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A Natural Nail Salon That’s Toxin-Free And Not A Fortune

Posted Apr 29 2014 8:00am

l (1) I have my vices when it comes to things I consider luxuries: A great sushi dinner. Paying a little extra for a fridge with an ice machine. Really soft sheets.   Quality dog food for my pups .

Sure I would love to hire someone to clean my house, but I’d prefer to take that money and go out to a nice dinner – it’s all about priorities.  I clean my home.  I make my own hot beverages and have my own to-go cup.  I juice fresh vegetables and cook most of my food. I blow dry my hair. I walk my own dogs. But I don’t scrimp on travel, food, or heath care. We all have our little splurges that we consider worth it and other things regarding which we’d rather be a bit more frugal.

For the most part, I do my own nails.  I would love to have my nails done on a regular basis, but I do them well enough myself that it isn’t worth the added expense…with one exception: once or twice per year, I get a pedicure.  Pedicures last a really long time so the expense is easier to justify, and it’s not really about the polish - but more about all the awesome things they do to your feet before the polishing even begins. A good pedicure makes me feel great when the weather starts warming up and my ugly winter feet are going to begin their season of appearances (side note: feet are gross. I hate feet).

When I started using only non-toxic polish , I figured I would just do my own pedicures. But the supply is catching up with my demand – and I just got an amazing pedicure at Polishbar in Los Angeles – and the whole experience was toxin-free.

Walking into Polishbar is considerably different than your average nail salon. There are no masks on the technicians. The room is open, white, and airy, with a pretty bar.  It is busy but not crowded. And perhaps most noticeably, there is no jarring smell of nail polish and remover (though the friend I went with informed me that she just LOVES the smell of nail polish – she is weird). And yes, you can sit at the bar a sip a beverage while you get your nails done.

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Polishbar offers two types of polish: Zoya (the golden standard for 5-free polish I’ve found) and Aquerella (water based polish recommended for kids and pregnant ladies). The remover they use is plant-based (which works, but you have to work at it), and the lotions are by Shea Moisture .  They have a hospital-grade autoclave for proper sterilization of equipment, and toes are done in a ceramic non-porous pedicure bowl, an environment naturally resistant to mold and bacteria. There will be no Paula-gate in this house if I can help it.
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It was a really pleasant experience getting my toes done (probably didn’t hurt that they were playing Bravo shows on flat screens while I had my feet soaking).  The prices are not egregiously high, pretty on par with what things cost around here- my pedicure was $27 plus tip. By the way, I really thought about whether to post pictures of my feet on the internet. It’s weird, right? By the way that’s Zoya polish in Rekha – a really awesome red.  Carmen is a really great red too.

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See you next year Polishbar. And if I win the lottery, I’ll see you next week.

PS - If you’re curious about a less toxic option for nails in your neighborhood, check out the salon locator on Zoya’s website , or just use yelp. I was not asked to review Polishbar- I just had a great experience and thought I’d share. Images (other than the one of my feet) via Polishbar

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