Nail Services: Comparing Apples to Apples

We are grateful for a recent post on our Facebook page from a nice woman who pointed out that there are salons and spas that charge less for some nail services than Luxe does. She is correct and we have no problem with this comparison. Our concern comes into play when clients compare prices without being educated about whether or not they are comparing the same services to each other: Apples to apples. Therefore, we wanted to point out some things to consider next time you are “shopping” nail services:

1. Using Safe, Fast, High Quality Products. So unless you live and breathe all things nails like our techs do, you may not know that there are some great brands of products and some that are not so great. At Luxe we use only proven, top shelf brands

Then there are some that are harmful to you because they have ingredients that have been shown to cause major problems, like Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) Monomers which can cause allergic reaction, permanent loss of the nail plate and in some cases, permanent loss of sensation in the fingertips. This product was most prevalent in “discount” salons many years ago and was eventually outlawed for use in the beauty industry, but still continues to surface from time to time because it is used in other industries. You usually can spot them by one of the following

  • Unusually strong or strange odor which doesn’t smell like other acrylic liquids.
  • Artificial nails are extremely hard and very difficult to file, even with coarse abrasives.
  • Nails that do not soak off in solvents like acetone made for removing acrylics.

Each year, we make sure we “up our game” in terms of the products and services we offer clients. A great example is our gel-cured system and the lights we use to cure it. (By the way, we use gels by Young Nails, a highly regarded product line in the industry, but the concerns were about all brands of gel nail products, not one in particular.) Some time ago there was concern over UV light exposure after two women who got regular UV manicures had health issues. Even though a major scientific study by three major companies showed that clients are subjected to more “more UV light while driving their cars than they will receive from UV gel nail services” (read about the study results HERE) our owner and technicians decided to make the change to LED lights. The added bonus of this change was that this more expensive technology meant clients only need cure for 30 seconds per layer instead of 1 minute, thereby reducing both exposure and service time. We still do use some lights (depending on the service and products used) that will take up to two minutes to cure completely, but whenever possible we use the technology that cures the quickest.

Another thing some “discount” salons do, that you should be aware of is apply acrylic nails and then top them with a gel top coat. These are NOT true gels. There is nothing wrong with acrylics with a gel overlay, just be sure you know what you are paying for so you get the appropriate price.

2. We Mean Pampered! When you come to get your nails and toes done at Luxe, you are doing so in our Spa. The difference is that there is a high level of luxury and pampering is built in to the Luxe Pedicure service. You do NOT pay extra for the various parts of our pedicure (for instance, we don’t charge extra for scrub or callus treatments and give an excellent massage), but you can enhance your appointment with extra pampering by selecting our Spa Pedicure, which we from time to time customize with MoroccanOil Body Products or even trendy nail art to keep it fun and fresh for clients.

We just ask you to make sure when you are comparing our service prices to another salon’s that you are comparing apples to apples in terms of the steps of the service and the products used. Again, we only use products  you have probably heard of, such as CND, OPI, Gelish, and more.

3. Training of our Professionals. Our nail technicians have many years of experience and receive training at least once a year. Maybe this doesn’t sound like a lot, but consider how many classes you or others you know have taken since you left high school or college to advance your knowledge in your industry. We do not hire our staff straight out of beauty school (unless they are part of our trainee program). Many come to us with experience from other reputable salons which we know to be like-minded in their education practices.

4. Sanitation. We go above and beyond in our sanitation practices in our nail department. After each client, our pedicure stations are always scrubbed down with a bleach cleaner first. Then our professionals fill them with water and a hospital grade sanitizer and run them for no less than 10 minutes to be sure that the cleaner gets everywhere. This is done after every pedicure. Tools that we use for both fingers and toes are cleaned with an antibacterial cleaner and placed in Barbicide (which is a United States EPA-approved hospital disinfectant. It is a germicide, pseudomonacide, fungicide, and viricide. In addition, it kills the HIV-1 AIDS virus, AND Hepatitis B and C). We also use an autoclave, a device used to sterilize equipment and supplies by subjecting them to high pressure saturated steam at about 250 °F.  Any files and or buffers that are sanitizable that come in contact with blood, fungus or anything questionable are just thrown away. By the way, according to the AZ Board of Cosmetology, we must only do the following:

“Totally immersing in disinfectant that’s EPA-registered bactericidal, virucidal, fungicidal, and pseudomonacidal that is used according to manufacturer’s directions on all tools, instruments, and equipment, except those that have come in contact with blood or other body fluids, which require EPA-registered disinfectant effective against HIV and Human Hepatitis B Virus or Tuberculocidal.”

We will continue to exceed the minimum requirements in all aspects of our business, but especially when it comes to sanitation. At Luxe we go above and beyond regularly to ensure that when you come to our salon for nail services — or in any other department — you are getting the VERY best in products, services, techniques and safety. Please let a manager know right away if ever you feel this is not the case or you have questions. Thank You!