The nail artists at Ibiza Nails & Skin Care and The Finest Nails festoon mitts with no-chip Shellac polish and pamper paws with luxurious European pedicures. Clients can hand over button-pushers to the skilled tech, who meticulously trims cuticles and shapes talons before crowning finger shingles in a vibrant Shellac gel. Cured under UV light, the gel gains the strength it needs to withstand two weeks of texting on a granite keyboard without collecting nicks or chips. Clients next sink into one of the salon’s scads of padded pedicure chairs and dip their stocking stuffers into a vat of tropical oils and a skin-softening sugar scrub. Before topping off nails with a dollop of color, techs slather calluses in a potent glycolic treatment that relieves aching feet so that clients don’t have to move to the moon to reduce the strain on their soles.
Mary Ann Kilgore always wears sandals. So she used to obsess over the condition of her feet, a preoccupation she was able to turn into an occupation upon becoming a training manager for Minx Nails. The Minx process uses adhesive colors and designs that, when heated, bond to nails with an effect similar to shrink-wrap or the vacuum cleaner on Superman's back that sucks his cape tight. This enables the pedicure to last for up to six weeks, a feat Mary Ann was so continually impressed with that she no longer wanted to just train Minx stylists—she wanted to be one.
Along with her experience as a nail technician at The Spa at Pelican Hill, which boasts one of Forbes' elite five-star ratings, Mary Ann used her Minx training to open her own nail studio. Despite its cheeky name, The OC Minx is more serene than social: she is the only practitioner and works with clients one-on-one in a completely private space decorated with plants, candles, and cushy earth-toned furniture. She does more than just Minx pedicures here, though, as she also blends OPI polishes for custom colors, administers Shellac manicures, and gives hot-stone massages as part of spa pedicures or to overworked pedicure chairs.
Ilena Barr has more than 20 years of experience as an aesthetician; her specialties are grooming nails and threading unwanted hair. Visitors to Artistic Nails & Hair Removal by ilena can choose from beautifying treatments such as manicures with shellac polish, pedicures with volcanic clay foot masks, and threading for the face or arms.