Whether she’s a high-powered executive or a busy soccer mom on the go, your client loves a little extra attention. You can be her fairy godmother and increase your bottom line, all at the same time. NAILS visited seven salons to explore their most profitable pedicure services. Everyone — from frazzled clients who walk out serene and glowing, to technicians who enjoy pampering tired legs with customized massage strokes, to owners who see their customer base and profits rising — lives happily ever after.
GRAND PEDICURE, $55 for 55 minutes
Charles Penzone, The Grand Salon, Columbus, Ohio (locations in Dublin, New Albany, Polaris, Wedgewood)
This signature service is the crème de la crème of Charles Penzone’s pedicure offerings. In a quiet, custom-designed environment, technicians restore order to busy feet and then exfoliate legs and feet before treating the client to an energizing massage. Clients choose from a paraffin dip or cooling marine mask and leave with perfectly polished toes, and feet and legs that have been recharged and rehydrated.
“Most of our Grand Pedicure clients are women,” says spokesperson Chelsea Penzone, “but we’re seeing more men who like to indulge in the 25-minute Men’s Pedicure.”
SPA PEDICURE, $45
Fingers, Faces and Toes at Cactus, Plainview, N.Y.
Located on the lower level of a bustling, full-service salon, this independent nail care salon is a peaceful, clean, and nearly silent oasis for achy feet. After choosing a color from the salon’s collection of professional polishes (reds and soft pinks are featured), clients who pick the Spa Pedicure are quietly groomed by Sue, who clearly enjoys her work. The service includes a warm, fragrant soak, nail and cuticle care, refreshing scrub, and a massage that moves from whisper-light strokes to musclerelaxing pressure and back again. With legs and feet now soft and smooth and nails polished and dried, clients can relax in the roomy waiting area until climbing the stairs to re-enter the real world once again.
ENERGIZING SPA PEDICURE, $50 for 75 minutes
Cactus Salon and Day Spa, Syosset, N.Y.
Although all the salons featured were quick to emphasize their attention to cleanliness and sanitation, the technicians at Cactus Salon and Day Spa opened up their cupboards, showing the cleaning products and demonstrating their techniques. Clients here needn’t worry about these things and can instead concentrate on saying goodbye to tired, achy feet and sore calf muscles. “All of our services are excellent,” explains pedicurist Harriet Saviano, “but this is very popular and a wonderful way for women to pamper themselves.” Creative Spa products are used exclusively, beginning with Sea Rock Soak. An alpha-hydroxy callus spray and pumice rub softens the rough spots, and additional treats include silkening massage oils, Marine Masque, Cucumber Heel Therapy, Sea Salt Glow, and Marine Gel.
HOT STONE THERAPY PEDICURE, $40
Tips to Toes 4U, Hicksville, N.Y.
Hot Stone Therapy Pedicures are the buzz all over Long Island, and for good reason. At this well-liked local salon, this soothing one-hour treatment is a big winner all around. Legs are refreshed with a cooling cucumber mask while the toenails are groomed. Next up — a soothing and surprising arm and hand massage with OPI Berry Juicie antioxidant lotion. But the legs and feet are in for a series of treats: a warm oil massage, followed by an even longer acupressure session with warm basalt stones (that make a gentle “clack-clack” as they meet), and an exfoliating scrub. Calluses and rough spots are banished, nails are polished, and just when clients think the fantasy is over, they’re given a neck, shoulder, and back massage while their pretty toes are under the dryer.
MOJITO PEDICURE, $65
Spa Roma Urban Dream Spa, Milwaukee
According to Maticia Barnes, one of Spa Roma’s owners, “The Mojito Pedicure is our big hit, and most profitable.” Small wonder. Clients soak in an invigorating mixture of lime leaves and mint as nails and cuticles are restored to order. An exfoliating sugar scrub gives legs and feet a fresh, clean start. And just when the client thinks it can’t get any better, she’s handed an ice-cold mojito to sip during her massage and polish. For those who prefer to indulge without alcohol, the Milk and Honey Pedicure (also $65) is another popular option that promises clients “will bee so happy.”
BASIC DIVA PEDICURE, $30
Dashing Diva New York City flagship store, with additional salons in New York, Las Vegas, North Carolina, Japan, Korea, and Singapore
Dashing Diva’s salons and clients are all over the media, thanks to the company’s sizzling hot pink party atmosphere that features polish cakestands, Girls’ Night Out, and its own line of products. Although there are three levels of pedicure (Basic Diva, Spoiled Diva, and All Out Diva), spokesperson Pia Chon says the Basic Diva is its big moneymaker. “You don’t have to pay for Spoiled to get great treatment,” she explains. The Basic Diva starts with a lavender soak and careful grooming. Then clients enjoy a fresh, clean-scented sugar-glow exfoliating scrub, followed by an emollient massage. Scents change with the seasons, but Chon says clients are raving about the current fragrance, White Willow. Toenails are polished, and clients linger to chat with friends, have a drink, or just relax in the Pedi-Lounge.
V Spa Salon, Garden City, N.Y.
It’s no secret that real estate is a premium in the crowded New York metro area, but this salon has clearly invested in space. Roomy, airy, and light, it features natural maple floors, lit aromatherapy candles, and cozy red pillows anywhere a client might want to pull up a seat. Spa director David Kim and his delightful mother Annie, the winner of several major awards for her technique, love to show off their impeccable treatment areas and are proud to serve a list of well-known clients. Of the five pedicures offered, Kim says the Princess Honey version is the most profitable. A customized honey is flown in from Arizona to top off the treatment, which includes cleaning, shaping, cuticle trim, sea soak exfoliation, a multi-vitamin cuticle serum, antiaging masque, reflexology massage, and polish. Anyone who walks in will want to throw herself at the mercy of the technician upon seeing her fluttery massage technique.
“We’re big on massages,” Kim grins, “and all of our technicians are fully certified.” In addition to being lovely and utterly clean (there’s an autoclave in the pedicure area), V Spa Salon is also accessible to clients with disabilities; there are moveable armrests on the pipeless pedicure thrones, roomy hallways and restrooms, and a handheld digital/webcam service that allows hearing-impaired clients to communicate with technicians.