By Betsy Diacatos
Question: When you want to get a manicure or a pedicure, do you choose the high-end spa that offers fabulous, but wickedly overpriced services? Or do you opt for the mom-and-pop nail salon at your local strip mall where you can get a fast, cheap manicure, but at the risk of contracting diseases such as athlete’s foot and HPV? The answer is simple: neither place. This is because on Newbury Street, in Boston, expert technicians offer a flawless mani-pedi for a great price in a clean, sterile environment.
“MiniLuxe was started because getting your nails done should be a worry-free service,” says Jennifer Tang, manager of the Newbury Street MiniLuxe.
The philosophy of MiniLuxe is about bringing a little bit of luxury time into a woman’s busy life. You don’t have to make an appointment weeks in advance; you can just pop into MiniLuxe for a mere thirty minutes and leave feeling pampered, with beautifully crafted nails. You can also “luxe up” your service with indulgent add-ons, such as a neck and shoulder massage, while your nails dry. In its salons, MiniLuxe carries hard-to-find beauty products from brands such as LaLicious, LemonAide, Hanky Panky, and Sara Happ Lip Scrubbs, as well as its own line of MiniLuxe products and polish. MiniLuxe wants you to have the most refreshing one-stop shopping experience possible.
But what really sets MiniLuxe apart from other spas is an attention to detail, when it comes to cleanliness.
“We are planning on transforming the entire nail industry and upgrading hygiene standards across the board!” says Tang.
The MiniLuxe salons are hospital-grade sterile. A slew of experts have had their hand in creating MiniLuxe’s high standard of sanitation. Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Carolyn Siegal helped design the manicure process to ensure a clean and safe service environment. The tubs used for pedicures do not have jets, because jet tubs recirculate the water, which can cause the spread of infectious diseases. All nail files are single use, and the stainless steel implements Miniluxe uses are sterilized in an autoclave, which applies extreme heat and pressure to kill off bacteria, a method often used by dentists and surgeons to clean medical instruments.
Unlike some other nail salons, MiniLuxe is very open about its sanitation processes, and its “Window of Hygiene” allows customers to witness firsthand how the technicians clean and sterilize their equipment.
Tang warns, “Be careful- some salons put their tools in medical packaging for show to give the impression that they are sterilizing their tools.”
MiniLuxe promises never to use any mystery products to try to cut corners. All the products they use and carry are name brand, and they never water down their lotion. Concerned with its carbon footprint, MiniLuxe offers nail polish that is “3 free,” meaning that the nail polish does not contain DBPs, formaldehyde, or toluene, all harsh chemicals that can be found in cheaper nail polishes. Other natural treatments offered include the Kleanspa service, which uses natural scrubs and body butters.
When giving manicures, the technicians work only with the natural nail. They are all highly trained professionals, artists in their craft, who stick to a strict step-by-step process. Don’t worry! If your nails chip within the first three days of your service, you can come in and get them fixed for free. Men are even raving about MiniLuxe, including some Boston Celtics players who have stopped in to make an appearance.
The small MiniLuxe chain has six locations. The Newton spa opened in 2007, while Newbury Street, Chestnut Hill, Lexington, and Brookline spas followed soon after. To add to the bunch, a Wellesley location is opening in the near future. MiniLuxe has won the Best of Boston title from Boston Magazine for three years in a row, has won awards from the Improper Bostonian, and has received rave reviews from publications such as The Boston Globe, DailyCandy, and Lucky.