there it was Breakfast at Tiffany’s. WiFi is also available.
Clean and green Polished Beauty Bar is a non-pretentious oasis. It is a healthy, stylish and friendly salon where you feel cared for. Services include: manicures, pedicures, waxing and massage. Additional spa services are expected to be added when the dynamic sisters find the products that are a cut above the rest.
Polished Beauty Bar
250 West 78th Street
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