Just returned from Vancouver's Seafood Summit, head full, hands parched and a good ol' head cold whacks me. Just as I'm succumbing, I get a call from out of the blue from a producer of the well-loved Channel 5 WCVB show Chronicle. Would I be interested in filming a breakfast segment or two? Sure! This week? Okay.
Next on Chronicle - Me!
So this week I'm doing two segments (we think) and assuming they don't end up on the cutting room floor, you'll see me (cold, red nose and all) in hi-def glory. I think I managed not to speak too quickly though Dayquil was zooming through my head. And, I added extra spackle to the nose area. Keep your eyes open, the segments should air before the end of the month.
One of the hi-def horrors was the state of my nails on camera as I perused the menu. Try not to notice. The next segment will be beautiful as I just discovered our neighborhood nail salon IS OPEN!
La Belle Nail Salon
Now open at 100-1 South Street (just across the street from Les Zygomates) is open for business. Owner Michelle Nguyen is someone you may recognize from Debu and earlier from Matsu in the Financial District.
In this area we've been hard-pressed to find a good, clean salon. There's one or two in Downtown X'g but clean, they're not. There's Miniluxe which IMHO is a major disaster. (Each time I've been I was treated to cuts, burns or other assorted assaults. They claim cleanliness, but really, if you're cutting me, what comfort is that? My last complaint went completely ignored. Miniluxe got three chances, now they are dead to me.)
La Belle is proud to put safety first. In fact, when you enter the salon, you're likely to be greeted cheerfully by a family member or Michelle herself. (Imagine teenage sons, happily helping Mom out in the new business? It's mind-boggling and uplifting, both.) The motto of the salon is "Live, Laugh, Love" and you will feel their cheerful spirit unlike some salons that operate more like sweatshops.
Take a peek behind the counter and you'll see the serious sanitizing autoclave. It looks like a cross between a bank safe and an toaster oven. Michelle showed me around the whole salon, happily pointing out the antiseptic cleansers, tablets and such, that they use.
(Sorry the iPhone refuses to allow rotation of photos, apparently this has been a problem since 2008 which Apple has yet to fix!)
Products & Services
I was thrilled to get a manicure (taping segment two tomorrow) and my manicurist was just what you want. Gentle with the snipping, firm with the massage. OPI (including the 2 week-old "Shatter" which Katy Perry and Serena Williams are pitching), Esse and Cuccio products are used. The latter is an Italian line I first encountered at the St. Regis on my honeymoon. A good omen, and a very good line. Everything is quite new (even the safety seal on the lotion had to be removed) but I'm confident this is a crew that will keep things clean and sanitary as they grow.
There are about six manicure stations and at least four pedi chairs with curtains for privacy. One room in the back for waxing and a second room for services they may add on.
Manicures begin at $18 (with a 20% discount for your first time) You can purchase extra time, hot stone treatment, French or designs. This is a bargain, especially when you factor in the serious cleanliness (even the buffers are single-use).
Pedicures begin at $35 for 30 minutes with the Balinese Ginger Pedicure topping the list at $68 for 115 minutes.
Gel (signature nail system) start at $65 for 45 minutes, full set.
Full waxing services are also available from $18 eyebrows, $8 lip, and every other part you might want waxed, and yes, they do Brazilian.
(really, Apple, it's been years and several versions, can't you fix this EXIF data issue?)
La Belle Nail Salon - Live Laugh Love
Monday - Friday 10-7