Tonight is the Academy Awards, which will be a night of much star-gazing, shoe-coveting and toe gazing. And those toes better be spiffy.
Here in Boston, it is still freezing and gray outside, but we can get a bit of summer in our lives by visiting my favorite place to get my Oscar Worthy toes–Wet Paint Nail Spa in Cambridge.
Run by a mother-daughter team, the place is famous for its cleanliness and luxurious pedicures. Prices are mid-range for a regular pedicure, less than Newbury Street spas, but slightly more than the ubiquitous neon-sign sporting salons that boast the $20 mani-pedi combo. It is worth the extra cost. Here’s why:
1.) Michelle Phoenix, the owner. I started going here once a month about two years ago on the recommendation of a friend. At this point, I think of Michelle as a friend (albeit, one I pay). She is funny, interesting and could probably kick anyone’s butt at trivia.
She is an artist. Looking for a fun pedicure to wear to a disco party? Phoenix can create a one-of-a kind pedi that will make any shoes pop. Further, a pedi with her feels a lot like a trip to brunch with the ladies from Sex and the City–not a bad way to spend an hour. And do expect to spend some time. Phoenix takes her time, examining your feet and offering suggestions for their care. Your feet will look better than your best kicks once she is done.
My last “disco” pedi:
2.) Cleanliness. Much as cheap pedicures might appeal, there is a reason they are so cheap–they skimp in other areas. Yes, boys and girls, you could get foot fungus. Or worse. Who knows what might be lurking in those tubs or on the razors of highly unethical places that still use it. Wet Paint is famous for their tubs that are drained and sanitized after every client, for their impeccable tools and their adherence to safety standards. So I spend a little more to keep my feet ready for my hottest strappy sandals. A good trade, indeed
3) Green Standards. Walk into Wet Paint and you will not see the OPIs or the Essies that litter other salons. This is because their polishes are “3 Free.” In other words, they are free of formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate – the 1st 2 are carcinogens and the 3rd is an endocrine interrupter. “All phthalates have been banned from cosmetics in the EU and hopefully the US will soon follow suit,” says Phoenix who made the switch long before other salons. Additonally, Phoenix has had the salon evaluated by Nstar for electricity usage. There is low VOC paints on the walls. They re-cycle paper and plastic. All toe separators are cornstarch packing peanuts that dissolve in the water. If you are looking for an environmentally sound pedicure to show off in your vegan shoes, Wet Paint is the place to get it.
4.) A little bit of summer in the Boston winter. Ok, so the reality is not many people see our toes in the winter (save for our yoga class and to my fellow students may I just say: get thee to Wet Paint ASAP), but why not indulge our feet all year long? Phoenix’s salon is painted in yellow, hot pink and neon green, a bright and cheery oasis when it is gray and depressing outside.
I questioned whether to write this post for fear of competition, but so many people ask me why my toes always look so good in my sandals or on my yoga mat. Wet Paint is my secret weapon–a salon whose mission is, according to Phoenix, “to be clean and green”, offer “pampering without pretension” and to provide “expert natural nail care for healthy hands and feet.”
Get thee to Wet Paint, but if you take my spot, we will have words.