On the Road at the Torrance Historical Society Museum

For this month’s On the Road, I decided to pop a new salon that recently opened right down the street from the NAILS office.

TORRANCE, CALIF. For this month’s On the Road, I decided to pop a new salon that recently opened right down the street from the NAILS office. (Maybe “Down the Road” would be a more fitting name for this month’s column.) I was interested in checking out Pure Salon after seeing an ad in my local weekly paper mentioning they do colored acrylic designs. I don’t normally see this mentioned in ads and thought that it was worth checking out.

Salon owner Chiaki Mizuguchi also owns a Pure Salon in Japan. Chiaki, who recently moved Pure from a few miles away, needed more space so she was happy to find this new location in downtown Torrance. The historic downtown area is home not only to NAILS, but also to the American headquarters for both Honda and Toyota. In addition to this, Torrance boasts some of the best Japanese markets and restaurants in the Los Angeles area. (The Los Angeles suburb is also known for its famous high school, which was used in the filming of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Beverly Hills 90210.”)

While she does nails, her specialty is eyelash tinting, perming, and extensions (yes, eyelash extensions!)----all very popular among Asian women, who typically have short, straight eyelashes. The salon has a minimalist décor, with Japanese accents on the walls and shelves. Three nail stations are set up in the front room, with two semi-private pedicure areas in a separate room. Instead of pedicure thrones, the salon uses reclining massage chairs and portable pedicure tubs. There are also two treatment rooms for the eyelash and permanent makeup services the salon offers.

I stopped in on a Wednesday morning and was happy to find they could take me right away. Imagine my surprise when I found out that the salon’s manager and nail tech Satomi Uchiyama had recently placed fourth at the ISSE Long Beach competition in the Flat Nail Art category. Originally from Japan, Satomi has been doing nails in the U.S. for the last five years. She specializes in flat nail art and design acrylic, but recently took a gel art class and hopes to add more gel art to her repertoire. She also has plans to compete at this year’s Nail Olympics.

Satomi performs all nail services and offered me a wonderful aromatherapy pedicure (I got to choose from lavender, lemon, orange, or peppermint scents) complete with one of the best leg massages I’ve ever had. And she didn’t even protest when I just wanted a solid color instead of art on my toes. Next time, I promise I will sample her art.

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