On the Road in Beverly Hills

Ripsy Alexanian , a Russian-born nail guru, was dubbed “the nail nurse” by Allure.

You have to figure that when a business address ends with Beverly Hills, 90210, its client roster will include celebrities. That’s exactly the case at Ripsy's Nail Salon, located inside the posh Verabella Skin Therapy Spa on Canon Drive in Beverly Hills. North Canon Drive is in the famed Rodeo Drive area of Beverly Hills, home to such stores as Fendi, Prada, and Barney1s. The spa is tucked away on a walkway paved with stones. High-profile clients appreciate the incognito access from the parking garage directly to the courtyard that leads into the four-year-old spa.

As you walk in the spa, Ripsy Alexanian houses her one-woman nail salon directly to the left of the entrance. Although she’s only been at this location for a few years, she’s been beautifying nails for 22 years. The Russian-born nail guru has such a solid reputation in Tinseltown that her regular clients include such stars as Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, Steve Martin, and Ringo Starr, and she was dubbed “the nail nurse” by Allure.

Ripsy doesn’t retail in the traditional sense, but recommends clients invest in a nail survival kit, which is a compilation of her favourite products packaged in a clear tote bag with a promotional card desorbing her background and service descriptions. Her private treatment room overlooks the tranquil Mediterranean courtyard and fountain. Intent on improving and maintaining nail health, Ripsy claims she can quickly make anyone’s nails stronger. She received most of her training from a woman who studied and did nails in China for 30 years.

Ripsy’s specialty is orthopedicures, which consist of two parts. The first part addresses the individual foot care needs of the client, correcting any health problems in her nails and skin. The second part, which consists of three steps, is all about pampering and rejuvenation including a glowing foot shine and a reflexology massage.

I experienced all of this in the two hours she took out of her day to work on me. I got to preview her holiday pedicure special, also known as The Sweet Feet Peppermint Pedicure, a pink peppermint sugar scrub and green mint mask, finished off with a peppermint lotion and some heavenly reflexology. My feet tingled for two days. It’s no wonder she’s so good with her hands — before becoming a nail tech, she was a violinist.

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