By Michelyn Camen

I am a hi-low girl. I can spend over $1000 for the necessary “it” bag but $59.99 for a Zara pencil skirt. I splurge on an anti-aging moisturizer at Bergdorf Goodman, but buy my lip glosses at Jack’s Dollar Store. That’s what makes NYC women so savvy…we know which expenditures are necessary indulgences.

I get my monthly pedicure at one of the local salons which have a “special” for 25 bucks on Mondays and Tuesdays. It takes approximately 20 minutes, and it’s the perfect opportunity for me to “blackberry” my contacts and return emails (no, I’m not a workaholic…I just act like one!). At the end of the treatment, my feet are clean and my toenails well kempt, but it’s not exactly…well…an “experience.” It’s more like efficient grooming on the cheap (you know, sometimes the water in the basin is lukewarm and the foot massage rarely lasts longer than a minute or two).


“Indulge. Relax. Luxuriate.” This is a direct quote from the new Nail Spa menu at Salon AKS introducing a wide rang of nail services including the Star Treatment Pedicure. Celebrity nail guru Deborah Lippmann is the new Creative Director of the Nail Spa at Salon AKS. Ms. Lippmann is behind the scenes at fashion week at shows like Zac Posen. Her clientele includes Cher, Julia, and Gwyneth and Lippmann has created nail polishes with celebrities such as Kelly Ripa, Mariah Carey and Sara Jessica Parker.

Is an $85 pedicure really “necessary”? Am I really able to “relax and luxuriate” for a 1½ hour?


Since Deborah was busy with CS’s manicure, which lasted about an hour (her nails looked as beautiful as deep red stained glass windows when she was done), Doris administered my pedicure. Doris has been with AKS for years and excitedly reported she went through a rigorous four week program, where every AKS nail technicians studied the secrets of Deborah Lippman’s techniques.

Self-heating scrubs, heated lavender filled plush booties, and a 20 minute transporting foot and leg massage left my feet baby-bottom soft. No mere pedicure… this was a facial for my feet. My toes gleamed incandescent black, (I could not resist Lippman’s nail lacquer “Hit me with your best shot” polish, created with Pat Benatar).

I left Doris and AKS with more than “star” toes. I was totally relaxed. My daily life resumed its hectic pace and my blackberry continually reminded me of who to call and what to do…but for over an hour, I escaped it all. From now on, my feet stay off ‘the street’.

For more information, or to book an appointment, call 212-888-0707 or visit

Originally published November 2006
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