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Highlights From The Salon Fanatic Tour

by Beth Livesay | September 20, 2017

Chill Body in Omaha, Neb. was a cool find

Chill Body in Omaha, Neb. was a cool find

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.

Buddy Sims (far left) is from season 1 of NTNA

Buddy Sims (far left) is from season 1 of NTNA

2. Four nail techs on the tour were NTNA alums (two are currently in the Top 24 for Season 5).

Celine Cumming's home set-up

Celine Cumming's home set-up

3. Three salons were in-home studios.

Teena Olsen's studio is in this house. There are other businesses inside as well.

Teena Olsen's studio is in this house. There are other businesses inside as well.

4. Two spaces were in houses (though not the tech’s actual home).

Teena Olsen doesn't offer pedicures, but boy does she do nail art

Teena Olsen doesn't offer pedicures, but boy does she do nail art

5. Four of these salons did not offer pedicure services.

Maisie's pedicure space

Maisie's pedicure space

6. The highest priced service I saw was a pedicure in Maryland from Maisie Dunbar ($75.00).

Retail at the W Nail Bar in Columbus

Retail at the W Nail Bar in Columbus

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.

Maisie Dunbar (left) and me

Maisie Dunbar (left) and me

8. Three of the nail techs I visited had done the cover of NAILS. 1) Buddy Sims 2) Celine Cumming 3) Maisie Dunbar

Haven in Denver, Colo.

Haven in Denver, Colo.

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.

The Emerald Door in Silver Spring, Md. refers to itself as a "green beauty spa" because it offers facials and nail services

The Emerald Door in Silver Spring, Md. refers to itself as a "green beauty spa" because it offers facials and nail services

11. Three of the salons I visited considered themselves to be a “spa.”

Celine Cumming has her pictures on display in Middletown, Del.

Celine Cumming has her pictures on display in Middletown, Del.

12. Three of the salons had actual photos (not digital ones) of their nail artwork on display.

iMagic is expanding to make a pedciure only wing

iMagic is expanding to make a pedciure only wing

13. Two salons were expanding while I was there.

iMagic Nails advertises its Patron pedicure...and being part of the Salon Fanatic tour

iMagic Nails advertises its Patron pedicure...and being part of the Salon Fanatic tour

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).

Danielle's nail art done by Amanda at Elli Nail Spa in Columbus

Danielle's nail art done by Amanda at Elli Nail Spa in Columbus

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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