1. Four salon stops were unplanned visits (thanks for letting me barge in!). These salons were recommended to Beth by other techs in the area.
2. Four nail techs on the tour were NTNA alums (two are currently in the Top 24 for Season 5).
3. Three salons were in-home studios.
4. Two spaces were in houses (though not the tech’s actual home).
5. Four of these salons did not offer pedicure services.
6. The highest priced service I saw was a pedicure in Maryland from Maisie Dunbar ($75.00).
7. Retail branched out across these various locations. I saw items for sale ranging from jewelry, hair ties, lipstick, tote bags, clothing, and house-made scrubs to the photos on the wall of the salon. In the case of Tootsies, the finger sculptures were also for sale.
8. Three of the nail techs I visited had done the cover of NAILS. 1) Buddy Sims 2) Celine Cumming 3) Maisie Dunbar
9. Waxing was by far the most popular additional service offered in the salon.
10. Every salon offered gel-polish. Interestingly, only one location did not do lacquer.
11. Three of the salons I visited considered themselves to be a “spa.”
12. Three of the salons had actual photos (not digital ones) of their nail artwork on display.
13. Two salons were expanding while I was there.
14. The most interesting service I noticed: a Patron pedicure (at iMagic Nails in Sacramento, Calif.).
15. The most interesting salon set-up was a salon/photo studio (G Nails & Spa in Davis, Calif.).
16. The most interesting décor: the soft sculpture hand and foot art on display at Tootsies in Denver, Colo.
17. Most interesting meeting with a salon owner: getting a pedicure alongside Castle Searcy, co-owner of Tootsies in Denver, Colo.
18. Three nail tattoos were spotted on the tour (two of these were on Melissa at Nail Purist).
19. I ran into four surprise guests on my trip! 1) Morgan Haile in Denver 2) NAILS' former art director Danielle Parisi in Columbus 3) NTNA S. 4 alum Cate Widemire in Columbus 4) NTNA S. 5 Top 24 competitor Dana Cecil in Columbus
20. Total number of services I received while on the road: 1) gel-polish removal 1) gel-polish manicure with nail art 2) toe polish changes with nail art 1) paraffin treatment 1) gel-polish change on toes 1) accent nail art 1) full pedicure 4) polish changes on my toes. A grand total of 12 nail services over the course of eight days!
Read about each leg of the tour on our Editor's Blog.
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