On the Road in Paris

PARIS - What’s that old adage? Ah, yes. Share the wealth. One of the perks of working for NAILS is being able to visit salons in the U.S. And wherever in the world our journey take us, It’s perk is often use to instill jealousy in friends and family , and when I’m perched in a chair receiving a manicure in the name of work  I feel perky indeed. During a recent trip to Europe, I was inspired to share the wealth with my best friend.

After three weeks of trekking through Europe carrying our weight in souvenirs on our backs and miraculously surviving a couple of near-death experiences on the subways of Paris, my friend Lisa and I were ready for a little bit of pampering. Looking at our wind-chapped hands and scruffy nails you’d have thought that we’d crawled through the Alps. So, on our last day in Paris, we spend the morning strolling along the Champs Elysees, hiding from the rain in cafes, and drinking cappuccino after cappuccino. We stopped in at a fancy hotel where the concierge directed is to local beauty parlor.

When we reached Josiane Molina Esthetique, we were greeted by a friendly esthetician in a crisp, almost medical, salon. This was not the shabby-chic environment I expected and it found the sterility of the salon reassuring. We spoke no French, Charlotte spoke no English - but we thankfully discovered that we all spoken Spanish and were proficient in the arts of gesture. She indicated that she was the only tech available and that she only had one appointment open. Because Lisa had never had a manicure, much less a French manicure, she was the lucky winner of the royal treatment.

Charlotte was very professional, asking Lisa how long she’d like the manicure to last and if there were any problem areas she’d like addressed. She could only laugh when Lisa responded “todos” - “all of them.” After all of the horrors stories, I’d told her, Lisa was on the lookout for cuticles nippers, but none appeared. Instead Charlotte gently cleansed her hands, trimmed and filed her nails, exfoliated her hands and forearms, and cleansed up her nail bed using a fine abrasive and soft buffer. She paid special attention to shaping the free edge to be pretty yet functional for traveling. As I’d anticipated, Lisa’s favorite part of the manicure was the dip in warm lotion followed by what looked like a very nice hand massage.

Maybe it was the rush of being in the city of love, maybe it was the ether of jet lag, maybe it was the wine from the night before, but I think the service provided by that nail tech was comparable to any service I’ve received or witnessed in any spa or salon in The States. Despite the language barrier and the unfortunate state of her clients’ hand, Charlotte was friendly, thorough, and complete professional - and she made us feel at home when we were an ocean away from our neck of the woods. 

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